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Saturday, December 29, 2007

And After the holidays....

Well, the week was a whirlwind as I knew it would be. It would have been nice to have had that last day before Christmas Eve to do any last minute shopping and make sure I had everything I needed, but I didn't have it, so I dealt with my missing items by phoning Mom to bring them. It all worked out, but I knew it could've been better. The trip itself wasn't so bad, but there was little in it that enriched my life. No one asked about me, despite my asking about them. It was good for the boys, but a little too good in the presents department and I worry about that. As it is, only one of Gibson's 3 big trucks has been opened and played with and I don't think Oliver has picked up the Spiderman helicopter since being home. The kids get so much stuff. We may hide some of it away for a while and bring it out later when a "new" thing is needed. Christmas Eve was less chaotic than usual. The kids are a little older and better able to negotiate with each other. I was pleased with the books and clothes that came on that day. It wasn't all a big toy fest. And Christmas went well. I did have to call for a few items (milk, onion, cranberry sauce) but whatever wasn't there we did without. My sugar cookies didn't work so we didn't have them. Maybe people ate less sweets because of that. Through it all I was sick, doped up on Tylenol Cold, but that actually helped because I just wanted to get it done and be there. We had a few games in the evening and it was all good fun with none of the usual brother-sister badgering (strange that).

Friday, December 21, 2007

Feeling Better?...

Well someone must have said "no" to one of the 6 ladies in The Ladies Singing Their Song because I was just offered it. I lost the Real Estate Agent part, but that's okay, I'd rather have a chance to sing. Should be cool. Magnolia is also singing in that number so we shall have to kick it!

Sucking it up....

I decided to do the show. I am still feeling a little low about it because I really wanted Arlene and I know I would have rocked the part. I am also worried about how much singing I will get to do but I have been reassured by Marie that I will be doing a lot of singing. I am not so sure because it doesn't seem like that kind of a show, but it may be that there is more chorus stuff that just isn't on the soundtrack.

The way my musical theatre experience has played out in Edmonton so far has really messed with my self-image. In Fort McMurray I was what Judy is here. I haven't been able to show that and I thought this would be the role. There is something liberating about being able to recreate yourself, but I hate that I feel like that in doing so I have lost a big part of my self-identity. El Muchacho was something, but it wasn't the kind of stuff I do best, this show would have been. There is also something exhausting about having to pay my dues again when I have been doing this stuff since 1982. What is that? 25 years? Yikes!

Oh well, I am sucking it up (though it may not seem that way). Both Magnolia and Shelby are on board and it will be great to see them on a more regular basis. I can tell you, there will be no room for diva-crap from the leads in this show... not with so many talented people in the ensemble... I know I won't stand for it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Disappointment and Decision...

Well, I didn't get it... and now I have to decide if I want to do what I was offered. I knew the odds were there, but I had hoped high. I don't know if I can go and do the show and hear the other people singing the songs I want to be singing and be "happy" with the part I am left with. I have until Boxing Day to let Clyde know. I have just done my "ensemble" time and if I do decide to do the show, the person who has my part had better be FLAWLESS.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Callbacks - Why can't everyone else suck?

Okay, the title says it all. I had a good callback but so did a lot of other people and there are only 3 roles. I figure it is down to me and one other person for Arlene. I can't fault that since we were both strong, but I will be disappointed if I don't get it. This is only because I really want it and I would kick major a$$ in the role. I also want to be in it with my friends and I am not sure if the combination will be what they are looking for. It is all about waiting now and I don't wait well.

Friday, December 14, 2007

AUDITIONS - Finally a REALLY GOOD Musical Audition...

Tonight I auditioned for Baby with ELOPE. I have worked with Marie Nychka, one of the directors, 3 times before but had never met the other director Randy Mueller. I was a little nervous because since moving to Edmonton I have not had the best auditions for musicals. This is because in McMurray I was severely spoiled by having either Mike Eddy or Carol Anderson play for me and they are both geniuses on the piano. Tonight I had the magic - Randy is a genius too! Yay! Anyhow, both songs went beautifully, my monologue rocked and I am called back for Tuesday night. The songs they want me to look at are for the character I am interested in and Randy even said "she has the perfect kind of voice for this show" (yippee!). Even if I don't get it, I will feel good about what I have done. I could not have done better.

Principal punched in face by angry parent...

I periodically surf the yahoo news articles and saw the above headline (or something like that). The article didn't give many details other than a male parent entered the school, was arguing with the female principal and then began hitting her in the face. He is now being charged with assault. This story bothers me because something like this can happen, and what bothered me even more was the "comments" afterwards. Many commenters were appalled but many were applauding the hitter and asking "what did the Principal do to create the situation?" as though that mattered. Sad sad sad.... Many people ask me if I intend to go back to teaching. I don't know. I have had 'scary' parent-teacher interviews where I signalled to the teacher at the next table over to 'rescue' me from an aggressive parent. I have had parent meetings that have caused me to cry later on. I didn't just stop teaching because I wanted to be home with my kids (although that was part of it), but also because I was so tired of dealing with the parents of the children I taught. Not all of them. The majority were amazing, supportive people. However, the terrible few, usually the parents of my most challenging students, made the job not worth going back to. At least not for a while.

