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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bridge

In a couple of days Mark will be done Annie and I commence the next project that I have. I spent this week finally getting all the T4 stuff done for the store. I kept putting it off, and then when I planned to do it, life and sickness and the kids interfered. I made it a priority yesterday and the day before and I got it done. It is all parcelled up and ready to be mailed tomorrow. It has been strange for me to actually be home so much. The boys are a bit of a challenge in the evening because I know they push the boundaries a bit more with me, but I also know that they like that I can usually be conned into reading a few more stories and that I am less likely to get mad at their shenanigans. There is a nice feeling when I realize that although Mark is off rehearsing or showing that I don't have to rush off somewhere in the cold with my car with a burnt out headlight (got to get that fixed!).

This weekend my sis is coming home for a quick and dirty visit. I also have the first read-through for the Staged reading I am Directing/Dramaturging for From Cradle to Stage. I have a nice cast - all newbies to Walterdale's stage though not without skills. I like working with new people. I also will get to work with Magnolia as she is the playwright and I am looking forward to that. It seems we have not seen each other for quite some time and that must be remedied!

So, the shift starts. Mark is done with his frolics and will be the one home on Sundays with the boys and I will be the one out and about again. I have posted the Audition Notice for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and have 22 people signed up already (only 2 men, though - that must change!) in just 10 days! I have some work to do for that and the songs have been running through my head non-stop in preparation! Yee Haw!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sometimes You Just Have to Answer the Question and that's all good...

I have had a few interesting 'conversations' with my 8 year old over the last few months. The first was when he asked me if boys could marry boys. We had a nice chat about that. I talked about what being gay was and that, yes, in Canada, boys who loved each other could marry. I also talked about the fact that there are some people who don't like that, but that I thought it was a good thing. He's 8, so I wasn't going to get into details beyond much more than that. The other thing we talked about was how he was really starting to like acting (he takes a class at The Citadel - Foote Theatre School). He asked if he could be an Actor and a Pharmacist. I suggested that might be very possible and very practical.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Still Sick - Trying to Pretend I am Not

If I am still sick tomorrow it will be a week of this. There have been ups and downs and I really thought 2 days ago that I was going to be done with this, but I am not. So, other than cancelling some volunteer commitments at the school, I decided to get some stuff done regardless of how I felt. The worst is in the morning, so I did do some major sleeping in (it seems to help), but during the days I kicked it into gear and got some of my errands done. Last night I put away 4 overflowing baskets of laundry and washed and dried a couple more. I ran around delivering things to Mark that he had forgotten and went and bought a shirt he might be able to use for his show because he was stressing about costumes. He's a big guy. He cannot just go to Value Village and find something that will fit because he is above the 99% in size. After the laundry I tidied our bedroom a bit (still needs work - but it is much better). Today I dropped off two big bags at Goodwill (get rid of clutter - yay!), dropped off dry cleaning, went to Kingsway and picked up a few things I needed there (and a few I probably didn't but I wanted), and I washed my car (just the outside - I will get to the inside later). Despite being ill, I feel better for accomplishing things. That has been the most frustrating thing about this cold - the shutting down and feeling even more behind. I can't stand that!

Next on my list - T4s - I have put them off for far too long!

Tomorrow Night - Annie at Festival Place. It's Opening Night! Yay Mark!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm Sick, Again - It sucks...

But on the upside, I deleted Cafe World from my Facebook Profile and I imagine this might mean 1-2 hours of extra time every day... I am hopeful. Luckily we have plenty o' medication. Not so luckily it means I will not get to see Tight Rope at New Works in all it's glory. This is making me heart sick as well as body sick.

A positive thing to being sick is that I lay on the couch in my snuggie and watched the Opening Ceremonies last night. I am not that into the Olympics but the show was amazing. I saw so many things that I want to steal for future productions. I cried (Rick Hansen, Betty Fox, K.D. Lang). I laughed (that Slam Poet - must look up his name). I was in awe (flying across the prairie, skiing and snowboarding down the mountain, K. D. Lang). I wouldn't have seen it if I wasn't curled up on the couch in misery...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sick Children... Introspection... Time Wasting...

Gibson has been home sick for two days. He seems better now, but yesterday he was a cuddly little ball of feverish germs. For some reason, despite Gibson being pretty easy going even while ill, I find myself paralyzed by sick days. I waste time. There are things I could do, but I sit on Facebook and email and don't do them. In my head it is because I have a sick kid at home, but I know I could still get much more done. I don't get it.

I have spent a lot of time thinking. I have been thinking about a new writing project I hope to get started with people. I have been thinking about 'what makes theatre edgy' because of a discussion I had Sunday night. I have been thinking about the things I have to do and am not doing. I have been thinking about getting organized.

Now, I should be honest. I have not done nothing. I just feel like I haven't done nearly as much as I could have. No one else is going to clean this house!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Being Rigourous and Responsible...

