Winnipeg to Calgary

I am in the Garmisch time zone. Years ago I used to live in Garmisch, Germany and every one I used to live with would often say, “I don’t know how long it’s been its Garmisch time”. In Garmisch time days pass like months, it seems like so much is packed in and there are no time markers- you just have to be at work and that’s about it- so you tend to loose your sense of time: 2 days can be 2 weeks, two weeks two months- you get the picture. Welp, I feel that time warp again. The thing with the time warp is that when I sit down (when I have the chance) to try and catch up on this blog I think, “crap, I can’t remember what happened, what have I been doing?” It makes for a boring post I’m sorry to say.

I think it has been three days possibly four since we left Winnipeg. We did the drive in about two days, staying one night in a campground that had converted an old school house into the rec space. I wouldn’t really say converted since it still looked like a school house they just added some couches. We drove across the Canadian prairies, I know, you’re thinking flat and boring, well flat yes, boring no. The prairies are beautiful, long stretches of golden fields of flowers for miles, and lavender fields that, in the wind, gave the impression of being a small lake, a full sky with cloud formations from your imagination, and rolled up haystacks that made me think of tootsie rolls. The haystacks really confused me there were just rolls of them sitting out on the fields. I kept thinking, I know a lot of work has been done, but I’ve never seen anyone actually out on these fields working, and I’d really like to know what machine rolls hay into tootsie rolls. People were friendly everywhere we stopped, my overarching impression of Canadians so far? Very friendly. We stopped at a Tim Horton’s on the way (they are every where like McDonald’s but with donuts and decent coffee) and there on the highway Tim Horton’s we ran into two people from the Winnipeg fringe- very random.

We made it to Calgary, and have been here for about two days, this will be our third day here. We rushed into town with a deadline. We had minutes to get to the radio station CJSW (I’ll have to double check that) where we immediately did a scene from our show live on the radio. I’ve never done that before, goddamn exciting to me. Our Billet is this really nice man who has a huge house and lives by himself so a couple of us have rooms to sleep in. Our billet is also an actor and we will be seeing him again as he performs in Edmonton.

Calgary is at least three times larger than Winnipeg, and it is younger looking and cleaner. In fact it reminds me of a clean Seattle, they even have the Calgary needle which is similar to the space needle. So far I haven’t seen much diversity in the people, where as Winnipeg was very diverse, for example, where I saw aboriginal people everywhere on the streets of Winnipeg, there has not been one aboriginal person in Calgary (not that they are not here, just that I haven’t seen anyone) it’s a very blond and white city, so far, it may just be the neighborhoods we’ve hit. A Calgarian told me that a lot of Americans live here, and that there is oil here so there is a nice chunk of money. You can see the chunks of money. It isn’t a terrible thing just something that is hard to miss. The city is beautiful, the way they have designed their huge parks all along the river, there are mass amounts of pelicans just hanging out on a small damned up part of the river. These are just first impressions, cities always have much more to offer than what you see on the surface, but of course I’m here for the fringe a very specific experience.

I have no idea what the fringe experience will be like. There is no fringe central here. Unlike Winnipeg, which has been doing the fringe for at least 15 (probably more ) years, this is Calgary’s fourth fringe. We don’t expect to be flyering lines as people wait to see the popular shows nor is there the central where we can hit people up at the beer tent or at the outside shows. So far we have walked into shops and bars to ask if we can hang a poster, and we have been greeted with two responses: inquisitive yes, and disinterested no,;there is no in between.  I’m thinking Calgary is a music town. I was flipping through a city paper and it was music festival after festival from folk to metal, and so many bands. Again, reinforcing the similarity to Seattle with her indy bands and music love, in fact first page story of the music fest: The Decemberists. Seattle but cleaner and friendlier.

It’s a crap shoot, but we know that. Still the city is nice, and the people are nice, even when disinterested, and our billet is great. So far we have cooked two meals- oh my god meals cooked at home- such a relief.

Tonight is tech, and the meet and greet, and tomorrow the Calgary fringe begins.


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