Where Would You Go?


In October of last year, I bought what ended up being an expensive (travel was between Christmas and New Year's Eve to give you an idea) one-way flight to Vancouver for the start of rehearsals on The Little Prince. I later had to make some changes to my flight and ended up with a $700 credit that I had exactly one year from the date of purchase to travel on. Though I have flown in the past year, I never used the credit because the flights were never that much and I didn't want to lose the balance on the credit. It expires at the end of this month.

Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world?

I finally decided it was time to make one of my bucket list dreams come true. On Tuesday, I will be heading down to New Orleans, a place I've dreamed of visiting ever since I found out my childhood crush was from there.

I'm waiting for you, chérie.

I've been fascinated with Cajun culture for years. My mind was blown when I first learned that, not only were they descendants of my deported ancestors, but their name was derived from "Acadiens" (Acadiens became Cadiens became Cajuns).

I've been toying with a new show idea that goes back to my Acadian roots and this flight credit seemed like the perfect opportunity to get in some first hand research.

I'm incredibly excited right now. My home in Ottawa is still rented and a friend hooked me up with a place to stay. I've never been to New Orleans before so if you have any suggestions of things to do or see or eat while I'm down there, please let me know what they are in the comments section below!

Featured Image Photo Credit: Les_Stockton via Compfight cc

Back to Me


Forgive me, Internet, it's been about a month and a half since my last post. After this whole summer, I just found myself getting more and more burnt out. I write this now from the family home in New Brunswick were I hope to recharge my batteries over the next month. That said, it hasn't all been watching Netflix and eating candy, though there has been plenty of that. I made it safely back to Ottawa after my cross-country road trip to return my wonderful Hunt Club VW Passat (sniffle), but the travelling didn't stop there. Part of my journey took me to Los Angeles for the very first time where I attended an incredibly inspiring and work redefining acting class through Lonsdale Smith Studios (their website is being updated but email them for information on classes in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles and New York. You will not regret it!) and helped me lay some groundwork for future distribution of On the FringeI also ended up back in Toronto where I sold the furniture I had in storage and finally let go of my storage locker since it doesn't look like I will be settling there again any time soon - though when am I really going to settle, that's a different story.

I'm nerding out so hard right now.

I find myself reading a lot of books these days, which is so great. I recently finished off the Steve Jobs biography, which had my synapses firing with ideas about design, branding and marketing (something I am very much going to be pushing in the near future for Broken Turtle Productions and the film) and I recently started on Amanda Palmer's book, The Art of Asking. Which is another great read for any entrepreneurial artists out there. On deck, I've also got Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull, one of Jobs' co-founders at Pixar and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It feels like forever since I've read a whole book and all this non-fiction from successful people has really been inspiring me to think bigger.

I hope this month will be a chill one as I lay the ground work for all the cool projects I've got running through my head. Lots of writing coming up, budget work on the film for post-production, searching for a marketing agency, ect. And of course, family time.

I also plan to be back to blogging a bit more so stay tuned!



Use the Space, Luke


This post contains spoilers for Roller Derby Saved My Soul. Guys. I love my venue at the Edmonton Fringe Festival. Venue 48 - Rutherford School in the French Quarter is a school gymnasium converted into a proper theatre space. I always love performing Roller Derby Saved My Soul in gyms - as I learned last year in the King Edward School - because it adds this extra layer of ambiance to a sports show. Dare I say, it makes it almost site-specific. And I love me some site specific.

So what do you do with a site-specific show? You use the space. I am at floor level and the audience is on risers. This gives me plenty of room to skate around, not only the stage, but around the audience as well. I found a perfect moment in the show to use it.

But doing a show in an old building isn't all tricks and turns. There is, unfortunately, no air conditioning so the venue gets pretty warm. I was dripping buckets by the time I was done today. So, I had an idea, a way to use the venue to connect with my audience some more. Tomorrow, before my next show, I will be buying a case of water and passing it around for Roxanne so anyone who wants to can both play along and cool down. I'm excited to try something new.

Why don't you come play with me?



Youth Infringement


Apologies. This was scheduled to go out this morning, but somehow Wordpress messed up.  

Youth Infringement

Tonight, the Youth Infringement Festival opens in Ottawa.

Back in December, I was asked to mentor three young playwrights as part of the festival. I had three very different playwrights, with significantly different writing styles and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I had ever had. I didn't think I had much to offer these kids (I call them kids but they're all in their 20s), but they seemed to have benefitted from the experience as well.

There were 13 playwrights total participating in the scriptwriting process, however due to the nature of the festival, only 6 get produced. This is no slight on the quality of the other plays, but more on the interests of the 6 directors. If the scripts I read were any indication, this is going to be a solid festival and I highly encourage you to attend.

On Thursday, I also have the pleasure of being on the panel for a discussion about finding work vs. making your own. That's at 7:30 p.m. at Arts Court Theatre.

As always, I'll be seeing you at the theatre!

