Archive

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Poem – Lone, Black Moustache Hair

November 19, 2019 Leave a comment

Lone, black moustache hair,
why do you persist?
The others are all blond,
so why do you exist?

Is it you’re an albino,
but the opposite, I suppose,
sticking out from birth,
a wolf in sheepened rows?

Or perhaps you were a nose hair,
now migrated so low,
who thought you liked it better
in this sunny place to grow?

Or maybe you’re an eyelash,
in a cozy summer home,
but why make such a trip,
to be there on your own?

Did you lack a lash to follow you,
no partner for your journey?
Perhaps you’re a curmudgeon,
who’d rather travel, lonely.

Or maybe you’re a convict,
banished from the eye.
Your sentence: To Drown By Runny Nose!
When winter passes by!

Or are you on a religious mission,
voyaging up and down,
searching every crevice,
each pore from foot to frown

from the hobbit-hairy toe,
to the jungles of the eyebrow,
where ever pores will open
when you speak your holy vow?

What sights you must recall,
you perambulating pilgrim,
but why, with such adventure,
would you settle on my philtrum?

You shall not turn the others black,
no matter what the sermon,
for they were never born that way,
and will stay blond, for certain

Or perhaps they may turn white,
as the hairs shall, on my head,
(assuming those hairs keep,
though they may fall out instead.)

If so, would you follow,
and bleach yourself also?
Or continue to stick out,
or maybe you’ll just… go?

I have often thought of plucking you,
you’re really out of place,
you simply don’t belong
in that location on my face

But it’s good to have reminders
that nature is never perfect,
so there you may reside,
a contrast I respect.

Lone, black moustache hair,
yes, you may remain,
for you’re but a tiny blemish,
and I am not that vain.

Categories: Silly, writing

The Dandelion

April 17, 2019 Leave a comment

!

The Dandelion

!

I broke her heart as a dandelion.
She saw me as a flower
when I wondered if I were a weed.
We grew stubborn roots
that kept us together through two breakups.
Though my petals leaned away,
something deeper kept its grip,
brought me back to the soil of us,
to the school field and the ocean air,

And then it didn’t.

I was a dandelion,
and I could feel the change in the seasons,
my petals turning to seeds,
with the lightness and lift that comes from them,
and I couldn’t remain a bright flower for her;
I couldn’t be her wine.
It was in my nature;
I longed for a steady wind
to cast me about in five hundred directions,
to grow again, apart from that place
and from her.

So I left.
A weed and a flower,
a flower and a weed,
I launched into the breeze,
billowing about through winters
and springs,
summers and falls,
at first without aim,
at the whims of the wind,
hither and thither,
learning my shape and my size,
my weedness and my florality,
the pest and the prize,
until now,
at last, I gaze out of the gust
and hope maybe for a garden
with soil and a soul
in which to root.


Photo by Greg Hume

The Preference

November 18, 2018 Leave a comment

The Preference:

There was a me, then,

When I was with her,
A me who was better than the me who came before.
I preferred the me who was with her,
the man who knew he was loved,
who didn’t have that sense of desperation, of longing,
of will this conversation lead to a romance I need a romance I think I need a romance,
that the previous me had,
a me who was less selfish,
who knew fully what it meant to go all in on loving someone,
who knew his good qualities because she told me all about them,
because I could see them in the sparkle
in her eyes
when we shared our lives.

And then we didn’t.
And now we shouldn’t.
So here I am.
Here we go.
Without a choice.

We are always becoming,
no matter how firm we try to grip to what is now,
or to wave away the waves,
to reject the flowing tide,
we are ever-becoming
who we are
next,
the next me,

And my optimistic, foolish wish
is I want to prefer to be that person too.

(Photo from 2012)

Categories: living, writing

How I’m Doing

November 11, 2018 Leave a comment

 

 

People have been asking how I’m feeling.
Here’s where I’m at.

I feel like time is moving strangely, impossibly slow,
as though yesterday were a week ago,
three days ago, a month,
and last month, as far back as my time in Victoria.
Last week’s happy experiences
and hard conversations
feel like they took place a year ago, happened to someone else who existed back then.
Individual events and chats and moments feel so small,

whereas the lingering feelings,
the semi-constant emotional states
that continue
from one minute
to the next,
these feel neverending,
the ocean compared to the waves,
part of who I’ve been for all of recent memory.

Earlier tonight I worked a shift at the Drake concert at Rogers Arena.
When I arrived, they put me in the elevator,
to sit in the elevator for seven hours,
to press the buttons to go up and down
and down and up
and up and down
and down and up
and up and down,
with the occasional interesting ten second conversation
peppered along seven hours of that lurching
stomach feeling
of being stuck
in an elevator.

