Year after year, one of the most fascinating things that I love about the Montreal Fringe Festival is that you will never know what you will bump into, you will never know what you will discover, and you will never know what happen until you go out there and dive yourself into the excitement.

It gets crazier by the moment, and zanier by the second. And just like life itself, spontaneity is what makes this festival so exciting - whether you're a playwright, performer, or a random spectator. This is the magic of the Fringe happening, and needless to say, it goes beyond words in describing it.

Okay maybe euphoria. But that's just one of many.

If you ever stroll down the corner of St-Laurent and Rachel, you will be serenaded by the sounds of the city's best indie music acts, while being in the company of neighbors and fellow music lovers at the beer tent. Walk a little past the steel barricade plastered with posters and you will find yourself mesmerized - or perhaps hypnotized - by the by the pastel pine green-hued food truck of Caisse 606, with a pair of performers poking fun at the obscurity of our local supermarket culture to the very detail.

And then there are the Fringe shows, so many promising pieces, so many that stood out, so many to capture - that while I deeply regret to have not binged it as much as I used to in years past (due to ironically - life's spontaneity itself), I've had the amazing opportunity to capture a moment or two each day to appreciate the hard work from some of these talented people, with shows such as:

"Garbage Person Island" - Jacob Greco's self-proclaimed one-week-old-written comedy show was a fun mix composed of dirty comedy, and consistently improvised satire, as it humbly criticizes today's consumer-based culture with a bit of fun. Add to mix a dose of narcissism coming from the show's obnoxious and weird characters, and a ton of pop culture references that millennials would mostly understand, there's no doubt that Jacob's piece will definitely leave you in shivers and groans by the end of the hour.

"Messy Bitch" by Jessica Rae and friends is Grit 'n Gusto's perfect combination of skillful puppetry and social commentary done right - and it is done in a manner where it's raw, it's intimate, it's honest, and it's real. It is a show that gives the crowd a chance to listen and reflect on the everyday conversations we often take for granted, and the roles that we consciously or subconsciously partake in a currently-changing society where words matter more than ever. In other words - it's okay to be a bitch, when needed. While the short hour does fly by pretty fast - this show is one of many to look forward to hopefully in the future.

"Jeff Leard's THE JUPITER REBELLION: A Zach Zultana Adventure" is quite something. Imagine a dude sporting an eye-piercing, tight navy blue suit. With an energy level that is way more intense than the five cups of coffee that I consume in one day, this kid has too many stories to tell from his day job in space as an asteroid miner. A self-deprecating laugh trip that loves breaking the fourth wall, and sports the all the enthusiasm, energy, character switching and passion, this show definitely took you along for a wild ride while poking fun of all of the quirks of a every terrible B-rated sci-fi film imaginable. And then some.

And lastly, there is of course - Miss Sugarpuss. She has left us (her character) in the wings with her tiny suitcase, and left us hanging on - quite literally - by the thread with her wonderful penultimate performance in "Love and Pasties, Miss S." And while I deeply regret not discovering more of her in previous years, I've had the great opportunity to discover a snapshot of her adventure as a distressed ex-pat Montrealer attempting to experience and live the new life in the often-times snobby bohemian Parisian universe. There is tons to admire, and appreciate, and it's been a huge honor to have seen such a legend at the final curtain call, as CJLO Promo Director Ellen Smallwood, and Special Fringe Correspondent Sue Snyder can attest.

In-between checking out these amazing shows and putting together a fun two-hour radio special with the help of Creators Chorus' Jess Glavina, I've also been helping out my fellow scribes as well from our talented CJLO Fringe Team extraordinaire in bringing their reviews to the limelight- with the generous help from fellow Fringers Patricia Petit Liang, Ellen Smallwood, our Magazine Editor Stephanie Dee, and On Rotation Coordinator Joana Cumo, (+ a shoutout to DJ Lawrell for helping out with French-related content) - to which all whom I am grateful for. With a record of more than 20 reviews, much credit is given to all that are due and to their work.