I'm Going to Need a New Dress

Last night, the nominees for the 5th Annual Les Prix Rideau Awards were announced and I couldn't be happier. My little Roller Derby Saved My Soul received FOUR nominations!  They are Outstanding Fringe Production, Outstanding New Creation, Emerging Artist for myself as playwright and Emerging Artist for my director, Tania Levy.  This is all for the production that took place at the Ottawa Fringe Festival this past June. I'm also really pleased that Evolution Theatre walked away with a whopping SEVEN nominations and that my director for the upcoming Mary Magdalene and Adventures in Sobriety, Andy Massingham is so well recognized.

To tell you the truth, I kind of expected the Fringe nod and I had hoped that Tania or I would get the Emerging artist nomination, but I never thought that both of us would, nor did I even expect the New Creation one.  I mean fer cryin out loud, I'm now nominated in the same category as PIERRE BRAULT. That, to me, is just unbelievable.

Maybe four or five years ago, I remember wanting to do a one-person show. I had a theme. Something about roller derby. That was about it.  I had no idea where to even begin, so I contacted the one person I knew who might.

"Hi Pierre, do you ever give workshops on creating a one-person show?"

"Not really, but if you have an idea you want to work on, we can meet for drinks and talk about it."

Now, at the time, I wasn't the NancyKennyRockStar you all know and love. More like NancyKennyRoadie. So contacting the man who created a show that blew me away so much I actually went back and paid for it twice was no small feat. And just like that we were going to have drinks? (Lesson learned: you can pretty much meet any local artist you want if you buy them drinks and maybe lunch... well, at least you can with me #hobokenny)

I still remember the very first thing he said to me when we met.

"Why? Why do you want to do this? Do you really feel the need to sleep on someone's couch in Saskatoon?"

Yes. Yes, I do.

We talked for about four pints and the rest, as they say, is history.


Pierre's advice was a big help in pushing me in the right direction for what was to become Roller Derby Saved My Soul so to even be nominated in this category with him? Whoa.

So much thanks to you, Pierre, my friend and colleague. As they say, it's an honour just to be nominated, but this one feels just a little bit sweeter.


Full list of nominees below:



For Immediate Release - Ottawa, February 27, 2012

Founded in 2006 to celebrate, encourage and promote French and English locally produced professional theatre work and its artists, the Prix Rideau Awards is proud to announce the nominees for 2011.  Artists and supporters gathered earlier at Le Petit Chicago, where the nominees for outstanding achievements in the year 2011 were unveiled.  During the 2011 calendar year, two teams of local arts professionals juried 36 English productions and 12 French productions. Nominations were submitted by secret ballot and tallied by independent accountants.

The Prix Rideau Awards will be handed out on Sunday, April 22, 2012, at the Shenkman Arts Centre, in Orleans.  Tickets are on sale now at www.shenkmanarts.ca.


The nominees for English-language productions are:

Outstanding Production

Strawberries in January, Great Canadian Theatre Company

The 39 Steps, SevenThirty Productions

The Fan, Odyssey Theatre

Twelfth Night, St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival

Under Milk Wood, Ottawa Theatre School


Outstanding Direction

Joël Beddows, The Lavender Railroad, Evolution Theatre

David S. Craig, The Fan, Odyssey Theatre

Janet Irwin, Under Milk Wood, Ottawa Theatre School

Kevin Orr, Bifurcate Me, Theatre 4.669

Craig Walker, Twelfth Night, St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival


Outstanding Performance, Female

Mary Ellis, Dreams of Whales, New Theatre of Ottawa

Annie Lefebvre, Under Milk Wood, Ottawa Theatre School

Rose Napoli, The Fan, Odyssey Theatre

Kate Smith, The 39 Steps, SevenThirty Productions

Beverley Wolfe, The Lavender Railroad, Evolution Theatre


Outstanding Performance, Male

Richard Gélinas, The 39 Steps, SevenThirty Productions

Andy Massingham, Exit the King, Third Wall Theatre

Andy Massingham, The Fan, Odyssey Theatre

Andy Massingham, The Shadow Cutter, Great Canadian Theatre Company / Sleeping Dog Theatre

John Muggleton, Speed-the-Plow, Plosive Productions


Outstanding Design

Martin Conboy, Lighting Design, The Shadow Cutter, Great Canadian Theatre Company / Sleeping Dog Theatre

AL Connors, Sound Design, The Lavender Railroad, Evolution Theatre

Ivo Valentik, Set Design, Speed-the-Plow, Plosive Productions

Ivo Valentik, Set Design, A Midwinter’s Dream Tale, a Company of Fools

Sarah Waghorn, Set Design, Dreams of Whales, New Theatre of Ottawa


Outstanding New Creation

Tony Adams, Erin Lindsay and Cory Thibert, Sounds from the Turtle Shell, May Can Theatre

Lawrence Aronovitch, The Lavender Railroad, Evolution Theatre

Pierre Brault, The Shadow Cutter, Great Canadian Theatre Company / Sleeping Dog Theatre

