Upper Canada Playhouse

Reflections on 2010

2010 has come and gone and here I am alone in my condo reflecting on the time that has gone by with the Simpsons/Family Guy marathon that seems to be continuously  on Global on Saturday afternoons playing in the background. January 2010 was a pretty dark time for me. After months of no work, I was starting a new job at the Great Canadian Theatre Company and feeling completely overwhelmed by it all. My finances were a mess, my heart was broken, I was experiencing panic attacks... I was feeling utterly and completely lost.

And then someone very special walked into my life. Our time together was brief, but also incredibly illuminating. His lust for life was contagious and, as he disappeared back into whatever magic vortex he came from, he left me with a very simple: "Hey, life is awesome."

I'm very grateful to this person because my entire attitude changed after our encounter and every risk, every move, every dream I've dared to pursue to its fullest this past year can be directly traced back to the impact he had on me.

After that, things began to change almost immediately and 2010 was a very good year.

I had more professional acting gigs than ever before. It started out with this fun little number: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBDXhhuEfDA&feature=related]

There was not one, but two jobs as a stand-in where I got to work alongside people like Adam Beach, Elisabeth Shue and Jennifer Lawrence; a school tour with A Company of Fools (which I may very well be reprising in 2011) that lead to a one-off in Montreal and at the Lumiere Festival; a seven or eight week contract in Morrisburg at the Upper Canada Playhouse and a Fringe Festival run in Ottawa and Calgary; a workshop for Evolution Theatre's Little Martyrs as well as a reading of We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! for our five year anniversary party; a voice-over contract in French for a birth control website; and a bilingual gig at the Upper Canada Village.

All of this led to accomplishing two of my goals for the year: I became a full union member of ACTRA and CAEA (and got a few more credits towards my full UdA status) and found an agent to represent me in the Toronto market.

And if you're looking at that pseudo goal list I created at this time last year, my laptop died and I moved myself into the wonderful world of the MacBook Pro. I didn't schedule time to write, but I did finish a first draft of my Roller Derby script. I completed a 5K Race and I'm now working towards being able to run a 10K. I took a bunch of incredible acting classes in order to keep training with more consistency and, as many of you know, I traveled a whole heck of a lot.

As for my marketing work, I was at the GCTC where, among other things, I implemented a social media marketing policy and gave my first workshop on the subject to the staff. Since they're still going strong in this area now that I'm gone, I'd like to think I did pretty alright there. After giving a presentation under the banner Art as Business, Business as Art - my chosen topic being Branding the Artist - during the Ottawa Fringe Festival's brilliant Lunchtime Artist Series Ignite the Fringe event, I was approached by Odyssey Theatre to help them with their marketing and promotions for They All Do It. (Oh and I learned that I probably influenced at least one new blogger in town.) And I also ran a pretty successful publicity campaign for 'I', which took place at The Gladstone in November.

As I briefly mentioned above, my theatre company, Evolution Theatre, after a year of workshopping new shows, celebrated its five year anniversary, became a resident company of Arts Court and announced the two shows we will be producing in February and May of 2011 (which will be a whole other post in the ver near future).

And though I can't beat this guy, I saw over 75 stage productions - give or take a couple that I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Oh and I became an auntie and a godmother to the most adorable little boy in the world.

It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops though: my grandparents passed away; I kissed a lot of frogs, but didn't find any real princes; I got sick, tired and depressed more often than I cared for; I never knew where I would be sleeping next or how I might be able to pay for my next meal; and, sadly, until I've figured out a more permanent home for myself, I've had to leave my cat, Winston, with someone else.

But Winston is being well taken cared of, my life feels like an incredible adventure, I've discovered that I have wonderful and generous friends, and there was making out. All in all, 2010 was pretty gosh-darn amazing!

I can't wait to see what's going to happen in 2011.

Summer Theatre in Ottawa

I'm not back in town two days and my schedule is already packed with show after show that I want to go see. First up, A Company of Fools have been running wild in parks across town with A Midsummer Night's Dream.  That's until August 2nd.  Click the link for schedule information.

