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Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Cautious Exterior...

I think I make a good first impression. I could be wrong, but I feel pretty good about how I first meet people. It have been interesting meeting new people, however, since I moved to Edmonton. One thing about McMurray is that most people didn't start out there. They are used to the influx of new people looking to find friends in the new place that they might be in for awhile. In Edmonton it has been different. I have noticed that a lot of people are far more guarded when I first meet them. I am not sure why that is. What I have learned to do is discard the first impression and go on the 2nd or even the 3rd meeting as my gauge for who this person is. What is even more interesting is that I have had friends on both sides of a meeting tell me that they didn't think the other person liked them based on their first impression. They are both being territorial and guarded and they both are seeing that in the other person and so they both come away from the meeting thinking the other person stand-offish or unfriendly. I don't know what to say. I generally say, Give it another time or two... I like them, you trust my judgement, don't you?

Anyhow, I have noticed this at parties, at meetings, at baby showers, at auditions, and at first rehearsals. I know that some of those situations have tensions associated with them. At others I look for our common friend. If I trust their judgement in a person, I give the individual a pass on that first meeting and hope for better at the next. That's all you can do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fringe Fini!

What a week! I saw 31 shows and my brain is overloaded and bursting and cannot think about seeing another in the immediate future. That will likely change in a couple of days, but right now my brain is over-full. I saw so many great shows, some with friends in them and some full of strangers, but I really did well this Fringe. I don't know if I can do that kind of intensive viewing again, but I think 20 is a nice number for me, so that is what I will aim for next year.

After seeing my last show, I attended a Production Meeting for Much Ado About Nothing. I have a Production Meeting for Perfect Pie next weekend and it feels like the new season is starting. Mind switch!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Grimmly Amused....

I saw Grimmer Than Grimmer Than Grimm and LOVED IT. It is now my favorite show seen at this year's Fringe. It may not be the best show I saw, but it was my personal favorite. See, there's a difference! So funny, so very funny, so twisted and delightfully dark. I cackled heartily and luckily it was the girl who snorted that got mocked instead of me!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Nice Clean Place to Play...

Because Oliver was in Zoo Camp this week, I had been arriving very early at the Fringe Site to avoid going home way up North and back down South to Strathcona again. What's the point of all that driving? Instead I would do a few errands and then head over to the site. Sometimes I would even get out of paying for parking because the booth wasn't set up yet. I always had my $5 ready, but on 2 of the days there was no one to hand it to. That was nice. Then I would head to Chapters, or the Strathcona Library or Shoppers or walk around Whyte and kill time until my show (usually around 12 noon). The most important thing I saw when I got there so early was the gang of Volunteers cleaning up the site. Those people, with their rakes and gloves and garbage bags, are the real stars of the Fringe. You'd be disgusted by what is left on the site each night if you saw it at 9:30 a.m. the next morning and thanks to those volunteers who took on the messiest and most unpleasant of jobs, you didn't have to see it. Kudos to the volunteers of the Fringe! We forget about all those people who put in so much of their time to make that tremendous festival happen. It's not just the clean-up crew, but the beer tent workers, the box office personnel and ushers, the information booth people and many, many more. I cannot imagine how many volunteers it takes to do it all.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mid Point

Saw a few very different shows last night... Good, but for different reasons:

Hoboheme - I was cackling at this show (that's what the writer/director Mike Robertson said about my delicate laugh - a cackle....). The hobo aesthetic in script and concept and the way the actors attack this piece is ridiculous, in a very good way. Sure, it could be tighter, but really, would hobos make a tight, crisp show? I don't think so... Kudos to the tree/moon man - we loved him.

Jake's Gift - I heard about this show 2 years ago and was unable to get a ticket so I made sure I got one when I heard it was back. It was truly worth it. Like Shimmer, it was an amazing performance of one actor playing many roles with seamless transitions. Simple, yet beautiful.

I also missed my last show of the night. Be careful when you get your tickets. 15 Minutes might not be enough time to get from one venue to another, especially when one is a BYOV that has a little more freedom to creep over its time allotment and when you trip on the way and bang your big toe, causing you to limp... It was probably better that I get home early.

I also saw Bash'd yesterday - OUTSTANDING! You probably can't get tickets for this one, but hopefully it will be held over.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fringing...

I am off to the Fringe again today. I will be seeing Bash'd, Night Sweats, Hoboheme and Jake's Gift today. The first two are in the afternoon and the other two are in the evening.

I am very pleased with my Fringe experience this year. Every show has had something to recommend it. Some were more successful in delivery than others but that's going to happen. I have so far avoided any outright duds! Yay! At this point my top "Word of Mouth" recommendation is Shimmer, but remember it all depends on what you look for in the Fringe experience. I look for a solid theatrical experience - good writing, great acting and direction and a clean show. It isn't necessarily the production values (cost of the set, costume, etc...) but rather the unity of the concept and how much it engaged me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Four Good Shows

You know, usually Fringe is hit and miss but today I managed to see 4 shows and all of them were good shows. Not bad, not bad at all.