Nancy Kenny, Roller Derby Saved My Soul, Broken Turtle Productions

Julie Le Gal, Andy Massingham and Kevin Orr, Bifurcate Me, Theatre 4.669


Outstanding Adaptation / Translation

A Company of Fools (Adaptation), A Midwinters’ Dream Tale, a Company of Fools

Henry Beissel (Adaptation), Antigone, Third Wall Theatre

David S. Craig (Adaptation), The Fan, Odyssey Theatre

Mishka Lavigne (Translation), Little Martyrs, Evolution Theatre

Charles McFarland (Adaptation), Hamlet 2011, Ottawa Shakespeare Company / Ottawa Theatre School


Outstanding Fringe Production

Glitch…, Ottawa Theatre School

Playing for Advantage, Black Sheep Theatre

Roller Derby Saved My Soul, Broken Turtle Productions

Sounds from the Turtle Shell, May Can Theatre

THE WALK, Moon Dog Theatre


Emerging Artist Award

Katie Bunting, Actor

Pierre Ducharme, Set Designer

Nancy Kenny, Playwright

Mishka Lavigne, Translator

Tania Levy, Director


The nominees for French-language productions are:

Production de l'année

Adieu Beauté, la comédie des horreurs, Théâtre Belvédère

Frères d’hiver, Théâtre la Catapulte

Les Étoiles d’Angus, Théâtre de l’Île

Taram, Théâtre du Trillium

Ti-Jean de partout, Cie Vox Théâtre


Mise en scène de l'année

Caroline Yergeau, Adieu Beauté, la comédie des horreurs, Théâtre Belvédère

Joël Beddows, Frères d’hiver, Théâtre la Catapulte

Isabelle Bélisle, Les Étoiles d’Angus, Théâtre de l’Île

Pierre Antoine Lafon Simard, Taram, Théâtre du Trillium

Pier Rodier, Ti-Jean de partout, Cie Vox Théâtre


Interprétation féminine de l'année

Geneviève Couture, Feu la mère de madame et Un bain de ménage,  Théâtre de l’Île

Jocelyne Zucco, Les Fridolinades, Théâtre la Catapulte /Théâtre français de Toronto

Lina Blais, Les Fridolinades, Théâtre la Catapulte / Théâtre français de Toronto

Marjolaine Beauchamp, Taram, Théâtre du Trillium

Micheline Marin, Taram, Théâtre du Trillium


Interprétation masculine de l'année

Nicolas Desfossés, Autopsies de biscuits chinois, Théâtre du Trillium / Théâtre Belvédère

Alain Doom, Frères d’hiver, Théâtre la Catapulte

Pierre Simpson, Frères d’hiver, Théâtre la Catapulte

Richard Bénard, Les Étoiles d’Angus, Théâtre de l’Île

John Doucet, Ti-Jean de partout, Cie Vox Théâtre


Conception de l'année

Geneviève Couture, costumes, Feu la mère de madame et Un bain de ménage, Théâtre de l’Île

Brian Smith, décor, Frères d’hiver, Théâtre la Catapulte

Guillaume Houët, éclairages, Frères d’hiver, Théâtre la Catapulte

Julie Giroux, décor, Les Papillons de nuit, Théâtre de l’Île

Pierre-Luc Clément et Olivier Fairfield, environnement sonore, Taram, Théâtre du Trillium


Nouvelle création de l'année

Annie Cloutier, Antoine Côté Legault, Marie-Pierre Proulx, Autopsies de biscuits chinois, Théâtre du Trillium / Théâtre Belvédère

Diane Bouchard, Dragon glouton, Gestes théâtre

Michel Ouellette, adapté par Joël Beddows et Marie Claude Dicaire, Frères d’hiver, Théâtre la Catapulte

Philippe Landry, Retour à Pripyat, Théâtre de Dehors

Marjolaine Beauchamp, Taram, Théâtre du Trillium


Prix artiste en émergence

Marjolaine Beauchamp, dramaturgie

Mary-Eve Fortier, interprétation

Lisa L’Heureux, direction de production

Frédérique Thérien, interpréation

Caroline Yergeau, mise en scène et interprétation


Derrière le Rideau Award

Mathieu Charette, régie, Feu la mère de madame et Un bain de ménage, Théâtre de l’Île

Julie Grethen, régie, Les Étoiles d’Angus, Théâtre de l’Île

Lisa L’Heureux, direction de production, Les Papillons de nuit, Théâtre de l’Île



For general information:               Source:

Les Prix Rideau Awards              Élise Gauthier, Communications Coordinator

C.P. 1087, Station B                   communications@prixrideauawards.ca

Ottawa (Ontario), K1P 5R1



Un retour à la source

Little over a year ago, my acting teacher had me try out a little exercise in class. Before I said any lines in English, I had to say them in French first. Why? Because whenever I said the words in my native tongue, they would come out much more free and grounded in the body; a feeling that would then transfer to the English words.  And the thing is, translating the text into my own Acadian vocabulary, especially if the characters were already speaking in some sort of slang, was surprisingly easy to do on the spot.  This is an exercise that I continue to do to this day. When the class was over, my teacher gave me a note that I should really translate the entire play I was working on for myself.  I contacted the playwright through his website and got his permission.  Then, of course, I got busy with Roller Derby Saved My Soul, but since that was done, I felt it was time to get back to it.  After reading one of my elusive blog posts this season that included a mention of the translation, a friend contacted me asking if I could use a dramaturge for the text.  I was thrilled because frankly I have no idea what I'm doing here and she has experience with translations and a Master's in French Literature. So you know, some top notch help right there!

