Saturday, July 24th, 2010 Diary Entry: Hollywood Fringe Festival
I meant to post this weeks ago, just after the festivals, but the god of the internet (Hermes? St. Isidore?) wasn’t having it. He deleted most of this post after I’d spent quite a lot of time on it, and so I both felt no inspiration to return to it immediately, and I also took it as a sign to wait. I deliberated- I wondered how I should proceed with this blog. After all, even if I am irreverent when it comes to Holy Magickz, I am still responsible for my work in the blog. I waited for a sign- it took longer than usual. And I usually get what I ask for within twenty-four hours.
Then, after I had finished re-writing all my experiences from the festivals, I come to find that one of my dearest friends, and a man instrumental in the festivals, a former lover of mine and many others, had suddenly died. So I edited. I will still post this, with the edit, and I will be posting again soon all about my friend… but I will wait until after his memorial service tomorrow, which we are holding at our favorite theatre in Hollywood.
I shall report. I suppose I ought to begin at the beginning- or where I left off with the last festival, anyway- and end at the end. Though I’ve seen theatre since as well and I will mention it.
As I had said, there were many fun activities at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. As implied we set ourselves up right on Hollywood, and I’m not sure people knew what to think of us. We were an official venue with free art all over the neighborhood, and alcohol as well. Any kind of art one might imagine- art that would not be accepted elsewhere. Hence, Fringe. The liminal. Burlesque, puppetry, one man shows, improvisation, Greek plays, experimental theatre, new modern plays, other period pieces, stand-up, and… well, everything. Immersive, orthodox, and unorthodox.
But most people were more interested in photographing the stars on the cement than paying attention to us- in any other town, we would have drawn crowds from all over, but in this town, they just think you’re one more street crazy trying to hawk a dollar out of them. Well, we are Freaks :) This reminds me that tourists are funny- what kind of aging traveling couple brings their impressionable young children to the pit of humanity in “I <3 LA” shirts to walk past the live lingerie models in the windows at night? “Hey kids, we’re gonna drop you off at the hotel while we go visit the strip joint next to the hot dog stand too, ok?” Hahaha.
So yeah, there are a great many people who ignore the people preaching about free art and healing. But there are also those who listen. I know many people from both here and from around the world were surprised that so many people ignored us… I told them that’s just the way this city works. But the festival was still a success, and it will be much larger next year, and the year after that I presume. In fact, it is technically still going on even though it was supposed to end June 28th. Some shows are showing again at Theatre Asylum, you see. Anyways, artists can and do work magic. All it takes is actual implementation, and you’re reaching more and more audiences- healing more and more people.
So, what did I see myself? I saw a magic show. Or ought I to say card illusion show? I was brought onstage to be the magician’s assistant, but he hesitated when he saw the red inverted pentagram I had painted on my wrist during facepainting time. Luken says this is because he realized I was a true magician, who works real magic with real demons. Oh well… this magician does magic after his own kind, which Luken says is trying to trick girls on stage with his flashy cards. The magician signed one and gave it to me and told me to use it in my occult rituals. Speaking of which, you know, I counted the other day, and I wear at least eight inverted pentagrams on my body at all times while at work! But always a few more. I saw a very good one man show in which a man very slowly met his death through the entire thing. He hoped for rescue, but died almost needlessly. Slowly and agonizingly. I saw a show with an old colleague that was not as good- and what do you know but that I’m drawn onstage as an assistant again? I suppose the show had its moments which I complimented, but I also let those who performed know there were things I didn’t like. I saw a good show with lovers dealing with their world and selves, both internally, externally, and with each other.
I saw some stand-up comedy that was good at first… and what do you know but that the comedian chooses me to be the person of whom he asks questions for material? Soon afterward, though, something strange happened. He both admitted that he did not believe in God and Luken and my friends and I were not riveted enough to stay more than we desired alcohol, so we left to go acquire it. Sorry, nature calls!
I saw lots of improvisation but would have liked to have seen more. Brontosaurus performed- the group of which my departed friend was a member. I saw this and their last show later. In this show at the Fringe, there was a bar mitzvah… now, since improvisation is, as implied, made up on the spot, the actors sort of mashed together what they knew of bar mitzvahs- some were knowledgeable and some were not at all! But the rule of improv is “yes, and”. You first accept what you are given in the scene, and then you add to it. It became a very strange conglomeration as it proceeded- a very fucked up bar mitzvah involving strange fertility sex rituals.
