While I expected some reaction to my last blog post navigating the murky waters of the U.S. Immigration system, I really could not expect how big that reaction would be. I hit record highs on this little blog of mine and the comment section both here and on Facebook provided some great additional insight from other performers and arts administrators. If you haven't already, go read the comments including the ones from Orlando Fringe Executive Director Mike Marinaccio by clicking that link above. Anyway, a lot of folks also expressed their sympathies at how much this situation sucks, and it does, but I am oddly at peace with it all. Dropping out of the festival felt like the right thing to do. A belief which was confirmed after receiving a few private messages from people telling me they had spent over $600 in immigration fees only to have to bail on the festival anyway, or how someone had done all the work and still gotten turned around at the border. It feels like I dodged a bullet.
So what happens now?
Well, Orlando was going to be the start of my tour. Not doing that festival gives me a little extra breathing room as I get ready for London.
Also, for those of you in Ottawa, I had originally set up a Save the Date for a One-Night Only presentation of Roller Derby Saved My Soul in Ottawa on May 3rd. Well, the venue I wanted, Arts Court, was not available that night. Not doing Orlando, means I can push the date back closer to the start of the London Fringe. So this is your new OFFICIAL save the date: May 30th. Arts Court is booked and pre-planning has begun on what will be an amazing night of food, friends, booze and derby.
And, in what amounts to the best news, my documentary team can now be there for the whole tour. Yes, you read right, I said "documentary team". Consider this your official announcement.
After winning the CAFF lottery, a friend and fellow fringer said that I should film the whole tour and turn it into a documentary. Not one to back away from something that would make the already difficult task of touring a one-woman show across the country EVEN HARDER, I said it was a brilliant idea.
And somehow, after making that decision, everything started falling into place. I've got two wonderful emerging artists in Vancouver who will be joining me and following me all summer as I go through the joys, the fears and the tears of producing my own work on the Fringe Circuit. The beauty of no longer doing Orlando also means that they can join me as of the 30th, since they will be graduating from the British Columbia Institute of Technology mid-May.
I'll be posting more about the documentary in the next few days, but all this to say, don't worry too much about me not being able to do Orlando. Things work out a certain way for a reason and I've never been one to sit on my hands for too long.