Wow. In the midst of my run at Minnesota Fringe I get an audience review with zero stars. Zero. Stars. What shocks me most is that this made me smile. What the fuck am I smiling about? This is bringing down my overall score. This is going to kill my audience. Actually… I couldn’t have asked for anything better to happen.
You see, just the night before I was tossing and turning all night about getting 3 star reviews from several people. I wasn’t even paying much attention to the 5 star ones. This is my second time at the Fringe and I’m performing the second show in a parallel trilogy (you can see them out of order, it doesn’t matter).
But I liked his other show so much…
I’ve already had it happen where former people who loved Losing My Religion in 2011 were comparing SuperHappy… to that show. It’s natural. It’s what humans do. I’m a total music snob and am constantly noticing how I can like a band’s former work more than the current offering.
I know why. I’m extremely emotionally attached to the previous album. There were certain circumstances in my life that were happening at the time and the relationship I created with the melodies and chord progressions reflected that.
Where is My Mind?
I was watching myself flip out. Are my friends lying to me? Do they really not like my show? “Your show was so greeeeaattt….” Hold on, did I notice an awkward smile? Is this going to kill the other installment of the trilogy? Should I even bother developing it? Is this my sophomore slump?
As a solo performer I don’t have other company members to commiserate with. There isn’t the rolling of one’s eyes backstage to indicate a secret message that’s been built from a long, in-depth rehearsal process. It’s really easy to go towards the dark recesses of the mind making up a map that always leads to a cliff.
Actually This is Pretty Friggin’ Great
I want to thank this reviewer however. I really really do. Your review is a perfect way for me to embrace that my show isn’t for everyone and that is a good good thing. With the three star reviews people tended to talk about their conflicts, confusion or issues and a variety of other subjective experiences. I realize this is what I want.
I’d rather have people walk away grappling with something than not. For years I pushed down my critical thinking skills in favor of a faith that made me miserable. My goal is to have the show stay with people and keep them wondering, while also taking into account parts that need editing and transformation to make the piece stronger.
Eh, Maybe Next Time
The reviewer just simply didn’t get the show. Really, that’s all. They didn’t realize that it’s a satire, that my goal is to be as accurate as possible in capturing these people you would find at 2:00 in the morning doing hour long infomercials and running 41,000 member megachurches. I guess I did a really good job of portraying these charlatans.
However, I didn’t meet their expectations. That happens. My show might be funny in a lot of places but as a comedy, it’s not a bunch of quips and one-liners.
Ultimately I can say that giving anyone a zero star review is just plain mean, a way to use a anonymity to spew dissatisfaction but they had every right to do that. To give a zero star review is just spiteful. However, I’m pretty sure I love you dear reviewer. The worst case scenario when it comes to audience reviews has happened and I’m the better for it.