It’s day number four of the Fusebox Festival, and I’m feeling that festival exhaustion start to set in a bit. The run-around intensity of seeing shows, chatting quickly with people, making way between venues, then drinking at the hub at night…it takes it out of you!
The same thing happens to me every January in New York, when a host of festivals simultaneously take place. And the funny thing is, I love it when that happens. As a critic one of the things I get asked a lot is, “You see so much, aren’t you just jaded?” Or variously other comments to that effect, meaning in general that the critical perspective gets skewed by the exhaustion, leading to unfairly harsh assessments of artists’ hard work.
It’s possibly true to some degree, but at the same time–and I know I’m not alone in this–it actually sort of opens you up to the experience of the work. There’s no better feeling than dragging your exhausted self into a theater, thinking all the while that you should probably just skip this one, take a break or grab a proper dinner, and then all of a sudden the show you didn’t think too much of blows you away.
Timothy Braun was saying something to that effect to me the other day, and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s always the show you didn’t give much thought to going in that sticks with you in the end. Such is the magic of a festival. All of which is to say: Hang in there and keep going!