Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Neglected once more...

Poor lonely blog that I never update! Let's see if I can't catch everyone up on what's been happening over the last few months...

I am leaving my job. FINALLY. My last day is on Friday. My boss sent out the announcement last night, inviting everyone to "stop by" and wish me well. So today I have been having the exact same conversation with every single person who works here... people who couldn't be bothered to speak to me for the last four years are suddenly distraught at my imminent departure. My only regrets are: that I didn't quit many moons ago, and that I wish I had more than 2 days off before starting my new job. I could use a little more time to unwind after the fringe. Which leads us to:

THE FRINGE. Yes. I am here, I am doing a fringe show. A show that seems to have confused and disappointed critics. A show that seems to be loved by about half our audience, and... not-as-loved by the rest. We have had 5 performances already, and have 5 more starting today. I think we are all having an awesome time together, but the show is a lot of work. The company I'm working with seems to like me and I think we will work together again... provided they don't have to disband because of hatred of this show. No, that won't happen.... right? (No, it won't).

The folks I am working with in the show are incredibly supportive-- they included me singing in the show (recorded on a sound cue), and think I should do a cabaret. Which I would really, really like to do... I just have to maintain the courage to move forward with it.

I've been invited to return to the big fancy theatre in town to their playwright development program to write a new play. On spec, I think, not any immediate money in it. But still, a chance to hang out with some cool people and discuss theatre. Oh, and write a big play that is suitable for a big theatre. Which I'm not quite sure how to do.

In other writing, I've been faithfully keeping a list of play ideas as they occur to me on my phone... but I think I may have to just take one and run with it and write it before thinking about it. I have a tendency of letting things percolate for too long and then they somehow become "sacred" and I can't write them.

My new job is going to be a big change for me-- a longer contract (till June), with pretty regimented hours (8-5, M-F). It will pretty much preclude me from taking random gigs that pop up without a lot of notice, but the money is really good. I'm hoping to save up some money to be able to freelance for a long while once the contract is up, and in the meantime I'll be able to do some writing in the evenings. And I think I will focus on creating projects with people I'm interested in working with, and who are interested in working with me... if we're interested in each other, schedules suddenly become a lot more flexible.

Here's hoping this all works out somehow.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Oh where oh where have I been?

Well, I was in another city for 3 weeks doing a workshop. I was also doing some auditions, which were "successful" but not "SUCCESSFUL" if you understand my meaning. I have another audition coming up on Monday which not only involves singing and acting, but also the dreaded MOVEMENT CALL. I think it's basically a dance call for non-dancers, which I would ordinarily get really stressed about, but I think I'm such a terrible non-dancer that all I can do is laugh and try to do my best. I will endeavor to throw in some "dancer face", you know, the serious and intense looks of realness that people have in Fame or music videos.

The workshop was really interesting-- working with 12 other people plus the facilitators in a group setting was... challenging at times. There are definitely some people for whom I wish nothing but the best, and fervently wish never to work with them again. I was a stupendously bad judge of character for the first time in recent memory and ignored the signs of someone who turned out to be, quite literally, insane. (Of course, in retrospect, I have a little Usual Suspects moment, where all the warning signs and clues fall into place in a rapid montage.)

A couple of things... I had some miserable days there, where I really, really struggled. But even those days were about 1 million percent better than sitting back here at a desk job, by virtue of actually getting to go to work every day in a theatre. I got to try and fail, and try and succeed many times. A few people asked me if I did musicals because they thought I was a good enough singer that I must do that. They seemed surprised when I said I didn't, due to overwhelming fear of public singing. I was reminded that the most important thing is to do the work that you want to do, however long it takes to get there.

I have a new project that I'm working on. I can't really articulate it very well, but that tends to be how all my projects start. If I can explain every detail at the outset, it means I've already figured it all out, and it will quickly cease to become interesting to me. It's still anxiety-provoking because I don't know what it will be, or if it will be any good... which is a lot of pressure to put on something I've barely started. I know, I know. Stop thinking about end product.

Easier said than done.... but I guess I should go practice moving so I'm ready for Monday.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Back Again

Oh hello my young Honey Boo Boo children,
I'm back again. I haven't looked at how long it's been, but I know it's a shaming amount of time. Here's what I've been up to, in the order that I remember it:

I wrote a play in 3 hours! A very short, very odd play. It was part of an annual fundraiser for a theatre company in town: 4 playwrights are given a first line (and a couple of other things to include), and have 3 hours to write a play... at which point set and costume designers take the script and start building stuff... then actors and a director get a hold of it... and the whole show of 4 complete productions go up that evening... about 11 hours after the writer finishes. Needless to say, the finished results are rather hilarious.

