A quick update on current and upcoming projects!
For the VERY FIRST TIME EVER, I have made it onto the poster of something I am performing in (other than on posters I produced myself)! One week down, four more nights for the only not-for-children haunted house in town! Creepy Andrew skitters about until Halloween night!
And then, on November 4th, at the Rio Theatre, I am in my second ever burlesque show, Weird Al Burlesque! Yep. Expect to see a man become a spy. And expect a spy… to Spy Hard.
I am also now a spare puppeteers for Cassie And Friends , a society for children with juvenile arthritis and other rheumatoid diseases! Occasionally performing an awareness puppet show at schools around the lower mainland. And briefly appearing in this news video! : http://globalnews.ca/video/embed/1612634/
And, from December 4th to the 21st, at Studio 1398 on Granville Island, I will be performing in Fighting Chance’s production of Little Women! (Katharine Hepburn, sadly, is not a part of our production.)
But wait! There’s more!
The Confidential Musical Theatre Project lands in Vancouver on December 8th! No rehearsals, just everyone showing up on the night and putting an amazing show together.
I have no idea what the show is yet.
And that takes my performances into the new year! I am also writing a show for a local theatre company for an upcoming fringe festival, just applied with The Most Honest Man In The World for a few fringe festivals, and am soon to jump back into workshopping a children’s show for touring in the new year.
Life is full and excellent!
And for those of you who have read to the end, here’s a bonus entry I made into a penny arcade comic contest. Their art, my words. Had to be on an Australian theme:
How to Forgive a Thief
As an unexpected follow-up to my post earlier this week, while I was chatting with an old friend at a coffeehouse in Victoria, my bike’s odometer – which I had forgotten to remove from my bike in the midst of hello-hug-greetings – was stolen.
(sidenote: Always in Victoria! I’ve had bike lights stolen three times, a helmet once, and now an odometer. Never lost anything in Vancouver or Kelowna – bigger crime capitals – oddly enough.)
That moment when I realize something of mine has been stolen, sucks. No way around it. It frustrates and angers me. It makes me suspicious and mistrustful of the people immediately around me.
Fortunately, as I mentioned before, I have a coping mechanism in the way of tithing. I can’t get rid of the frustration so easily, but the last thing I want to do is compound these frustrations by adding the financial replacement cost of buying a NEW odometer. I also need to find a way to forgive the thief. So here’s what I’ll do.
Right now, due to my blessed time working the Kelowna Summer Theatre Festival, I have in my budget an August tithing balance of -150.58$. That’s money strictly earmarked towards tithing actions – using the money for a good cause, for gifts, and the like.
First I need to decide upon a replacement cost. The odometer that I purchased cost about 25$, but that was due to a dramatic sale at a Zellers going out of business. I was unable to find a similar odometer at the Zellers here in Victoria, so I can’t expect that amount to cover a new odometer. So I’ll put my replacement cost at the amount for a similar odometer from MECC, which, including taxes, comes to about 45$.
So, emotionally, I offer my odometer as a gift, so I can get over the feeling of being a victim, and be willing to forgive. Financially, I subtract 45$ from my tithing budget, reducing it to -105.58$, and the only hassle for me is the act of going out and buying another odometer, and the time I am currently without one. It could even make sense to put a dollar figure to that time cost, if I found it overly frustrating.
All that said, every incident has its own personality. Today is particularly frustrating because they took the odometer, but not the sensors attached to the wheel… which means that rather than a homeless person taking a bike-light that can be used as a flashlight… today’s voleur has walked away with a piece of useless electronic junk. Which makes forgiveness harder. But without my tithing system it’d be so much worse.
Thanks for reading.
The old season is ending. Long live the new season.
I often consider my life in the metaphor of a television series. (I like structure.)
Lately I’ve been looking at each year as a season. And since I’m not yet too far removed from 20 years of education, each year begins in September. Now, with any good episodic television show, there are individual stories and arcs that last over a few episodes, two-parters and the like, but there are also season arcs, overarching stories and themes that have their feet in every minor story that year. An arc could be a career path, a relationship status, a focus, a series of coincidences, health, friendships, projects… anything, really. What makes a season arc what it is is that pervasive nature with which they are progressed (or obviously stagnate) throughout the whole season. It’s these arcs I’d like to pontificate over.
