Three Cheers for the Countess!

As we head into the home stretch of our brief run in the New York International Fringe Festival, I just wanted to pause a moment and extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Countess, known to most government authorities as Carolyn Raship. Folks who peruse the program and marketing materials for our little one-horse show will note that she is listed as “Consulting Director”. “What does that mean?” you may wonder. Well, we made it up. As anyone can tell you, it’s deuced hard to direct yourself on stage. Some manage, but this correspondent has enough trouble holding the reins on his own part, let alone standing outside himself and seeing the big picture. As she did with my Tetragrammaton earlier this year, Carolyn generously stepped in and brought her expertise (greater than mine) to the task of moving bodies around artfully through space. You can see her hand especially in the “Crime of the Rhyme” sketch in the show, as well as the “One Ball Juggler” bit, and other solo bits I do. She was also the director of Sarah Engelke’s “Strega Nona” routine, performed in the show last week.

More palpably perhaps, she has busied herself with an amazing series of portraits of many of the acts in our show, which you can see at her swell new Tumblr blog here (if you haven’t already). This series has really added up to something, I feel. In short, it has legs. What the creature is or where it will walk on those legs, no one knows, but something beautiful, useful, and full of potential seems to have been loosed on the world. Let’s all keep our eye on it and hope that it doesn’t bite.

The Countess, in case it wasn’t plain, is my every happiness. I love her way more than vaudeville.

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