Today, Arts Court launches it's "Summer Fling" with Educating Rita until August 1st.  They have a bunch of other shows lined up as well: Satin Dolls (August 6 &7), the bilingual play Les Inséparables (August 10 -22), and Swimming in the Shallows (August 12-22).   The fling continues in other market venues as well - check out the link for full schedule and info.

The Glastone has got a musical, The Andrews Brothers, from July 22 to August 14, while Odyssey Theatre premieres They All Do It in Strathcona Park from July 29 to August 29.

Oh and if that's not enough for you, the areas around Ottawa are booming as well.  My old stomping ground, the Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg has got The Long Weekend until August 1st; Perth has a new Classic Theatre Festival that presents Blythe Spirit (also until August 1st) and The Voice of the Turtle (August 6-29); and in Prescott The St Lawrence Shakespeare Festival runs two shows: Macbeth & the Trouble on Dibble Street from now until August 14.

With so much going on, you can be sure that I will see you at the theatre!

My First Day at the Toronto Fringe

We finished the last matinee performance of The Amorous Ambassador (what is with ending a show on a matinee?) on Sunday and had hit the road to Toronto by 4 pm. While I was hoping to be in town with plenty of time to catch a late show, the holiday traffic on the 401 made sure that was not meant to be.  7 hours later, after many bouts of going 20 km/hr on the highway, I finally arrived at my friend's condo in TO. Ok, no Fringe for me that night.

Monday rolled around and after a delicious brunch at a place called Insomnia (OMG SO GOOD!), I found myself at the very empty Fringe Beer Tent.  Well, it was early afternoon, so I guess that makes sense.

I caught three official Fringe shows that day: The Shakespeare Show, Fruitcake & Carnegie Hall.  But the highlight of my day really came that night with a special one-off presentation of Uncalled For's Hypnogogic Logic.  You see, Uncalled For didn't get into the Toronto Fringe (like most festival's across the country entrance is through a lottery system) and, since the guys were all in town with other projects, they presented their new show at The Second City.  It was absolutely brilliant!  Keep your eyes and ears open for this one next year on the circuit, people, you'll be in for an incredible treat!

Today, I am taking another break from the Fringe.  Daily work life calls.  In addition to stuff I'm doing for the GCTC, I've picked up a marketing contract for Odyssey Theatre's upcoming production of They All Do It (expect to hear more on that particular one very soon).  Somehow, I think my Ignite the Fringe presentation (now available through Ottawa Tonite) had something to do with landing me the gig.  So a big thank you to Heather-Marie Scheerschmidt and the Ottawa Fringe for that one!

Now, however, with work done, I'm off to an acting class. But fear not, fellow #FringeTO members! I'll be back tonight for more.

Nancy's MUST SEE List at the 2010 Toronto Fringe

I'm currently in between shows in Morrisburg.  With two performances left, I'm fighting the blues by focusing on the trip I'm going on tomorrow to the Toronto Fringe Festival.  I'm itching to get my hands on a program, but until I do, here's a list of shows I would like to catch while I'm down there. In the spirit of my past Must-See lists, I probably have not seen these shows already and can't comment on them directly, but each one comes with it's own pedigree as to why I want to catch them.  I've seen enough Fringe now in the past 8 years that you can probably count on what I'm putting down here, but if that's not enough, fellow performer Alex Eddington's list has a lot of overlap with mine.

I won't be linking to each individual show description, but the whole list can be found here.

First up: The Ones I Missed in Ottawa!

Although I was able to see 15 shows at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, there wasn't enough time to see everything I wanted.  Here are some of the shows with great buzz that I'm planning to catch in Toronto.  We had two Best of Venue winners in the Duck Wife and Dale Beaner and the Turtle Boy.  There was also the absolutely stunning Lindsay Sutherland Boal's Purely Cabaret and Jonno Katz's Cactus: The Seduction.  I also heard really great things about Phone Whore, but I plan to catch her in Calgary.  If you're not going to be in any other Fringe cities, then I highly suggest you see her now.  I really want to see MAL.  Rachelle Elie's concept really interests me.  Oh and although it's not the same show, I really think it's about time I saw something by Barry Smith.  This time he's got Me, My Stuff, and I: a Multimedia Comedy.

