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Monday, May 31, 2010

Trying not to be so cranky...

I am trying, really, to not be so cranky. I think once I am caught up on sleep I will be able to let it all go. People are people and it ain't my job to fix them - just live with them...

On the upside - EXCELLENT REHEARSAL TONIGHT for SIDE STEP! Much joy in the building and watching and my cast rocks the house! Love the show now that choreography is started. I feel like we are moving along!

Did your mother raise you right?

Personally I think that if you are over 18 then you shouldn't have to be asked to clean up after yourself. You also shouldn't assume that other people should have to clean up after you, that you are somehow too good to take the initiative and join in without being "asked politely". I'm not your mom. I shouldn't have to ask.

You may not agree. That's your perogative, but realize that everyone is judged on their own behaviour and you may not come out so good in the judging. Suck it up and be a better person. And the next time you see your mom, you might want to ask her why she didn't teach you right.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Great Debate

Just spent a bit of time discussing/debating with Mark about Arts Funding. He believes that art should work on a business model and be commercially viable and not rely on public funding. I want a shift int he way we fund, but I believe in arts funding to a certain degree because I think that if all art is commercially viable then we will have art collapse into mediocrity and all we would see is the safe, boring, been there done that stuff. I am tired of seeing the same movie over and over again (War of the Worlds = 2012 = Armageddon = Independence Day) and people investing their own private money want to be sure that they are going to get a good return so they will only invest in a proven commodity. Granting allows for those who take risks to do so and that's when things get exciting for me.

Anyhow, we do not agree on this, but it was an interesting discussion. We are only married, we are not the same person so we can disagree on things - even though I am right...

Getting Level

Despite lingering tiredness, we had a great rehearsal last night. The first real scene of the play (the one that starts the present day action) wasn't working as I originally blocked it. Part of it was just getting everyone used to the dynamics and part of it was that I had some over-choreographed sections that weren't working. We pulled in the 4 ladies we needed and they had so obviously done the homework I had assigned them and it now is working so much better. I am so anxious to get to next week when we will have everyone and we can really jump into work on the show. So far it has been like little jig-saw puzzle pieces, but tonight we start choreography and I am excited to grab big handfuls of the play and put it all together! I am really enjoying having Stacey there as Assistant Director. She is sharp and has an eye that complements my own so I think it is a good team at the table. After so many years of not having an assistant director I am finding that they are a very valuable thing to have. I am glad that I went with my instinct and asked her!

I am also feeling more level, less tired and actually did some cleaning today. My house has been sorely neglected as of late and I need to get on top of the mess! Purging of toys and clothes and other junk will follow next week!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Prehistoric Exhaustion...

We took a little trip as a family to Drumheller this weekend. Mark closed up the store early and we drove to Threehills on Saturday and then spent the day in Drumheller at the Tyrell and at a number of playgrounds in the area and generally had a good time. We were all a little sleep deprived. The boys were because they wanted to go and go and go and we were because the boys were... if that makes sense. I am tired today despite sleeping in. I am still making up for a week ago when I was wiped out because of going out after Hamlet and then going into a tech weekend while rehearsing another show.

With regards to exhaustion I am realizing that I have to get this under control. I had a fantastic offer last week that would have taken up a lot of time and I was both relieved and disappointed when it fell through (they asked too many people expecting some to say no, but apparently everyone said yes so they had to deliver bad news to a few - since I took a bit of time to think about it I figure I was lower on the list - no worries - it sounds like I might get to do it in the future, just not this year). I look at the calendar and know that I have a month and a half of incredibly busy time ahead of me and then relative calm. I shall use this summer to rejuvenate. Next season at Walterdale should be easier time wise. I won't be required to do all the reading and putting together another season and I have a show that won't have the massive cast of my current one. I already have that rehearsal schedule mapped out for the Fall so I feel like I might be a bit more relaxed. I also may just need to nap if the body is asking for it. I can do that. I should do that, if I need to.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Some Other people's thoughts on things I think alot about...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2008/aug/26/inthepastmonthive

http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/21852/rsc-seeks-greater-involvement-with-amateur

http://susan-oncemorewithfeeling.blogspot.com/2010/01/professionalamateur.html

Interesting thoughts from people on professional vs. amateur. The whole debate in theatre reminds me when I was a teacher and I would be frustrated because we were supposed to be professionals, but because we were also in a union the aspects of contracts and working to rule meant some teachers didn't necessarily approach the work as a professional but more as though it were just a job. I think that how you approach the work of theatre can be the same thing. If your approach is to attempt a level of excellence (whatever that would be for you) it is very different than if you just do the minimum.

Burning the candle at both ends...

This past week I have been out every night for either From Cradle to Stage or Whorehouse. Rehearsals, Production Meetings and Opening night loaded up my nights. I unfortunately combined that with having really full days as well as I supervised field trips for both boys and did Child Check. Monday was free in the day but I had a bit of running around to do - last minute gift buying, some props to acquire, that sort of thing. Anyhow, it all caught up with me and I was so delighted to get to sleep in this morning. I don't feel 100%, but I am getting there. I will know for sure when my left eyelid stops twitching.

In any case, the Opening for From Cradle to Stage went well. I hope that the audiences are what they deserve. It is a strong evening of theatre and I am so pleased with how tight all three pieces are. I know that there will be some people who prefer one show or the other, but I also am confident that it will not all be the same show. I think that speaks to the strength of the evening. Truly there is something for everyone. I am glad I will get to see it again on Closing Night. I look forward to seeing how it has grown.

I am looking forward to disconnecting a bit this weekend. The boys have no piano lesson tomorrow and due to horrible schedules there is no Whorehouse rehearsal on Sunday so I am off duty until Monday night. I shall certainly appreciate the family time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Safety City!