THIS SEASON’S ARCS
This past year (September 2011 to September 2012), significant arcs I can identify that have made their way into almost every day of my life are (A) my career goal to connect with the Vancouver theatre scene and find paying work doing theatre, (B) reconnecting with my family (as last September included a move close to home), and (C) Being single without letting myself be single. (Like I said, stagnation can be an arc as well.)
As for (A), as with good TV, it started with a BANG (four days to write and learn and build a Fringe show for Vancouver Fringe?), then fell into a rhythm of better paced growth experiences throughout (A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Great American Trailerpark Musical, The Boys In The Band, IGNITE! and The You Show with The Romantics, Shpadoinkle Day, and the National Voice Intensive), and showed a strong arc build, with my recent paid work at the Kelowna Summer Theatre Festival. This arc emerged from last year’s season finale (Stage manage, direct, and write/act in three different shows for Victoria Fringe?), and this year’s finale features an echo of last season with a return to Henry V with KeepItSimple, and an unexpected call from Bard on the Beach, asking if I could audition for them – a call I did not receive last year. The finale of this month also helpfully points toward plotpoints for next year, with auditions for paid work and opening hints of Dracula: The Musical.
For (B), seeing my parents and siblings every few days has been a blessing, giving me a sense of roots and the resolve to stay on the mainland and follow my path, rather than find somewhere to hide. An anchor.
And with (C), well… all I’ll say is I went on a total of three dates all year, and that while this year’s season finale won’t be what I’d hoped for, it might be what I need. As with many real television shows, this season will end with a meeting at a party. (Part of the reason I think in arcs is an act of hope and will that there will indeed be a great shift ahead.)
NEXT YEAR’S ARCS?
While I’m no clairevoyant, here are my predictions for possible arcs:
(A) Film and TV. I want to make a big career push in film and TV. I expect a slow build-up with student films, extra-work and the like, but I’ll happily accept a break if it comes. 🙂
(B) The Move Into The City, Proper. Not only does my family look like they may finally move out of Richmond after many years of pondering doing so, but the building I am currently living in is due to be demolished at some undetermined point – most likely in a year’s time. Just in time for the big finale. 😛
(C) Breaking The Social Isolation. Tied to the former arc, perhaps living with other people again, but more importantly, cultivating strong friendships and accepting new beginnings on the relationship front. More evenings spent with people, and not just for the purpose of rehearsing.
(D) Income Boost. Be it a successful passive income project, a lucky opportunity to act in a commercial, or something else, I expect growth from last season’s 10k income figure.
Other possible arcs include: Writing regularly / getting published (though I’m not sure I have the discipline for this in me, quite yet – through perhaps writing/running a D20 game could be a step), bouts of depression, a brilliant romance (apparently there’s still a hopeful romantic in me), connecting to political spheres, and connecting to nature (a highly rare experience throughout all of my life).
Now I head off to Victoria for the season finale – a step into my old world to see what experiences, which people, I’ll get to take from it into next season’s arcs, and what will get left behind.
I don’t know what will happen, but I plan on following the metaphor through. I want a big finale, with this season’s arcs resolved or transformed into something new. Next year’s arcs set-up. Surprises. A cliff-hanger. When I return to the mainland, I want my life to have been inexorably changed.
So if you want to help write the next season of me, or become a regular, now’s the best time to make a guest-starring appearance.
I need something big to happen so I can begin next year feeling renewed.
Note: I wrote this on the Greyhound back from Kelowna. I seem to pontificate on such rides.
After six and a half weeks away, traveling home from Kelowna. The hills, mountains, and other sights are clouded in a grey fog. “Must be a forest fire somewhere,” my billeter told me before dropping me off at the terminal. Apparently smoke from fires blow into Kelowna all the way from Colorado, Alberta, and even Alaska. Wouldn’t have even occurred to me. My still-city-mind thought smog instead.