We chatted a bit about the play and why I wanted to do it.  We talked about how it is very different from most plays you would see in French; how I wanted to bring my English Canadian Theatre experience back to my French roots because they are both very much a part of me; and we talked about where we should go from here.  We set a deadline and lo and behold... It is December 20th and I have finished a first draft right on schedule!

As for the play itself, well, until I have official papers signed with the playwright, I won't say too much more about it, but trust me, this won't be the last you've heard of this!

The Best Things in Life are Free...

... said the guy who probably never had to pay condo fees.  

After just over two months at "the job," my pay checks have finally started to fill up the large gaping hole of debt I've built for myself, but I remain cautiously optimistic.  I've built up a lot of debt over the past few years and it's going to take me a while to bring it all down.  To be honest, I'm actually seriously considering a second job in order to bring it down faster and still be able to afford my expensive acting habit.  But more on that later.  Right now, it just feels so surreal to look at my bank account. Like, "What do you mean I have more than $37.00 to my name?"  I know this is how "normal" probably people live, but to me it still feels odd and unaccustomed.

I  went out and bought my family some Christmas gifts, which I actually didn't think I'd be able to do.  I recently threw out my favorite pair of jeans and some boots because I had completely worn them out and, if I wanted to, I could go out today and buy some new ones.   But I'm not going to. Not yet.  Though I know I am signed on to work until November of next year, part of me is too worried that if I spend that money now, there might not be any more coming in and then I'd be really screwed.  And I still owe money to some very patient people, so it just doesn't feel right spending anything on myself just now.

Though I find it hard not to be involved in the arts as much as I would like to right now, I'm trying to be more focused with the ones I've got.  The first draft of my English to French play translation is almost done and I've got a dramaturge ready to look at it.  Just in time to apply for municipal project funding.

And hopefully I'll be able to pay off my debt in 2012 and save enough to rework and tour Roller Derby Saved My Soul across the country in 2013.

So, like I said, I'm cautiously optimistic.  Now if I could just find some patience to go along with that optimism, I'd be golden.

Bet You Think This Play Is About You

I always chuckle whenever someone, probably a reviewer, calls Roller Derby Saved My Soul "autobiographical". Personally, I've never seen it that way. For one thing, I don't play Roller Derby, neither does my sister. But, I guess there is always a grain of truth, a little part of me in there. Watching a stand-up comic rib on about an ex-girlfriend when I was younger, I remember telling myself that I would never, ever be caught dead dating a comedian or a writer or even a musician, because screw that!* I would not end up as the brunt of any public mockery.

*This conviction tragically did not last very long...

Anyway, I had told a gentleman friend I had a past relationship with that there was one (and only one!) line influenced by him in the show before he came out to see it. However, after the show, I received a congratulatory text message saying he really liked my play and could see lots of parallels in it.

Excuse me? I'm not quite following. Other than the one (ONE!) line, there was absolutely nothing in there about him. I asked him to elaborate and he told me how the Roxanne Drinking Game was his favourite, how he often wore vests, ect...

Uh, sorry dude. I played the Roxanne Drinking Game in University with some friends in the bar that used to stand atop the Agora Bookstore. And when we started playing, I immediately thought it was going to be a piece of cake, just like the character in my show. Unfortunately, I have no recollection of if it was or not, but I did write it down as a possible scene idea for future use. As for the vests? I have just always really really loved vests. I think they look sexy on people. And one time, while at a concert, I saw a guy wearing a Green Lantern T-Shirt under a vest. I thought he was so hot. He even held the door for me on the way out. But I was too shy to talk to him, so instead I made up a story about him working in a coffee shop.

This got me thinking. Almost every section of the play, sometimes even individual lines, can be attributed to something or someone who has affected my life in someway. Heck, one of the sister's best insults is a modification on one I heard a real-life Roller Derby player say. And others, I just pulled out of my ass because I am a funny person and that is where my funny comes from. Apparently. See, that line right there? That was funny and all me. Which means, if you're even still following me right now, that maybe I shouldn't chuckle so much when someone calls it autobiographical. Because that word means "of or concerned with one's own life" and that's what writing's been for me.

And frankly each audience member is going to be affected by it however they please. But honestly, it's not you, it's me.