Categories: living, writing

My 2017 Fringe – By The Numbers

January 12, 2018 1 comment
!

Hullaboo - Riding 1350pxFor the past few years (2013) (2014) (2015) (2016),I have put out a blog post with financial breakdowns of my fringe festival experiences. With draws for Vancouver and Victoria fringe festivals coming up, I figure it is long overdue for me to write my annual Fringe Financials post for 2017!

!

In 2017, I decided to go ambitious with my new project, Hullaboo and The End of Everything. I had a costume designer friend help me create a custom look for Hullaboo. I wrote a TWO PERSON show (twice my regular number of people), knowing that it would also double my transportation costs. I booked a photoshoot just for this show. I had a puppet-maker friend help me out. The challenge for 2017 was going to be making a very professional-looking show.

In reality, the challenge ended up being that AND finding a new co-start with less than two weeks to go when the original actor got a long-term, paying contract elsewhere (which I totally understand and was okay with versus the uncertainty of profit-share fringing!).

So how did our 4.5/5 star-reviewed show do?

“This is a show that I can recommend enthusiastically. It’s smart, it’s fun, it tugs at the heartstrings — if you ever wanted to see a Pixar movie at the Fringe, this is it.” – Saskatoon Starphoenix

!
!

And at what cost?

!
!

***************

!

For summer of 2017, I applied for seven lottery/first-come-first-serve draws: Saskatoon Fringe (first-come-first serve, put on waitlist, later got in), the CAFF lottery (did not win), Winnipeg Fringe (did not win), Edmonton Fringe (did not win), Calgary Fringe (did not win), Vancouver Fringe (did not win), Victoria Fringe (did not win).

So, I went 1 / 7.

All in all, those application fees (aka ‘put my name in the hat’ fees) set me back a fair amount:

!
!

EXPENSES:

Failed Fringe Application fees:
CAFF Lottery: -25.00$
Winnipeg: -25.00$
Edmonton: -36.75$ (in a super awkward way of paying 708.75$ and then getting 672.00$ of that back, a month later)
Calgary: -35.00$
Vancouver: -50.00$
Victoria: -30.00$
TOTAL: -201.75$

Hullaboo - Claws 1000px
Hullaboo production costs:

Hullaboo tuxedo costume: -208.69$
Hullaboo costume shirts: -20.98$
Hullaboo costume make-up (green eyeliner): -22.40$
Hullaboo photoshoot (for posters and handbills): -131.00$
Hullaboo props: -1.40$
Giant puppet monster/costume: -100.00$
TOTAL: -466.47$

!
!
!

Saskatoon-specific production costs:
Application fee: -50.00$
Festival fee: -680.00$
Plane ticket to Saskatoon (Me): -156.58$
Plane ticket from Saskatoon (Me): -156.58$
Plane ticket to Saskatoon (Katie): -156.58$
Plane ticket (Katie left a couple of days before I did, on a slightly more expensive flying day): -183.88$
Total cost to switch plane tickets to work for my wonderful replacement actor: 0$
(actual cost was 262.50$, but the first actor reimbursed that amount)
Handbills from eprintfast: -63.25$
Poster printing from Clubcard: -13.33$
Packing tape for posters: -3.35$
TOTAL: -1463.55$

Expenses not included:
– Fringe bar beers
– Rent paid back home
– Food eaten / groceries bought
– Lost income from not working dayjobs.

!
!

Ooof! That’s a significant amount for a guy who doesn’t earn all that much.

!

So let’s take a look at the income:

!
!

Hullaboo - Scared 1500px

!
!

INCOME:
Ticket sales: +489.49$
TOTAL: +489.48$

!
!



Eeeep.

!

How’s that? Let’s break it down:

!
!
!
!

Ticket sales:
Advance ticket sales (12$): 0+0+0+0+2+2+4 = 8 sales (+96.00$)
Company/volunteer comps: 4+8+4+9+6+7+5 (I let volunteers in) = 43 tickets (0.00$)
Rush Media: 0+1+0+0+0+0+0 = 1 ticket (with that review quote above! 0.00$)
Frequent Fringer 5 Pack (11$): 0+2+0+2+0+0+1 = 5 sales (+55.00$)
Frequent Fringer 10 Pack (10$): 0+0+0+0+2+0+1 = 3 sales (+30.00$)
Frequent Fringer 20 Pack (9$): 0+1+0+0+1+2+0 = 4 sales (+36.00$)
Frequent Fringer – Child (7$): 0+0+4+0+0+0+0 = 4 sales (+28.00$)
And then this fringe removes GST (the only festival in the country to so do): -31.52$
= 489.48$

!

