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The year Twenty Thirteen – That’s Life

January 4, 2014 Leave a comment
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Twenty-thirteen was the year I toured a show of my own for the first time, the first time I visited any part of Canada outside of BC, the year I went out on dates and put myself out there, the year I got perhaps a little too subsumed by day-jobs, the year I accepted Richmond as a home base even as I became intoxicated by being out there performing on the road. It was the year I designed lights and called the shots for a Diversity Talent Show, gave tours of a National Historic Site, and was given the delightful  news that “we’re going to write you a song”. It was the year I performed a creepy puppet show while a guy did cocaine off a passport in the front row, had the biggest role in the opening number in a musical (in concert), became a bartender, worked for nine employers (and myself), auditioned for one show both in Vancouver AND Toronto, was nominated for an OVATION! Award, and was picked as one of Richmond’s 30 under 30.

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The Hatter @ Nuit Blanche in London, ONWhen I put a chunk of it in one paragraph like that, it doesn’t sound half bad.

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My financials spreadsheet tells me I earned 21114.94$ in a combination of pre- and post-tax income, not including my Fringe tour, as I lost money on that. Of that money, just under half of it went into savings. A bit of breathing room so that I don’t feel pressured against, say, taking days off work to go to auditions, or months off to possibly lose money performing in Fringe Festivals. I keep my expenses low with good habits, luck, friends, biking and skytraining rather than driving, and the fact that I’m a bachelor without kids. I also live frugally in a single-room accommodation in a building I expect will get demolished in 2014. That’s probably the biggest reason.

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I am grateful that I have been able to find a number of employers who are content with seeing me disappear for a month or two at a time, pursuing my performing career. Hopefully those opportunities will build up enough that I can make a more complete transition at some point.

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Perhaps it’s a credit and a curse to the standards I hold for myself that I’m disappointed that I was only involved in five large-scale productions this year… even if one of those productions I wrote, self-produced, and performed in four different cities over the course of two and a half months. A far cry from the ~12 productions I was a part of in 2012. I also nearly doubled my yearly income. These two things are perhaps not unrelated. 😛

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Regardless, I now know I can earn enough to support myself as I pursue what excites me. I just need to do more pursuing!

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This year was also the year I had a couple of hits with my blog, including one article, A First Fringe Tour – By The Numbers , which has had over 480 hits and was read and shared by people I deeply respect. It was even discussed in a university classroom! Exciting! So now, after a bit of a hiatus, I think I’m about ready to get back to blogging. But first, what the heck was I up to in 2013?

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My theatre life this past year:
Revue at the Revue as Jesus, Santa, and others, if you count the first hour or two of 2013. 🙂
– Nominated for ‘Outstanding Gypsy – Male’ at the 2013 Ovation Awards
– ‘The Boss’ in Fighting Chance’s ‘Side Show‘ (in concert)
– Mr. Zapatella and chorus in APPLAUSE! Musicals’ ‘Fiorello!‘ (also in concert.)
– Singing, creeping, having an all around marvelous time as Filch (and a prisoner, and a thief, and so forth) in Seven Tyrants’ production of Beggar’s Opera. (They’re remounting in March, at the Jericho Arts Centre! Go see it! My dear friend, Chris Lam, will be putting his own marvelous spin on the role as I will be busy with Floyd Collins during the run.)
– Wolf Mountain Writing Collective, staged reading of my short ten-minute piece, What I’d Be Without You, with the lovely Mika Laulainen.

Fiorello!

(Photo: Wikipedia)

The Hatter, The Hatter, so much The Hatter! Who knew you needed to write all your publicity for a June production, way back in February! Hiring a (wonderful) photographer for publicity photos, and putting together the script, and props, and travel plans to take me (economically) from Vancouver to London to Ottawa to Toronto to Saskatoon and back home, finding stage managers in each city, finding ways to get around once I am within each city, designing and printing posters and business cards, oh, and performing the show 34 or so times, plus previews and tech runs… Looking forward to getting back to it in Regina and Vancouver this year!
– Indulging my over-the-top-creepy joys as Panduin The Puppeteer in Judge Dee’s Haunted House at the Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens, also with Seven Tyrants. A twenty-minute play that starts every ten minutes, this amounted to three hours of performing (without breaks) every night, eighteen performances each night, for a week. And we sold out! Pretty much every run! Far more successful than ANYONE was expecting. Lots of leaping on bannisters and singing in RIDICULOUS pitches. Loved it. And now, back to applications for The Hatter for next year’s Fringe festivals, for which I shall update you in a couple of weeks!
– Awkward Stage fundraiser, Baby It’s Cold Outside, of which I was a chorus member with a puppet for all of a minute, so I’m not sure that one really counts. If we include that, let’s also include singing a zombie-themed Christmas song for a room full of people holding ukeleles, which, by the by, is an awesome idea for a date.

