We sent all the performers of the 2016 Classic City Fringe Festival the same 7 Questions. We wanted a deeper look into who they are, their goals, what inspires them, and what all lead them to performing at this years festival. Here’s what Denise Mount had to say:
7 Questions: Denise Mount
Q: Why do you identify as a “fringe” artist?
A: Fringe artists perform at, some would say, the fringes of entertainment on thefringes of the usual venues of performance artists – kind of like an off off off Broadway show. Fringe acts are unique, quirky, and sometimes edgy. TheRaconteuses are a daughter/mother personal storytelling act from North Carolina and Georgia. The Raconteuses tell true tales of unique family characters, delightful quirks and edgy flaws. We not only identify as fringe, but convince through the common thread of our stories, that the artist and audience alike are all fringe!
Q: What big goal do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
A: The biggest goal to accomplish in the next 5 years for Sarah Beth Nelson, the daughter member of the Raconteuses daughter/mother act, would be the completion of her PhD in Library Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For Denise Mount, the mother portion of the Raconteuses, the biggest goal she is hoping to accomplish in the next 5 years is being a good example to her peers in making retirement fun!
Q: How do events like the Fringe Festival help you as a fringe artist/performer?
A: Events like the Fringe Festival provide a place for performers and audiences to meet! For the Raconteuses, with every show in every Fringe Festival we have more opportunities to share our love of storytelling with more people! After connecting with each audience, we are able to improve, fine-tune, process feedback – this is invaluable stuff for any artist. And through events like the Fringe Festival we just might begin to have name recognition – perhaps even fans who seek us out, loving the stories they have already heard and eagerly awaiting what they may hear in our next show. For these opportunities, we are grateful to all Fringe Festivals.
Q: How is an event like the Fringe Festival good for the community?
A: Anytime people in the community get together for any form of entertainment, that’s got to be good! Participation in a Fringe Festival, as a performer or a fan, is an act, we believe, of making the world a better place.
Q: What Inspires you?
A: What inspires the Raconteuses? Quite frankly, we find ouraudiences inspiring – when they laugh or groan; when they clap or tell us their favorite part – we are inspired to keep going, to try harder, to reach higher. Other people’s stories inspire us – knowing what people have been through gives us the drive to create stories of greater depth, understanding, enlightenment. Children inspire us. Children are the future – may we and our stories be a positive foundation for their lives!
Q: What lead you to choose to perform the piece you will be doing?
A: The Raconteuses picked our piece for the Fringe Festival to show off our range of material. The stories we will be telling stretch from the beginning of the twentieth century all the way to yesterday, from England to Buffalo to Georgia, from lab experiments to urban legends. History, local color, fact and fantasy. The Raconteuses not only want to provide something for everyone but to instill a love of storytelling in all.
Q: What was your first experience being a performer?
A: Sarah’s first experience as a performer was as a clown in her elementary school’s talent show. The white makeup caked on her face and was so itchy and hot that the next year she decided to be a hobo clown with just a little ash on her face which was much more comfortable. Denise recalls walking on all fours across the school stage in a fifth grade Halloween play in the role of a house cat – she felt very self conscious, but the audience thought she was cute. The Raconteuses come from humble beginnings but are sure to deliver a delightful show.