Sunday, October 30, 2005

Status Quo

I've said a million times before that I expect things to quieten down so that I can focus on writing, etc. A million wasted breaths they were. Things always come up...sneaking towards you like the bully on the playground about to give you a wedgie.
This week, the trilogy of events that kept me running around were as follows:
1/ Talent Contest at work
2/ Ghost Walk at Georgina Pioneer Village
3/ Graduation show at Second City

Shall I break them down? Yes, let's.

1/ Before I was hired on full time last year by my current employer, they held an America Idol like contest to raise money for the United Way. I told myself at the time, if I get the job, then I will enter it the following year. Well, that time had come, and surely enough, they held the second annual event. So, I entered and began looking for the right song to sing. Then I got sick and my voice was pretty much ripped up. Less than a week to go and I had no idea how I would sound if I went out there...I wasn't that nervous since my very first time doing karaoke ten years ago. I finally settled on U2's With Or Without You; even though it has some challenging bits. I knew it fairly well and had actually performed it once before during a friends birthday party, and was praised for it then. So, on Friday the show came up, I sang my little heart out, and once again did get praise, even though I knew I had croaked at some of the high bits. Alas, there was plenty of other talented people there, and I did not get selected to enter the semi-finals. But the spirit of the event was reached...much money was raised for the United Way, and more will be raised on Monday during the finals.

2/ I performed in the first annual Georgina Ghost Walk as Stephen B. Leacock, and was asked to return this year, this time as a Spirit Guide. So, I became Charles Noble, a long lived Doctor (1832-1934 (that's 102 for those not good with math)) and enjoyed myself a lot. The turnout was absolutely fabulous too...Friday night we had about 90 people ,and Saturday drew a massive crowd of 175 people. Considering that there were five tours per night, spread out between myself and Ninette Gyorody, this is a considerable number. We expected to run the tours with 20 people max, but had to run them with up to 38 people on one or two. For the outdoor stops that it easy, but imagine jamming that many people into an old log cabin so they can see a re-inactment of peoples daily was a job but we did it. Great stories were told, possibly with the highlight being my friend Rufus' sad tale of Mrs R.M. Anderson (and no, I'm not just saying that to be nice - 'tis true). Following the Saturday night show, I joined Melanie at a Hallowe'en party (Nathaniel was at my mothers for the night), which we stayed at until closing.

3/ My time in the grade levels of Second City are drawing to a close. Today was our graduation show at the new Second City digs, and I had an absolute blast. The entire class performed an amazing set of 40 minutes, and we all kept the audience in stitches throughout. . The need to form a troupe with these people is constant, and I know we will all be talking seriously about this after our final class next Sunday (we have to do a make-up due to a scheduling issue). As well, many of us hope to continue on into the next level of Second City classes - The Conservatory, which it is necessary to audition for. Of the ten people left in our Level E class, I know for a fact that seven are auditioning...and only twelve spots are available total. We'll be competing for spots with people that perhaps failed to enter the conservatory previously, other Level E classes, or those given special dispensation from the gods that be to skip A-E and go straight to the top. I expect to find out tomorrow when my audition time is (I'm expecting sometime on Thursday the 3rd), and I am looking forward to it.

In the meantime, I will take a breath and enjoy a couple days of peace, along with sometime to catch up on writing, websites and sleep. I would love to be involved with NaNoWriMo but I can't guarantee the time. Not if I want any peace in my marriage anyway.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Recognition is nice

Melanie and I were invited to an Awards Gala at Theatre on Main in Newmarket on Saturday night, and though the date coincided with my Uncle Glen's birthday party, I felt somewhat obligated to go. Theatre on Main has been a great venue for me over the last couple of years...first in The Affections Of May, and then with The Man With The Plastic Sandwich. I love the ambiance at the theatre and want to support it as much as possible. So we went.
We arrived about an hour early so that I can talk improv shop with another lady named Denise, who Ross had asked me to run an improvisation set with during the gala. She wasn't there yet, so we took the warmup session of two fantastic musicians who had offered to play during the dinner. One played Guitar and Bass, the other Guitar, Mandolin and Cello. It was an impressive set. Then Denise showed up and we discussed putting on a fairly low key improv set with about four games. Neither of us felt incredibly prepared for it...but then again, what would be the use of learning improvisation if I can't improvise...right?
Dinner was great; a lot of good friends and fellow actors provided good talk, plenty of wine was consumed, and the previously mentioned musicians entertained us all throroughly with a great show, including an awesome rendering of the song Mary Mac. I was having a great time.
Then the awards presentation began. First, Tim Chadwick took the stage, along with Town Of Newmarket mayor Tom Taylor, to present the very first Theatre on Main award - or Tommy's, as they were being called, to Ross and Jacki, for starting the venue to begin with and for being the heart and soul of the theatre. Then Ross took over to present the awards. He explained the painful process of trying to get the nominations out to the Season's ticket holders, and how to describe what is a leading actor vs a supporting actor. Apparently they didn't quite get the idea. So, he presented to them the breakdown of all seven shows of the 04-05 season with reminders of sets and all actors involved, with the idea that concept will be improved next year. Until then, the awards were broken down into top three female actors, top three male actors, and best show of the season.
To hear my name called for best male actor was very flattering and heartwarming. After doing this for so many years, with my only specific need being the show, not necessarily any fame or recognition, to actually get some recognition felt positively wonderful. I am now in the possession of a beautiful very first theatre trophy. I'm still grinning.

Here's the trophy:

Furthermore, I may just go out in ten days to audition for one of the current season shows, a musical, and Melanie is fairly supportive. 'Tis possible that my break from theatre is drawing to a close. Ross is also asking if I would like to direct the closing show of the season next May. Once I get my hands on the script I will be able to make a judgement call there.

BTW...I didn't end up doing the improv set. The band were so good we asked them to continue playing instead. Denise and I shouted the loudest, and practically high-fived when they agreed. As much as I love doing improv, and look forward to my Second City classes, I just felt like being entertained. And that we were.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Dreaming again

Coincidence or not, from the day that Nathaniel came into our lives, I stopped dreaming altogether. At the same time, I found my ability to sit down and write anything useful pretty much began to fall apart. Go ahead and look at my blog before and after June 1, you'll notice a remarkable difference. I still managed to get some blog entries out, but nowhere near the amount that I used to. I can only assume that the two issues are connected. My ability to dream, hence my ability to process all of the events happening in my life, was dormant. With that my ability to write it all down went to.

After the events of the last couple weeks had come to a close...posters, videos and graphic wizardry, along with a few loud arguments with my spouse about the amount of work on my plate, something changed. I dreamed. And not just a fluffy, useless dream, but a mega-concept event that would make for awesome literature. Then I didn't write it down and the idea was forgotten...but that's besides the point. The point was that my brain had decided that enough was enough, and was moving shit out. Guess that, like Melanie, my brain got fed up with the constant clutter.

So...what does this all mean? It means that I need to use some time this glorious long weekend and re-organize my office back into a centre of inspiration. Get all my writing tools back out, including my cute little Writers Block. Then hang some pics up, go for a walk with my camera in tow, and get some stuff out.

It's October. Autumn. The biggest season for change, beauty and death. My muse waits over the next hill. I walk towards it.