I encourage you to check their amazing reviews, and their unique perspectives on the shows they've seen:

Annick MF: CJLO Fringe Tunes presents: Joyce N'Sana and Part I with Jess Glavina.

Jess Glavina: Extreme States.

Sue Snyder: Love and Pasties, Miss S.and Sexpectations with Ellen Smallwood

Patricia Petit Liang: Atomic City, The Freeway Strangler, and Does Not Play Well with Others

Danilo Bulatovic: A Thousand Kindnesses, Jon Benett, and Bedrock Burlesque

Sonja Hanson: A David Lynch Wet Dream, Empty Rooms, and Science, Love, and Revolution

Erica Bridgeman: Captain Aurora II: A Superhero Musical Sequel, BIZARRO OBSCURE, The No Bull$#!% History of Invention, Falling Awake, The McSorley & Chung Magic Hour, Bedrock Burlesque, and Caravonica.

DJ Thinkbox: Se rincer l’âme au windshield washer, Checkout 606, and Macumba Digita.

On the final evening of the Fringe, I strolled into the hallways of the legendary Rialto Theatre in Montreal's Mile End neighborhood to catch a glimpse of the Annual Frankie awards. Looking at everyone, I was mesmerized at the happy faces from performers, emcees, sound technicians, and photographers at the event, sipping their beers and cocktails, all excited and anticipating for the big dance party at the end. There was no sign or tiredness, no sign of exhaustion. It was pretty admirable.

Amy Blackmore was as energetic was ever since Day One, Al Lafrance was still being his own wacky self - proud of his cheap cream-coloured suit jacket that he snagged from Value Village, and the Holly Gauthier-Frankel was out there with the audience the crowd with a great classic jazzy track that's quite appropriate for a night like that.

I had to cut my night short unfortunately for the last train home. But as I walked down from the steep mezzanine, I bumped into Chris "The Frog" (host of CJLO's Sewer Spewer) from "ATM The Musical", which that show won a Frankie later that night. We both high-fived and smiled, unanimously gleaming at how fancy the venue was for all of us. After all, the spirit of the Fringe has been always barebones D-I-Y, or maybe we both knew that we were both punks at heart. Eitherway, it was moments like this which made me feel right at home.

I walked out of the glitzy Rialto in time for the much-talked-about 11-second dance and caught a moment of it despite being how bad the lighting was. It was quite a poignant way to say goodbye. Too bad I haven't gotten the chance to see everyone else in sight, but my thoughts are still with them regardless.

The one question that I keep asking people every year is how do they define the Fringe, and what it means to them. The perspectives are diverse, the enthusiasm is intense, and yet above it all - there is one common thread stands out: the Fringe is about life - it is a celebration of our colourful stories shared among all of us through the magic of the performing arts. It is a multi-week festival that's unique and like no other, and that I fell in love with.

And as I prepare for my next big move out of this city, the Fringe is going to be one of many things that I will miss about this great city - a city that is rich is art and creativity. I think I may have caught the Fringe bug for good, and there's no sign of getting that out of me. Indeed, I will definitely going to miss Festival a lot, and I am grateful for the amazing people at the Fringe, the wonderful CJLO fam, and the folks at The Link, where I first got my Fringe fest chops, for opening my horizons and getting out of my own comfort zone to discover a new world of storytelling.

The festival is now long and gone, but the spirit of the Fringe lives on.

If you missed out on the fun, it's not over - go out there and support your local scene. There's tons of talented independent talent that deserves a ton of love. We got more stories to hear, more voices to share, so out there and spread the bug!

And until then, Fringe on! xo



​Saturn De Los Angeles is CJLO's Additional Content Editor, and has been the co-editor for CJLO's Official Fringe Team covering the sights and sounds of the 2015 and 2016 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festivals. Saturn continues to host Shibuya Crossing until July 2016, and airs every Sunday from 10AM to Noon, o​nly on 1690AM in Montreal and online at CJLO.com. You can follow Saturn both on Instagram and Twitter - @satyyy.