I'm allergic to cats. I always have been. But just this one time I thought, "Maybe not. Maybe this time I won't be." So I pet him. Of course I was. But it made me realize, this was the true meaning of HOPE.
Gone are the days, it seems, when an actor waits to be cast by someone else, or at least those days are fading quickly, and thank goodness. For actors who like to control their lives (who doesn’t), this is empowering. It means more say over what you do, and doing work that is meaningful to you. It’s also scary as heck, because now you are responsible for your own career. No more sitting back on the excuse, ‘I just wasn’t discovered’ or ‘my bad luck I guess’.
I also think this will be even more effective in weeding out people who are looking for a quick climb to fame without really putting in the work.
Lastly, I hope this will equate to more meaningful and less trendy plays, movies, and television shows. Hopefully intelligent, socially concise artists will take back media from the gun-happy, sex crazed culture, and create some stuff that enriches our souls. Don’t get me wrong, I love an action movie just as much as the next person, and love stories are of course a secret passion of mine, but as Scott Swan, one of my mentors says: “The last thing the world needs is a mediocre production of anything. Never lower the content of a show to the audience, make them rise to the occasion.”
Art needs to be in schools encouraging the next generation, and on movie screens and in theaters encouraging others to think critically and look at the world in a different way, find empathy, and move towards better relationships with one another, not perpetuate fear and prejudice.
You know, I’ve been hoping lately that I would become passionate enough about something to be propelled into action. Sitting here, writing this, I think God has given it to me. Now will I be brave enough and convicted enough to stand out and act upon it? Only time will tell.
I write all this after spending a few hours last evening watching “The Walking Dead”. Ironic? Hypocritical? Yep, a lot of both. Can’t be perfect I suppose. Although, in my defense, I woke up this morning angry that the show chooses to assume that if the world was ending people would start killing each other instead of working together to survive. As a relative mentioned over Christmas, living in Montreal during the power outage, people didn’t become scarce minded and fearful. Instead you would see every third or fourth house occupied as people banded together to stay warm and pool resources. Yeah humanity!
Random Rant? I think so! Have a great week every one, and if you don’t agree with something I said, GOOD! Form opinions, become enraged, make change, but always remember to walk a mile in another person’s shoes before you write them, or their opinions off.
Check out this video of Lena Dunham a triple threat actor: Writer, Actor, Producer
A few months ago, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to be a part of a new improvised musical workshop. I was honored and terrified. As usual, my instinct was to say no, but, against my natural reflex, I said yes. In some unspoken way, I made a choice for myself a few years ago that I would always say yes to a good opportunity, especially the scary ones. Since that choice, I have skydived Fox Glacier, scuba dived the Great Barrier Reef, jumped from worn ropes into unknown murky waters in Laos, walked through the haunted house at Universal Studios (I regret that one), stage managed shows with no experience, and treaded ice cold water in the Rocky Mountains… nude.
Improvisation may not seem as scary as these things, but my mind was filled with doubts and the heightened expectations I’d be under. I pictured an audience of people, watching me as they waited for a full solo number that was funny and impressive. But I said yes already. I had to go.
My assumptions couldn’t have been more wrong. I showed up to the Varscona Theatre and was met by my friends and peers, all with the same excitement and slight fear in their eyes. My friend, Byron Martin, who put it all together calmed our worries right away. No expectations. No judgments. Improv shouldn’t be scary and he was right. We just began to play, something I haven’t done in a very long time. We played games, laughed A LOT, and even tried singing some songs accompanied by the extremely talented Erik Mortimer on the keys. And that is what we’ve been doing every week for the past few months. I’ve met amazing new people, surprised myself with what lyrics come out of my mouth when my brain has no time to prepare, but most of all I’ve had fun. I always leave with a smile on my face that has been stuck there for the past 2 hours of rehearsal. I am in awe of the local artists that come to rehearsal and blow me away with their talent and quick wit. I am proud to be on stage with these people. And as far as the ‘rules’ of improv go, my practice of always saying yes has come to good use.
So come and see the “11 O'Clock Number” at the Varscona Theatre. Our first show is this Friday, January 11th at 11pm. We will perform a fully improvised, two-act musical on the spot based on suggestions from the audience. Produced by Grindstone Theatre, directed by Byron Martin, with pianist Erik Mortimer, and starring tons of local Edmonton artists. The show gives you a chance to get out on a Friday night and laugh, or cry, or be angry… because who knows what show we’ll come up with.
Find the event on Facebook here.
Buy tickets now here!
"The 11 O'Clock Number" plays every second Friday evening at 11pm at the Varscona Theatre starting January 11th until April 20th.
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