Go Deeper Like Mother Like Daughter

Like Mother Like Daughter

Posted September 10th, 2018

Jennifer Blaine was in the first Philly Fringe. This year her daughter Lily Blaine is in her first.

Lily and Jennifer  last week.

Performer Jennifer Blaine got a feature in the latest Philadelphia Weekly, detailing her long history with the Fringe Festival and how she has used it as a jumping off point to launch numerous successful shows.

Blaine was part of the very first Philly Fringe in 1997, performing her solo show Safety By Numbers in an Old City alleyway. As she related to Philly Weekly, she’d use reviews from her Fringe shows to book tours across the country, eventually opening up for George Carlin, Chris Rock, Joe Piscopo. This year, Blaine returns to the Festival for the 16th time with narrative stand-up show Ridiculous at L’Etage in South Philadelphia.

“It’s such an opportunity to open yourself up to an audience that you wouldn’t have reached otherwise,” Blaine told writer Andrea Cantor about the Fringe Festival. “You have no idea where it could end up for you.”

At the FringeArts Blog, we were struck by tidbit in the article about where it has ended up for Jennifer: this year, her 11-year-old daughter Lily is performing in her very first Fringe Festival. The younger Blaine dances in Paprika Plains, another family affair by two artist-sisters combining dance and body painting

Jennifer with Lily as a baby.

“When I was pregnant with Lily I performed Hearing Voices and she would dance inside me during performance,” mother Jennifer tells FringeArts. “Once Lily entered the scene, I did not produce a new show every year as I’d been accustomed to doing. She was the show.”

The nature of Jennifer’s material also made it difficult to perform and parent: “Because my material has been on the blue and adult side I mostly did not have her at rehearsals and performances. However she would be present as my collaborators and I discussed our lives, moments of the show, and dealt with logistics.”

But as Jennifer returned to the Fringe, Lily was embarking on her own parallel creative works such as dance, writing, and storytelling. “She watched as I collaborated with some of the greatest women artists in Philadelphia, such as Vashti Dubois (creator of The Colored Girls Museum), and two-time Barrymore award winner Karen Getz (The Gorgeousity and Vicissitudes of Travel), and now she is doing the same!” says Jennifer “So learning lines, creating, being at rehearsal, and collaborating with women artists is part of her pedigree.”

Ridiculous and Paprika Plains both have performances on Saturday 22, but otherwise performances don’t conflict, so mother and daughter will be able to see each other in the Fringe Festival for the first time.

“I am so excited to see what Lily, Jessica Noel (producer, director, choreographer and founder of Philly PACK), and Natalie Fletcher (winner of the first season of Skin Wars) create with Paprika Plains.”

A proud Fringer has become a proud Fringe parent.

Ridiculous runs September 14, 22 + 23 at L’Etage in South Philadelphia. More info and tickets.

Paprika Plains runs September 21 +22 at Philly PACK in South Philadelphia. More info and tickets.