Okay, kids. So I had the wildest experience last night. I was asked to perform for an evening awareness for an amazing research project iniated by Joysanne Sidimus – an extraordinary woman who founded the Dancer Transition Resource Centre 20-some-odd (weird expression) years ago.
It was an evening to encourage funding from the many private angels who support the arts. Joysanne had become aware of how many senior artists (over 65), from all art forms, where struggling with no place to turn for help and began some preliminary research into this issue and realized there needed to be a serious iniative created to figure out what sort of help was needed, where it needed to come from, who needed it, how different it needed to be for the different disciplines, etc. So this was to start to raise awareness and subsequently, funding to begin a 3 year research project. The outcome of which is to figure out the answers to all of those questions and set a solution in motion. Very Cool
It was at the home of a couple of arts patrons. I can’t even begin to describe this house, y’all. Holy Doodle. It was pretty extraordinary. Out of respect for their privacy I won’t give the details but I’ll just say it was a mansion in an area with a name that sounds like “Hosevale” . . . . But there were about 100 guests and there had to be millions of dollars of “cash-worth” in that room. It was wild.
Sheila McCarthy was the organizer of the “artist guests” and the “artist guest talent” for the evening. ie. artists were invited to mingle as “luminaries of the Canadian entertainment” scene and talk with the patrons and in some cases, were asked to perform as part of a little entertainment section. So the list included Colin Mochrie, Debra McGrath, Rex Harrington, Karen Kain, Ross Petty, Veronica Tennant, Gordon Pinsent, Carlo Rota, Brent Carver, Fiona Reid and myself. What?????!!! And me, apparently. So honoured to be in that sort of company. Sooooo I was asked to appear and do a couple of songs. So Wayne Gwillim, who accompanied me, and I created a medley of two songs (I’m not saying which ones in case someone decides to steal it – you know you’re out there) and then I sang Infinite Joy which is my favourite song to sing these days. It was a wild experience. The “entertainment” portion went like this: Sheila hosted and started with a small a cappella song. Then I did my songs, then Fiona Reid did this hilarious monologue about the merits of Canada – dressed as a school girl (I’m not kidding – HI-LARIOUS), then Louise Pitre did a Piaf song, then Brent Carver did a Leonard Cohen song followed by a Jacques Brel song, then we had a treat of a taste of the new generation in Leah Keely (daughter of Stratford Festival pianist/music goddess Laura Burton and actor/matinee idol David Keely) playing the piano and singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
So interesting and fun. My songs went really well even though I screwed up a bit in the second one but no one would have known unless they really new the song. And the highlight of the night was when Gordon Pinsent – who I had never met before – hugged me after I sang and said some really lovely things. It was awesome.
This business is so freaky. You never know what you’re going to be in for. It was an honour to be asked and it was a kick to do. Bring on more of that. Woohoo