The Ones I've Already Seen

Having been a fringe patron for so long, there's bound to be stuff that I've already seen at various other festivals.  Here's what I know is bound to be good.  Rob Gee's Fruitcake is a hit wherever he goes and I remember enjoying Raven for a Lark (though be warned it's not exactly a comedy) when I saw it in Ottawa last year.

The Ones from my Favourite Non-Fringe Festival

I met them at the Big Comedy Go-To in London (ON) last year and so I'm looking forward to Jimmy Hogg and Christel Bartelse's Wisdom: Part One & ONEymoon.  Same goes for Rob Salerno with Big in Germany (who's got the very awesome Mikeala Dyke working behind the scenes).  Morro was flying solo at the time in what I had dubbed "the bravest and funniest piece of theatre I'd seen in a long time" so I'm excited to see her again with her partner in Morro and Jasp GONE WILD.  Oh and the Go-To also first introduced me to the amazing work of the Cody Rivers duo (gosh, the Go-To is quite the festival now, isn't it?) and one of it's members wrote Poison the Well, which stars the fantastic Elison Zasko (who was one of my Fringe Crushes in Ottawa this year.  That talent! That style! That accent!)

Everything Else that Is Probably Going to Rock my World

Speaking of rocking my world, Die Roten Punke is back with Die Roten Punkte: KUNST ROCK (ART ROCK). I don't know what it's about, but I want more of this:


Monster Theatre has a soft spot in my heart for the Canada Show from many moons ago and I think they win the prize for longest Fringe play title ever with The Shakespeare Show: Or, how an illiterate son of a Glover became the Greatest Playwright in the World.

Can you believe with all my years doing Fringe, I have yet to see something by the "undisputed" Gods of Fringe like TJ Dawe and Keir Cutler?  It might be time for me to correct that with Lucky 9 and Teaching Shakespeare respectively.

Some of the guys from Uncalled For are involved with Dance Animal & You & Me and Me & You (this last one includes Kirsten Rasmussen who is one of the funniest improvisers I have ever seen).

Oh and remember BASH'd? Well the guy who created that, Chris Craddock, has got a new show called PUBLIC SPEAKING.  It's been getting A LOT of advance buzz in every article about the Fringe I read and I just hope it isn't sold out before I get a chance to see it.

So that's abou 20 shows in one week and doesn't include everything else I will hear about once I'm on location.  I can't guarantee I'll get to see it all - Toronto Fringe has yet to consider me a VIP like it's Ottawa counterpart has and money is tight now that my contracts are ending - but I will try my best.

What are you going to see?

Danger, Will Robinson!

My brain exploded this morning. The June theatre overload (overdose?) has finally caught up to me. Last night, quite sober and lucid, though tired, I went to bed knowing that I had my regular Tuesday staff meeting at the GCTC at 9:30 a.m. I went to bed at 1 a.m. and woke up at 8 a.m. for a reasonable 7 hours of sleep. Somehow, I looked at my clock this morning and felt very pleased with myself that I didn't have anything to do until I had to leave for Morrisburg at noon for my SUNDAY matinee. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Today is not Sunday, is it?

At 9:30, I got out of bed in a big "oh shit!" panic. How the heck did I think it was Sunday? Trying to get through my morning routine, I stumbled and often re-did actions I had already done. My billet was a little worried and so I decided going in to work was probably not the best idea in my frame of mind. I sat around outside for a few minutes, cleaned the filth off my balcony windows, took the car for gas and then headed down to the Fringe Courtyard for another lunchtime artist event.

The coffee from Bridgehead did me some good. I still feel a bit foggy, but it's settled a bit more. I think all I need now is rest and reading through a few blogs, I can see I'm not the only one.

While this unfortunately means I won't be fringing tonight and possibly tomorrow, I really need to just take care of myself right now (and finish my Ignite the Fringe presentation for Friday).

