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Fringe Review: GoFundYourself

By Livia Belcea on June 14, 2019

GoFundYourself
by Black Box Comedy
60 min/ Comedy / Improv

We live in a society that encourages us to dream big, shoot for the stars and become anything we want, but that also means that we have to work for those dreams and sometimes ask our family, friends and even strangers to help by sending us cash money. Indeed, GoFundMe.com campaigns have become a trend—even standard practice—since they began. Although some campaigns are established for good causes and to help people, there are some that range from self-indulgence like funding for lavish vacations to outright ridiculous, such as getting Kanye West out of debt.

At GoFundYourself, a lucky audience member will have the opportunity to share their ultimate personal goal with a telethon host and have it funded through a campaign, but the only catch is that the currency is in laughter, not money. The harder the audience laughs, the closer the audience gets to have their goal funded.

This hilarious and quirky improv show relies on audience participation and input to keep it going from start to end, which means that each show will be different and unpredictable. The diverse cast of actors was great and their playfulness and willingness to be daring kept the audience engaged and eager to play along.

The diverse cast of actors was great and their playfulness and willingness to be daring kept the audience engaged and eager to play along.

As it is to be expected with improv, the show is made on the fly and was at times obscure and slightly disjointed. But still funny as hell. Thankfully, GoFundYourself’s flow is held together by a series of interludes and a side storyline during which the host and thermometer girl count the audience’s laughter, and the dynamic between the two actors is endearing.

Although our audience member’s goal only got funded to 65 per cent, the laughs solicited were hardy and sincere. The audience member on opening night was a Fringe performer himself and I suspect he may have known the premise of an improv show in depth, as he offered a goal that seemed concocted specifically for an improv comedy, rather than volunteer his deepest and most precious goal. The vulnerability of the next audience member who shares their goal could be tested during upcoming performances, but it will be in the spirit of good, honest fun.


GoFundYourself by Black Box Comedy is playing at Academic Hall (133 Seraphin-Marion) until Saturday June 22, 2019. Tickets cost $12 online (plus a $2 processing fee) and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.


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