Friday, December 31, 2010

Be Nice, You Two, Or No God-Awful Champagne

New year!

It's funny reading people's Facebook statuses, and the sheer number of people who are saying 'Fuck you, 2010', or talking about how it was such a terrible year for them. I know that this time last year I felt the same way about SuckFest. I commemorated my feelings for 2009 in cake:

So I know and remember how it is to have a year you can't wait to see the back of. It's kind of really happy-making that I don't feel that way about 2010. Maybe that's just in comparison because 2009 really was so atrocious. Let's not talk about it! This year was far from perfect and I struggled a lot and had a lot of significant letdowns and heartbreaks, but when I compare myself to this time last year, I just think so much good stuff has happened and I feel farther along. Wow, that really seems like a massive accomplishment for me.

I make lots of resolutions on a constant basis, so New Year's is of course no different. I am writing them down and being super specific because I know that's how you have to talk if you want things to happen.

I'd like to tilt the scales in terms of how much I work for free. This year, I came up with a pretty even balance, maybe working a bit more for free, but making money off my acting (and more than once!). In 2011, I would really love that to change. Working more for money than not. Is that a bad goal? Out of the three projects I have tentatively lined up, one is a contract, one is a low (under) paying gig, and one will be unpaid, but something I am excited for. I will probably always work more for free, just because I can, but it would be great to keep climbing.

I want to focus on writing. I say this every year. God dammit. I am so rejected from writing that it seems impossible.

I also want to make the move into self-producing and doing my own work. Again, something I always say and something that scares me, and something that gets put on the back burner because I get offered acting stuff.

I want some good generals this coming year. Come on, legitimate theatres, check me out.

I want the work to go deeper and truer and stronger.

I want to get some better monologues. I am actually so excited about this. As soon as this big stressful thing on Sunday THAT I AM AVOIDING BY WRITING THIS HEE HEE HEE, as soon as that is done I am going on a monologue binge. Fucking A. I'm excited to have new pieces and to feel confident with them. I hope they miraculously appear without me having to do any work.

I'd like to get a joe job that is not babysitting. I miss Harry Potter. It's so valuable to my self esteem to have some little job. And I'd like to move out. And there are a million other personal things that I don't need to share. Don't worry, they're on the master list!

Get an agent. Please.

Ha ha THIS IS SO NARCISSISTIC AND I DO NOT EVEN CARE. I wonder if I have a cyber-stalker yet. Please reveal yourself....but not in the dirty way. Because then I'll cry.

There's more. There's so much more. And maybe I'm setting myself up for failure by making so many and maybe I'm setting myself up for failure by telling anyone, because this guy on said that was a mistake. But there it is. Goals. Lots of them. Right now it is exciting. Then they will become overwhelming. Then frustrating. Then I eat an entire cake. But now it all still seems possible.

AND, I don't want to get into this stuff, because it is silly, BUT I was nominated for an award by a theatre blog. Pretty cool and nice! I don't want to campaign for votes because almost everyone else nominated is someone I know and care for and want to work with! But it is really great. I found this blog and invited this girl and she ended up seeing me in three shows over the summer. I am trying to foster relationships with new theatre bloggers. I think they're going to become more and more powerful.

Ok, so, bring on the BEST YEAR YET.

Say it with cake!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Giving Up My Vices

I did a reading of this play again last night:

I could do that play again and again. That's Jason Maghanoy's dust, by the way. So weird to revisit it after a year. The character feels so much a part of me, so easy to slip into, but without the stuff that goes along with it, like Brandon, and the blocking, and the pacing and pauses, it was very strange. All these little readings and things that I get myself involved in are usually something I agonize over before hand, and swear up and down I won't do again, but they really go a long way into making me feel like I'm a part of the community. So weird. It's strange how such a little thing can register in a way that a full production just slips under the radar, for both me and other people watching.

It's a time to look back. Kind of neat that I had to revisit a show. And then I was reading NOW magazine and one of the plays I did this summer is mentioned in the 'site-specific section' as something they want to see more of! Amazing! Way to go the WITCH of edmonton. How awesome is that?

I have a big thing I'm supposed to be working on but it just makes me terrified, so I have been avoiding it. It is a great opportunity and I have to remember that and be happy with that, but because I think of what it could lead to, it makes me ill. Ugh. I am trying to be happy with being given the chance. But it's very scary.

SO let's look back at this year and then I will avoid that avenue of terror for a few more minutes!