Maybe this means I should give writers and musicians another chance... But not comics, because fuck those guys.


Lisa: "Did you know the Chinese use the same word for 'crisis' as they do for 'opportunity'?" Homer: "Yes. Crisitunity." The summer run of Roller Derby Saved My Soul ended on Saturday night and I immediately became depressed less than a day later. It makes sense. I've worked on this show for about 3 years, on and off, now and here it was over for the foreseeable future.

I've spent the last two days pretty much bumbling around either mumbling "What now?" or crying "OMGIMADENOMONEYIHAVENOJOBMYLIFEISOVERWHYDIDIEVERTHINKICOULBEANACTOR." You know, the regular actor downward spiral that shows up after a show. We're a lot of fun at parties.

In order to get out of this funk, I really have to see the summer run of my show as a very successful workshopping and not a job per se. Why? Because I made no money. However, I did get a fun show on its feet, got some great reviews/credibility as an artist, won some awards, managed to tape a good archival of the show which will be used to create a promotional trailer, and got a lot of people to see me as an actor/writer in a new light. Way too much good came out of this run for me to focus on the bad. And since the bad is strictly from a personal financial stand-point (and even then, I lost nothing), I prefer to see it as a friend once said to me: "If your problem is about money, that's not a real problem."

I've got lots of goals and dreams for the future right now, some that include RDSMS and some that are brand spanking new. That's what I want to focus on now. That and finding a job...

Anybody want to hire me?

Fringe Wrap-up

Has it really been over a week since the Ottawa Fringe shut it down for another year? Time seems to have flown by so fast! The 2011 Ottawa Fringe is going to be a defining moment in my life. After 9 years of Fringes, I feel like this one was just everything I ever wanted it to be. I created something, on my own terms (with a little help from my friends), that I not only was proud of, but others seemed to like a heck of a lot too. Not a single bad review (seriously, I checked!), three sold out shows with more people still trying to get in, constantly mentioned in people's top 3 shows on Twitter, huge buzz at the tent, a Best in Fest additional performance, family members who finally got to see me perform, and an Ottawa Fringe Festival Award as just a little bit of icing on the cake. And all this for a show that I still consider a work in progress.

So you'd understand if, after all that excitement, I just wanted to disappear, relax and chill out for a bit.

The two days post-Fringe went by in such a blur. I didn't really allow myself to think it was over. Monday was spent eating free food (won at the Ottawa Fringe, natch) and settling the financial accounts for the show. Tuesday, I had a promotion job, packed, had a post-mortem for the show followed by drinks with one of the last touring performers still in town and had an, ahem, date (which was really nice, btw).

Unfortunately, by Wednesday, ye ol' show withdrawal kicked into gear and I had a mini-meltdown in front of a very patient Air Canada employee who I wish I could still thank today. And I was off to New Brunswick to spend time with the family and shut my brain off from all things theatre related.

But this is me we're talking about, so of course that did not happen. Not really. I spent some pretty great times back home, reconnecting with aunts, uncles and cousins I never see, as well as spending some real quality time with my sister and nephew all ON A BEACH! Note to self: going home at a time other than Christmas is a lot more wonderful and stress free - must look into doing it more. And at night, after everyone had gone to bed, I'd get on my laptop and do some work.

It seems that my little show that could did has caused more of a buzz than I could have possibly imagined. I've handed in one festival application, I'm in talks for a few potential remounts in Ottawa and, to top it all off, a friend of mine has given me her spot at the Hamilton Fringe Festival so in about a week and a half I'll be donning my roller skates once more (since this is a very last minute entry, the website has yet to be updated - another post will be written as soon as it is).

So here I am writing this from the Moncton Airport, having just said goodbye to my sister and nephew, feeling pretty sad to be going so soon, but filled with hope and possibility for what's to come next.

My flight will be boarding soon, so I'll just leave you with some special thanks that I had included in my show program, as well as a few others I may have missed the first time around. The gratitude I feel right now simply cannot be properly expressed into words:

Tania Levy, Nick Alain, Heather MacDonald, Natasha Jetté, Donna Williams & Arts Court, City of Ottawa, Natalie Joy Quesnel & the Ottawa Fringe Festival, the crew at the Studio Leonard-Beaulne, Patricia Allison, Christopher Bedford, Emily Pearlman, Mikaela Dyke, Peter Janes, Paul Hutcheson, Jayson MacDonald & the Big Comedy Go-To, Uncle Leon, Coffee, Kismet, Knee Socks, all solo performers, the audience and those who read this blog, everyone who’s ever put up with HoboKenny and, of course, Roller Derby Guys and Gals from across the globe.


I know some of you out there don't really care for this internet/social media bubble I live in. You don't want people to know everything you're doing/thinking 24/7. It's too much work. Is anybody even listening? I get it. I really do. Though I check my blog stats all the time from time to time and see people are reading, there are days when I don't know if anyone is ever really listening.

And then there are days when I know that they do.

