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Poem: Sally, Our Coworker

November 26, 2019 Leave a comment

Sally, Our Coworker

Sally says she owns twelve cats, but she really keeps thirteen

her house is one big litterbox that she has decided not to clean

she’s shopping around for a coven who will treat her with respect

but if she cannot find a community, she is planning to get more pets.

Categories: Silly, writing

Poem: Emily, Our Coworker

November 25, 2019 Leave a comment

Emily has a boyfriend,
which she’d like us to remember,
even though we were just asking her what she felt about the weather

Emily has a boyfriend,
he’s in every conversation
about shifts or films or customers or who should clean the station

Emily has a boyfriend,
he’s all she can talk about,
did you know he drives a motorbike? Well HIS favourite beer’s a stout.

Yes we know you have a boyfriend,
no need to clarify
in every weekly meeting
that you’re taken, by that guy

We don’t care who you’re screwing,
just don’t do it at work
but if we’re on the topic,
he sounds like he’s a jerk

and don’t say we don’t know him,
we’ve heard his every trait
you’re his friggin’ oral biographer
with those factoids you relate

You make all these excuses
(that we didn’t need to hear)
for why he wasn’t at your birthday
or at Christmas this past year

And we really do not care if your sex life is in a rut
but it sounds more like his dick here is the problem, not your… flower.
Now you’ve got me talking like this —
we just work together!

Have you heard of TMI? Or of living privately?
Or of dumping your two-timing boyfriend who makes it hurt now when you pee?

Yes you talked about that too,
quite loudly, might I say,
while a customer was waiting right behind you yesterday

Please go to see a therapist
to talk about your man
about how he’s not working,
but he’s smart! And has a plan!

I get that you’re in love
and that you hope the same for me
though obviously not with you,
for you have a boyfriend, YES, I SEE.

You’re borderline obsessive,
and to be honest? Rather dim.
I am not trying to date you.
I feel like I’ve dated him.

Categories: Silly, writing

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

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The Dandelion

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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
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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!

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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

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And at what cost?

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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:

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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$

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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.

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

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So let’s take a look at the income:

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Hullaboo - Scared 1500px

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

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Eeeep.

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How’s that? Let’s break it down:

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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$

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

 

Hullaboo - Cross 1500px

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BUT ANDREW, YOU GOT A GREAT 4.5 STAR REVIEW!

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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.

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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$

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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:

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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!

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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

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Hullaboo - Poster