Tropical Depression Gets a Mascot

Remember how we tried to lure audience members to our 11:45pm Sunday night show with the promise of pimiento cheese, shark teeth, and manatee-saving? Well, the pimiento cheese didn’t work out (but that’s a whole other post), the shark teeth were surprisingly popular, and the manatee-saving is about to begin!

We just got our disbursement checks, and we clearly are not rolling in dough. But, hey, if I were doing this to get rich, well, that would be pretty stupid of me. But we did break double-digit dollar amounts, so yay! Unfortunately, our first payment (including Friday, Saturday, and that Sunday night show) wasn’t broken down by day, so I don’t know exactly how much I earned on Sunday night. But I figured I’ll just divide the first check by three — that gives us $100 raised for manatees!

It’s enough money for us to adopt a manatee from the Save the Manatee Club, plus send the rest as a donation to their Emergency Rescue Fund (which will deal with manatees impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf).

That manatee is so excited he’s doing backflips!

Speaking of excited, did you know that you can buy a Manatee Merlot? Or manatee-inspired coffee? All of this can be found on the Save the Manatee Club’s website. Not sure what exactly inspires a manatee coffee… sea grass? Also, I noticed that manatees are very flatulent and tend to have a vigorous excretory system. Please insert your own coffee-related joke here. Eww.

So once our donation is submitted and our adoption process is complete, I’ll post it all on here for your enjoyment. Until then, don’t spend any time thinking about what we should name our new bundle of joy. You know our mascot is going to be called Fat Tom!


This manatee is so grateful that he’s coming in close for a big, wet, hairy smooch. Pucker up!

All manatees in this post were photographed by me and live at SeaWorld Orlando and were rescued from the wild after suffering injuries. SeaWorld is actually very fun and not too crowded and doesn’t seem overly exploitive of its animals. Also, they have great deals for FL residents if you purchase tickets online.

Latest News from the Tropics (Central FL Edition)

Well, we’re not technically in the tropics anymore — we’re here in Orlando — and we’ve been super-busy. Here are the highlights…

  • Not everyone likes pimiento cheese. I know you’re shocked by this.
  • We had our tech on Tuesday. It was great being in our “home” and with all the props and the lights, it looks like a real play! Fingers crossed that we’ll have no trouble with the sound (had to run some of the cues on my iPod during tech). Still, in no way the most challenging tech I’ve ever had. That would be Fluency at FringeNYC, and that’s a whole other story.
  • I have found the Winter Park Whole Foods. Also, I have had delicious meals at the Pita Pit, Wazzabi, Mimi’s Cafe, and That Deli! (in Lake Mary). Part of hanging out in a new place is having all of their delicious food.
  • Went the gala on the Great Lawn of Fabulousness last night. It was fun! I especially like the Fringe mushrooms. We handed out postcards. Our secret weapon? An adorable 4-year-old in a Tropical Depression t-shirt.
  • Someone congratulated my actress on her performance in Spring Awakening. Woo! Except, she wasn’t in Spring Awakening. We consider this a good omen.
  • Today’s the big day! We open at 7:25 tonight in Blue venue. Get your tickets!
  • All ticket sales for our Sunday, 5/23 11:45pm performance will be donated to the Save the Manatee Club. Stay up late and save a sea cow!
  • The aforementioned 4-year-old sat through a full 50 minute run-thru yesterday (with no props, costumes, etc) and was not only well-behaved, but actually interested in what was happening! This bodes well for the grown-up audiences. And, uh, if not, well, looks like I have a future in children’s theater.
  • Lots more stories and pictures still to come… until then, happy Fringing!

Tropical Depression Gives Back!

In the last post, I told you how much I need you to give me your hard-earned money to get this play on its feet. Now I’m about to tell you that I am going to give one night of our box office earnings to a charity of my choosing. That night is Sunday, May 23 @ 11:45pm.

See a play on a Sunday at midnight? I don’t even want to — and I HAVE to be there. Staying up late on a school night was fun and subversive when I was 22. Now it sounds like hardship. Maybe it sounds like hardship to you too? Well, I’m coming up with options to make it go down a little easier.

1. All audience members get fun Tropical Depression-themed swag!
2. Anyone who wants to gets to taste real, homemade pimiento cheese!
3. Other free snacks and beverages available after the show!

What? You’re not compelled by the delicious allure of pimiento cheese? Ok, I’m throwing down…

I will give the entire box office from the show to the Save the Manatee Club. Why them? Well, the play is set on Florida’s Gulf coast, an area which may feel the impact of the recent oil spill. According to Save the Manatee’s website:

The disastrous oil spill caused by the recent explosion of the drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana is currently drifting toward the Gulf Coast states. If efforts to stop its progress fail, the consequences could be catastrophic for birds, fish, sea turtles, manatees, and other wildlife found in these areas. This is especially troubling since it comes on the heels of the worst manatee winter die-off ever experienced, with over 500 total manatees dead already this year.

Manatees are widely distributed at this time of the year and can be found along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. In addition, manatees are herbivores, feeding on a large variety of marine and freshwater vegetation. Oil can damage seagrass beds and other vegetation that manatees eat. In addition, exposure to oil could potentially cause significant injury or death to manatees and other marine organisms.

Also, I really love manatees.

I felt a little weird, choosing an animal support organization, instead of something that would help human beings struggling to recover from the spill. Or a group that’s not environmentally-related, like the Venice Public Library or a nice arts group. But you know who doesn’t feel bad about my choice? The manatees.

See how happy he looks! And it’s all because you were willing to stay up late.

Oh, and back to the money issue that we opened with. Not to be all negative, but this is not a peak time;  having a full house would be pretty miraculous. In fact, I’d even toyed with canceling that performance. What’s most important to me is having a healthy audience. My team has worked so hard, and I want to make sure they have a good experience. It’s more important to me than the money I could make. Is this a stunt to get butts in seats? Absolutely.

You know who doesn’t care that it’s a stunt? The manatees.