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My day-jobs this past year:
(with a whole lot of acting in them, really!)
Science Facilitator – Science World!
The occasional centre-stage show as well. I am now trained for the Grossology, Bubbles, Balloons, and Hot Stuff shows. 🙂
Heritage Interpreter – Gulf of Georgia Cannery
Leading tours and teaching school programs.
Bartender – Gateway Theatre
Unexpected and enjoyable!
Standardized Patient – Medical student exams
Pretending to be ill!
Simulations ActorJustice Institute of BC
Pretending to be a criminal, witness, or a victim!
Convention worker – BBW International
No, not THAT ‘BBW’. Though I did get to dress up in full Scottish garb (kilt and sporran and all) for a week at a Urology Congress!
Walk Leader – Creatures of the Night – Stanley Park Ecology Society
At those times when you’re so busy you can’t possibly do anything else, and then a good, old friend phones you up and offers you a job. So much fun!
Voting Officer – Elections BC
One long day, but definitely an interesting experience.
Stage Director/Manager – Culture Club Diversity Talent Show – Richmond Multicultural Community Services
Amazingly comprehensive, in that I used skills I’ve learned from so many different places. Lighting design, working with youth, directing, stage management, producing… marvelous experience.
Background Actor – A big, highly talked about film.
I was an extra in a film for the first time in a year or so!
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Actor – The Hatter and others
I may not have made money on it this year, but producing my own darn show is certainly a job, as is much of the acting work above, gosh darnit. 🙂

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And now onto 2014, where I already have workshifts scheduled with three different employers, and have  the chance-of-a-lifetime to put all that silliness aside for a couple of months and focus on a travelling production of Floyd Collins.

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Hey, now I’m excited! Yay!

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And, as I have a microphone here on the desk with me, here’s a song about hoping for the future. Don’t read into the darker suicide-y bit to it. That part isn’t relevant.

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What are you looking forward to in 2014?

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Cheers,
Andrew Wade

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Hallow’s Ever Performing

October 21, 2013 Leave a comment
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Hello, intrepid blog-readers!

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So sorry for my extended absence. I’m afraid I have been otherwise detained. When I finished my two and a half month tour of The Hatter across the country, I found that, for the first time in at least six years, I didn’t have that desperate ‘I NEED TO BE PERFORMING IN SOMETHING THIS MONTH NOW WHAT IS HAPPENING WHY’ feeling eating away at my inner psyche. Instead I found myself somewhat disturbingly content to work day-jobs for a couple of months and earn enough money for the CAFF lottery, while living a more leisurely life. So I contacted a few places where I had considered working in the past, and figured I’d have plenty of time to get some more writing done.

… Yeah, we all know life isn’t that simple.

So what happened? Well, those employers… they all said yes. ALL of them. Right. So… in the month of October I will have had eight different employers. Most of them only a few days a month, sure, and a couple of them disappear when the month ends, but… yeah. Eight.

And the CAFF Lottery… the odds were not in my favour. Considering attempting a ‘Western’ tour this summer, Regina-Winnipeg-Saskatoon-Edmonton-Victoria-Vancouver, if I can get into them. Saskatoon, at least, will get to see a new show from me! Something that may or may not work as a show. Intimidating! Yep. Gotta see if a ‘show’ will come out of my ideas for that one… y’know, in all my free time…

Oh, and that whole ‘not acting for a bit’ thing? Well, my dear friend David Perry needed people to lead Creatures Of The Night walks in Stanley Park. I was only able to offer him a few days, but it really is a lot of fun. Interactive theatre with children is AWESOME.

My final chance to wander the moonlit trail up in the park will be on November 2nd. Here’s what that’s all about:

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And why couldn’t I give him more evenings to work with that awesome project? WELL, that’s because from the 24th to the 31st, I shall be playing the part of THE PUPPETMASTER in Seven Tyrant’s Chinatown Haunted House in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

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You may remember me playing the parts of Filch, a crazy prisoner, a thief, and more, in Beggar’s Opera with the same company, back in May. But now? I seriously get to be a guy called ‘The Puppetmaster’ in a Haunted House which is REALLY a 20-minute long play that starts every ten minutes. (Yep. Requires some logistical finesse, that one.)

Come check it out if you’re so inclined! I am inclined to wish you would be there! At least, I certainly haven’t been doing any easy reclining. Okay, that was a bit of a stretch.

Well, when it comes to finding that rest and relaxation, there’s always next month, right? ALWAYS next month. Never the month I am currently in.

Hmm… my November calendar is looking a little sparse… maybe I should look for two more employers… or learn to drive…

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Stay shiny,
Andrew Wade

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Beggar’s Opera – The Newgate Prison Scene

Hello!

As part of his project EveryDayMusic, Rod Matheson filmed some of our closing matinee performance of Beggar’s Opera! And now the footage has gone live, so I wanted to share it with all you lovely folk!

(I’m the shorter masked prisoner who is singing at the very start of the clip. My chief role was as Filch, but the happy prisoner was my favourite. 🙂 )

The show was adapted and directed by David Newham, with music composed and directed by Daniel Deorksen.

Enjoy!

Beggar’s Opera – Quick Update

May 3, 2013 1 comment

Hello all!

I have been trying to get a proper post about Beggar’s Opera out for some time now, but it just hasn’t happened between working every day and performing eight times a week! I would love to inspire you with stories about the wonderful group of actors I have had the pleasure to share the stage with, about how Linden has been a great mentor for me, about the joy of having your own theme song, about SPACETEAM!, about how I see my future self a few years down the line in Gord and Nick as they discuss touring horror stories while sitting backstage with their very pregnant wives, about the kindness that infects the backstage area, about the thrill of going out and performing a show that wants nothing other than to be the most entertaining show on Earth… but there just isn’t time! No time at all! Even now, I steal minutes away from my workplace to ramble as I am!

Only three days remain – we close with a matinee on May 5th! Performance Works! Loving this show so much. I’ll miss these fine folks.

Cheers!

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