In another improvisation show- there was no group, just actors on stage, including Brontosaurus and others- my late friend was somewhat inebriated and had to be taken offstage. The festival organizers drew him offstage, but as they did so, Bryan of course ran into a door and gashed his head open, leading to several hours in the ER. He would say to me the next day that it isn’t theatre unless he hurts himself! Or others… his life was a ball of chaos- he didn’t care what happened or whom it might affect. Not that we wouldn’t forgive him and love him anyway.
There were plays depicting what people had learned in their spiritual journeys in India, plays depicting what it would be like if Jesus were alive today, plays about paganism, and so on. And, as already mentioned, there was a dance party at the very end.
Social aspects of the festival were great, too. I met artists from all over the world, and as already mentioned, they felt so awake. I felt like I’d known them already. We joined together easily in celebration. And as I said, there were a few sleepers. There was one girl who’d been going around trying to get people to pay for her tarot readings while buying no drinks and seeing no shows- only pushing her readings. She had to be asked to leave. You know it’s extreme when you’re kicked out of a theatre. She started stalking a pretty lady who had just moved from Liverpool to Hollywood with some… verrry strange texts! Go figure, move to LA and instantly acquire a stalker! I hate feeling badly about stalkers, but I don’t want mine around, and she wasn’t wanted either. This tarot chick “divined” that one of the festival organizers was The Devil, and she warned the object of her obsession against him, which was pretty hilarious. This fellow is as irreverent as The Devil.
Speaking of which, the festival’s Art Director, artist Gavin Worth, has done some excellent work on The Devil. And here he’d predicted Christians wouldn’t like his work. But who wouldn’t like such a sexy sexy painting?
He’s done such work before, interestingly enough, with wine. Well, I guess I attracted wine into my life in every which way, even when looking up new friends’ art.
I heard some people describe the experience at Fringe as a psychedelic trip, and I assured them they would make it through the urban jungle just as fine as anything else.
There was a massive ritual near the end the likes of which I shall not describe for it is far too sacred >[
Now then, what is some theatre have I seen since? An excellent improvised show given the premise of “Dinosaur Tyrrany”. It started off with a bang, “In the land that man forgot because man was never there,” but it became evident that there was indeed some tyrannosaurus rex/pterodactyl/raptor dinosaur still alive during the time of the first men. Other characters included a caveman who had invented fire, and a cavewoman who was leaving him for the man who invented the wheel (because she likes wheels), a woman scientist of modern times who invented a time machine so she could go back and speak to the first woman (the aforementioned cavewoman of course) to empower her, and the scientist’s male TA. It was discovered that the scientist’s ex, a southern Bible-thumper who got his quotes and his Latin all mixed up, had already gone back in time to make there be dinosaurs at the same time as man in an attempt to make the Bible literally true… now, this seems that it wouldn’t make sense, especially since he had invented no time machine, except that he had made it so by will and prayer alone. He had magically, instantly traveled back through space and time and had somehow scrunched and affected all the rest of time and had planted the evidence of dinosaurs which manifested itself only as the one surviving dinosaur- who was sentient- and the Bible-thumper told the dinosaur that he would become extinct. Now meanwhile the caveman wanted his cavewoman (who seemed actually already quite capable and empowered, as whole a person as ever exists anyway) back, and he had prayed to the “Great Spirit in the Sky Above Who Lives in the Spirit of Fire Below” to bring him his woman… his completion, without whom he was nothing- otherwise, he wanted everyone dead or cursed. And he knew that this Spirit would answer his prayer. Now then… the caveman found the time machine, went forward in time to our times, found the janitor fellow who was cleaning the lab after the scientist had left, and the caveman and the janitor found themselves in each others’ arms kissing. The cavewoman decided to claim the TA for her own, and the scientist and her Bible-thumper ex realized that they had had no reason to project shadows onto one another and expect that the other didn’t like them- and they realized that they were both pretty much just as correct as the other, and they reunited. The raptor, meanwhile, was planning to kill them all so that they would not kill him and make him extinct- he expected they would, if he were to go extinct. But then he saw a comet heading for the Earth that would surely destroy the humans… and he realized that he would sacrifice himself to save them by swallowing up the comet. They listened to the Raptor Savior’s words as he left them… and everyone lived Happily Ever After? I can’t believe I said so much about this show- they really are supposed to be more ephemeral… one-time-only affairs… perhaps I shouldn’t be writing about this in a grimoire at all? But it seemed so perfect for the night.
The next show I saw was the very last Brontosaurus show with my friend Bryan, and it too involved dinosaurs. They traveled to Universal City to ride the theme park’s rides illegally at night. As they did so they woke up all of a sudden at 11:11, realized that they had lost time, and so they went back in time to retrieve said lost time while also unable to distinguish themselves from the Hollywood actors of olde. Ahaha.