My legs feel weak, like I’m tired of standing, or haven’t done so in a long time. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed my Kelowna adventure and had some great times with my collaborators which I doubt I’ll forget. They say the best way to hold onto a memory is to make sure you learn something in it, and I did, whether from going wine-tasting to learning how not to use a barbeque (and accidentally flooding the stage with smoke in the process). But with five weeks at the Voice Intensive and then near seven weeks out here, feels like my homes have moved out from under me, be they my new home in Vancouver or the one I was hoping still existed in Victoria.
I’m heading there next. A few days of hard work in Vancouver, then off to the Victoria Fringe Festival on Saturday, off to a city that was home for seven years, a home I feel I’ll need to rediscover. Make new memories on old streets.
I am grateful for all the wonderful people I knew in all of these spaces. I’ve heard it said that gratitude is the way to get out of the satisfaction trap – that trap where satisfaction never lasts because we get used to the blessings around us, and then want more. Gratitude reminds us of the blessings we have. But it is also typically a somewhat backwards-facing emotion. Being grateful for times past.
What would it be like to be grateful for the unknown which is to come? Is that part of hope? Is that satisfying?
Another journey to explore, I suppose.
I’m not prone to generalizations, but I don’t think it a stretch to say that everyone wonders at some point in their lives what other possibilities were out there, if they had gone down a different career path. What if I had gone into the sciences, instead? What if I had aimed to stay as a full-time staffer at that observatory? What if?
I will freely admit that I do wonder whether or not my own is the wisest course of action, whether my ambitious drive into the world of theatre is a quest worth pursuing, a goal worthy of fitting my whole life around. Whether I might be just as happy doing something else, somewhere else, for (assuredly) more money. More security. More regularity. Whether or not I should be proud of my current life of balancing part-time jobs in order to make just enough rent that I can spend all my weekends and evenings creating theatre and performing (typically without pay, no less!). After a stretch of working daytimes and rehearsing evenings, these thoughts can run through my head. I admit that.
That said, I flat out deny the notion of ‘if you can imagine yourself being content doing anything else, then DO THAT OTHER THING INSTEAD’ that gets floated about concerning all the arts (be they acting, writing, visual art, you name it). Hogwash. Of course I could find a decent modicum of happiness somewhere else. The world is great and vast, and there are so many excellent potentials out there, so many avenues to pursue, adventures to explore. Any man who could not find happiness in more than one pursuit is a man I pity. But I wager that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, like standing centre-stage and igniting two hundred people into laughter, compassionate silence, or enthusiastic jeers. Nowhere else makes me so completely and wholly grateful to be alive.
Do I act to be famous? No, but it’s nice to be recognized. Do I act for the continually renewed challenge of live theatre? Partly. I’ve found that when the challenge of a job disappears, so too does my interest, whereas live theatre is a new and different adventure every single night, because the conversation between actors and audience is different every night, even if the lines and choreography remain the same.
But no, the main reason I perform is because the act of sharing a story fills me with a delight unlike anything else on Earth.
Except perhaps the happy dance I do after a lady agrees to go on a date with me. Even there, theatre might win out.
Saturday night was opening night for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a pseudo-pantomimish musical absolutely brimming with delightful energy. Big, bold, and British. Marvelous. And this show has instilled me, nay, possessed me, with a spirit of gratitude, from the moment we found our first preview audience. Since that first night, I have found myself treasuring my friends and family moreso than usual. I have repeatedly thanked God for all the opportunities in my life. I have found new ways to deeply enjoy my work. I have had a grin plastered on my face. I’ve had to suppress a strong urge to hug every friendly acquaintance I meet. I’ve needed less sleep. Heck, after opening night, and the opening night festivities, and post-festivities, I arrived home at 6am, and STILL had too much energy leftover to sleep for another couple of hours. I am vitalized, potent, present.
The lesson from all this? Life is a bigger, brighter wonderful when I have a stage and a story to share. It happens every show. Every project. And any time spent between performances, between opportunities, is a valley in comparison to this peak of exultant contentment.
