Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Evening, Peter Dylan O'Connor - a personal retrospective and other thoughts about 14/48

I think this was our first time together 2 years ago.

As I woke up this morning Oh-so-slowly and thought about the events of the weekend I came to the same conclusion I ALWAYS come to after 14/48. "I am WAY too old to keep doing this but WAY too young to stop!"
This weekend's Kamikaze was a different beast for me. I saw every show 2 times. Now I'm not saying that I don't see every show or part of every show usually but I don't always see them with as much focus as I did this weekend as a blogger. It was nice. People kind of leave you alone unless they're trying to say funny things in your general vicinity in hopes that you'll quote them. It was refreshing to watch the shows with a new perspective. I never tire of the enthusiasm, love and camaraderie that fills the theater at each and every festival. Thank you all for letting me witness it in a whole new way.

That said, I did spend a few minutes in the A.L. office with my friend and fellow Steering Committee member Peter Dylan O'Connor. I wanted to do a little interview piece and I asked him some basic questions about how long he'd been with the festival, how he felt about it's growth and where he'd like to see it in 5 years.
But I realize this morning that those aren't the things I want to write about. I want to write specifically about what a kind and generous person Peter is (or PDO'C as he is known to some).
I participated in my first 14/48 in 1998? at the old ConWorks. I took a 10 year hiatus and ran a restaurant. Soon after selling it I ended up doing my first 14/48 fest in 10 years. I knew Peter peripherally; only in a "Hey, how's your piece going? TOTES! FETRIDGE!"
Soon after that I was generously invited (or rather strong armed my way in) by Shawn and the SC to become a SC member. I was excited and thrilled to be part of the driving force of an organization that had created some of the closest and longest relationships I've had as a adult. An opportunity to be part of this exclusive group.
Boy was I wrong. I was welcomed with not a fair amount of joking and jibes but more so with kindness and inclusion. This is no exclusive club. And one of the very first people who drove that home for me was Peter. He has always been quick with a kind word and genuine smile. If I had what I feared was a stupid question he'd answer it without a hint of sarcasm. No matter how busy he is he looks you in the eye. The occasional slap on the ass to help moral has picked me up on more than one occasion. Peter will help with anything if he's got a moment; even when he doesn't. I'm grateful to know him and I know there are multitudes of you who feel the same way.
I also want to mention the 14/48 Steering Committee in general*. They make our time as participating artists/volunteers/staff at the fest feel supported and not only welcomed but enthusiastically received. I'm not sure that the amount of work they do behind the scenes will ever be known; mostly because they don't advertise it. The festival is and always has been about the spirit of community and collaboration. Each one of them brings a skill set to the mix that without which there would be an obvious void difficult to fill. I'm grateful to be a part of this fine group of people.
*removing myself from this missive as I was a blogger this weekend and not "officially" participating as a SC member.
Thank you for a great Kamikaze weekend of 14/48. I loved blogging and I hope you'll remember me fondly as I butcher your favorite song next weekend as a Virgin in the band.
Much love, Totes.
+Dangerpants Photography

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