< PortFringe 2024

PF-21 ARTIST INTERVIEW: Nick Mataragas (of Memoriam Development)

A moment with Nick Mataragas (Company: Memoriam Development) of THE BICHON FRISE AND SHETLAND VARIETY HOUR

 Why did you choose PortFringe this year? We have been performing at our local fringe festival for many years now, and in 2020 we had planned to take our show on the road (yeah, that didn’t work), but were unable to due to all the stuff. You know what stuff. Then we overheard that Portfringe was going to do something a little different this year. We were enticed by the idea of twenty minute max videos instead of a more traditional length for a fringe show.  That idea, combined with the all the good things we had heard about Portfringe convinced us to apply.

How was your PortFringe show born? The Bichon Frise and Shetland Variety Hour was born from a title created during a drunken conversation between Nick and Amanda. We wanted something to play off the old term of “Dog and Pony Show” and that’s what we came up with. We felt that our previous fringe show, “In Memoriam” had run it’s course in all of its iterations, and we set out to put together a new show. Our last show, event though it included comedy, was a more serious look at who we were as performers. This new show is more about us cutting loose and seeing what happens.

What about the world *right now* makes your show important? The show is about people that stay optimistic, and do their best to carry on despite their world around them falling apart. That seems fitting to where the world has been for a while now.

What have you learned as an artist during the last year of pandemic times? We have learned that it is impossible for us to stop creating. Despite not being able to meet in person, or perform in front of a live audience for a huge chunk of time, we still found ways to create. Creation is written in our DNA (if you believe DNA exists, not going to assume everyone believes in it).

Why is FRINGE important? Fringe is important because it is in the vanguard of creation. Fringe festivals by their nature draw in people that do not create or perform the standard fare. It’s about exploration and risk taking. It is small and yet huge. Fringe is something that feels remarkably personal compared to most of the theatre that people usually consume. It’s not about big production values, tried and true practices, classics, or the new popular thing. It’s about putting YOUR work together by any means necessary and being right there in front of a group of people, baring yourself, and experiencing an energy that you will never feel in another setting.

It’s PortFringe’s 10th Birthday! What do you remember or miss about being ten years old? Happy Birthday! The thing I miss most about being ten years old is not having joint pain.

Have you checked out the other PF21 show listings? Pick one you’re excited to see or learn more about, and tell us why! I think the show I am most curious about is Mr. Robert’s Friendly Apocalypse. Everyone loved Mr. Roger’s as a kid, and any kind of parody of that show should be interesting at the very least.

Write a haiku about your show!

A show less than sane

Bless their hearts they really tried

Variety hour?


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