Hollywood Fringe Profile: Freakazoid Creator sees the Edinburgh in LA

Writer/director/actor Richard Crawford and his international band of performers who comprise the Brooklyn Studio Lab are performing Diary of a Sociopathic Freakazoid at the Hollywood Fringe after a successful premiere at New York’s View Theatre.

Crawford, a native of Edinburgh, currently splits his time between London and New York. As his first Hollywood Fringe, you might have spotted him at the opening party donning a native kilt, mixing it up with unapologetic humor and large doses of good-natured fun. He certainly gives that “most interesting” Dos Equis clown a run for his money.

Crawford’s Freakazoid comes to the Fringe with the pitch of a “relentless exploration of the mind of a sociopath and the consequences of his freakish actions.” But this title character is not necessarily stacking up bodies in the freezer, he’s self-obsessed and leading to his own destruction.

“I was amazed at the amount of scumbag guys I was witnessing in New York and how they treated women,” Crawford describes his inspiration for Freakazoid. “I knew all these girls—beautiful, talented, intelligent women—and the things they let guys get away with….’Why do you put up with this shit?’”

Crawford, determined to understand the phenomenon, became an amateur social scientist, observing first hand these predatory men. What he found was a uniformity not only in their behavior but in how low they would go to “get what they wanted.” His anecdotal research also gave him insight to big city relationships and a wealth of material for a new play.

“I also think in New York there’s a loneliness like no other,” Crawford explains. “And you have a lot of forced friendships—neighbors, people you work with…not necessarily people you would really pursue in life.”

Crawford contrasts these relationship to his own friendships from back home in Edinburgh and continues saying, “No one would die for me in New York, not like my friends back home.”

Living in New York for over three years, Crawford’s company staged an adaptation of Edward Scissorhands in New York in 2010 before tackling the Freakazoid script. Bringing Freakazoid to Hollywood was a welcome move with an ambitious schedule of fourteen performances at Theatre Asylum. (Six shows left as of this posting.)

“I like the theater scene in LA because it’s underground and you’re doing something that isn’t necessarily commercially appealing to everyone,” Crawford says. “The people who do it here really want to fucking do it. It reminds me of Edinburgh.”

Crawford and his team have already enjoyed some success with strong reviews including a Go! from LA Weekly and plenty of street buzz at Fringe Central Station. Love it or hate it, Freakazoid promises to push buttons.

Running Time: 1 hour     Tickets: $12 – $15

LA WEEKLY gives a GO! to Diary of a Sociopathic Freakazoid

Freakazoid’s Fringe page

Filed Under: amy tofteFeaturedhollywood fringe festival showsPonderings

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Amy Tofte About the Author: Amy Tofte is a writer/director who worked way too hard for her SAG card that she stubbornly hangs on to. She has her MFA from CalArts (Writing for Performance) and has seen her work produced all over the country and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is a founding member of Fierce Backbone in Los Angeles (a theater dedicated to all levels of play development) and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. Visit Amy at http://amytofte.com

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