And THAT’S why I’ve chosen a career in theatre. Not because I couldn’t possibly do anything else, but because, by gum, I have found nothing so irrationally fulfilling as this.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood plays at The Metro from now until March 3rd, with 8pm evening performances on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 29th, 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd, and a 3pm matinee performance on the 26th. Review at: http://www.reviewvancouver.org/th_drood12.htm . Tickets at: http://ticketstonight.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=1682
- Edwin Drood: The mysterious appeal of Dickens’ darkest tale (independent.co.uk)
- Solving the Mystery of Edwin Drood (guardian.co.uk)
- My Theatrical 2011 in Pictures (adewade.wordpress.com)
- The Mystery of Edwin Drood: A Dickens of a whodunnit (guardian.co.uk)
I made a mistake today.
And, this blog being a pseudo-journal/confessional for me as well as communications tool and general writing outlet, I figure, why not explore it here. Teach me not to make similar mistakes again. 🙂
The mistake? I didn’t attend The Ovation Awards. I’m not entirely certain why. I hadn’t heard they were coming up until a week or so ago, and then I never gave the awards ceremony much thought, despite having castmates up for big awards, even a show I was in, up for an award. Why? Half-hearted reasons of only having arrived in town in September and only having been involved in one eligible show for the whole year (and not having seen others)… but the truth is, I just didn’t think about it. Didn’t come to much of a decision. So path of least resistance took over, and after a dinner out with castmates, I went home for the evening.
When I moved back to Vancouver, one of my prime goals was to connect with the theatre community here. A big city can be a lonely place without friends to share it with. And I have done that, in many ways. I am happy with the connections I have made thus far. Heck, just yesterday I made a new friendly acquaintance from chatting about a play reading we both attended. And I DID go out for lunch/dinner with castmates today, after rehearsal. But this awards ceremony would have complimented that goal. A place to cheer on newfound friends in their triumphs and whatnot. So yes, I’m kicking myself, pity party and whatnot, and all that. Heck, I even had a ticket given to me at one point, but I don’t feel bad at all for letting Ryan take the seat. 🙂
So, what did you learn?
There’s a reason I plunge myself into this self-reflection, and it’s not to kick myself for the sake of kicking myself. Grew out of that habit a long time ago. Thankfully. No, I do so, to make this a spurring on point. The ‘aw shucks drat’ feeling I feel right now reminds me just what my goals and hopes are. Reminds me to be oh so very grateful for the wonderful opportunities I have been given thus far by brilliant people like Cathy Wilmot and Ryan Mooney and Amiel Gladstone. Reminds me to seize hold of those opportunities, to seize hold of the life I want to build here. Because this theatre community is a place I want to call home, goshdarnit. I treasure all of you. You’re good people. And I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with so many of you, hopefully with many, many more grand adventures to come.
So congratulations, my friends, friendly acquaintances, and folks I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, on your fine awards. Ranae Miller! Yay! Cameron Dunster! Huzzah! Dawn Ewen! Fantastic! And to pick one at random, Jacqueline Breakwell! I’m sure you’re a lovely person! And I’m sure you deserve your award as well (even if I wasn’t in town to see the shows you it for).
It’s just an awards show. But awards are important. I think so, anyway. And so are reminders. And this is just a reminder to myself to diem some carpes and so forth.
Ah, post graduation life.
For the past seven years (aside from the first summer), I have leaped straight from classes (Septembers through Aprils) to full-time jobs (Aprils through Septembers), with very little in the way of breaks. This time, however… well… there’s no co-op job to hold my summertime, and no school year hiding along the horizon. For the first time in 20 years (including kindergarten), I don’t have school coming up in a few months, and I haven’t even been working a full-time job.
So this month has been the closest I’ve had to a vacation in a long, long time. So of course I have done my darndest to fill it to the brim. Thought I’d write out a few of the projects I’m currently engaged with:
- BFA: The Musical! – Directing the show, complete with a brilliant seven person cast, music, dancing, large props, and much silliness, for the Victoria Fringe Festival.