Shows: 5. Remount of dust, The Queens, The Taming of the Shrew, the WITCH of edmonton, and Alice in Wonderland. While I spent most of the year worried that I wasn't doing enough, that seems like a lot, doesn't it? That seems pretty good. I don't even know what standard I'm holding myself up to. It's just hard to go through those two month long stretches where I'm not IN anything...I'm in one is ass.

Other things: TheatreKairos workshops and reading, Tout Comme Elle workshop (amazing), two readings for the Vagabond Trust Series, a Sea Change performance, a TPM Buzz performance, Humber River's Macbeth reading, two of those 24 hour play things. Hmm. That seems like a lot all put together! This game is good! Plus, there's just my 'living theatrically', like Jenna Maroney. One day we'll both get Tony's for that.

Training: Ah, well, here I dropped the ball. I did the Theatre Gargantua workshop (which was one day, awesome sauce), and....and that was it. Dammit, training is so much money and I'd rather learn by just being cast in things, but I guess that's something to think about. Hmm.

Plays I saw: Brief Encounter, Brief Encounter, Brief Encounter. Man, that changed everything. Holy God, I walk around thinking about it all the time. It's so amazing to be so inspired. Ride the Cyclone was fantastic. Frankenstein at midnight stays in my head just for the experience of it, even though I didn't love the show. I missed a lot of good stuff this year, according to the top 10 lists, which is always the way. I feel I see so much but it just is never the right stuff. I missed a lot of Fringe and SummerWorks this year, which is unusual for me. I missed a lot of big stuff too. I haven't been seeing things lately, so I'm excited to get back on the boat.

I also kind of got into this blog thing. It's fun....maybe next year will be the year I start telling people about it.

I worked so hard to make this year good, and for all the ups and downs, it was a pretty good one in a lot of ways. A huge improvement over SuckFest, or, as it is commonly called, 2009. Tomorrow I'm going to look ahead and make some resolutions WHICH I LOVE ALTHOUGH THEY DIE FASTER THAN GOLDFISH.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

I"m Reviewing the Situation

It's over now.


This show was very fun.

Jennifer, who played Alice, introduced me to this way of measuring what you're doing. And while it isn't always helpful to qualify and quantify everything, this can be a way to know if you're on the right track. A job should fill your wallet, advance your career, or feed your soul. If it does none of those, don't bother. If you have all three, well, it's a dream.

This kind of filled all three.

'Fill your wallet' should really mean a lot of money, and I did not make that, but really just getting paid to act is still pretty thrilling. I wonder when that novelty will wear off. Probably ungratefully soon. But it is great to be on contract. It is amazing to just be an actor for a bit. 'Advance your career': yes. This was a great regional contract. A pretty big one. Lots of really amazing actors work there. 'Feed your soul', well, I fucking loooove Alice. And this was the kind of stuff I love: physical, clown-y. At one point I was directed to act like a cartoon. That's my kind of play.

And now it's done and I have to wage a battle against feeling empty and sad. It doesn't get easier. My heart just breaks and it's going to break again and again, and I'm always thinking of all the things that might have been and never were and they're all gone with the wind because there's nothing to hold on to in the theatre. Only the memories and the dreams.

But it's all good.

There will be other things. I hope them and will bring them into being with my hope. UGH I HATE THE SECRET.

The new things are coming (some...not enough). And I will get through them, even the ones that I'm scared of, and I'll have new things pop up that I don't even know about yet, and they'll all be great.

And my next job will fill my wallet, advance my career, and feed my soul.


Cute bunch, eh? I am seriously only in theatre to get close to the good looking people.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day by Day

Great shows one day, bad ones the next.

So it goes.

All I can do is stay moment to moment and try to move on from mistakes and be true. I guess that's all you are ever trying to do in acting. It is a wonder that I haven't mastered this yet. It's hard. It's something that I just have to constantly attempt and may never achieve. What a piss off that is! Statements like that make me want to go and eat an entire pizza.

These photos were taken by Charlotte Robertson, who is a genius and designed these crazy costumes. I'm going to miss this show and I'm worried about how much I'm going to miss it. I'm having so many feelings as this run winds down and it is all exhausting. Oh, God, why do I always have so many feelings????

I'm so not cut out to be an actor, really....listening to other actors and watching them work makes me think that I am not of their ilk. They seem exotic to me. I'm sure that's why I want to be in theatre. I still have some belief that this is where the cool kids are and I'm always just thrilled that they talk to me every now and again.

Possibilities are in the air for the future and that's wonderful but also scary. I'm scared of disappointment and failure and of ever being excited for fear that it will end with me being crushed. Again, stay in the moment. Argh.

What a complicated creature I am.

