Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When I'm free to be whatever I want to be, Think what wonders I'll accomplish then!

I didn't die!!!

But I haven't done much of anything else either.....hmmm......

I have been on a fun mission lately! I'm just trying to have fun. I never have fun ever so this is a good job for me, in that it is challenging but also FUN! I was doing pretty good for a few days, I kept LEAVING THE HOUSE, and SEEING HUMAN BEINGS, and we did things like LAUGHING and LOOKING AT OTHER HUMAN BEINGS PRETEND TO BE EVEN OTHER HUMAN BEINGS and DRINKING and EATING.

And it turns out that I like all of those things, for the most part.

And then I kind of crashed and wasn't so much having fun anymore. I saw someone who threatens me and started feeling threatened and sad and like a failure. I'm kind of there right now. I'm vaguely panicky. And there isn't any reason to be. Well, of course there is, there's radiation in Japan and killer bees and the sun's rays which are secretly poison and the fact that I don't really have a job or a direction in life or anything. But really there isn't any reason to be vaguely panicky...because those things are just the way that things are.

For some reason I am kind of feeling like an actor even though I have not done anything since Alice in Wonderland (oh that was fun) and won't do anything until Tout Comme Elle and have had a few auditions for non-paying type things and haven't done well at all. Mostly I think I have been doing good auditions and there are just no parts for me, a student film told me they ended up choosing someone who is 50 (and I am not 50 WOOT! I think this is more good than bad. Not that 50 isn't awesome, I just think it would be more awesome to get there then suddenly be there. Although I'm sure it feels like that anyway), and that I was great but too young. Ok. And another thing had very few female parts and a few were promised away. And that is disappointing but how it goes and I have good stuff coming up anyway. So maybe that is how I am able to not feel like a non-actor even with all the non-acting I have managed to do lately.

I had an audition yesterday for another thing that really has no parts for me (awesome), and that went great and I'm not expecting anything but I did a good job, even with a new monologue so that was just terrific. I had fun. Am I at the point that auditioning is fun? Kind of.....? I don't want to say that. I will now have several unfun auditions to punish me for my hubris. POSEIDON!

But then today all that changed and I PANICKED. I started thinking that I'm not in the right plays, and there are opportunities coming up and I have engagements so can't audition for other things, and those new things that I can't do look cool and maybe those are better projects for me, and I worry I'm not GETTING OUT THERE and am PICKING THE WRONG PROJECTS. And I don't have an agent, so I really just do the things that I want to do, but let's be honest, why should I trust me, I make horrible decisions and can't use a cash register. I am, at best, an unreliable judge of character and someone with a propensity towards self destruction. Maybe I, like George Costanza, have to start doing the opposite of everything I normally do.

And then the fun train just stops.

So I have to get back on it, because really things are fine. And I don't want to be ungrateful because I have some very nice projects that I want to do and am lucky to be in, my god, and there will be more, there will be, there will be.

I have not died yet!!!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

While We're Devoting Full Time to Floating

In my continuing series of ridiculous jobs to make money (as opposed to jobs to make art), sometimes I'm really lucky. I'm still ridiculous, but sometimes lucky. If there's a way to make money that doesn't involve silly voices and hats, I haven't heard of it.

One of these jobs is getting to work on occasion with The Extant Jesters, and do improvised birthday parties with them. It's always really fun: the kids shout out suggestions and we make up the story based on what they say.

They were asked by the ROM to do a show for March Break, that ties into the ROM's new Water Exhibition, and I get to be one of the rotating cast members. So this week's little job has been doing that show in the lobby.

These pictures were all taken by Thomas Gallezot. This is Lauren Spring, Kimberly Persona, and me. I'm playing a farmer.

Like I said, sometimes I'm lucky.

(Now I'm the fish. The ugliest fish in the world. Swimming in the sea.)

(And now a snake with a lisp.)

It's really fun. It's amazing how, in situations like that, people will just flock to you. Put a little stage up and a carpet in front of you, and people will just come over and expect something to happen. No fighting for audience here. It just comes. And sometimes it's pretty big.

The kids seem really into it. It's an educational show with a moral in there too, but it's still pretty irreverent and silly and very high energy. The kids are so cute....I love performing for children. It's just the best, really.

Yay, joe joe that is acting job too!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Right, I Know, Yes, Me and Balzac...

So, as we know, I'm on a quest to become a writer.

I have always wanted to be a writer, but in terms of my dream theatrical career, I want to create my own work. Work for me!!!! Wouldn't that be grand? And maybe, if I get good, and am feeling generous, work for others. This has been a little seed of desire for as long as I can remember, and is now a full blown tree pulsing within me and desperate for nourishment. See how good I write?

Anyway, that's partly why I started a blog, so that I could write every day, and people would maybe see it (this part is less good), and then I would become QUEEN OF THE INTERNET and maybe one day I could make money just writing.

So I'm trying to write more. Here are ways I'm doing that:

1) I'm writing for a fringe show (just a part of it, its a collective, so that's cool).
2) I'm writing for a workshop presentation that goes up in May (I actually have to write pretty much the whole thing, so that's cool).
3) I'm writing a million plays as always.
4) I'm writing in random places.


This is a project created by my friend Brianna Goldberg, who actually is a professional journalist/writer, and is amazing at it.

Brianna and I met when we were Hermia and Helena in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She's the pretty blonde in the fetching sack dress. I'm the vision in orange and blue.

This show was years ago but it remains one of my all time favorite theatre experiences. Partly because Helena was (and still is) a dream part. I want to do it again. I lover her so so much. So getting to play it was amazing.