To my fellow Marathon Fringers out there, be safe and well. I'll see you in a few days.

Wouldn't Miss It For the World

I love June. It's my favorite time of year. It marks the beginning of Summer Camp Fringe Festival season. This week, the Ottawa Fringe Festival launched it's new season and I couldn't be more excited! You can read up on some of the wonderful new developments in store all over the web, but I'll also make a point of commenting about it here over the next few days. Also, stay tuned for my 2010 list of Must-See Shows at this year's festival. It was my most popular blog post last year and I'll be putting one out soon as I now have my hands on the program.


"But Nancy, aren't you in Morrisburg appearing in a show at the Upper Canada Playhouse from June 10th to July 4th? How will you get to enjoy the Fringe since it runs from June 17th to 27th?"

Really, people, I'm Nancy Kenny. Do you think I'm going to let a little thing like "time" and "space" prevent me from doing something?

I've performed in every single Ottawa Fringe Festival since 2002. I'm not going to miss out on it now.

I'm going on tour with a Fringe show this summer. We'll be in Calgary and, hopefully, Edmonton. The show is actually taking place in Ottawa as well, but since I am performing out of town another lovely lady will be taking on my role... that is... mostly.

The show is called the Last Godamned Performance Piece. It was written by the amazing Jayson McDonald and is going up in Venue 5 - Studio Leonard-Beaulne.

As I do not want to arrive in Calgary without having ever performed in front of an audience, I will be appearing for ONE NIGHT ONLY in one of the performances of this show.

That's right, ladies and gents, Nancy Kenny will be appearing at the Ottawa Fringe Festival (in an actual show instead of just the beer tent) on Sunday, June 20th at 11 p.m. in the Studio. Mark your calendars now!

Also, I'm very honoured to have been asked to participate in one of the of the amazing lunchtime artist series. This pay-what-you-can event will take place on June 25th at noon.

And of course, my insanity does not end there. Though it will be impossible for me to beat my record viewing of 35 shows from last year, with so much going on, you can be sure I'm going to try and squeeze as much as I can into a limited time-frame.

See you in the Beer Tent (both the real one and the show!)

Funny Is Work

Think all theatre is the same? Think again. Shakespeare is different from LaBute; a clown show is different from a restoration piece; comedy isn't drama... The basics are there (actor and audience) but as a performer you need to really on completely different skill sets for each one.

Currently, I am working on a Farce.

In theatre, a farce is a comedy which aims to entertain the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include sexual innuendo and word play, and a fast-paced plot whose speed usually increases, culminating in an ending which often involves an elaborate chase scene. Farce is also characterized by physical humour, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, and broadly stylized performances. - Thank you Wikipedia.

My blog post today should begin almost exactly the same way as this one that was written two years ago by Kris Joseph. Except replace How the Other Half Loves with The Amorous Ambassador.

(The Amorous Ambassador) is one of the most technically challenging plays I have worked on in a long time. One week into rehearsals, we’ve ... blocked the play — “skeleton-blocked”, I’d say — and we’ll spend the next two weeks of rehearsal polishing it and refining it and playing with it until it shines and gleams like it should, so that we can provide a fitting and fun opening (for the fine folks at the Upper Canada Playhouse.)

It's been a crazy week. The theatre has an odd shape (the audience practically surrounds you on three sides) and the blocking has to be very specific in order for everyone to be able to see everything. Also Farce requires such precision in all your movements for all the gags to work that I feel like all my concentration has been on choreography (though with all the entrances and exits, should it be called "dooreography"?) instead of character development. The energy, the pace, everything is heightened. Don't stop to think or you might discover a plot hole! It's a lot of hard work.

However, running through the entire performance on it's feet has made learning my lines a breeze. With lines and blocking in the bag, I feel like I can now turn my focus towards my character and her wants.

What does she want? To get laid. And later, to hide her boyfriend from her father, who she thinks is a moral and upstanding citizen. This being a Farce, of course he's not. Hilarity ensues.

