Wednesday, May 30, 2012

One down, one to go...

So yesterday, I had the first of two auditions this week--this was the lower stress one, although it was a little more awkward than usual due to my being good friends with one of the AD's. I think because you always want your friends to think you're good and talented and so on, it's strange to audition for them. I guess because a friend's opinion matters more than someone I'll never see again. But it went well! The chat portion was good,and my monologues were decent--I did have a bit of that out-of-body experience doing the monolgues, but I think that happens to a lot of people. Particularly because you're not doing it in context, or after a couple of weeks of working together on it. But it was a positive experience, and I'm glad it's over! I had a vocal coaching this morning for my second audition, which also went very well. We talked about the order of my pieces, and I may end up singing first. I usually put off singing, just because I'm the most nervous about it, but it makes sense vocally and thematically to do my sweet love song before the murderous rage and cold revenge. I just keep telling myself that singing is muscle memory... the more I practice doing it with good habits, the more easily they will come to me. In time, of course. I'm nervous! But I'm feeling quite prepared. Another couple of days should solidify that.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hell Week

Howdy friends, So shit is going down at my day job--long story short, it's possible that either I will be laid off, or I will stay but the new situation will make me so unhappy that I will realize that I can be unappreciated for a lot more money and go elsewhere. Naturally, I will try to stick things out as long as possible, as is my nature. But I have to say I am so tired of not feeling supported by the mucky-mucks in upper management. I feel an exit strategy may be in order. I have an audition tomorrow, which I'm reasonably well-prepared for. It's a little bit extra awkward, since I happen to know one of the artistic directors quite well--it's somehow worse to audition for friends than it is for complete strangers for some reason. Friday, I am supposed to have a half-day workshop of a play I wrote. This was all fitting nicely into my schedule, since I am required to be at work in the morning. Unfortunately, now I have an audition scheduled at a Big Fancy Theatre about 15 minutes after the workshop is supposed to be finished. Since they're across town from each other, this is not ideal. Also, I am preparing new monologues and a new song for said audition. I am FREAKING OUT. I need to reschedule one of these things, but it isn't working so far. I'm also supposed to find out about another audition at a Big Fancy Theatre in the next two days. If the universe smiles upon me, I WILL get called in, and I will NOT be scheduled for Friday. And how is YOUR week looking?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Busy busy bees

Oh you guys. I am so looking forward to a time when I do not have to accomplish so much every single day: going to work, going to shows, working at my freelance job, writing/submission requirements, and various other commitments. I have a tendency to overbook myself. I feel guilty for not being active and accomplishing things 24 hours a day. The side effect is that I tend to burn myself out. This week, on top of my jobs and show commitments, I've also had voice coaching, audition prep, and a first read for a show I'm in later this summer. Next week: 1 audition 1 voice coaching 1 half-day workshop of my play (hopefully the first of many steps on the way to production) Many hours of editing freelance gig (I am trying to do as much as possible because it pays well, and it means our huge debt will be paid down sooner) The week after that, I actually have an acting gig--doing some readings of new works. I love being asked to do things. Especially when I don't have to chase/beg for it. That's rare. That someone actually just thought of me and then asked. I'm going to try and build some momentum to get more of that kind of thing happening. In garden news, all three of my tomato plants have sprouted! And two are already growing their second set of leaves! It's hard to imagine that these tiny little sprouts will one day produce piles (I hope) of tiny tomatoes for my salad. If the weather holds out this week, I'm hoping to plant my lettuce and cucumbers outside this weekend. I do like being busy--I just wish more of my time could be spent doing things I *want* to do, and less time doing things I *have* to do.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dear Playwright - Part II

So, my cold still lingers. But on Friday night, I did get an email from the very same folks who had sent me the Dear Playwright email the day before. The gist was: they're unable to acknowledge plays individually, but every year they do like to let a handful of folks know that their work was appreciate, and they hope they'll submit again. And my play was one of those. And since the jury for this thing includes a couple of well-known folks, I was a tiny bit thrilled that said well-known folks had mostly likely read and liked my play. This is in the category of the Almost, one of those victories that's difficult to explain to people why it's a victory. Of course, I sent a brief thank you note (always, always be polite kids--whether you are Canadian or not), and didn't even suggest they start using Mail Merge in their rejection emails. One of my tomato plants has started to sprout, I think. It's a tiny sprout, but they are tiny tomatoes, so that makes sense. The seeds were practically invisible, so it stands to reason that it couldn't hold a lot of stuff inside... right? Honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Dear Playwright"

Is how the email I got this morning reads. Needless to say, it's a rejection. Well, not a rejection, since it was for a competition, but a "you didn't get shortlisted, but these people did!" email. Hmmm, I guess that is a rejection. Not my favourite way to start the day, but it happens. And the finalists' plays do sound interesting. But I had managed to put this particular competition out of my mind, since it was such a long shot, so it wasn't a rejection that I was expecting. I do have an expected rejection whose arrival I am checking my inbox for daily. Who says the creative life isn't glamourous? My cold lingers. The body system that is most affected seems to be the part responsible for motivation--going to the gym, running errands, getting out of bed. The part of my brain that stops me from lying on the couch and taking the tater tot cure is withering.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


