BITS at Edmonton Fringe Festival

BITS
Ritchie Community League (7727 – 98 street) August 14 – 20 (every day)
More information: whoisthisguy.ca


An interview with Patrick Kearns.

Patrick Kearns in BITS. Photo credit: Bich Kuch

Patrick Kearns in BITS. Photo credit: Bich Kuch

Describe your show in five words.

Tales. Tunes. Tangents. Whoah. Wow.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

BITS is a one-man-musical-stand-up-variety show featuring an eclectic extravaganza of tales, tunes, and tangents that takes audiences from woe to “Whoah!” by blending vulnerability, humour, and over-the-top scenarios. Come witness the spectacle.

BITS sounds like a pretty eclectic show. What are some of the themes that run through the show?

Some of the themes in BITS are overcoming one’s fears, doing something despite not being an expert at it, speaking out about one’s beliefs, and the transformative power of humour to turn pain in to something else. Ultimately, BITS is about choosing joy.

You say BITS was created during a snowy winter in a tiny BC town – that sounds very Canadian! Can you tell us a bit about the town Bits was created in and how it contributed (even indirectly) to the making of BITS?
BITS was written in the tiny BC town of Wells. I moved there to coordinate a four day arts festival called ArtsWells. ArtsWells is presented by Island Mountain Arts, a non-profit society that has been operating a school of the arts for almost forty years teaching everything from oil painting to Celtic harp to pottery to songwriting. They also operate one of the many art galleries in Wells.  When the contract coordinating the festival ended, I didn’t move back to the city. That winter, I was offered my first performing job at the nearby historic site of Barkerville playing the stern schoolmaster in an 1860s gold rush town.

The solitary and scantily populated winters (and the lack of high-speed internet or cellular service) in Wells prompted me to follow the advice of many friends who had been telling me that I was an artist. I got a book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, and started calling myself an Artist. The winters provided an opportunity to create; I rented a dance studio, decided to try my hand at songwriting, and began to perform my pieces for small audiences. The writing progressed, I continued to be inspired by all the artists in Wells and then suddenly, I had a show.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

BITS is not for the faint of heart. If you can’t take a joke, and just take offense, you may wish to see one of the 207 other shows. On the other hand, if you like being entertained, laughing, thinking, and being just a little shocked, BITS is the remedy for what ails you.

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

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