My partner and I have set aside Friday evenings as our regular “date night” during which time we generally leave the house and try to do something fun. I took it upon myself to plan our Friday date night around the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, as I thought my partner might like joining me for a show.
I had spent some time earlier this year learning about podcasting from Noah Erenberg (and friends) at Community News Commons, so the show called “Live Podcast Taping” sounded intriguing. It was at a bar in the Exchange District called Wee Johnny’s, so we headed over there to check it out.
We arrived at exactly 10:30 p.m. and I thought we wouldn’t get in, because I’ve never been admitted late to any Fringe show before. I guess this one is different, because they allowed me to find parking and enter the show at 10:35 p.m. – even though it started at 10:30 p.m.
The podcast taping, for something called The Hunks Podcast, was being done in a back room in the bar. There were about 10 to 15 other people watching. This show had the smallest attendance of any Fringe show I’ve been to yet.
As I entered, one of the “Hunks” performers asked the audience a question, “Would you like to hear about Babe Ruth or mattresses?” He wanted to share some fun facts about whichever topic we chose. We were supposed to raise our hands.
It was clear that no one in the audience wanted to hear about Babe Ruth. Everyone wanted to hear about mattresses.
The “comedian” went on to tell us one fact about mattresses, followed by a bunch of random facts about Babe Ruth. Yawn. I looked around to see if any audience members were laughing. Most weren’t, and some had started their own side conversations.
My partner has a great sense of humour and loves to laugh, so I was glad to hear him chuckling at some of the jokes. Personally, I just couldn’t get into it, and I felt like the performers couldn’t care less that they even had people sitting in the audience. I didn’t feel like they wanted to interact or involve any audience members, and I was getting a headache from their boring banter (they refer to it as “stream of consciousness comedy”).
I asked my partner to stay and enjoy, and I left the room to go sit in peace in another part of the bar. I felt much better after that!
Since this was a live podcast taping, it might be the case that the actual podcast sounds way better and engaging than the actual Fringe show. I will never know, because I don’t plan to tune into the podcast. It will be available on iTunes and 101.5 UMFM.
I wouldn’t recommend seeing the Live Podcast Taping event, unless you are a big “Hunks” fan. I would, however, recommend taking any training offered by Community News Commons—you’ll get more bang for your buck!