So despite it not being summer yet, I have a summer cold. And it's the special kind of illness that instead of making you really sick for a day or two, makes you miserable-yet-functional for a week. So I find myself sitting at my desk, feeling wretched, having been oh-so-efficient that I've finished my work for the day, and trying to stealth do other things. Of course, other things are: 1) re-learn 2 old monologues for audition in 3 weeks 2) learn 2 new monologues for an audition I hope is in 4-5 weeks 3) read the Shakespeare play one of the new monologues is attached to 4) finish the stupid first draft of this stupid play I'm supposed to have done for stupid next week. None of these are particularly appealing, but my resistance is strongest when it comes to writing, as always. It's not going well. It never feels like it's going well, but in this case I know I'm going to have to rip out most of what I've written, so why continue? I sort of feel like I should sit on it for a while and figure out what to do. But I made a vow to adhere to this deadline in front of a famous playwright and a room of fellow writers. So I feel kind of obligated, sick or not! What I have has a beginning, middle, and end. It's skeletal, but I think it counts as a first draft. But does it count? Should I be worrying about what other people say "counts" if I'm satisfied?

Monday, May 07, 2012

Value Village Treats

Yesterday, after spending some time searching for the seeds I want to plant (I know I'm a couple of weeks behind schedule, but I'm still hoping the container garden scheme will come to fruition--or is that vegetablition?), I decided to take a trip to Value Village. One of the things I miss about not being on such a tight budget is the ability to go to VV and randomly spend money on random things. I know, it just enables my hoarding tendency, but I am a sucker for vintage kitchenware. And cookbooks. Particulary when I have limited cash resources and should be looking for work pants, cardigans, and nice solid coloured tops I can wear to camera auditions. So it makes sense that I should spend a hard-earned $3 on a Betty Crocker book. Even though I think it's a first edition and not the reissue. And even though it has all those darling and inexplicable drawings, and even more inexplicable food pictures. How can I resist my impulse to know what "Olive Creamed Potatoes" are? Or "Flaming Chicken"? And don't you just want to double-dog-dare me to make the infamous "Sandwich Loaf"?
I am really in love with vintage kitchen stuff, vintage entertaining. So much so that I considered writing a whole blog about it, where of course I would make these recipe experiments, and would make them vegetarian. Or at least make the desserts. Should I do that? I should do that. But it may have to wait until I get a new cell phone (which I know, I know, I will never afford as long as I keep piddling away my money $3 at a time on cookbooks no one needs). It's so disheartening to realize that every single person in the world has a cell phone with a more powerful camera than my crappy camera, which I can't even make phone calls on. Aren't you just dying to know what the green frosting is on the outside of the loaf? Aren't you dying to see pictures of me making and eating said frosting?

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Confidence building

I just had a very positive meeting with the 2 facilitators of a playwrights program at a Big Fancy Theatre. It's coming to the end of the 2 years that I've been in the program, and today's discussion was: where does my play go from here? The thing about plays is that they're meant to be produced, to be done, and not just read. That's how you know you have a good play. Well, one way you know, anyway. It looks like with this particular project, independent production is going to be the way to go--getting a production up, getting a decent video of it, and marketing it to festivals, to theatres that may present it, etcetera. A lot of good, hands-on work of the kind that I enjoy doing. And I think the future of Canadian theatre is going to be independently driven. That's the way things seem to be heading. Anyway, I have a lead on a possible space and resources to do this. I'm kind of excited at the idea of having a plan to move things forward. We talked about how I know exactly what has to happen, and it's just a matter of confidence. Confidence, that thing I lack. How exactly do you build confidence? I assume you just have to get out there and make shit happen, and you get some kind of boost from having been able to put something like that together. What's the difference between gaining confidence and looking for validation? Not sure. Perhaps I need a copy of Confidence For Dummies. I don't know if that exists, but the title Self Esteem For Dummies always made me laugh when I saw it in the bookstore. "Hey, Dummy! Feel better about yourself!" Anyone have any hints for confidence for this dummy?

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Appropriate or inappropriate?

Those of you who lost sleep over it last night will be pleased to know that I did NOT eat a chocolate bar yesterday. Nor did I eat any of the cookies that I forgot we had at home. And today I have still not eaten a chocolate bar, even though they are still sitting there on the communal treat table. I have an audition at the end of the month. Coincidentally, I'm also learning new monologues, since another place I'm auditioning for has already heard my party pieces last year. But I am in the position where I must ask myself: Is it appropriate to do a monologue about someone deciding to murder their child for a TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) company? In the pro column: It's a pretty kickass monologue. In the cons: Should I really be talking about killing a child in front of a company that does plays for children? You see how these situations can become awkward. Yesterday I saw an ad on the side of a bus and realized it was the print campaign of a tv ad spot that I auditioned for a couple of months ago.... so I guess I didn't get it! No, I wasn't surprised, but I have to say I was glad that I at least didn't recognize the lucky actress who booked it. OK. Off to pretend to work while writing another scene of the play.