Had several very good conversations tonight about Arts Funding and what makes Art edgy and that sort of thing. The first discussion was just prior to the Walterdale Board Meeting. About 4 of us were there early and one of us had been to a recent meeting with the Arts and Culture Minister where the news was delivered that there was likely to be cuts to Arts Funding in the new budget. There was a lot of 'preaching to the choir' and I mentioned that I thought a major problem was the way the message was delivered. The Average Joe does not respond to the arguments that Artists make about why Art is important. Until we realize that and change the message or they way we deliver the message we are not going to convince anyone who isn't already convinced. You can say the "art is not a luxury" in a room full of theatre goers and you will get a tonne of support, but on the playground and in the hockey arena, you need to change the message. This frustrates me because you would think writers and actors would be better communicators. The problem is we cannot ever step out of our own agenda and our own belief system to understand the point of view of the non-arts supporter (who actually probably do support art in theory, but not at the expense of health care, policing, education, roads and infrastructure and athletics). I don't know myself what exactly the message should be and how it should be delivered, but I do know that what has been presented in the past has not worked and that alone should indicate that we need to find a different way to sell ourselves.



Anyhow, it got me thinking about one of the other major flaws with our arts community. The big one was that in our desire to support ALL art, we fail ourselves by not being rigorous with each other. As artists, we are not allowed to offer a negative critical opinion without censure from the community. I learned this the hard way with what I like to refer to as Blog Gate and if you don't know what that was, then you don't know me... Anyhow, if we dare to point out publicly Art that is perhaps substandard or even just the flaws within a competent work, the finger pointer will endure censure. There is a strong push to blindly cheer-lead everything just because it is ART - EXCEPT "popular art" (think flashy musicals). You can critique the crap out of anything that 'everyone likes' and not endure censure. In fact, critical comments about popular art is encouraged. It's idiotic. We should be demanding rigour so that we know we are doing good work. It's hard. Yeah, yeah, I had had reviews of my own work that weren't necessarily positive, but even with those people will tell me to disregard them. I shouldn't. I should look at them and look to my work and see if I can make it better based on the feedback. We can't be honest. It's a fatal flaw to our artistic world. We should be. We often do it in private conversations and spread the word that way, but how much of that will make it back to the artist? I was very frustrated at the Fringe last summer for this very reason. There was a discouragement to criticize anything for fear it would affect people's box office. We need to adopt the sports philosophy a little. When a hockey player is not playing well, his fans will let him know. The sport casters will trash him and the fans will not jump to his defense, they will join in. We should do the same with our actors and directors and demand more from them when they don't deliver. We should not tolerate 'phoning it in' on the ice or on the stage. Now, I am not saying just trashing everything, but we have created a field where the members are not held accountable for poor work. I have seen crap and paid a lot of money for said crap and I shouldn't have to. Someone should have warned me. I think it would make us better artists and make some people realize that to do this work you need to work very, very hard or else be very, very talented... And if you aren't good enough - someone should tell you.



I don't know. I guess I felt like ranting. I should probably go to bed...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Family Outing

The whole Finlay Clan took in The Tortoise and the Hare at the Westbury last night. It was produced by Promise Productions and the Hare was played by a friend from Walterdale. She kindly offered comps for some of her friends with children so I asked for 3 and then it turned out Mark could also go, so I managed to snag him one of the few remaining tickets. We got there early so we had lovely seats and ran into Linette and her niece and we thoroughly enjoyed the show. Gibson had his own 'moment' when he yelled out 'He's a tortoise!' to which the entire audience laughed loudly. Both boys have since recalled several moments they liked from the play. Being of different ages they each responded to different moments. Oliver had a tense moment when he worried that the poisons, referred to in the play, were real. I reassured him that we would be fine and we moved on. It was nice to go out as a family and see a show that was age appropriate and length appropriate. The boys and I saw some stuff at the Fringe and we caught You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Walterdale, but I always feel that there isn't enough for kids, especially young ones.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Feeling So Much Better...

I realized the other day that I wasn't sick anymore. It was a nice 'realization' because the cold was one of those that seemed to linger and I kept thinking will I ever feel good again? I do now. Which is good because I have a lot of things to do.

I dropped off my selected scripts for photocopying at the theatre today. I think I have a great season and I hope that the Board goes with my first choices. The back-ups are more for if rights are not approved and I need something else. They are all good scripts, the chosen ones and the back-ups... but I had to balance things other than just the scripts (cast size, costuming, set considerations, tone of show, etc...). I know that some people will be disappointed, and that makes me feel bad because I want a place for everyone at the theatre (and there is a place - but it might be different from what those people want). Oh well, it is part of the job...

The boys are working on their Valentines. It is a good activity as they practice their printing and gave opportunity for a discussion on why we give everyone a Valentine since Oliver was thinking he wouldn't give one to this person or that... I think he gets it now, but he did save the 'big' cards for his better friends.