Well, here we are at what is ostensibly, for me, the half-way mark of the London Fringe Festival. This has definitely been a wonderful place to start my first leg of the tour and ease into a new version of the script. The advanced press has been fantastic, the reviews great and the people watching the show stick around after to tell me how much they loved it. I've even sold more merch in this city than I did in Montreal or Edmonton last year. I have to say, my biggest thrill comes from running into folks wearing my shirts while I'm flyering a line-up.
Unfortunately, I ran into the reviewer from the London Free Press over the weekend and he told me he probably wasn't going to make it out to my show. With two performances left, even if he made it out for my 10 p.m. on Thursday, I'm not sure the review would even be out on time for my Friday show. This is unfortunate because I think not being reviewed by THE major publication in town has affected my ticket sales. I can't prove this, of course, but I know it's a factor.
In other news, I also had a pretty bad scare that I might lose a toenail. On my first night in town, after the Fringe preview, I was packing up my beautiful new banner while speaking to a fellow performer. The banner slipped out of my hand and the metal stand landed directly on my left index toe, near the nail bed. Now it hurt like a mother and even bled a little, but I did what I always do in these situations: curse a whole bunch and then try to walk it off. The Fringe volunteer coordinator saw what happened and found me a band-aid and some ice, which I kept trying to refuse because I was just embarrassed by the whole situation. For the next two days it hurt to walk. It didn't feel any better shoved into a tight roller skate either. I put ice on it at night and didn't see any additional bruising, so I was relieved that it wasn't broken. I took the band-aid off on Friday, saw that my toe was bruised beneath the nail, shrugged it off and went on my merry way in sandals to Toronto for an audition. I stayed there overnight and as I was getting ready to head back to London the next day, I felt a wetness on my foot. I looked down and saw that my nail bed was now bleeding profusely. I had a minor panic attack as my old roommate let me wash my foot in her tub, cover the toe in polysporin and wrap a fresh band-aid over it. My panic stemmed mostly from the thinking that if I lost a toenail it would not grow back. Somehow the thought of never having a proper pedicure again was on par with some of the worst world crises. Yeah... I've got my priorities straight.
Almost a week later and the toe has not yet fully healed, though the nail seems to still be hanging on. The show is on pause for the next two days so I hope that may stop some of the bleeding that is still happening. Funny though that I always thought if I got injured doing a roller derby show, it would be for a cool reason in a badass way. You know, for actual derby reasons and not just clumsy ones.
And yes, we have a caught a lot of this splendid grossness on film. Is it weird I almost want to lose the nail now because it would make for a more interesting narrative? "Hey guys, false alarm, my toe's all better now," just doesn't have the same kick to it.
Filming is going well. My team is off doing interviews today while I do admin work and head to the gym. I'll be catching quite a few shows tonight, so if you're in London, Ontario, come on down to the Fringe and say hi to the gal in the smelly roller derby tank top with the busted toe.
Roller Derby Saved My Soul is on for two more nights during the London Fringe Festival at the McManus Studio Theatre on Thursday, June 12 at 10 p.m. and Friday, June 13 at 7 p.m.