So I miss the work. I miss the kids. But I don't miss feeling like with some kids I care more about their learning than their parents. And I don't miss being treated like an idiot by people who have a major teacher-hate thing.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Losing Will... film premiere...

I just got back from seeing Losing Will at Zeidler Hall (Metro Cinema) at the Citadel Theatre. Two of my former students (Arlen Konopaki and Mike Robertson) directed it and were also 2 of the 4 co-writers. There are sections of the scripts that were improvised around a suggested concept so the 3 main actors were technically all writers. Other former students were also involved in the film (from sound design to medical research). They also filmed part of the movie in Fort McMurray though it is not credited as the Fort. I was very impressed with the work done. Some of the acting seems rough and there were some strange bits that got a lot of laughs but could easily leave someone with a "what the?" feeling, however they really tried to tell the story. I loved the soundtrack and the flashbacks that were used. It was hard to believe that they made the film for $3000 (no grants). These young guys took a concept, took their own money, begged many favours from friends and family and made it happen. They didn't wait around for someone to give them the money - they just took the risk. Way to go!

The film shows Sat and Sun at 7 p.m. Go see it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Panto Pandemonium...

I took Oliver to see Sinbad the Sailor at Walterdale last night. It was a very committed show and there were many fine performances, particularly from the leads. Oliver had a lot of fun until about 10:15 when he just started to feel too tired (I kept him home today because who knows what he would be like at school after last night). The show didn't end until 11:00 p.m.

The funniest part for me (and the best for Oliver) was when Oliver got to go onstage to guess the camel's name. He was by far the "best" for audience particiaption in the first act and apparently the cast LOVED him (we were told this by Wayne Arthurson who went backstage at intermission), so when volunteers were asked for to name the camel Ollie's hand shot up and they literally were already looking right at him to bring him down. He was so excited. They obviously had a plan, the third person to guess would obviously be the "correct" guesser, so Oliver was asked last and he "won" (a nice handful of candy - great...). But then he came back to the seat and told me this: "Mom, I was really worried about guessing, because I usually guess wrong, but that name was really easy." The name he guessed? "Camel".

So the show has many plusses, but it is a mixed bag and there were parts that were well-performed but should have been cut for the sake of the whole piece. It is hard as a director to do that, but you have to make the hard choices. The whole Thriller sequence - cut it --> maybe keep the first verse for the joke, but not the whole thing. Not because it was poorly performed, it just stopped the action and didn't add anything to the plot and it was long. I certainly felt it hit the mark in many places, but if it is for kids it has to be shorter and I don't think the humour of a Panto has enough for just adults.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Busy weekend...

I am still tired from the weekend. I did Midsummer in Spruce Grove on Friday and on Saturday Mark and I went out with friends for his birthday (dinner and karaoke). On Sunday I had rehearsal in the afternoon, dinner at the Next Act and Walterdale Board Meeting in the evening. Then I stopped at the folks house to feed Harriet and check the house and shovel the walk (cooooooold). I am over 40 now. The three late nights in a row are hard to handle.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Midwinter's trip to Midsummer...

Whew! The things I have to do to go out to see a friend in a play... Last night I went to A Midsummer Night's Dream in Spruce Grove put on by Horizon Players. The show started at 7:30 p.m. (What the? What ever happened to 8:00 starts?) but I had to start driving at 5:00 p.m. to get there on time. My sitter lives by Clareview so I left at 5 p.m. to get her, it was 6 p.m. by the time I got back to my house with the sitter and the kids. Then I headed off to pick up my friend Julie in Beaumaris. A couple of wrong turns meant that took me 20 minutes which was a bout 10 minutes longer than it should have (It was the one place I didn't mapquest! Doh!). Then we were off to get Wanda at the River Cree Casino in Enoch. Whoosh! Down 137th Avenue. Whoosh! Down Anthony Henday. Whoosh! Down the Whitemud? (I'm not sure I just went where Julie told me) Then we headed back up to the Yellowhead and off to the theatre. We rolled into the parking lot at about 7:20 p.m. We needn't have been stressed, the show didn't start until 7:45 due to latecomers. Really!

I was pleased overall with the show. Like most community shows you get a broad spectrum of skills and talents and you could see that, but the piece as a whole was complete and finished. Sure, there were things I didn't like, some of the actor's and director's choices were not the best, but at least choices were made. Everyone was giving their all. I was very pleased as well with my friend Anne Marie's performance. The director was wise to group people so that skill level was matched. However, what that did was make you wish for some story lines to come back and others to go away. What was clear with this production was that the actors were given room to be as good as they could be, so that the weaknesses of the show did not hold them back. Therefore, someone like my friend, could still have a meaningful theatre experience even though some of the other performers were not of the same calibre.

Oh, but a word... The audience etiquette was the worst I have seen in a theatre in I don't know how long. There were several people taking flash photography! What the?! There were people coming late (really late considering the show started 15 minutes late). There were people getting up and crossing in front of the stage during the show!!! With every flash I was taken out of the show. With every idiot standing up or talking to their friend I left the forest. I don't know if people realize the damage they do to a show and the insult they give to the actors onstage and the rest of the audience by doing these things. I could care less if you wear your hat or fall asleep or dress inappropriately, but don't screw around with the show by distracting me!