And it just ended up being this lucky situation where everyone got along and was really funny and cool and I had the best time. People from this show are still very supportive. While most of the cast members are now living in different parts of the world, when they were in Toronto, they came out and saw all my shows again and again.

Oh, and it was set in the '80's.

Punk fairies and ghettoblaster mechanicals.

So Brianna is a genius and talented in many ways. She loves Virgina Woolf, and as this month is the anniversary of her death, she started this blog project where people would find relevance in Woolf's writings. She takes a piece of writing, and smashes it against a pop culture reference (already used have been American Idol, John Galliano, and Lady Gaga). She writes one funny/ironic spin on the two ideas being brought together, and one more solemn, to represent the two sides of Woolf. As Virginia said, 'The beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder'.

It's very fun and cool and I love it. I want to do more with different authors. Most notably Sylvia Plath because I heart her.

Anyway, check out that blog! It's full of awesome. Here's the first one I wrote, which smashes Virginia Woolf's essay 'Middlebrow', with the recent Charlie Sheen situation.

So I'm trying to be a writer! Yipes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How Lovely to Wear Mascara and Smile a Woman's Smile

I've had quite a week.

A play I was involved in was cancelled. Well. Not really. We were doing a workshop with the idle thought of doing a small tour at the end of the month. We are not going to tour, and we have reduced our rehearsal time, but we're going to continue to meet once a week to work on some specific things we wanted to try in this show. And the plan is for the show to go up later, having benefitted from this workshop.

It's disappointing, in a way. I was so close to being off book! Lots of time went into it, and it's not a waste because the project will happen and needed more time, but it's still a bit blurgh for me. Feels weird.



I did two days at a joe job and it made me ill so I quit. I've never done anything like that before, but I've also not really experienced that kind of misery so immediately. While I am worried and feel a bit like a failure (because I have no skills. Seriously. Good at nothing!), I am mostly so relieved to not have to do it.

But luckily I weirdly ended up having quite a lot to do theatrically!

Yesterday I did a photo shoot!

In the East end. Man, the East end might as well be Ottawa. It is so foreign to me. i really should go on an east end adventure soon, and go and find some fun places out there. And smell the beach-y air. Which I always find so disorienting. 'Beach? In Toronto? Where the hell am I?'

But what does a photo shoot mean?

Makeover makeover makeover makeover makeover makeover MAKEOVER! (a la Clone High)

Yes, from the depths of my troll lair I can transform into that big-eyed thing. Ugh. Not really an improvement.

So not a model. So terrible. But so much fun!!!!! It's for a really exciting project that I really hope I get to talk about sooooon because I am tired of holding it in. So weird. But good!

And I'm doing a bit of prep this week to perform some March break shows with these great guys. Which is so lovely! Man, it's so great when my 'joe job' is acting. Although I need another joe job. I wish performing shows for little kids could just be my day job!

It's so weird to be doing quite a bit of stuff, and have some things that are SO exciting on the horizon (toutcommeelletoutcommeelletoutcommeelle), and to have to write quite a bit for the various writing things I'm doing and to have to focus on that, and have the kids shows next week, and to still be doing rehearsals for 12th Night even though not as many....this week I had a theatrical thing almost every day, and it still feels like not enough. I still feel like I'm doing nothing and everyone is ahead of me.

Is that feeling going anywhere anytime soon?

Puts a Tingle in your Fingers and a Tingle in your Feet

I took my brother to a concert on Saturday night, for his (late) Christmas present (and it was the day after his birthday, so it was kind of a present for that too). We're both big fans of The Band, so it made sense that we would go see Levon Helm.

It was pretty great.

I don't see a lot of live music and I've no idea why not. I listen to so many different kinds of music, and I love a good show, but I'm just not plugged in to concerts. So I never go. In some ways, this was my first concert. Since Sharon Lois and Bram.

It's so different than theatre.

First, there are people there. And they're having a good time.


I don't mean that in a bad way. But it's kind of true. The energy is just so exciting and fun and everyone can wear what they want and react the way that they want. People yell and clap and laugh and argh.

I was with theatre people that day and they were talking about how great it would be if people wanted to see theatre the way they want to see rock stars. If audience members were like, 'Whoa, let's go see this play! I hear it's sold out, but let's just GO and try! And if we can't get in, we can hang out in the lobby where you can drink and have free wifi! And there's a restaurant that opened up next door and it will be fun and we'll see people we know and can maybe meet the actors after!'

That would be coooool.

So I've been thinking a lot about how to turn a theatrical event into an EVENT. Into something electric.

My brother said that part of it is that at a concert, there's not so much pressure. If you don't like one song, maybe you'll like the next one. You're not stuck with the same story forever. Ok. So variety. And yes, I think we can do that in our plays, that there are different flavors. But more than anything, it's the feeling of people wanting to be there. Of the connection with story, that for some reason, is seen as less primal, or less enjoyable as our connection with music. Mostly, I think it's that we can feel lectured at in the theatre. Like we're supposed to learn something, and appreciate it to a high degree. I feel that pressure. Sometimes when I drift off I get mad at myself. I feel I wasn't appreciating the theatre enough.

It's hard that I love the theatre and don't even know how to solve these problems. I guess they're kind of existential things, which I have a propensity towards becoming embroiled in, and I kind of just have to let them go, because there are no answers. But I do think its' worth thinking about, if only in terms of doing a specific project that would create this atmosphere that I'm interested in.