As most of you should know by now, I'm doing a show at the Ottawa Fringe Festival called Roller Derby Saved My Soul. What you may not know (unless you've been a longtime stalker reader of this blog) is that the show title was taken from a song by Uncle Leon and the Alibis.


Well, thanks to the power of the interwebs my little pre-Fringe interview with the Adorkable Nadine Thornhill caught the attention of Uncle Leon himself. He commented today:

Nice. Please tell Nancy to let me know when the show comes to New York City. So I can sue her ass off… I mean, come see it. Derby Love, Leon Uncle Leon and the Alibis

*cough* Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. *cough*

Now, of course, I did have my doubts. Someone, possibly Nadine, could just be fucking with me. But then, Uncle Leon (if that's his real name) left me his own comments which led to the band's website. I could not be making this shit up.

Can I just say I feel really good that I actually went on iTunes and bought the song legitimately? Phew. Dodged that bullet. And you can too!

BONUS: THEY HAVE T-SHIRTS! I was totally planning on getting Roller Derby Saved My Soul type merchandise. Their stuff is super cheap (and I am seriously considering those booty shorts) so I think I may have to do a little shopping for myself and the crew - for advertisement purposes of course.

Though the show hasn't even premiered yet, for the first time ever I'm seriously considering the Frigid Festival in New York next year. I've never been to the Big Apple and it's been a dream of mine for years. What better way to do it than with my own show?

In the meantime, head on over to see Uncle Leon and download his new album for FREE - including a really kick ass, garage country, live cover of Baby Got Back.

Writing Is Hard

I've always thought writing was a solitary activity, which suits me just fine when it comes to putting together a short little blog post. But writing a whole play? I find that to be a daunting and often overwhelming task.

I have an overall vision for the show, but there are lots of points where I just keep getting stuck. Luckily, my wonderful director, Tania Levy, has helped me break down my scenes and story into different beats to get a clearer idea of how to achieve the big picture.

As a visual learner, I found that this has helped me out a lot. Though obviously not enough to stop writing a blog post and create a new script draft instead...

Two weeks until opening.

It's Coming...

Yesterday, the Ottawa Fringe Festival had it's Media Launch. Today, I am in the papers. So I guess it's probably time to let you know what all the fuss is about?

Roller Derby Saved My Soul Written and performed by Nancy Kenny Directed by Tania Levy Stage Managed by Nicolas Alain

Ottawa Fringe Festival - Venue #5 Leonard Beaulne Studio 135 Seraphin-Marion – University of Ottawa

Friday, June 17 – 8 p.m. Saturday, June 18 – 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 19 – 11 p.m. Thursday, June 23 – 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25 – 8 p.m. Sunday, June 26 – 5 p.m. Tickets: $10 at the door Discounted festival passes available online


OTTAWA – May 31, 2011 – You may have heard of Roller Derby in the past, but nothing can prepare you for what happens in Nancy Kenny’s hilarious one-woman show, Roller Derby Saved My Soul, part of the Ottawa Fringe Festival between June 16 to 26, 2011.

About the play: Knee socks. Check. Roller skates. Check. Wooden Stake. Check. Wooden stake?

Amy never wanted to be a hero, but suddenly she is thrust into a world where “things that go bump in the night” are out to get you. Armed with a crash helmet and a mouth guard, she fights for humanity, one hip- check at a time. And maybe, just maybe, she will finally beat her sister at something.

Written by local performer, Nancy Kenny, this world-premiere was first workshopped in London (ON) at the Big Comedy Go-To where it had the audience in stitches. Kenny, who spent time training with Roller Derby teams in Ottawa, Toronto and Red Deer in order to do research for the script, claims that at the heart of it all, “the piece is really about family – the ones you're born into and the ones you create for yourself.”

Ottawa audiences will remember Nancy Kenny for her performance work in Little Martyrs (Evolution Theatre), Shining City (SevenThirty Productions) and Rabbit Hole (The Gladstone), among others. Regular Fringe goers will recall The Last Godamned Performance Piece (Black Sheep Theatre – Les Prix Rideau Award nomination, Outstanding Fringe Production), the sold-out run of Daniel MacIvor’s This Is A Play(Evolution Theatre), and an Outstanding Performance and Best in Venue Award for Tuesdays & Sundays (No E Productions).

What people are saying: “Kenny delivers such a strong, confident, funny performance.” – Stephen Hunt, Calgary Herald (in Last Godamned Performance Piece)

Tickets are $10 at the door. Multiple festival show passes may be purchased at a discounted rate through the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Advance tickets available for purchase online soon!

Visit www.ottawafringe.com for more information.

The Violent Wind Blew the Wires Away

I've been wanting to blog for a while now, but the Month of May has been one crazy busy adventure so far. I quit a job, only to quickly get hired for another. I started and ended a school tour. My theatre company opened what is probably our most successful show to date (a success we mostly attribute to the ability to purchase tickets online - but more on that in another post). I did promotion work, as well as standardized patient work. Saw some shows and had some great auditions. I went on an emotional roller coaster into a past filled with what ifs and coulda beens and, oh yeah, I celebrated my entrance into a new decade, not so much with a bang as a snotty, sobby, little whimper. Yeah, it was my birthday last week.

