Blogging for Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance

I’m BACK! Good grief… I have never had such a busy start to a year. But, I’m not complaining! It’s all been very creative. Buffoonery workshops, a conference, teaching, scene study, a film shoot (more on that), and writing, but, alas, not here.

At the end of 2011, I accepted to become an official blogger for the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance and amidst all the yummy creative chaos of January I managed to see some theatre and also do some writing. I’d like to share my recent posts with you here, if you would like to read them.

Vive Le Bouffon

It’s the love scene in “All’s Well That Ends Well” by Shakespeare. I’m playing the boy. My partner is playing the girl. And, we’re both bouffons. The production is en Francais and we’re having a ball mocking this scene, as bouffons do. Ce n’est qu’un plaisir!

I come off stage for my next change, back into a “normal” character and realize how free I feel. I also realize that my devilish inner voice that taunts me, tells me I’m not good enough, has been flushed into the outer world. Nowhere near me.

Read the rest of the article on GVPTA’s blog

On The Topic of Rehearsing

Last Saturday evening I went to witness the current VanArts (formerly the William Davis Centre) acting students’ presentation of their “rehearsal project” taught by Dave Mott and Daniel Martin. Since I had also taught this group, I wanted to support their first public appearance. The 10 students were guided through the play “The Hologram Theory” by Jessica Goldberg. The goal of this class is to teach the students how to rehearse effectively.

Effectively – just what is that?

Read the rest of the article on GVPTA’s blog

Traces… Their Truth?

Brush strokes, tattoos, video testimonials, life scars, legacies….. These are a few of the traces I pondered after watching Théâtre la Seizième’s original production “Traces”, directed (& created by) Craig Holzschuh and Anita Rochon, with collaboration by Gilles Poulin-Denis, (stage manager, Noa Anatot; set design: Julie Marten; lighting: Jeremy Baxter; music, Steve Charles; video, Corwin Ferguson) recently on at Studio 16 in Vancouver.

Coming from a family of artists – father, painter & potter – mother, fibre artist, I was always aware of the marks they were leaving in the world. I was in admiration of their visual contribution that will remain long after they are gone. It made me wonder about my contribution.

Read the rest of the article on GVPTA’s blog

The EveryDay as Drama: “El Pasado Es Un Animal Grotesco”

This January has been unusually busy. Therefore, I didn’t get to see as many shows during the PuSH Festival as I had dreamed of doing, but I was fortunate to witness “El Pasado..” by Mariano Pensotti. Ironically, unbeknownst to me, the only show I saw last year at the PuSH was by the same author, “La Marea” on the street in Gastown. In hindsight, I can certainly see a similar energy, style and observation of everyday life.

Everyday life – something we don’t necessarily see as dramatic, theatrical fodder to present. In the filmmaking world, Alfred Hitchcock quoted: “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out”. When I hear that, I suspect the “dull bits” are what occurs in the everyday, the quotidian, that aren’t featured in dramatic story telling. How many scenes do you see people scratching off their to-do list, changing the toilet paper, clearing the fog off the mirror after a shower, washing their coffee pot, ironing, writing a note, humping a pillow…..

Read the rest…. well, you get it now! HERE

Feel free to share any of your thoughts…. Would love to hear them.

Out with the Old & In with the New… 2012

It’s the last day of 2011, and here we venture into a “new” year where we renew our cheque writing habits and scratch out the 1, and replace it with a 2, and initial the error. But, that’s just a technicality.

Really, the New Year always seems to have a refreshing sense of renewal, a clean slate, a second chance, a new step, new energy and resolve, a dusting off, a shedding of old, and a new determination of marching forward. I love the sensation, yet, the realist in me says “it’s just another day”, and nothing has changed. Thank goodness, the spiritual side of me chooses to embrace the illusion of newness, and pulls up the new clean agenda with hope.

New Year’s resolutions can become … Continue reading “Out with the Old & In with the New… 2012”

Halloween Memories….