If you'd like to see the fruits of this labour, go to the Upper Canada Playhouse website and book your tickets now. This theatre sells-out entire runs on a regular basis and this one is going to be no different!

The First Day of School (Part 2)

For Part 1, click on the link. It's so beautiful out, many people are sitting outside the theatre. They say hello and smile. Everyone is really nice. The stage manager starts giving me a tour. There's snacks. I quickly realize as I sit down for our first read that everyone here knows each other and have multiple shows at this theatre under their belts.

I'm the new kid.

And the new kid gets to say the first line in the play. No pressure.

Personal insecurities aside, we have fun. The play is called The Amorous Ambassador. It's a farce with an eight person cast and we laugh a lot throughout.

Then, after the break, we do something I've never experienced before on the first day of rehearsal: we move onto the set. Though the finishing touches aren't there, since we're the first show in this theatre company's season, the set already built onto the stage and we immediately start blocking (i.e. deciding where we will be walking across the stage) the show. Since, like any good farce, there are a million entrances and exits, this is a very good thing.

I'm thrilled and shocked at the same time. We're just going to do this? Now?!? Alrighty then.

I take one look at my "boyfriend" in the show. We do a lot of kissing right off the top.

"So, uh, should we just do the smooching now?" He responds with an "I was just going to ask you about that."

We decide it's best to, ahem, dive right in. No, literally, I dive right on top of him at one point.

I just met this person less than three hours ago. My life is awesomely weird.

We spend the rest of the day blocking through the first half of the show. We have all sorts of rehearsal props to play with. It's so great not to have to mime anything. I wish I was off-book (i.e. knew all my lines) right now so I could play more. I try my best to just enjoy myself and not let my doubts and insecurities get the better of me when I have to repeat something over and over again (You know the inside voice: Did I do something wrong? Why is my voice so high-pitched? What does he mean when he says keep the line up? Everyone knows what they're doing! What am I doing here? Where am I?)

We finish an hour early. The director beams at me. "Good job! Wasn't that fun?"

I giggle. Yeah. It totally was!

The drive back is just as lovely as the drive there. Regardless of the record heat wave, the waterfront air is cool. I'm back in town right on time for an Evolution Theatre meeting. I duck into Arts Court and take a few minutes to freshen up before heading into the Market. I actually know where all the clean bathrooms are in downtown Ottawa. My life is so glamorous.

The meeting was great. There is so much going on with this theatre company that I can't wait to discuss. Stay tuned for more this coming June.

Blissed out from such a wonderful day, I head back to my car. It's about 9 p.m. I feel light because I suddenly realize that, for the first time in a long time, I don't have to do any work once I get home. And that's when the day, the sun, the fun all catches up to me. As I sit in the car, I feel the fatigue wash over me. I drive home. I take Montreal Rd. because it has more character than the highway. It's so peaceful, I don't want to stop. Sorry environmentalists, but I really enjoy driving.

As I get home, I remind myself that I get to do this all over again tomorrow and pull into my parking spot.

I take a shower. As the cold water hits my back and my muscles relax, I start to cry because I am so happy.

This is why I do this.

The First Day of School (Part 1)

I couldn't sleep last night because I was so excited. It was almost 1 a.m. by the time my eyes finally shut. I had set my alarm for six. I had set two of them actually, but I wouldn't need either. At 4:50 a.m., I noticed the first few rays of light creeping through my window. Wait. If I just noticed that then... yup, there goes the incessant meowing.

"The suns out, meow. I'm hungry, meow. Come on, meow. Get out of bed, meow. FEED MEEEEEEE!"

Of course you're hungry. You're always hungry. It's something we have in common. But we've talked about this. Not before five. Please.

I roll over and see if I can ignore Winston for another 10 minutes or so. He knows what I'm doing so he pulls out the big guns: he starts licking a plastic bag. He knows how much that irks me, but I leave it one out for him out of guilt. He has so few things to do in this apartment. If licking a bag brings him joy, who am I to take that away?