But all in all, things are good and the future looks bright. Post-London, I've started rehearsals for my upcoming Ottawa Fringe Festival show, Roller Derby Saved My Soul. Now that the high from my pseudo-workshop presentation has worn off, it's time to get to work. Stressful, stressful work. As most Fringe artists do, I wear three separate hats for this project: actor, writer and producer.

Currently, I've already spent close to $800 on this show in Fringe fees, publicity photos & rehearsal space. My director would like a good 40 hours of rehearsal throughout the next month. Since my show takes place on roller skates, this negates the possibility of rehearsing in a living room or other such area. This means I have to rent something. The basic cost of renting space is somewhere between $10 to $12 an hour. If you do the math, that means I need at least $400 in rehearsal space alone. And that's not factoring things like printing of posters, props/costumes/sets/lights, union insurance... fuggetabout paying my director and stage manager or even myself.

Yes, once ticket sales start coming in, it will cover a lot of my initial costs, but right now, I'm really not sure how I'm going to manage. This is all coming out of pocket. My very strapped hobo pockets.

So, this is where I'm asking for some help. It was my birthday last week, but I didn't have a party and I don't drink anymore. In celebration of this new year in my life, if you wanted to take me out, buy me a drink or take me for lunch or something, I have a better idea. Please consider donating that amount of money towards my upcoming Fringe show. Trust me, it will be put to good use.


If you are a regular follower of this blog, you are well aware of my absolute fan-girl obsession with a little festival called the Big Comedy Go-To in London (ON). I had attended the first two festivals, which brings together some of the best stuff on the Fringe Circuit with some hilarious local acts (and from a town that brought you Paul Hutcheson, how could the locals NOT be funny?), mixes them all together into one giant cocktail of awesomeness that gets delightfully shotgunned down your throat by master bartender mastermind Jayson MacDonald. Now in its third year of existence, I was tired of being a simple looky-loo and desperately wanted to participate. Safe in the knowledge that I would (finally) be performing my one-woman show at the Ottawa Fringe, I figured if I could get something ready for this April festival, by June I would be laughing.

April was probably the most stressful month of my life.

Swamped with various work projects, I toyed with the idea of quitting EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I have to send out a huge thank you to Chris, Linda, Emily, Tim, Margo and everyone else who listened to me rant and offered constructive criticism when all I really wanted to do was go hide in my room and throw my laptop out the window. Somehow, through what can only be magic and the bending of the space-time continuum, it all came together.

I arrived in London late Friday night after spending the day doing re-shoots for a student film I worked on in Hamilton. Though the timing of the re-shoot was not the best, the offer to buy me a train ticket to London (and the total wonderfulness of the director) convinced me to do it.

Before I had even walked into the pub where that nights events were taking place, I got dragged into participating in an Improv Cage Match. Thinking this would be a great opportunity to "use the chair," I agreed to play. About a dozen improvisers get mixed up and put into teams of two or three with people they have never worked with before. The audience then decides who brings the most funny and the winners move on.

My team got eliminated in the first round. This stupid contest was obviously fixed.

I found out that my tech time was scheduled for 11 am the next morning. That said, my billet's house often dubs as after-party central, which means getting more work done or, you know, sleeping was out of the question. Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em in the hot tub, is what my mother always used to say...

With less than two hours of sleep, I was up and at 'em, rewriting scenes over breakfast while burning my sound cues before the venue opened. Tech went well, as did the rehearsal photoshoot for the festival. I followed that up with a lunch outside with festival organizer Jayson MacDonald before participating in a panel discussion on comedy. These discussions where always my favorite part of past festivals so I was thrilled to be invited into this one.

That done, I quickly grabbed a tea (coffee jitters be damned!), printed out a fresh copy of the script for my technician and myself (I had decided that this would be a staged reading after all), and got ready for my show. As I put on my roller derby gear, I tried not to let my nerves get the best of me.

And you know what? It was awesome!

It was a very friendly audience that laughed and was with me throughout the whole show. After, I got some great feedback from people I respect and realized that, yes, I do have a show in there. I could finally breathe. A little.

After a quick bite, I came back to watch some of my favourite Montrealers, Uncalled For, in their new improv show, Trial by Jury. It was brilliant. These guys are amazing. And I now have a bit of a girl crush on the lone female member in the troupe.

But my night wasn't over yet. We still had the "Big One" stand-up comedy night to get to. And yes, I was participating in that one too.

After I was done, I felt the adrenaline leave my body. I was falling asleep in my chair, but toughed it out until the end of the event. I passed on the post-show festivities and took a cab to my billet's, secure in the knowledge that he was out of town and I would therefore be able to avoid any after-party at the house.