Needless to say, that profit share with Katie didn’t really work out. We still had a fun time, though.

 

Hullaboo - Cross 1500px

!
!

*********

!
!

BUT ANDREW, YOU GOT A GREAT 4.5 STAR REVIEW!

!

Yes, yes I did. Unfortunately, they never printed the review in their print paper – it was only online, if you scrolled down a bunch. They didn’t even include it in their ‘best of fringe’ feature where they reprinted reviews, even though that feature included a large number of shows with worse review scores. Alas. And Saskatoon is a ‘reads the paper’ kind of town. That’s my guess as to why so few people saw the show. But I really don’t know.

!
!

FINAL FINANCIAL VERDICT: -1642.29$

Compare to 2016’s -58.21
Compare to 2015’s +897.63$ (due to fee for writing TITUS)
Compare to 2014’s +83.51$
Compare to 2013’s -1671.16$

!
!

BUT!

Let’s not leave it on that rather dour (albeit tax deductible) note. For there were other fringe-related developments in 2017! I took part in a number of non-fringe festivals with previously fringe shows, and performed a few of them at the Heritage Grill as part of Way Off Wednesdays (run by the lovely Devon More). Let’s take a look at those:

!
!

20374450_10155006831608155_5516162208895623601_n

!
!

Non-Fringe with Fringe Shows:

In March, I performed my Hatter show twice in New Westminster at the Heritage Grill as a by donation show:
First Performance Donations: +134.90$
Second Performance Donations: +10$ (yeah, it was a bit of a bust)
I also performed The Most Honest Man in the World at the same location that month, by donation:
Donations: +102.55$
And in December, I performed Hullaboo and The End of Everything once at that location, by donation:
Donations: +156.40$
Profit share to Katie: -78.20$
Heritage Grill by donation total: +325.65$

Due to previously being in Port Alberni during their fringe, I was invited back to their Solstice Festival to perform William vs The World:
Solstice artist fee: +650.00$
Ferry Expenses: -16.95$ (there)
Ferry Expenses: -16.95$ (back)
Stage manager pay: -66.09$
Solstice total: +550.01$

I also took my show, The Most Honest Man in the World, to a separate non-fringe festival in Salmon Arm, Theatre On The Edge, for two performances:
Festival fee: -225.00$
Greyhound to Salmon Arm: -62.90$
Return trip cost thanks to the lovely Andrew Bailey and thanks to his lovely girlfriend: 0$
Artist take-home from ticket sales: +757.90$
Salmon Arm total: +470.00$

I also performed in a Geekenders show (Slumber Here) at Vancouver Fringe, but it did not make any money. Which was to be expected, as we had to hire a live donkey for the show!

!
!

More generous end verdict:

If I balance these fringe show fees beside my fringe losses from Saskatoon, we get an end of 2017 financial figure of…. : -296.63$

Which doesn’t seem as bad. What do you think?

Hullaboo - Audra Balion Art

!
!

Hullaboo - Poster

My 2016 Fringe: By The Numbers – Vancouver Edition

October 6, 2016 Leave a comment


My 2016 Fringe: By The Numbers – Vancouver Edition

Hello!williamvstheworld-image-01

Every (2013) single (2014) year (2015), I put out a blog post with financial breakdowns of my fringe festival experiences. This summer, however, I took a break from the tour as a whole and only performed in Vancouver.

Before I get started, I just want to give Vancouver Fringe kudos for making the ticket costs more transparent this year, at least online, clearly separating the amount of each ticket price that is given to the performer versus the fringe festival fee attached to each ticket.

This year (2016), Vancouver Fringe had 100 shows – more than ever before, but fewer than the advertised number of 110 due to ‘Generation HOT’ and special event shows – and gave $260,213.00 in revenues to artists.

Divide that number by the number of shows, and the average revenue per company would be 2,602.13$ . Given how successful many companies are, it’s safe to peg the median revenue figure somewhere lower than that.

(thanks to Shantini Klaassen for getting these numbers to me.)

