TD Smith doesn’t do any juggling in his role as Capitano in this year’s Faction of Fools Fringe show, Tales of Marriage and Mozzarella, but he’s still got multiple balls in the air. TD is one of many Fringe artists who perform in more than one show simultaneously; he also plays the lead role in John Krizel’s new play In This Economy.
I catch TD late at night, sitting on the sidewalk patio at Fort Fringe with some of his fellow actors.
“It’s a little more manic than usual for me this year,” he says. “You’ve just got to jump into it and know that it’ll all work out.”
I ask him if it’s hard transitioning between his role in a clown show and his role in a naturalistic drama. “Not really,” he grins. “Both of these plays have a really driving pace, and you need to be in high gear to play them. They fit really well with the manic energy level I always feel during Fringe.”
You can’t slow down when you’re in a Fringe show, TD advises. “I’ve realized that if I try to relax into these parts, the shows will just run away without me. You’ve got to stay on the ball to find your moments.”
It’s TD’s fourth year in the Fringe scene, and his third year participating. He performed in the annual Fool For All put on by Faction of Fools two years ago. Previously, he designed the lights for Children of Medea, a solo performance by Sue Jin Song.
“I started doing tech in college,” TD explains. “I wanted to be around the theatre even when I didn’t get cast for things. As soon as people know that you’re useful with your hands, they ask you to help tech shows.”
The Fringe festival has been a real mainstay for TD. “I moved to DC in the spring, so Fringe was some of the first theatre I saw in this city. It was a crazy, incredible way to meet a lot of people in a new place. It’s great to come back every year.”
Now that TD’s opened both of his shows, he’s getting around to see as many other shows as he can: his friend Justin Purvis’s one-man show Hysterical Blindness, for example. Other shows on his list include Delusions of Grandeur, Cabaret XXX, The Cloudism Project… the list goes on and on.
“I feel like I’m not doing Fringe right if I’m not running around like crazy,” he says. “It always takes a little time to get up to Fringe speed. Especially this year. There’s more great stuff to see than I can possibly get to.”