After what was probably the best night of sleep I'd had in months, I woke up feeling happy and creatively refreshed. I had great Easter breakfast with a bunch of the festival performers before heading back to Ottawa.

Thank you London, thank you to my billet Jeff, thank you to the Big Comedy Go-To and Jayson MacDonald! But most of all, thank you to Peter Janes for believing in me and this show before there was even anything to believe in. I would not have been able to do it without your support.

Ottawa Fringe won't know what hit it.

GoInG OfF tHe RaILs On ThIs CraZy TRaIn

Maybe it's the lack of sleep. Or the stretching myself out too thin (which I keep SAYING I won't do anymore). Or it's the overcaffeination and underhydration. Or maybe it's just all of the above. But for some reason, in the last week, I've got completely batshit insane. I seriously do not understand how I am still functioning as a human being and/or getting shit done (And shit? She is getting DoNe!) Time has pretty much lost all meaning. Everything seems both possible and impossible. My mood jumps from a state of tearstained panic to brilliant euphoria. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!

And I'm too straight-edged these days to blame it on external substances. By which I mean drugs. Which I am not on (Mom).

If When I survive this weekend... well, it will be all worth it. I think.

In the meantime, isn't this a wicked guitar rift?


Raindrops on Roses

I've been avoiding the blog, dear readers. In fact for the past week I've avoided many things including the gym, bathing & sunlight until some decent progress was made on my script. Well, progress has been made (Huzzah!), but not enough for my liking (Boo-urns!). So, in the spirit of shaking off the writer's block blues, here's a list of things I wrote down that I happen to like in all it's random goodness:

Vests Argyle Argyle Vests Songs that remind me of specific people in (and sometimes no longer in) my life The "Your Mom's Face" comedy routine my TO roommates and I have developed MASTERED Cottage cheese and applesauce Hugs That sweet spot between a guy's neck and armpit where my head snuggles in perfectly (in some circles, I believe it's called a "shoulder") That moment when the lights fade inside a theatre before the show starts Talking "show business" Boots Hairdryers You know those guitars that are like, double guitars? Quoting the Simpsons (circa seasons 3 to let's say 9) Discovering new music That lightbulb moment when I realize I'm really good at something Dancing Confidence that walks the thin line between cocky and arrogant People who randomly offer to give me a lift somewhere Magic Superheroes When it rains and it's sunny AT THE SAME TIME Knee Socks Seeing my abdominal muscles How things always fall into place

What are some of your favourite things?

Just Shoot Me Now

The last time I wrote a play, I was torn apart by the critics, lost my shirt (metaphorically) and my best friend (literally). So you can probably understand why writing a new play terrifies, nay petrifies me. Though I've been talking and talking about it, my show about Roller Derby, lets be brutally honest here, is barely past the concept stage. Because every time I want to get something done, I freeze. Or something comes up. I need to do just one more hour of data entry for the GCTC. I need to create a better chart for Odyssey Theatre. Hey, a benefit performance for Evolution Theatre's next show sounds like an amazing idea! Let's do that! Please. More work. More distractions. Get so exhausted that I can't even focus my mind, let alone write something coherent. Theatrical. Let's do anything and everything except write a godforsaken play that will probably suck balls and tarnish any goodwill I have built up as an artist.


People have been asking me how it's coming along and I want to throw up in my mouth a little. I can't even look you in the eye. I want to run away, hide in a deep cavern, preferably underwater, never to be heard from again. Because for some reason there are people out there who actually believe I can do this. People who have donated time and money and encouragement. To me, those people must be fucking crazy. I feel so very unworthy of those people.

But the safety bar has come down, the ride has started its slow ascent up that giant hill and it doesn't give a shit whether or not I'm scared of heights. There's no getting off now. My money has been handed in, scheduling is currently underway and, like it or not, I've got deadlines that demand to be respected.

So, you heard it here first:

Roller Derby Saved My Soul By Nancy Kenny Directed by Christopher Bedford

Big Comedy Go-To - London, Ontario April 23, 2011 - 7pm

Ottawa Fringe Festival - Ottawa, Ontario June 16-26, 2011

Venues and Times TBC

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.

Adorkable is the New Chic

Meet Nadine. She's a blogger, a mother, a wife, a poet, an award-winning playwright, a critically acclaimed actress, a sex advice columnist, a fashionista and a future tri-athlete among many many other things I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention here. All in all, she's pretty awesome. And inspiring. I met Nadine a few years ago during a playwriting workshop at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama. We had a good time and laughed a lot. (You always laugh a lot with Nadine) At one point when I was talking about how I first got into writing, she stopped me and said: "Oh my God! It's like you're me!"

Maybe, but Nadine dresses better.

If you don't know Nadine (who I truly believe is what would be the product if Norm Foster had a relationship with the women from Sex in the City), well you should. She's participating in two shows at the Ottawa Fringe Festival.

Oh and check out her blog too! It's become a favorite read of mine.

Basically, just checkout Nadine.