- Pays: Profit Share. So, perhaps 20$.
- Timing: From now until the run, August 25th to September 3rd.
- The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – Writing, producing, and performing for the Vancouver International Fringe Festival. Just found out my show will be performing in Studio 1398 on Granville Island!
- Pays: Hopefully I’ll make my money back, with a bit of spare change? Also, to positively expose myself to the Vancouver theatre community would be invaluable. I plan on offering a lot of comp tickets to do this.
- Timing: Fri Sep 09 = 22:15 to 23:05. Sat Sep 10 = 16:30 to 17:20. Sun Sep 11 = 13:00 to 13:50. Mon Sep 12 = 18:45 to 19:35. Thu Sep 15 = 20:30 to 21:20. Sat Sep 17 = 20:00 to 20:50.
- Sin City Improv – a weekly, live, improvised soap opera every Tuesday night at the Victoria Event Centre (with only 3 episodes left in the season!)
- Pays: with Booze and Pizza
- Timing: Season finale on June 21st!
- Theatreshorts – One Sunday night each month, performing Improv, and (as a gift from Dave Morris) directing an improvised scene in the second half.
- Pays: with a drink and much laughter.
- Timing: Every 4th Sunday of every month, until I leave town or until the show folds.
- Henry V – Acting as the Duke of Canterbury and the King of France, in a KeepItSimple production.
- Pays: with a challenge
- Timing: Performances: July 21st, 22nd, and 24th, in the Phillip T. Young recital hall at UVic.
- 4Villains.org – Acting secret roles for the 4Villains webseries/organization.
- Pays: Dude, I get to be a supervillain. Oh, and I had a burger at a BBQ.
- Timing: I honestly hope to be coming back to work with these fine people for years to come.
- PirateAdventures.ca – Being a pirate, leading children and adults on a pirate adventure based out of Fisherman’s Wharf. Currently only for one or two days per week.
- Pays: ~12.00$ per hour, plus tips. Also pays in sunburns wherever I neglect to apply sunscreen. Though the sun-bleached hair highlights are cool.
- Timing: Ends in early September.
- Victoria Walking Tours – leading tours around downtown Victoria.
- Pays: Around 12.00$ per hour. Pay may depend on whether or not it’s a successful venture. Minimal hours per week.
- Timing: Hasn’t started yet, should end in early September.
- How Socrates Bought The Farm – Student film, I’m acting in it.
- Pays: wih gratitude and a clip for my film reel. And experience.
- Timing: Filming should begin, and wrap, over this upcoming week.
- Unsound Innocence – Acting as a lawyer in a shortish film by HTVBC– excellent and crazy Hungarians who run a non-profit film company in their spare time.
- Pays: They feed me, and there is a potential for royalties if it wins cash awards. Clips for my film reel.
- Timing: Filming should wrap in July.
Vancouver Young Playwrights Competiton / IGNITE! 2012, for The Romantics – I won 1st prize with my play, The Romantics. The prize comes with mentorship by a Vancouver playwright from November through March, and a performance in the festival come May.
- Pays: a 600$ prize plus the above mentioned mentorship.
- Timing: Performs in May of 2012.
- Auditions, auditions, auditions! – Auditioning throughout Vancouver and Victoria. Many ferry rides, trying to secure something, acting-wise, for beyond September. No luck thus far. Which is to be expected. I need to work more on my auditioning prowess.
- Pays: Pretty, pretty please?
- Timing: Never ends. NEVER, EVER, EVER.
As you can see, outside of IGNITE!, my schedule beyond September (with the Vancouver International Fringe Festival) is still an inky void, and I’m not earning quite as much as I’m spending right now, but I have had a string of opportunities I’ve reached for, say yes to me in turn, so I am currently a happy, busy artist. Until September, at least, and more specifically, until my birthday, September 18th, the day the Vancouver International Fringe Festival ends. I’m content with being a working actor, writer, improviser, and performer as much as possible for now, with the hopes that the ‘paid actor’ part will come along in time. We’ll see.