Next in our series of in-depth interviews with Fringe fans and faves, we chat with super Youth Trouper Eva Foote about how the Fringe is a combustive party kicked into overdrive. Read how KidsFringe provided Eva the building blocks for a successful career as an artist in our program guide.
When did you first get involved with the Youth Troupe?
I was a fresh theatre kid in grade 8 who had just started to get into theatre. A friend of mine said, “Come hang out with kids all summer.” I was like, heck yeah.
What does Youth Troupe mean to you?
Youth Troupe, for me, was an introduction to the community of Fringe - being constantly saturated by people making art at a very high speed, over eleven days. When I participated in the Youth Troupe, I met a number of the theatre artists who are now my contemporaries in the professional environment.
Do you think it influenced your professional career?
Big time. Youth troupe was one of my first professionally structured, arts-related leadership opportunities. It’s a fun time, but it also teaches you a lot about the organizational side.
Why get involved in Youth Troupe?
It’s the perfect blend of the practical and the artist’s life - like this beautiful love child of artistic and professional leadership. When I speak to kids in schools, I tell them that we want artists, theatre-makers, and people who love kids; but we also like those who want a structured approach to things, to help make the wheels turn. I think it's important to fuse the two sides of what it means to be a working performer.
How has your involvement changed with Youth Troupe?
This year I am the Assistant Coordinator for the Youth Troupe at the Edmonton KidsFringe. I came back because Youth Troupe, for me as a performer, was a very meaningful time - especially in terms of my personal growth. I was a very, very shy person when I joined. The people who mentored me when I was there continue to be some of the most important people in my career and my life.
What’s your favorite Fringe eat?
Green onion cakes! I just moved away to Montreal and they don’t have green onion cakes there. Green onion cakes are an Edmonton staple.
How do you choose the shows you see?
Mostly by word of mouth. A lot of my parents’ friends go to about 90 shows, so I ask them to report back to me. There’s so much, that when you go to something you don’t like, you’re like, “darn!” But that’s all part of the Fringe experience - you just try again. And there’s no shortage! You’ll eventually find something that you like.
What’s something you most look forward to?
Fringe is like a combustive party. Everyone kicks into overdrive. All the theatre artists I know will be there. My relationship with the Fringe has changed since I moved away. Before, it was really exciting and fun, but now it’s a lot more meaningful because I don’t see many of those people all that often now. I’m in an arts school now, where I don’t get to see a lot of shows because of the long hours. Now I come home to a Festival where there is a high concentration of plays, performances, music, and community.
Eva Foote is an actor and singer/songwriter studying theatre in Montreal. She loves the Fringe Festival and dogs that don't bark and is currently recording her second album which will be released in August. You can find her onstage at the Edmonton Folk Fest or singing in her basement or at evateresefoote.bandcamp.com.