The last one I saw today was Forget Me Not, which was more of a story with music than a play, but the music was phenomenal and the story was one I connected to strongly due to my personal circumstances. It started off as a story of the girl that got away from the storyteller's grandfather, but ended as a love story to her Grandmother Margaret. Almost a year ago to the day, I lost my Grandmother Margaret and as the story turned, so did my mind, to recollections of the beautiful person that I loved so dearly and lost at this time of year last year. I spent the last 10 minutes of the show sobbing in a body shaking way, grieving and yet rejoicing in the wonderful person I knew and would always think about. I love you Margaret Ann Strand, and I miss you. I think of you every time I write a letter and every time I wear your red hat or see the Grandpa Bear that you made for me with Grandpa's shirt. Tonight I will make a cup of tea and drink it from one of the delicate teacups you passed along to me and I will think of you.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Lovely Afternoon with Women Talking about Babies...

I had a lovely afternoon at a baby shower for Magnolia. I like baby showers and they make me feel wistful about possibly having another child. It is doubtful in my advancing years that I will, but who knows. It was fun to shower gifts upon the mother-to-be in our anticipation of the new little life! I do love the rituals that bring women together to talk and laugh and share whatever wisdom they might have. I also appreciated the lack of silly shower games as I prefer the visiting.

Tomorrow (Sunday, Aug 15) I will be back at the Fringe. I am going to the following shows, so if any of them interest you, buy a ticket and I will sit with you!

12:00 – The Way of All Fish
2:00 - Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat
4:15 PM - Dying City
7:00 PM - Forget Me Not

I am looking forward to returning to the Fringe tomorrow. I think I have paced it out right and I appreciate not having to pay twice for parking!

Things to Keep Me Really Busy!

Yippee! It's Fringe. I have seen 7 shows in 2 days (Simple Simon, Famished, Happy Whackin' Jim McCrackin, To HELL With the Rules!, Shimmer and Tornado: The Musical). I am having a great time seeing the variety that Fringe has to offer. Most of these were on the funny side and a couple were serious. All had great moments and some were super tight and very, very well done. Shimmer was very cool. A true example of how phenomenal acting, direction, writing, lighting and movement can sustain a show and even elevate it without the need for a huge production budget.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

A little bit stir crazy...

I like it when I am busy, busy, busy. I think that is my preferred state of being. It gets challenging, because when I am busy it means I can't always do everything I'd like because of commitments and such, but I recognize it totally is my naturally preferred state of being. So, this summer, I deliberately took time off. I didn't enter anything for the Fringe. I turned down a couple of opportunities for the Fringe and I was determined to not do anything between Whorehouse and Rabbit Hole (other than normal AD duties). So here I am, anxiously awaiting Fringe because I need to be doing something and at least I can watch shows and enjoy them and be doing something. I do have a design meeting with my set designer next week for Rabbit Hole and that is exciting, but I am going a little crazy here. There are things I want to do around the house, but every time I start one I get interrupted repeatedly by the warring tribes of Oliver and Gibson. Next week when they are in camp I will get a better handle on those projects.

This is actually how I get over-committed. I get stir crazy and then I commit to multiple projects yet to start and then when they do I am swamped. I have to learn to wait it out, because in a few weeks school will start and so will my class at the Uni and we will have to get a move on with Rabbit Hole and the new season for Walterdale and it will all start rolling along.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Time on My Own...

This weekend Mark took the boys to a Finlay Family Reunion while I stayed home alone and enjoyed the alone time. I was not just being a party pooper, but I have had a month of weekends with 'stuff to do' on all of them (Final Tech Weekend, Show Opening/High School Reunion/company staying at my house, Show Closing/Family Reunion, Visit from Sis and Bro-in-law/Double kid's birthday party) and I needed a major break. Yes, I know, it has been 2 weeks since Whorehouse closed, but I spent a couple of weeks in there with the boys and one of those weeks was rainy (so we were housebound) and the other was sunny (so we were majorly out and about) and I felt exhausted. Plus, being in between projects is always a challenge for me. I have done some work on Rabbit Hole, but I am happiest when I am actively working on something.

The reunion was out at a lake, complete with campfire, mosquitoes, and fishing - for some this would be heaven - for me, I find that more stressful than you can ever know. I am NOT a campfire in the woods person. Anyhow, the boys and Mark had a good time. I got some major cleaning done and tonnes of laundry and cooked and watched two of my movies that I have had on the shelf for a while (Atonement and Slumdog Millionaire). I finished my book (The Book of Negroes) and I did some errands. I slept in and stayed up late and I enjoyed the silence. No DS game sound. No YTV on in the background. No kids yelling at each other in either play or fight.

They are home again and the DS Players are in full force and I have had to ask Gibson 4 times to turn the sound off. Timmy Turner is on the TV and there has been one minor skirmish. Ah...