I'm preparing for an audition I don't even know if I have yet, because it's the kind of audition that requires me to prepare a whole bunch of stuff that I'd like to get a jump on before they call and say they'd like to see me in three days. New monologues, new song. Reading The Winter's Tale, as my classical is from there, and... ugh. What a weird, not-so-good Shakespeare play. They aren't all winners, people!

Taking ye olde Synthroid now that my thyroid is finally crapping out... which explains the utter exhaustion, weird voice fatigue, and ever-growing fatness. I'm hoping that when things get evened out, I will decrease in mass. Or at least, stop increasing. It's getting to be a bit of a situation with work clothes, here... Not to mention that my largesse leaves me feeling less than confident for my (fingers crossed) upcoming audition, or...

Heading off to another city for 3 weeks to do a performance intensive culminating in public performance. Exciting! Scary! Working only weekdays... potentially lonesome and boring weekends! (I'm sure I'll have lots of homework and can spend the rest of the time at the gym).

Looking for an apartment because my landlady sold our house! Yes, 48 hours after telling us "I'm thinking about selling the house", the house was sold... apparently at $40,000 over asking, which is great, great news. We have until the end of June to find somewhere new, which is stressful and somewhat demoralizing, since a lot of landlords are very judgy about tenants with pets. Also, I'm afraid we'll inadvertently end up in a sketchy area of town and be murdered.

My job is... employing me. I'm still trying to find the balance of this "part time work from home" situation I'm supposed to have. Mostly I feel fairly bummed out when I get here in the morning, but I'm trying to work it out... at least until I can find another apartment and go through all the credit/reference checks.

And how have you been?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Two-Job Day

Like the title says, today is a two-job day--worked a medical improv gig this afternoon, and working at my day job... at night. I've moved my office two floors up, but tonight's shift I have to work from the desk next to my old station. I'm feeling a bit split focus today-- in two places at once, as it were.

I'm still looking for that new play idea--maybe looking too hard, since it seems less and less likely that I'm going to find that PERFECT IDEA. It may be time to start working on something less than perfect. I've been entertaining the idea of writing some short plays, just to get back in the swing of things. And there seem to be tons of places that accept short plays, for festivals and contests and readings and such. I am also beginning to really worry that I may never write again. Which may be the reason that people keep writing--to prove that they are, in fact, undefeated.

There is one idea that keeps coming back, that keeps presenting itself to me (which is always a bit creepy), but I don't really have this one tiny thing called a story. Or characters. Or anything. Just a vague idea. Which means I need to keep thinking.

But I'm getting impatient.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Yes, we closed on Sunday afternoon, had a lovely dinner and drinks together, and then it was over.

I'm totally bummed about it. I wish I could have kept doing the show forever.

I promptly got the stomach flu the next day, adding to my bummitude.

Annnnnd I'm back at my day job today... oh joy, oh wondrous day!

Countdown to my next crack at the full-time creative life... 68 days, give or take a couple of days. But next time I get to try it in another city!

Anyway, I've got about 1500 or so emails to get through. I'm going to treat myself to a latte or something to celebrate making it into the afternoon times.

Hope your days are going swell, friends.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


So apparently I fell down a little on my resolution to post once a week here. I've been busy, though! Here are some of the things I've been doing:

1) I lived through Tech Week.
2) The show is up and running.
3) I have a lot of free time, which I'm feeling guilty for "not using well"
4) I still don't have an idea for another play
5) I'm trying not to panic about that
6) I haven't been to the gym in two weeks, because of a foot injury that keeps on hanging on and really sucks
7) I've been procrastinating going to a doctor about that
8) I've been getting nervous about my return to my soul-sucking day job
9) I've been drinking a lot of tea
10)I've had some requests for my work from theatre companies and have been dutifully walking them down to the post office.

I am so over winter, you guys. We've had this period of weather that's been +2C or so, and I just want it to get a little warmer so everything will MELT and summer will come even faster.

I'm also surprised to find that I miss the gym. Who knew?

And how have you been doing?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Surprise Day Off...

Today was my surprise day off--because I'm only in the 3rd act of the show, we weren't going to get that far in tech today, so I missed the first 10 out of 12 (rehearsal from 12-12, but with a total of 2 hours' break, meaning you only work ten out of twelve hours). It would have been especially great if I didn't have to leave the house, because it was -42C in the wind today (but a balmy -28C otherwise). I don't know what that is for my pals in the US of A, but suffice it to say it is FREAKING COLD.

I did finish C25K on Saturday, so I'm feeling pretty proud about that... although I am a pokey pokerson, so I think the next order of business is to increase my pace.

Other things to do:
Sort my receipts (ugh) for taxes
Clean, clean, clean

The glamourous life of the artist, am I right?

I'm loving having so much free time... so much that I am seriously considering just not going back to my job in March.

I know, I know.

But it's nice to think about..

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sometimes the day off gods smile upon you...

