Presented @ Edfringe 2019

The Presented 

written and performed by Chris Davis

directed by Mary Tuomanen

VenueThe Place, 34-38 York Place    Tickets: FREE

Date: Aug 1 – 25th     Time: 1:45pm (13:45pm)

Chris, a struggling solo artist working at a movie theater goes on a surreal adventure into his subconscious while popping popcorn.

On his journey to confront his existential and artistic anxieties, he encounters a bizarre cast of characters, including a defamed 19th century actress, a violent fringe producer, and a large bear. This fast paced one-man show explores the meaning of success and rejection through the extraordinary and often fantastical travels of one artists mind.

The Presented examines what it means to be a ‘chosen’ artist in the world today in a hilarious and insightful 50-minute show that will make you never want to pursue a career in the arts.

The Presented - Chris Davis.jpg

“Chris reaches into the artists’ soul and says aloud all the things you wanted to but were too afraid. Plus, there was a giant armadillo.”
– Melissa Fendell Moschitto, NY Anthropologists

 

Hi Chris, and thanks for taking the time. Are you that one who dresses up as a lion and drinks all the time?

Mostly the later first, I only dress up as a lion if I drink enough and then become Drunk Lion.

Yes, that’s my new show The Presented in which I talk about how I am the best and most authentic Fringe artist on the circuit today, a title I’ve earned through failure and regret.
Failure and Regret? Now that is something I am familiar with… but have you failed enough yet that you have considered becoming a critic?
I still feel like I’ve got a long way to go to hate myself enough to do that, but after this fringe anything is possible.
A real critic will ask you what inspired the show. I suppose I had better to do now. Why are you bothering with this little spot of navel gazing?
As a solo artist there is no other navel to gaze at so I’m stuck with the one I got. the show is inspired by all the shitty fringes I’ve done for the past 6 years and how to perfect a bucket speech that makes me money.
Like that last bit, might try it myself… got any tips?
Sure besides blocking the exit until people pay, the last 10 minutes of my show is just an ‘artistic’ bucket speech disguised as theater. that’s the best way to end a free fringe show in my opinion.
Hey, if Edinburgh is so shitty, why the hell are you coming back here?
Masochism.
Hang on, I just found your press release…
 
Right: there’s a defamed actress. Who’s that, and do you play her?
I do play her. Her name is Adah Isaacs Menken and she was a very controversial figure in her time because she dressed as a nude man…

…and rode a live horse on stage
Wait: this doesn’t mean you are going to go full frontal on us?
No I’m just dressing as a nude man for the show

while also dressed as a woman?

That’s correct…

The magic of the theater

Did she get in trouble for the nudity or the horse?
For pretending to be a nude man
Those wacky Victorians… no sense of humour…how does she help out your existential crisis? Is this a kink thing?
she helps me realize that everyone in the arts and producers are just a bunch of dicks talking to each other dicks about dicks. it’s very empowering.
Despite myself, I am getting interested in your show now. Is this going to be like that time you did a show in your hotel room and had an acid flashback to Vietnam? Like, personal and intimate and a bit terrifying?
oh you are referring to One-Man Apocalypse Now, yes this show is very personal and it’s terrifying cause I risk being myself in front of an audience which could be disappointing for everyone.
I know what you mean. There was that one time I decided to be myself like they advised on the dating sites… time off for good behaviour was the best part of that chain of consequences. But we both know that the Fringe is a venal pit of despair and that you are a stand up guy (not a fucking stand up comedian). Why do you keep at the pretending?
It’s the only thing I’m good at. my other skill is making popcorn, that’s it.
Apart from getting chosen off me to be the first person to do a facebook interview, what is the title all about? What have you been chosen for?
The Presented is about the idea of artists always out there seeking out producers or important people to ‘present us.’ and by doing so they legitimize us. like if someone produced me not only do I not have to worry financially but also I look 4000x cooler and people probably end up thinking my show is better even if it’s shit. but when you self-produce present yourself you have a lot more things to fight against to get recognized
but ultimately the point is presenting yourself is probably the most powerful thing you can do.
Oh right, it’s the presented, not the chosen. You know how it is these days, we don’t get research assistants to help us. Or subeditors… sounds like theatre is a shell-game like they have on the streets where you are meant to find the pea (the pea being talent and the shells the venues). Oh, there’s a bear, too…
There’s a bear that i throw into outerspace, also i throw a producer into outerspace too, a celebration of imagination.
I was worried you were going to exit pursued by it
that’s actually a good idea i think i’ll add that line in.
See. Critics can do dramaturgy.
So are you shouting out for the power of theatre as a space for imagination? For hope? Despite the dicks?
I think I’m shouting that despite all the venal depravity as you said, all the egos and hurt feelings and the idea of being a legitimate artist who is paid well or one who is broke, that most artists spend their entire lives seeking some sort of legitimacy that is nearly impossible to achieve, but if they stopped for a second they’d realize that they have it inside themselves. also so many people that control arts organizations are simply unartistic and business savvy, but it can feel like they control your fate if you let them. something like that.
So, I have learnt two things today. One is that interviewing performers over facebook is a stupid idea and really difficult because the cut and paste function is a right pain in the hoop.
But I have also learnt that there is still a place for the kind of independent spirit that the Fringe tends to ease out…

And I think in Edinburgh there’s a lot of that in the free fringes in particular, lots of independent spirits out there suffering in the barbados complex or whatnot, so in a sense, there still is a ‘fringe’ left. hopefully more audiences find it.
Yes, but the critics won’t go there because they are too busy posing in Summerhall and getting all drinks bought for them by fancy international companies.
Hey, are you doing the awards thing again this year?
and I don’t blame them because that’s what every artist secretly wants anyway, that’s the crux of it, if Summerhall wanted me I’d be there too. I think that’s what’s difficult about being ‘The Presented.’ I don’t really wanna toil away for 10 more years doing bucket speeches.

And yes I am doing the awards again

but Lee and Sarah are just gonna win whatever in absentia

Lee Minora?
neither are returning this year unfortunately
we just have to make do with you, then?
and some new additions, 
want to do a shout out for the… where is it you came from… that place’s massive?
a shout out to Philadelphia, yes, there are many philly artists coming this year too
Big Love to the City of Brotherly Love. Amen…

 

 

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