Upon investigation, none of the venues in the Fringe festival I’ve seen so far offer any chance of breaking even. One venue, for example, calculated the total cost at $2500. That only offered one showing in “prime time” which is 8 pm on a weekend. Some showings might be on weekday afternoons or late at night.  Assume 40 seats. Multiply by the suggested ticket price of $12 and then assume you managed to fill the house all 5 times. (Unlikely since you are competing with 400 other shows.)

You can already see here that it would be impossible to break even.  It gets worse. The Fringe itself charges $300 for registration. Then more money to actually advertise on the Fringe website. You have to do your own marketing. Posters and postcards are the primary media. You also get to subtract the price of the tickets you had to comp media and critics. And there is a massive amount of schmoozing, something that just kicks my anxiety reflex into overdrive.

So it looks like I’ll be doing it instead at the Two Roads in Studio City and not at the Fringe. If it works out, the Fringe could be next year. They are too far from Hollywood to be a Fringe venue and NoHo hasn’t had a Fringe in many years. It is a 56 seat theater in Studio City near the fashionable NoHo district. Alan will give me an entire weekend, up to 90 minutes per show, 3 days in prime time for less. If the audience is nude, the ticket price can double. It’s also where I’m taking acting lessons which means I can shop my work during class time and get critiques and suggestions.

Yes, I will be performing nude in front of a class of non-nudists. Uncommon but not unheard of.

I’ve figured out my entrance. Blocking is as important as speech. I’ll be wearing nothing but fuzzy slippers. And I’ve figured out my first prop. It will be a brandy snifter.

I’ll be playing a slightly tipsy old man talking about the difficulties of age. I’m drunk and on pills because what I’m talking about is painful and alcohol is a release. It will give me visual “permission” to speak extremely frankly, be physically sloppy and completely uninhibited behaviorally. I’ll segue into reminiscing about my past and how I got where I am.  And then go on from there. I will be able to do and say things a sober person wouldn’t consider.

And now I have to write an actual script. And practice stumbling around drunk naked with a drink in my hand while speaking to an audience.