The day before I experienced Snow Fridge: Halloween Edition, I was presented with one simple, albeit loaded, question, in my inbox:
WUT DO U FEAR?
While I hadn’t caught the original version of the show at Hollywood Fringe Festival, I knew that it was on the lips of many, hailed as an exercise in pure imagination.
I boiled down my occasional existential dread to a few short sentences, knowing that the answer that I provided would shape this intensely personal show. I knew nothing yet of Karlie Blair, co-creator and one half of dr3amlogikk, until the next night, when I sat down next to her at the bar of L.A.’s Pig ‘N Whistle.
We practiced bibliomancy at her suggestion, pondering the meaning of a word I’d chosen blindly: “Necessary.” We idly chatted about what that word meant, the largest small talk I’d ever imagined, before she led me downstairs to the basement.
Lighting her face from below with a flashlight, campfire-style, she explained that Snow Fridge is not here to scare me, quite the opposite, in fact: it’s meant to help guide me as I pass through these fears.
I would go on to meet four players, echoing my name as their own, various shades of my identity (one festively donning a skeleton suit). In the corner sat Death itself, pecking away stoically at a typewriter. Even as they tiptoed around the Reaper, they would laud my boldness around him, encouraging me at every turn.
The most talkative of the shades (co-creator Keight Leighn) excitedly deduced that my fear of nothingness was just that: a fear of absolutely nothing, before leading me beyond a threshold and into an even darker room to find out for myself that there had been nothing to fear all along.
By the end of the show, the different versions of me curled up on the floor, exhausted. Death stood up, reciting to me the answers that I’d given, before giving me candy for my troubles, inside an origami box. I had trick-or-treated beyond the veil, and had come out unscathed.
As I looked down into the box, I saw my own fears printed on the orange paper, while the different facets of me sleepily bid me a Happy Halloween. My cheeks hurt from nervous giggling, nervous giggling that gave way to the real thing and then back again.
Every version of Snow Fridge, Halloween or otherwise, is unique to that audience member, but the infectious energy of the performers undoubtedly remains constant. The show is relentlessly, unstoppably optimistic, and just like Karlie’s small talk at the beginning of the night, casts a cheery, wide-eyed perspective on some truly enormous topics.
As I “met myself,” I learned about myself, and as I laughed and played and explored, I discovered, even if only for a moment, that there was nothing to be afraid of.
Who knows? Death may even give you candy.
Only select time slots remain for Snow Fridge: Halloween Edition, on Thursday, October 25. For more information, click here.