Kia ora friends of Fringe! What an absolute time it has been, huh? If you have been living under a rock, in tech week or not in New Zealand we had a 7.5 earthquake in the wee early hours of Monday the 14th November. It was felt all over the country with a lot of damage happening in Kaikoura and around Wellington. So after the news of Trump, the earthquakes and Leonard Cohen passing away it was safe to say Wellington had been hit pretty hard!
Artist services manager ie the person replying to all of your emails Sasha was working at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year and she mentioned to me the safety briefings that they have there, like what to do in a fire, what to do for a bomb threat and obviously nothing about earthquakes. Growing up in New Zealand I’ve taken my knowledge of earthquakes for granted and although they are a natural thing here that probably every New Zealander has felt in their lifetime I’ll be the first to admit that they are really, really stupid.
Someone said that the best thing about the earthquakes down in Christchurch was that they finally got to meet their neighbours, and it is a bit like that isn’t it? I can’t speak for every other community here in Wellington, but the theatre community really came together and supported each other through the difficult time that was. Whether it was James Nokise’s supportive tweets, shows carrying on at all of our venues or other performers staying behind at the bar for another drink or two I really felt at home and safe amongst the team. That’s pretty special I reckon. (And I did actually finally meet my neighbours!)
I do what I do because I love sharing stories. I love connecting with audiences and allowing them to experience what’s going on in my imagination. I love escaping in to another world and that is exactly how theatre got me through that crappy week. It’s so important to keep creating, to keep sharing, to keep exploring and to keep doing all of the fun things that make you happy with the people who make you happy!
As of today we are back in the office after two weeks working out of the BATS foyer and Hannah’s living room and BOY OH BOY ARE WE EXCITED. Let’s get our Fringe on! Keep creating and escaping friends… I’ll see you soon!
Jess Brien is a clown, performer, writer and yoga teacher. In her spare time she drinks cider and eats breakfast foods. She loves connecting with people so find her on all the social medias at @jessssbrien or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org