BLACK AND WHITE ON BROADWAY

Page_1Tomorrow night is the night, folks.  I’m really excited.  I think it’s going to be fun.   And Richard Ouzounian wrote a great article about me for the Star.  Bless.  Here is the link.

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I hope people can make it.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

TIME BENDING

DaliTimeHmmm.  I’ve very recently had an experience that brings to mind the ideas of Einstein and the Secret.  I’ll be wildly paraphrasing any and everything I may quote so don’t anyone get all “that’s not what Einstein said. myah, myah, myah . . . ”

Einstein’s theory (paraphrasing) that time does not exist, that we as humans have created time in a need to shape and control our world, when in fact, everything is actually happening at once – is the most fascinating idea that I’ve ever encountered.  It explains so much to me.  Why time seems so liquid.  It can go so fast or so slowly.  How sometimes you can get so much done and other times it’s like you barely get started.  The context for this blog is this – I just had an experience I’ve been waiting to have for about 18 years.  Yes 18 years!!!!  I usually hate waiting 18 minutes.  But it’s something I thought would never happen and when it did and it was so wonderful, it was like the 18 years never even happened – time literally fell away and I was back 18 years ago.

It put me in mind of the idea that we, as busy people, lead such hectic lives.  How often do you hear the phrase “I don’t have enough time.”  or “There aren’t enough hours in the day.”???  Well what if we let go of that idea and went with the thought, “I have enough time in the my day to get done what has to be done and then some.” and used that as a mantra?  (which brings in a bit of The Secret).

I firmly believe that you are what you think you are and that we create (or at least help to create) your own reality.  Whether you believe in The Secret or The Power of Positive Thinking or. . . .  worshipping Satan.  If that’s what you believe your world to be and you commit to it, that’s what your world is going to be.  I know many people worked very hard to find fault with The Secret and pick it apart as opposed to finding the heart of what the book was trying to say. (I know the cheesy DVD didn’t help – Bless)  But how consistently contended are those people in their own lives.  And how many of the people who chose to find joy in the affirmations have changed their lives for the better.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying The Secret is or isn’t the answer.  And it’s not like there is some magic solution but choosing to generate positive energy for yourself and those around you and believe in your own power to create positive things can’t help but create positive things – or at the very least, make your days brighter and how is that a bad thing?

Especially in these times when money is scarce and jobs are insecure.  You can’t control much but you can control how you face each day and deal with the people in your life.  If you are allowing not having much money to dictate your personal joy, perhaps it’s time to rethink your priorities.

And, of course, it’s not just about money.  I was having this discussion just the other day with a friend. It’s about so much more than that.  I know bad things can happen to people.  Been there done that.  There will always be horrible things that befall folks (that’s right, I wrote “befall” and I’m not sorry) but we can’t ever be taken away is our own choice in how to go forward.  We can chose to let it beat us down or soldier on.  There is always a positive way to move forward.  Death, imprisonment, bad haircut.

Anyway, time!    It’s ours to be creative with.  The only one who can truly waste it is you!

I suddeny feel like I’ve written this whole blog before . . . . hmm maybe I did.  Who has time to go back and check?  I’m very very living my joyful life.  😉

Published in: on July 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm  Comments (1)  

QUIET TIMES

Hey guys.  I know I haven’t been blogging a lot lately but its been sort of quiet.   I wrote about going to the Shaw Festival which was a great time.  Now I’m just getting my cabaret together.  God help me.  It’s a bit tight but I think it’s going to be good.  Well, I hope it’s going to be good.  I love the two themes.  I’ve always been a fan of Jerry Herman and the walk through black Broadway musicals allows some fun.  And I’m trying to find a good mix of known and not so known tunes.  Hopefully people will come.  It’s right in the middle of – what is supposed to be summer (cue eye roll) – and it’s a Friday so people are working or going out of town.  Eep!!!  As long as enough people show up to allow me to have someone to play to.