So let’s take a look at how I did compared to the average!:

Vancouver audience numbers (for William vs The World):
# of performances: 9
BYOV Venue capacity (Arts Umbrella): 31
Total # of audience members: 10 + 30 + 23 + 24 + 23 + 13 + 15 + 30 + 29 = 197.
Average # of audience members per show: 21.8
Total # of paying audience members: 4 + 17 + 15 + 20 + 13 + 10 + 8 + 18 + 19 = 124.
Average # of paying audience members per show: 13.78

Comp ticket breakdown:
# of Kids Up Front ticket donation: 12
(I gave four comp tickets to each of my first three shows to https://www.kidsupfrontvancouver.com/ , a charity that Vancouver Fringe partners with.)
# of Super Pass comps (given to those who billet artists – let artists stay with them): 1
# of Exchange Vouchers (another option for those who billet artists): 1
# of Kick Ass Pass comps (free fringing given out by the festival to staff and big donors): 3
# of Artist Request comps: 5
(I had a few friends arrive late to one show so I booked them comps for another, and I traded show tickets with another friend.)
# of ‘Comp-Advance’ (any comps booked in advance): 17
# of volunteer/artist rush comps (Vancouver Fringe has an awesome rush line system where volunteers and other artists can see non-sold-out shows for free): 34

 

williamvstheworld-image-02

 

EXPENSES:

Failed Fringe Application fees:
Saskatoon: -50.00$ (actually got in, but had to drop out.)
Orlando: -33.43$
Winnipeg: -25.00$
CAFF (Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals lottery): -25.00$
San Diego: -56.99$ (got in, but dropped due to potential border issues due to citizenship problems)
Nanaimo: -25.00$
TOTAL: -215.42$

Vancouver Fringe fees:
Lottery draw (did not get in): -50.00$
Vancouver Fringe BYOV fee: -450.00$
Arts Umbrella venue fee: -500.00$
Arts Umbrella-required extra venue insurance: -43.75$ (+time to find insurance broker)
TOTAL: -1043.75$

Other:

Photoshoot: 0$ (reused content from previous year.)
Packing tape for posters: -3.55$
25 Posters from Clubcard: -12.26$
1000 postcard handbills from ePrintFast: -75.28$
Chuck the Third (cactus prop/character): -8.95$
TOTAL: -100.04$

TOTAL EXPENSES:
-1359.21$

Expenses not included:
Fringe bar beers (5?): Roughly -27.50$
– Rent paid (as I live here)
– Food eaten
– Lost income from not working dayjobs (although during the festival I DID admittedly work one standardized patient shift, one Science World shift, one SFU-Woodwards front of house shift, and put in a few hours on Richmond Arts Coalition items in my role there as Administrative Assistant.)

 

INCOME:20160906_135729_west-11th-avenue

Vancouver Fringe:
Frequent Fringer 4: 10$ per ticket = 0$ to the festival, 10$ to the artist.
Frequent Fringer 10 or 30: 9$ per ticket = 0$ to the festival, 9$ to the artist.
Full ticket price: 14$ = 3$ to the festival, 11$ to the artist.

# of Frequent Fringer 4 tickets sold: 5 tickets :: at 10$ per ticket = 50.00$
# of Frequent Fringer 10 + 30 tickets sold: 29 tickets :: at 9$ per ticket = 261.00$
# of full tickets sold: 90 tickets sold = 990.00$
Average amount per ticket, paid to the artist: 10.49$

Total: +1301.00$

 

FINAL FINANCIAL VERDICT: 1301.00$ – 1359.21$ = -58.21


Compare to 2015’s +897.63$ (due to fee for writing TITUS)
Compare to 2014’s +83.51$
Compare to 2013’s -1671.16$

 


Conclusion:

William vs The World is a harder show to sell than The Most Honest Man In The World, and I didn’t have any other festivals this year to build any sort of momentum or media push, so I expected a smaller turnout, and that happened. All the same, the only reason the number was negative this year was due to festival fees for festivals I ended up not getting into or dropping out of, so I’m content. It was a lot of fun to get to be a part of at least one fringe this year.

Felt like home.


williamvstheworld-image-03-cropped-700x350

And a final image of how I transported my set to and from Granville Island. 🙂

20160918_023855_west-11th-avenue

 

Personal Reassurance – State Of The Andrew

August 1, 2016 Leave a comment

I don’t feel like a writer unless I am writing. I don’t feel like an actor unless I am auditioning or acting. And if I am not actively writing or acting, I can feel like I’m not doing much of anything with my life.

So with that in mind, every once in a while I need to remind myself both of what I’ve done recently and what is set as still to come. A career-wise State Of The Andrew, if you will. So as I feel all insecure and whatnot, let’s take a look at what I’ve actually been involved with this year:

****************

Several months: Cassie And Friends
Puppeteered a show about Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis in elementary schools (yes, with puppets) once a week for a while!

