Mack Male and Sharon Yeo’s respective blogs (Master Maq and Only Here For The Food) are some of the first blogs I started following back in about 2009/2010 when I started getting involved in Edmonton’s local blog scene. They’re also an IRL couple. I’ve learned more from them about municipal politics, food, local journalism, technology and a lot more about Edmonton than I thought when I hit ‘follow’ 8 years ago.
Here is a little bit more about Mack and Sharon’s projects:
Sharon writes about food in Edmonton at OnlyHereForTheFood.ca. Mack writes about urban affairs in Edmonton at MasterMaq.ca and is the co-founder of Taproot Edmonton which is publishing the Fringe Roundup every day during this year’s festival!
And here’s how these two folks Fringe:
How long have you been Fringing? What is your favourite Fringe memory?
Sharon: It’s hard to believe I’ve been Fringing for 20 years! I started volunteering back in high school, and the perk of free tickets was really what started my love of live theatre.
Mack: I’m a relatively young Fringer compared with Sharon, starting just 14 years ago.
Do you remember the first time you Fringed? Who introduced you to the festival? What were your impressions and have they changed at all over the years?
Sharon: I do remember in those early days (pre-online tickets!) that I waited in my fair share of lines – lines for the tickets, and then another line for the seats. I also Fringed solo for many years, and remember having some memorable conversations with other die-hard Fringers in those lines.
Mack: My first Fringe was in 2004 when Sharon introduced me to it. We went to see Adorable by David Belke. It felt a little like she was introducing me into the secret club!
It’s almost impossible to Fringe without indulging in the food! What’s your go-to food at Fringe?
Sharon: Mack and I love the mango chicken from Zaika!
How do you choose the shows you’re going to see at Fringe? It’s still early, but do you have your eye on any shows you’re interested in seeing this year?
Mack: I usually left the selection of what to see to Sharon as she loved flipping through the program. But, she always requested that I pick at least one show. More than once I did so by looking for the show in the program that had the most icons!
What advice would you give to a first-time Fringe-er for the best way to enjoy the festival?
Sharon: Many people stick only to the outdoor stages, but I can’t stress enough how much taking in a paid performance is a part of the Fringe experience.
Tell me about the best show you ever saw at Fringe. Why has it stuck with you?
Sharon: One of the best shows I ever saw was TJ Dawe’s A Canadian Bartender at Butlin’s. It was the first play I watched that made me laugh out loud (the theatre was in absolute stitches at that performance). Coincidentally, 2018 is the 15th anniversary of the show, and it’s back at this year’s Fringe – don’t miss it.
Mack: This is random, but one year we saw David Belke’s Crimson Yak. The song has always stuck with me, I thought it was so funny!
Has something you’ve seen or experienced at the Fringe had an impact on your life? How did it change you? Or, alternatively, tell me about a time where you couldn’t stop recommending a Fringe show to everyone you knew.
Mack: I participated in a show called #yegprov at the Fringe in 2012. It was fun, but the experience confirmed for me that I am not an actor!
What “weird”, unusual, or indulgent thing do you only do at summer festivals?
Mack: My summer festival indulgence is a corn dog followed by mini donuts.
You can find Mack through his projects MasterMaq.ca (where you can also check out his Fringe archives) and Taproot Edmonton (make sure to subscribe to their daily Fringe Roundup , which is put together by Mel Priestly). and you can check out Sharon’s work at OnlyHereForTheFood.ca (while you’re there, give Sharon’s tribute to the Fringe, I Heart the Fringe, post from 2009 a read).
Mack and Sharon’s profile is part of my 2018 How to Fringe series highlighting some of the folks I look up to in Edmonton who have generously agreed to share a bit about themselves and how they Fringe. This year’s Edmonton International Fringe Festival runs August 16 – 26. Tickets are now on sale at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.