I get up and feed him and go back to snoozing. It's almost six. The little lazy voice in my head tries to tell me I could sleep longer if I didn't go for a run, but I don't listen. I put on my gear, eat a piece of toast and I'm out the door before the radio turns itself on.

Perfect running weather at this time in the morning. It's glorious.

I get back and get ready. I put on the outfit I picked out three days ago because I am that much of a nerd. I get on the bus and pick up my Vrtucar behind the Bridgehead near work. I grab a coffee - decaf because I'm still off the caffeine, but love the taste. As I try and unlock the car door, I spill coffee all over my pretty dress.

It's a sign.

The Universe is saying "Chill out. It's not like you're about to do brain surgery. Oh, and by the way, remember how you always carry that Tide To-Go pen in your bag? You're welcome."

I get in the car and I'm off to Morrisburg. I'm taking a route I've never used before. I'm super giddy. Everything is perfect. Even the radio is playing everything I need to hear.

The windows are rolled down. I'm car dancing to Kardinal Offishall when suddenly I smell it. Is that...

Oh my God! WATER!

This picture doesn't do it justice. It's so green right now. And the sun was making everything sparkle.

The biggest, most impressive bridge I've ever seen in my entire life. It's so long I wonder how it could possibly be man-made. And all around it, the Saint Lawrence River. It's all so beautiful, I can't believe I never knew this was here. I can't believe I'm actually here.

A short time later, I arrive at Upper Canada Playhouse.

Live to Learn

Soon, all of my posts will have to do with the Upper Canada Playhouse and the Ottawa Fringe Festival. But before that happened, I wanted to briefly mention how much I love learning. Seriously, I can't get enough of learning new things. It's difficult and frustrating at times, but man is it ever sweet when you can go "OH MY GOD I TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD THAT!" Besides, as artists, it is important for us all to keep training and learning new things. It is the best and easiest (though not always the cheapest) way that I know to gain new skills and inspiration.

This past month, I had the opportunity to take two amazing, yet completely different workshops, which helped me out in more ways than one.

The first one was with the Ottawa Stilt Union. Guess what I learned there? Here, I'll give you a hint:

Yup, thanks to the incredibly patient, dedicated, amazing, possibly magical (I honestly can't say enough good things about this wonderful woman) Laura Astwood, yours truly can get up on pieces of plywood and walk nonchalantly around a room (sometimes I can even do it without bursting into tears and/or having a panic attack).

Now if you're my Mom, you're probably thinking "Why in the world would you want to do that?" (PS. Hi Mom!) For one thing, it's incredibly cool and something not a lot of people can do, for another it fulfills a deep-seeded childhood dream to join the circus, which my sister says I should have done many years ago (PS. Hi sis!)

But frankly, in the last couple of years, I've been interested in various forms of physical theatre. This workshop just pushed me further into that direction. Also, as a wannabe creator, I enjoy the work the Stilt Union does and am inspired by their collective pieces. It was nice to finally check them out up close in personal.

Also, stilting is an incredible workout. My time in the workshop reminded me how much I need to take care of my body and to keep it in shape. Since finishing the workshop, I've been working out almost every single day and even doing those horrendous ab exercises called the "Brazilian" (I think the one that involves hot wax is less painful) every single night because dammit if I'm not a glutton for punishment.

I expect more stilt walking in my near future.

The other workshop was through the awesome Guerilla Heart Juice. It was with the incredibleMartha Ross and was called Find Your Voice: A Writing Workshop. But this wasn't any simple writing workshop. GHJ is, after all, a movement school. No, this workshop helped us find our various character voices based on Martha's experience with the teachings of Jacques LeCoq.

It was incredibly freeing to find a character in the body first before bringing that character to the page. I had been experiencing writer's block for many many weeks now and this was the first time the valves opened up. I'm pretty sure I may have discovered a new character for my Derby show. More on that later, as it develops.

It's Been A While...

