john patrick shanley

Hulk *Smash!*

I'm an angry person. I'm angry about everything: the news, the weather, the way I look, the jobs I have, the jobs I don't have, my family, my lack of skills in certain areas, watching "bad" theatre when I know you can do so much better, money, power, men, women, my mattress, the languages I speak, the languages I don't speak, the city I'm in, the city I'm not in, selfish people,  people who get treated badly, cleaning, getting out of bed in the morning, feeling tired, sex, politics, debates, competition, people who hate everything, and, oh I don't know, let's say the Dutch.  Seriously though, the list doesn't end there. I am pissed off ALL. THE. TIME.

I never admitted it in public before. Ever.  And having to hide who I am all the time has made me an unhappy person.

Last night, I had my first acting class of the new year.  Our first day assignment: do something that reveals yourself.  It could be anything.  Some people danced, some read poetry, some just talked. Me? I smashed a whole bunch of stuff into itty bitty pieces on the floor.  And it felt AMAZING.  Having let that out, I feel more than ready to tackle the scene I was then assigned: Janice in John Patrick Shanley's Italian-American Reconciliation - probably the angriest woman written for the stage since Kate in Taming of the Shrew.

This realization also explains to me why I really love things like Roller Derby, Boxing, Wrestling and a healthy dose of Xena: Warrior Princess.  Now I understand why I love the sister character in my one-woman show so much and how easy it is for me to drop into her. She isn't just an alter-ego, she's me.

Don't get me wrong, just because I'm angry does not mean I'm unhappy or can't be happy or can't be a good person.  I know that, you know that, but I'm not too sure society knows that.  I've been hiding who I really am, making myself weak and small and victim-y because society has taught me that angry, strong women, with a few exceptions (What up, Lucy Lawless?) are "unattractive" and "bitches".

Well fuck you society, I'm done with that.


Throwing You A Bone

I go and see a lot of plays.  I need to.  It's part of my job.  I also read the program front to back (though a lot of times only after the show, as you will soon see).  I check out names and past projects.  After all, with directors and designers, I start to see a certain style.  For example, one of my favorite shows at the Canadian Stage was Studies in Motion, directed by Kim Collier.  It was one of the most visually appealing and stunning productions I had seen in years (the link I provided does include a promo video of the show, but it really doesn't do the play justice).  Then I went to see Red.  A few hours later, I was raving about CanStage to a friend, talking about how they have such visually appealing shows, like Studies in Motion and Red, without sacrificing story like some other theatre companies I know.  My friend kindly pointed out that it made sense since they were directed by the same person and I, uh, then read my program... Without realizing it, it seems I have gained a pretty substantial arts crush on Kim Collier, which is great because now I know that I really want to work with her.  I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't gone out to the theatre.

And if you are an actor you should be going to.  There is so much happening in Toronto right now all the time that it's really hard to keep up with everything.  I've already talked about Next Stage (and will again some more this week as I check out more shows), but I also wanted to let you know about another production that might be flying below your theatre-going radar.

The play is called Four Dogs and a Bone by John Patrick Shanley. It opens tomorrow (January 10th) night and runs until January 21st.

Four Dogs and a Bone is a comedy... scratch a little deeper and it's a tragedy. After John Patrick Shanley had his first taste of Hollywood with Moonstruck and Joe Vs. The Volcano he exposed the film industry for all its insanity, greed and dirty madness. There are four dogs and only one bone. Two ferocious actresses, a sleazy over-the-edge producer and a naive screenwriter from off-off Broadway all fight for control of a film. A sharp satirical tragic comedy that holds no prisoners in this dog-eat-dog world.

I love this play.  I love most of Shanley's work, but I really love this play in particular.  And if you are in anyway involved in the performing arts, you will love this play too.    It's produced by some brilliant artists who really embody what it means to be an actor - if you want to work, don't just wait for someone to hand it to you, go out there and do it yourself.  I highly encourage you to check them out.

See you at the theatre!