And I am sideways going through doors.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What a Thrill When Lovebirds Trill

We go on. We do the show again and again. 11 shows a week. 9:30 a.m. shows to school groups, and then 12:30 shows immediately after for more school groups. Sometimes we do evening shows which are at more reasonable hours, but also difficult, because adults don't laugh at the same things kids do.

There are problems. Sometimes I think I don't want to do a particular scene. Sometimes I'm exhausted before we begin. Sometimes things go wrong, like all the lights come up when there is supposed to be an effect and I scream all my lines from backstage while frantically changing. Sometimes we have high school groups who are very polite but don't care about the show or us. There's a lot of grumbling from everyone, especially actors. I catch myself doing it. It hits right before I'm about to start.

It's lot of things all the time. Every show is different and every show is the same. I hate myself and my acting a lot. I guess the trick is to not let that stop you from, on occasion, being brilliant, and, all of the time, doing the job you are paid to do. Because I love the job I get to do. I love that more than I hate myself. I think this is the math that matters.

I'm so lucky to be paid to do this for five weeks.

Even if it's only five weeks. Even if I'm not paid that much.

There's a stamina to doing a show which is different from rehearsing. In a lot of ways it's much easier. You don't have to come up with material with the same rigour, because you have found some things that work, so you can just let those be. You work fewer hours. But you are performing, and that's a different energy. It's also maddening for the few things that don't come out right.

But it's wonderful.

It's worth everything.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brown paper packages tied up with string

Going back in time....


For flowers and cards and tarts and APPLAUSE.

For backstage gifts!

Otherwise why would you bother? There are easier ways to get attention. Prostitution and constant shouting come to mind.

Or you could combine both of those and have a life on the STAGE!

These are all from opening.

Dance machine opening.

Oh I have said again and again what a great crew this is, but for real.

Inherent in the happiness of doing a show is the sadness that you only do it for a little while and then everything goes away. Oh well.

There will be other shows, right? I hope so.

But still I will miss this one. I guess I am just a hopeless romantic, emotional nutcase who always has to have all these feelings about everything.

But there is more partying to come!

Already on this contract I have seen three movies, had a night on the town, had opening dance fest, had a bonfire party, done a taco night, and been to a gala at my billet's house with Sudbury's upper crust. There is still Secret Santa, cookie contest, dinner at another billet's, and closing party to go. TOO MUCH FUN.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm a Mishap About to Ensue

All right, I have been a terrible blogger. Now I am finally doing a show, and I don't have the will to write about it.

Oh well.

The show is going great. It's exhausting. Not even just physically, even though the show is demanding in that way. I just go up and down energy all morning long, and then feel pretty spent by the end of it. But it is wonderful. I'm proud of this work. Not all of my work. I have scenes where I am particularly strong, and scenes where I'm not sure I'm an actor anymore. But overall I think it's a quite charming, clever show.

Opening was wonderful. Everyone is so nice here.

I'm worrying about what is coming next (because nothing is coming next) but trying to dwai and enjoy what's going on.

La la la la

Friday, December 3, 2010

Children Will Listen


And magical.

We had an invited dress last night. We've done lots of runs on this show, which is helpful, especially because this show is equally frenetic offstage as on, and we have needed time to practice changing clothes, moving things, etc. But we were ready for an audience, it was time to see where we were at with that new dimension. So about 60 kids came to the show for free, and wow, was that ever exciting. We enter from the house, so we heard them scream 'WONDERLAND' to start the show, and it was shockingly loud. Then when we make our way up they were laughing and happy, and when we make them all cheer within the first lines of the show, it was deafening. Really wonderful.

They were super quiet for the rest of the first act, but I felt, and everyone else agreed, that they were listening. With the Jabberwocky they got really into it, and then there were laughs the rest of the way through.

Initially I had concerns that the Queen of Hearts would be scary, or alienating. But when I asked, rhetorically, 'WHO DARES TO STEAL MY TARTS?' to the audience, the kids put their hands up admitting it! They wanted to be in the show.....

It was great.

And now it's the next phase of this process. We have two previews tonight and tomorrow, open tomorrow night, and then get into 11 shows a week. Intense in a new way. A good way. I'll have to find ways to wake up earlier.

The thing with blogging about theatre is that when it really gets exciting I have no time or energy to blog. Also, I can't take pictures because I'm now in the show. Fatal flaw in this system....

Some new things are in the air and that makes me feel hopeful and happy. Having something to look forward to is great. I wish the haze of January/February would fill in a little bit....nothing there yet. It would be nice to have some way to spend those months. Get 2011 off to a good start....It would be great if just one or two of those seedlings came to fruition and became something I could love and work on. Hope.