... since my last blog post. 9 days. That's a while for me. I just haven't been in a good head and body space lately. I've talked about show withdrawal twice before. With the Fools show now closed, it hit me so much harder and longer than before that I figured it couldn't possibly be at the root of the issue. But looking back, I think it may very well have been. When you go from playing all day, everyday to sitting in an office, no matter how great that office job might be, you're going to get blue.

I got more than blue though. Only recently did someone point out that I was being downright nasty to myself. Not cool. Since then, I've been making a lot of positive changes and feeling better.

I'm trying to eat better and I've gotten back into my running routine.

I've also started rehearsals for the Calgary Fringe (with a potential stopover in Edmonton) and I'm excited to be starting rehearsals in Morrisburg on Tuesday for The Amorous Ambassador at the Upper Canada Playhouse.

My show in Morrisburg runs from June 10th to July 4th and we do 8 performances a week (Tues to Sat night & matiness on Wed, Sat & Sun). For those of you who know your Fringe dates, you realize that this means I am not doing a show at the Ottawa Fringe, nor will I be able to beat last year's record viewing of 35 shows (while using an additional 6 time slots to perform in one of my own) throughout the festival.

However, don't count me down and out just yet. I'll be billeting someone and plan on being at the beer tent every night after the show.

Oh... and you may want to keep Sunday, June 20th at 11 pm free for a specific Ottawa Fringe Festival show. Just saying. More details on that soon!

Having My Cake

In the feast or famine world of the arts, I've now parked myself in front of the buffet table. You're already aware of my stand-in work and I've mentioned the Improv (check out my next turn at a special "Ladies Night" Tuesday Make 'em Ups with Crush Improv) and Playback stuff before. Maybe you even knew about my stint with the Cube Salon? Well, things just keep getting better and better. I am proud to finally announce three other wicked awesome gigs that have come my way. First, Evolution Theatre has commissioned a translation of a Québecois play and I will be participating in a workshop and, later on, a public reading of the piece. This is a very exciting undertaking for us as a company on so many levels and I look forward to sharing more information with you about this very soon! Second, next weekend I start rehearsals with A Company of Fools for Shakespeare's Interactive Circus. This production will be toured in schools around Ottawa and Montreal during the last week of April and the first week of May. And thirdly (though hopefully not finally), after much perspiration, I have been officially cast in a production entitled The Amorous Ambassador which will be presented at the Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg this June. This incredible show will also mark my first steps into the Canadian Actor's Equity Association. All I can say is that it's about damn time.

For once in my life, my performer dance card is full for the next four to five months. I'm so happy I'm practically crying. To top things off, I'm still working full-time at the GCTC. Yesterday, I had a brilliant chat with my boss about my schedule and somehow we can make it all work. As I left her office, she had a big grin on her face and said: "See. You can have your cake and eat it too."

I don't know how I'm doing it. I'm pulling 75 to 80 hour work weeks at the moment, but everything gets done, I still manage to see plays, socialize a bit with friends, feed the cat, and keep a somewhat clean home. then again, hasn't my schedule always been like that? The only difference this time around is that I'm getting paid for every minute of it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Check out my Upcoming Appearances page for frequent updates!

90% Perspiration

For the past two years I have been in constant contact with a small professional theatre company on the outskirts of Ottawa in order to get an opportunity to audition for them. Yes, you read that right: two years. Every couple of months or so, whenever I had a project coming up (or better yet, saw that they did), I'd be in touch. And then I'd follow up, just to be sure. Acting is a business of connections. Though a lot of it revolves around who you know, it also revolves around who still knows you exist. Do I worry sometimes that I may be coming off as too pushy or a bit of a nag? Yes, sometimes, but then I remember that no one ever got blacklisted for sending in a resume/headshot.

I know a lot of people who complain that they aren't getting any jobs and yet don't seem to realize that these jobs don't just fall in your lap. You have to network, you have to build relationships, you have to let them know that you take this job seriously, that you are a good actor, and you are exactly what they are looking for.

So, after two years of persistence, I finally got an audition and it went swimmingly. Though casting depends on many factors that are outside my control, I know I did well and I know I will be on stage in that little community in the very near future.

I'm looking forward to it.