I’ve been rehearsing with Diane Leah and she is so incredible.  I can make a suggestion to her about a style or combination of styles and she just interprets that into something extraordinary.  “Diane, I’m thinking  . . . . Sondheim meets Reggae” and suddenly Sweeney Todd is riding the ganja train to Tune Town.  It’s stupid fun.  So we’ll also hopefully have some interesting new versions of songs too.

I’ll also be singing at Metropolitan United Church this Sunday as well at the 9:00 and 11:00 services.  It’s great to be able to keep singing.  It’s amazing how fast the voice slackens when you don’t use it.  There is no mercy.  LOL

Other than that, I’m trying to catch up with friends and get to the gym which has gotten slack since I have been downed with bronchitis twice in the last little over a month and a summer cold.  A SUMMER COLD!!!  What am I – 12?   It was evil.  So I didn’t have a lot of energy to get to the gym.   But now it’s all gone, my energy is back to almost 100 percent and I’m ready to get back in shape for The Drowsy Chaperone.  Which I can’t believe starts in four weeks from today.  Woohoo.  It’s going to be weird to do a remount.  I’ve never done a remount.  I’m really excited.  I loved that show and that cast.  We have about 7 new cast members out of about 16/17.  So that’s a cool thing.  We get a fresh take on scenes and characters.  It will feel fresh yet familiar.  Woohoo.

On another front.  Been thinking alot about musical theatre in Canada.  And having a lot of discussions about it.   The pretty much across-the-board consensus is we really don’t have a wealth of great or even good directors of musicals in this country.  Not that there aren’t good or even great directors here but they are few and far between.  (I won’t name names either way as I make it a point not to slag individuals in my blogs.  Ungenerous and unnecessary)  I’ve gotten tired of seeing mediocre productions of great shows.   A good friend once said (and I’m grossly paraphrasing here so I shan’t include her name – that’s right, I wrote shan’t and I’m not sorry) “Musicals are the one art form that you can really do a mediocre job and still have an entertaining show – because of the music”  That is unfortunately true so its harder to weed out the mediocre directors.  And those of us who do musicals (and even those who do straight plays) have all had the experience commonly known as “SAVE YOUR OWN ASS THEATRE”.  There is a misconception in Canada (though I know it happens in the States too but less so because they love, revere, understand, respect and basically created the musical form) that if you can direct a play and you “like” musicals, you can direct them.  Now I don’t mean that as an across the board slag.  There are some directors who do that cross over, understand it, and get it right.  But in a many cases, they feel like they are going to “fix” the form.  WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The form doesn’t need your help.

What I find myself most disappointed in the lack of knowledge of how to prepare to direct a musical.  Basic things like knowing the script inside/out as much as you can, how the music informs the songs (in well-written musicals, the music is the subtext), how the song and the scene work together  (like a song and dance team in the pre-50’s musicals and as story partners in the 50’s and beyond musicals).  It’s an art form and if you don’t love it; not “like it” or “enjoy it” or “gee, wouldn’t it be fun to do one – it” —-LOVE IT then you should probably not be doing it.

This all leads me to an idea.  It may be time to put my money where my mouth is so to speak.  I always knew that  would direct eventually.  But maybe the time is nearer than I thought.  Not that I intend to stop performing.  But it may be time to start direct some things.  Try my wings.  As my mother always says, “Anything any other idiot can do, I can do”.  And what she means is the worst I can be is as bad as what I’m seeing them do.  So what have I got to lose?  The one thing I know I do have on my side is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE musicals.  I love what they can do to people, I love how they can tell stories,cast spells, I love people who do musicals, I love orchestras, I love watching an audience react to a great song being sung with thrilling skill, depth and emotion.

Whew.  That was a might soap-boxy, y’all but you know what, I don’t care.  I’m excited a bit.

I like the things that are going on with me right now.  I’m looking forward to my cabaret, I’m thrilled about The Drowsy Chaperone being around the corner.  There are some other things possible on the horizon.   Things are good.

I hope you’re all enjoying summer . . . well, summer-light.  And I try to get on here a little more.

Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 1:25 pm  Comments (1)  

SHAW FESTIVAL AND NEWS

I just spent 5 days at the Shaw Festival.   I visited friends and saw shows.  It was a great time.  Highlights – if you have to steal, beg, borrow, sell a kidney, go and see BORN YESTERDAY.  Oh my God, y’all, it is such a great production. Everyone is so on their game.  The design is gorgeous, the direction is clear and direct, the acting is top-notch.  Thom Marriot and Gray Powell are so fantastic and great foils for each other.  And Deb Hay proves that she should be worshipped by anyone lucky enough to have her in their show.  One of those performances that makes me proud to be an actor.  I know that sounds a bit hi-fallutin’ . . . perhaps even low-fallutin’ . . . at least medium-fallutin, but it’s so great so see someone really grab a part and make it her own.  I also really recommend Moon For the Misbegotten and Devil’s Desciple.  Good times, people, good times.

Other than that, it’s a quiet summer.  I’ve got 6 weeks (ish) until we start rehearsals for Drowsy Chaperone in Edmonton.  Looking forward to that.

NEWS:  So I do have a little news.  I’m doing a cabaret at Buddies In Bad Times on Friday, July 31 at 7:30.  I’m just working out what I’m doing for it but it will be a combo of Jerry Herman tunes and tunes from black musicals on Broadway through the ages. I’ve been wanting to do a Herman tribute for a while.  He gets a bad wrap these days as being old-fashioned.  Well stylistically, the music is a little old-school. But they’re beautiful tunes and he writes incredibly poignant and evocative lyrics.  So I’m hoping to open up a little love for the “Jer”.   I’m getting excited.  I will be sending out formal e-mails/facebook messages very soon but for now, just mark it down.

Okay, s’all for now.

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Published in: on July 14, 2009 at 6:10 am  Comments (1)  

POST-SECRET

Okay I don’t know if any of you have heard of a book called Post Secret but this guy named Frank Warren put word out somehow to people from any and everywhere to send anonymous secrets to an address.  Literally send a postcard with a secret – preferably one line and it’s incredible the sorts of things that people write.  OH MY GOD!!!!   Some funny, some heart breaking.  I’ve had it for a bit and been reading bits of it. Then it sort of got lost on my bookshelf until recently and I broke it out again.  Thought I’d mention just a couple that made me laugh or made me intensely sad.

“The love of my life is ugly”

“I don’t know what to say to God anymore.”

“I feel guilty about sometimes wishing that I didn’t have children.  I don’t dare say it out loud for fear I might trigger something bad happening to them.”

“I stole your duck and took him to San Francisco.”

“The night he died he tried to call me . . .  when I saw it was him, I didn’t answer.”

See what I mean, y’all?  That shit is deep and sometimes deeply funny.    There is also a blog you can go to to read new ones.

www.postsecret.blogspot.com

It’s gotten me thinking about how many people carry something they think is so dark or terrible that, indeed may be heavy but not unlike someone or, in fact, everyone else’s secrets.  But we carry these things around, making us emotionally, mentally, and sometimes physically sick.  All the negative energy and self-flaggelation.  Eek!  Come on, people, let’s let it go.  So many wonderful things to hold on to instead.  And I absolutely do not believe in guilt.  My good friends know this.  And not because I’m a cold remorseless serial killer . . .  no, no I’m not a cold remorseless serial killer.   😉  I think guilt is a cruel method of control imposed on people by others.  I have no patience with someone who tries to make me feel guilty.  If someone cares about me, they wouldn’t want me to feel that bad about something just because they want something from me. And as far as self-imposed guilt about a given event or situation, this is the way I look at it.  If you can fix it, fix it.  If you can’t fix it, forget about it, it’s done. If you can fix it but chose not to, forget about it anyway because you’ve made the decision not to fix it.  I’ve watched more people waste their own possibilities because of guilt and I just won’t do it.  It doesn’t exist in my world and it shouldn’t exist for anyone.

Wow, that wasn’t were I intended to go with this.  But there you are.  Down with guilt!!!!  Up with Post Secret.  Woohoo

Published in: on July 3, 2009 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment