“That’s what she said!” is making its Canadian debut in the Walkerville Fringe Festival in 2018.
The Mission: To put a smile on your face and a laugh in your belly! Local comedian and award winning actress, Michelle Mainwaring, will be stepping onto the boards with a quirky & interactive, one woman comedy that touches on a variety of topics. It’s a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy a few laughs.
Please give us the 1-minute elevator speech about your show:
I’ve kind of described it as a quirky interactive one woman show dealing with a variety of topics such as women taking over the world and the state of affairs in the U.S. and being a parent in the digital era.
So who was involved in or how did you come up with the idea of putting the show together.
Funny you should ask, there was a group coming from Toronto that were going to be in the Fringe and I’m not sure what happened but they ended up pulling out and there were these spots available. And so I was approached if I wanted to fill the spot. So that’s kind of how it came about. And they needed a title really quickly. So “That’s What She Said”, was the favorite. I did a poll on Facebook I offered three titles. And it was unanimous “That’s What She Said”,. Seemed to be the most appealing. So that’s what the show title came to be and had just been developing it along the way. Kind of with some current news events that are happening and a few different characters that I’ve created to kind of represent some stories that are you know kind of news worthy and hopefully bring a few laughs and put a smile on a few faces.
So is this like a show you that you’ve been wanting to produce but never had the chance because I know its short notice.
It is, I’ve always thought of wanting to do a one woman show and a lot of people have said you know I should. And so with this kind of opportunity, seems like it was just a push in that direction that I may be needed. I don’t know if I would have been so keen or so quick in putting one together without that opportunity. So it’s kind of a good thing in that sense it’s going to be very challenging which is something I’m you know I love a good challenge and I think we should all try and challenge ourselves. But for me personally something I’ve never done and I’m, you know, I’m feeling that. So that’s kind of a neat thing to do. I’ve been doing this for so long that you know I don’t get things like Stage fright per say but you know creating a new challenge is always got its own you know challenges.
So this is your first Fringe production, then?
Well no actually this is my second Fringe production my first solo. A friend and I back in oh gosh I can’t remember now it was 2008 maybe 2007 Windsor had their first Fringe Fashion Festival and we entered a show and ended up winning best of friends and patrons pick. We toured in nine cities in Ontario and then we brought it out to the Vancouver Fringe Festival. I’m not new to the Fringe festival circuit but it’s been a few years since I’ve had a production and never never a solo.
So what does Fringe mean to you?
Oh you know fringe is such a great opportunity to showcase new work, to kind of put things on the line, take chances. And it’s also an opportunity for the community to see a show at a really affordable rate. What they do with the fringe I think it’s the price that you can charge between $9 – $12 for your ticket. Nothing over $12, which is really affordable for a lot of people. My tickets are for $10, a nice even number. Plus it’s just me. So I don’t have to split with anyone. So I fought a $10 ticket price was fair but you know what. Also April it’s a really great opportunity for the community to rally around the art and we see great tourism spin off dollars from it. There’s lots of different festivals in the arts community that really communities depend on their spin off dollars to help you know the economy. There’s great opportunities in many different ways not just the artists but the community.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
OK, so I’m 53 and I started performing with a group professionally over 30 years ago I’ve done community theatre for quite a while and some things here and there grew up in the entertainment household my father has performed all over the world. He’s a musician and does stand up. And so I kind of got into that really early. And I was working with a company doing murder mysteries and then he ended up leaving the area and that left a void as far as what he was doing so I took over the slack there and started putting some shows together and hiring local actors and then I also work in Chatham. There’s a company called Thames theatre company and we do our boat three productions a year there and that keeps me busy. And then finally I’m working with Mark Baker of Encore productions with the rum runners were and that’s been a nine year gig. So I’m really really very fortunate and very grateful and very blessed to be able to say I’m working as a fulltime actor and you know in a profession that I love you know it was scary at first taking that big leap of letting go of great hourly wages and benefits to pursue something that I felt I needed to do and the pay off you know of course isn’t the paycheck but the satisfaction that you really truly are living your conviction. And I feel that and you know when you marry that with gratitude it’s just great you know a great thing to be able to say I’m, I’m living my dream. And the nice thing is I’m doing it in the communities that I love. People have said oh my gosh Why aren’t you know pursuing things in New York, L.A., Toronto, you know what, I’ve looked at it this is where I want to be. And I always tell people you know what I’m so glad you enjoyed the performance and if I wasn’t here doing it, you know, you wouldn’t be able to do that. So I think I mean I think I’m exactly where I need to be. I’m really grateful.
What else that you’re up to this year?
Other than going away up to the cottage for seven glorious days. No no I I’ve got some private bookings and just be putting out the poster once it was done garnered some attention for a couple of bookings for this show as well.So I’m really keeping busy. I’ve got a new script actually that I’m learning for a new tour that happening in Windsor. It looks really interesting set to be about the spirit of Windsor, still kind of like a walking ghost tour. Oh yeah that’s going to have me memorizing a bunch of dialogue and you know that’s always challenging at 53. I’m a little slower than I used to be, I think. But it seems more daunting now. And I’m lucky because a lot of the shows that I do I don’t have to do that I don’t have to memorize a huge script. My work is mostly improv. The rum runners can do that with my eyes closed. Now nine years and Mark’s very gracious he let me have some wings to fly to throw in you know some of my own material and I think you know that’s what makes the show so special is the impromptu things that happen off the cuff. You know the spontaneity that is really what thrills me the most are those moments those moments that you haven’t rehearsed or you haven’t prepared is not a joke you told a hundred thousand times. You know you’re getting an instant gratification from the moment and that’s everything right. Really that’s all we have is this very moment. So in those moments those I feel those are those are our best moments.
That’s What She Said performs at the Fringe on:
July 27 – 6:00pm
July 28 – 7:00pm
July 26 – 5:30pm
Tickets are available at the Fringe website.