Little witchy Trilby!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

As a little girl, I LOVED Halloween! It was my favourite time of year. I guess that’s why I ended up in the performance arts. Dressing up, being something else, make believe, PLAYING…. all such fun things to do as a kid.

As an adult, we tend to let go of our playful tendencies as the worries of the quotidian life creep in and take over. But, this doesn’t serve us well.

Playing is just as important, and relevant, no matter what that inner voice tells you – (“you look silly”, “this isn’t serious enough”, “playing is for kids only”)!

I would love to hear about your great Halloween memories, what were some of your costumes, and adventures?

Even if you are not going to dress up this year, how can you find a way to celebrate the kid in you?

 

Summer 2011 poem…

This summer I was helping my parents make a significant change in their life. It was a very challenging time. To cope, I showed up at my journal nightly, wrote an entry and a poem. Not all were works of art, but as I briefly speak about on my website, I showed up. And, it was good for me.

In a bold move, here is one:

Dandilion
Dandelion

Murky tear

Dandelion
Staying staunch
Wind pressing
Shaking her
legs
Fuzzy head
Barely intact
Big whoosh
Seeds part
Doing what
They’re supposed to
Bare stem
Bleeds a
White speck
of juice.
A murky tear.

Negative feedback? … Just keep going…

My Dad once said, “Don’t take no for an answer.” My Mom was equally bold in her advice. It was good.

When I decided to audition for “Le Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique”, one of my French teachers rolled her eyes, and exclaimed (en Francais) that she knew French people who had tried to get in and didn’t make it. Certainly an “anglophone” had NO chance. I decided to not go near her during my preparation time, avoiding her black cloud energy. It was tough enough without her input!

So… you can imagine the delight I had when I announced to her that this “anglophone” had made it through two auditions and 2 days of observation, and was accepted. She was as they say in Quebec “bouche bée”… mouth agape!

The following post by Geoff Talbot reminds us of famous people and their (wrong) naysayers. A reminder to take opinions with a grain of salt.

Do you have a similar situation to share?

…Famous Wrong Predictions…

In the world of art & entrepreneurship be encouraged… when it comes to innovation no one really knows  anything…

“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.”  Opponents to Edwin L Drakes plan to drill for oil in 1849.

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles in 1962.

Read the rest at Seven Sentences by Geoff Talbot

Being brave…

Yes… I’m being brave because I’m, for the first time, (I think), putting up a blog post that is simply some creative writing. I found this piece I had written a couple of years ago. In fact, long before boldly diving into blogging.

It shows my fear surrounding my writing, and also shows me that I’ve stopped listening to that voice, otherwise, I wouldn’t have a blog or two!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Voice

The cursor blinked on the empty page.

The voice was speaking. The voice was taunting, teasing, provoking, driving, tormenting, intensifying, and succeeding. It always succeeded. It always won. It wore a badge of honour. It had the best sabres, the best ploys, the best reasons; it even wore designer clothes- of course. It’s home? Her head. And, she was prisoner.

Each time she planted her fingers on the keyboard, a list of her shortcomings unfurled and the voice gladly announced each and every one of them.

She slammed her computer closed, grabbed her keys and sped with urgency out of the city.

In the woods, she stopped in front of a massive cedar tree and wondered at its thick bark protecting it from the wills of the world. She stared up at the resilient spire feeling dizzy. She found the voice’s argument to be strong and valid. Why on earth would her thoughts matter? What made her think she had anything significant to share or express?

The voice snickered with conceit, keeping up the momentum: “Not only are you a pathetic writer, you are unfocused, you have no hope, you are wishy washy, uncommitted, lazy, and…. “

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!” Her real voice suddenly competed. Her real voice spewed forth. Her body dizzyingly spun and she collapsed to the ground.

At last, silence.

A robin in the distance chirped – clear, unencumbered. The trees whispered with the wind nodding in approval. Finally, now, maybe she could write her piece.

Cathedral Forest, Vancouver Island
Cathedral Forest, Vancouver Island