I had a day off today (did I mention I'm not in this play very much?), and I "wasted" it by staying in bed with an earache. But then the deities of days off looked upon me with pity and it was good--I have another day off tomorrow!

Yes, I am one of those people who tries to pack as much as possible into their day off. I feel guilty if I spend the day doing nothing-there are so many projects I could be finishing! So many errands I could be running! So many workouts I could be doing! So many postponed blood tests (an exciting byproduct of my current meds) to be taking!

I'm never sure if I should be working on that--I do find it hard to relax and just take time for myself, yet I also kind of love being occupied with a bunch of different personal projects.

I don't really miss being at my job at all--I think my boss felt like since I was so committed to keeping everything running that I was a huge control freak who would have problems detaching. When in reality, the opposite is true... I'm all "Good luck, suckers!" I confess: I do check my email every few days,mostly to file it so I don't have 7000 emails when I get back. And... I may laugh a little at some of them, in a jerky way, like a jerk would do. And then I don't think about it at all.

Tomorrow: 2nd last run of Couch to 5K. Followed up by some Value Village shopping. Then possibly followed up by reading a book at a coffee shop... the weather is dismal here, cold and snowing, so I sometimes get lazy about going places. Then, some cooking.

If I could find someone to pay me to do this all the time, I'd be set!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Overheard at my Big Fancy Costume Fitting:

Designer: Let's try on some hats!

Me: (in a cautionary, yet still jovial (let's call it jovionary) tone): Just so you know, I have kind of a big head, ha ha ha...

Designer: Ha ha ha... here, try this one.

Me: It's really dashed my hat dreams before--I think this is too small.

Designer: It certainly is. Try this... no, you really don't want a fedora, do you? All right, how about... hmmm.

Me: Right?

Designer: You do have quite a large cranium there... well, we'll find you a hat....

(Long pause.)

Designer: On second thought, let's look at babushkas!

On second thought, let's look at babushkas...

Tagline for my life?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

First Day

I just wanted to do a quick post on my first day of rehearsal!

I was nervous yesterday. NERRRRRVOUS. But of course everyone was very nice and professional and lovely and it was amazing to see my name on a dressing room door, and to get measured for costumes and to realize that I might have an appointment with THE WIG DEPARTMENT(!) and about a hundred more things that were new and exciting!

It was also intimidating. I mean, these people were PREPARED beyond anything I've experienced in a while. And I remembered how much work this is, and how much of yourself you have to give and how much courage it takes to do this work. And no, it's not curing cancer or fighting wars, but it's important--and, I realized, where I feel at home. Well, maybe a haunted home because it was so scary as well.

I keep finding myself going back over--did I say enough? Did I say the wrong thing when I did talk? My reflex in new situations is often to just listen and learn as much as possible... which can backfire in that people think I'm incredibly shy or that I have nothing to say. I tried to analyze everything, really--and right now I'm working on giving myself a break because IT'S MY FIRST DAY AT A NEW THING.

It was also very interesting to hang out with people who are bona fide professional actors--as in , actors without a joe job, who pretty much make their entire living from it. They didn't seem to have any of the apologetic "Well, I also do this art thing" that I catch in myself or in some of my friends. They may very wel be insecure about themselves, or their talent, or other things, but they were very confident on the point of "Yes, I am an artist. And?" No apology needed. No question that I would believe them. And no question that they believed that I am an artist too, since I was right there at the table with them.

I have a costume fitting tomorrow, and then I don't return to the rehearsal hall for another couple of weeks.

Which I'm already looking forward to!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Friday is like Monday is like Friday

Hi guys.
I'm back at work for the first time in two weeks, and am I ever thrilled about it! No, wait, what's the opposite of thrilled?

The latest and greatest incident in my continuing work saga is that my paycheque last week was strangely smaller than I thought it would be. I chalked it up to me missing what pay period we were on... besides, there's no way to check in with anyone, since everyone is still away for the holiday.

Well, today I looked at the actual pay stub and compared it to my schedule-- over 40 hours are missing from this cheque. Seriously, an entire week of work. Can that really be a typo? I had a little difficulty writing a polite email about that one. Not that it matters, because everyone's away on holiday until next week. It's bad enough that I am still working here, but when they stop paying me... grrr.

I got a call inviting me to the first day of rehearsals for my new gig--because I have such a large and signficant role, I won't be joining the group officially until the third week of rehearsals. But I will be going in for the first day to meet everyone and see the design presentation and be in the first read and all that good stuff. Eeeeeescary/Awesome!

Naturally, my first thought was "What should I wear?"

I suppose I should tell my job about this show. I am waiting to hear about another Big Important Thing With Little Likelihood Of Coming Through before I email them, though.

I am supposed to hear today.

I am impatient.

Thank goodness my first day back is followed by two days off.