886924_594003430746922_3184563629082407803_o

January: The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson
A sold-out run of a socially important (and darn good) show that zero members of the theatre community saw. It was fascinating to work mostly within the Sikh community on this piece, both in creative collaborators and audience attendees. I also loved getting a chance to be in a non-musical show – only the second one I’ve had the opportunity of acting in (other than shows I’ve written myself) since I came back to Vancouver in 2011. (The other show was The Boys In The Band.)

January: OVATION! Awards
I performed a song from Carry On at the OVATION! Awards. And lost the best new musical award, alas. Three time nominee! Gotta get to Leonardo DiCaprio runner-up level status!

20160327_230122March: Richmond Arts Coalition
While not a creative exercise in itself, my part-time job at the Richmond Arts Coalition is 1000% about supporting other artists. Which is nifty.

 

March: The 2nd Annual 24-Hour Musical Theatre SMACKDOWN Competition
My team won! In the span of a day, we put together a 20 minutes+ musical with required elements such as The CN Tower, the 1930’s, a rubber horse head mask, and a song style that I can’t remember. I was the head book-writer for our group. SO MUCH FUN. And I am frankly astonished that our team took the prize, given that the stiff competition included incredibly talented and witty theatre creators like Sebastian Archibald! (I am now the only person to be on both winning teams from year one and two!)

April: The Mad Tea Party Cabaret
Performed The Unbirthday Song as The King of Hearts at a fundraiser cabaret.

May/June: VanDeca performances
I took on the challenge this year of performing in a choir (alongside my little sister!).

AndrewWade_Diamond'sEdgePhotography_WEB

May: People Like Us
A chance to sing songs I’ve always wanted to sing (Quiet from Matilda, Falling Slowly from Once, Sea of Pebbles from TITUS), and to raise money for a good cause (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia), as well as an opportunity to connect with a grassroots opera company run by friends.

June: The Solstice Arts Festival – The Hatter and William vs The WorldIMG_20160618_140119
I offered to perform two different one-man-shows in two days, which was perhaps not the best for my sanity, but it made for a solid challenge. It turns out that relearning two hours solid just-me-talking takes a lot of hard work! Especially as I hadn’t performed The Hatter in two and a half years, and had only once taken this version of William vs The World to a festival. It was lovey to get another chance to perform in Port Alberni, especially in this otherwise fringe-tour-less summer.

 

June: TITUS!: The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus – Edits
Finished the words side of rewrites for TITUS, coming to The York Theatre this month! The show is my dear, dear baby, in two act form for the very first time.

June: Elkwalk
Puppeteered some giant Irish Elk skeleton puppets around downtown at 3am one night. As ya do.

July: Student Films
In July I began auditioning in earnest for student film projects in order to get more screentime under my belt. Nothing has been filmed yet. There have been complications around scheduling due to my dayjobs and other performance commitments — apparently all student films only want to record on Saturdays and Sundays!

July: La Serva Padrona
Opera Mariposa asked me back to be in an actual opera! Admittedly in a non-singing, non-speaking clownish servant character role, but I was onstage for the majority of the show. I never saw a script, and only vaguely knew what the other characters were saying (in archaic Italian). I functioned off a loose set of ‘be here when this happens, there when that happens’ choreography, and otherwise follow the specific instructions to steal focus from the singers and try to be as ridiculous as possible. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Fakespeare-Festival-Photo-3-768x548

August (to come): TITUS! The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus
Come! Please do!

August (to come): Gorepalooza IV
I am currently slated to wrestle in a kiddy pool filled with fake blood as an over-the-top pro wrestling character. Too fantastic to NOT do.

September (to come): The Mad Hatter
I will be roaming around the Richmond World Festival as The Mad Hatter for a few hours.

September (to come): Who Killed Kraft Bier?
I will be a character in a one day site-specific show that has people travelling around, drinking beer!

WilliamvsTheWorld - image 01September (to come): William vs The World at Vancouver Fringe
Come! Please do!
Here’s the blurb:

William has built for himself a perfect fortress of solitude. A dream job at a geek store and all the time he could want to watch superhero cartoons, become the ultimate Dragonborn, and avoid other people. But how will William and Chuck (his cactus) survive when their perfect world collapses?

Performing September 7th-17th at Arts Umbrella on Granville Island, as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival!

****************

Looking at it, I feel I would be happier now if I had devoted more time this year to writing (perhaps at the expense of a few paying-the-rent dayjob shifts) and I need to get better at making this screenacting thing happen. That said, while I haven’t worked a long contract this year, I can’t say I haven’t been active.

What do you think – Am I adequately maintaining my theatre creator credibility? Am I accomplishing anything at a rate at which future accomplishment is inevitable? Am I just spinning my wheels? Inquiring insecurities want to know! 🙂

Cheers,
Andrew