Went on a field trip to Safety City with Gibson and his Kindergarten Class this morning. Very fun. Gibson declared the day AWESOME! Hard to corral those high energy Kindergarten kids and mine was no exception, but they did love driving the mini-quads!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

There's a Sign Across the street...

...from Walterdale Theatre that says something about the Varscona offering Professional Theatre all year round and it makes me pause. I don't pause in an "us and them" way, but in a way that wishes that all artists, whether paid or not, could recognize that it is the work, not the compensation, that matters. I have seen wonderful theatre on both professional and amateur stages. I have seen some not-so-wonderful theatre on both types of stages as well. I also know that a lot of the amateur actors and designers and directors that I have worked with go to and pay for a great deal of professional theatre.

Last summer, Trevor Schmidt wrote a piece in Theatre Buzz ( http://www.theatrealberta.com/documents/Summer_2009_newsletter.pdf page 10) about how theatre in New Zealand worked. He talked about how there was no separation between professional and amateur theatre, that sometimes you got paid and sometimes you didn't and that was how it worked. He said more than that, but I liked the idea that people just respected each other as artists and didn't judge or rate the legitimacy of the art based on whether you get paid or not. I know that I work just as hard and strive for the same level of quality in my performances whether I am paid or not. If I do get paid, I am happy, to be sure, but I don't value one more than the other. That's the way it should be. Art is art. Now I am sure that the Varscona is merely trying to highlight what they do and applauding people who support and appreciate professional theatre. I am pretty sure that the sign is not meant to be malicious in any way. I just hope that they realize that since they are right across the street from a Community Theatre, that many of the people who do their work there might feel slighted by the sign rather than encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Countdown...

I always say this to myself: once this is done, I will have so much more time, and I always hope that it will be true. Let's hope I stick to my resolve to not audition for any Fringe thing and to just be the audience this summer. I am looking forward to seeing Uncle Robert's Funeral, Kiss Within a Kiss and Sea of Green onstage and I am also looking forward to them being done so that I can focus on Whorehouse exclusively. I have found a way to compartmentalize so that I feel I am in the right place both physically and mentally. So anyhow, I am in countdown again for one thing or another - juggling parenthood and theatre and writing and ADing and all that stuff, knowing that there will always be the next thing and the countdown is completely a way to fool myself!

Today I looked into what I need to do to return to work as a teacher in the Fall if I so choose. I am not sure what I want to do as I am busy as it is, but it might be good to have the option to sub and get back in there that way. I know that there are not a lot of people who have my bag of tricks with regards to subjects who are subbing so I might be able to book some work here and there and maybe that would be good OR there might be a part-time position that would work nicely for us. I don't know - it's early days.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beautiful Music...

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I was treated to a lovely breakfast prepared by my husband and cards and gifts created by my children. As well, Mark's gifts were Nathan Fillion themed (Season 1 of Castle, a Nikki Heat book, and the Dr. Horrible DVD). It was a lovely morning. Then I tripped off to the theatre for a check-in with the One-Acts and a little photocopying and then to Alex Taylor for Whorehouse musical rehearsal. Oh my! The cast sounds so good! They worked on Side Step and Hard Candy Christmas, two of my favorite songs from the show. First time working on both and both were so good. No one will be able to complain about the music in this show, that's for sure, not when they sound like that!! I will have to make sure that my direction maintains the promise of their voices.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Rehearsal High!

We had a fabulous rehearsal tonight for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. We basically stumbled about 2/5 of the play and we have only been at this for about 2 and a half weeks. The cast is so sharp and fun. I am having a blast. We still have some choreography to fill in the blanks, but it was nice to feel that we are on the right track so early! Right now we are missing a few people due to conflicts, so when we fill in the cast members and the choreo it is going to sing! Yippee! Or should I say Yee Haw!?

I have made my choices and I respect yours, just tone down the vitriol...

In doing some online research into arguments on both sides of the abortion debate for a script I am working on I came across pages devoted to people writing about their decision not to have children. These pages were called things like "I Hate Kids" and "No Kids", etc... Now, I understand the need for community and having discussions with people who have made similar choices or have similar views and belief systems. People need reassurance that they are not alone in the wilderness. It's why many people join parenting groups when they have children. However, the vitriol on some of those pages was astounding. I have kids but I would never expect everyone else to have kids. I also expect that there are times when having my kids around is not appropriate but there are times when it is appropriate and someone else's decision not to have children should not mean that they should never have to interact in a situation with children in it. After all, wasn't everyone a child once? Make your choice, that's fine. If you really can't handle kids at all, avoid places where kids are and suck it up when you are in a situation where kids are. Remember, some of those kids will be wiping your butt one day when you are in the nursing home - if they didn't exist you might have some major issues in your twilight years!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Scheduling Nightmares....

Well, I got the Whorehouse Schedule done, and then problems rolled in. Part of it was a miscommunication about available dates from certain people, part of it was a misinterpretation on my part, part of it was people finding new conflicts after the fact. It is what happens with a cast of 31 people and a production team which has two key members working on different shows that run very closely in time to ours. It's a 2000 piece Jig-saw puzzle to begin with so I didn't expect it to be easy. I did expect it to be easier than it was and is.

I am confident that the show will be good and that it will come together, it is just that everyone has to realize that the 'ideal' situation with regards to scheduling is not going to be possible and that we will get it done in a different way. Trust me, if I had my druthers, we would be working chronologically with choreo at the beginning of the rehearsal period and with built in review. That is not in any way possible so I will make it work. I have done shows with kids with schedules that were just as bad so I can make this work!

So, let's hope this current schedule works with no major issues. I am anxious for June when it is the only thing on my plate!