Thursday, 28 April 2011

The "Conception" of my life as a story..

Came across this in a book today. Renaissance Self-Fashioning by Stephen Greenblatt:

"The telling of the story of one’s life—the conception of one’s life as a story—is a response to public inquiry: to the demands of the Senate, sitting in judgment or, at the least, to the presence of an inquiring community."

Yup. I completely understand that whole judgment aspect.  On that note, here is our official St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival 2011 poster. No judging.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Post-Easter Post :)

Hi all,

I am sorry I disappeared over the Easter weekend. It's a busy weekend for us, seeing as though it is the holiday that celebrates my mother's miraculous resurrection. Get it? Cuz she's Jesus.

So I'm now officially back in Montreal, getting ready to take this show to the Montreal Fringe. If any of my Montreal peeps out there has a chalkboard and a cot on wheels, I am looking for those set pieces at the moment. Thanksies :)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

..And we've closed in Toronto. For now.

The tiny 2-night Toronto run of 8 Ways my Mother was Conceived closed last night. The weather outside was cold, but inside the Studio Theatre things got quite cozy (yes, I was going for the cheese factor there). I can't express in words how shocked I was that audience members who I'd never met before felt the need to come and introduce themselves to me and compliment the show. Seriously, I don't deserve it! I couldn't have hoped for a better experience.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Opening Night was a Success!

We opened to a humble crowd of 20 last night, which was actually a surprising number seeing as though publicity for shows in this department doesn't extend far beyond those who are students and professors in it (and that's a small pool). So I had a lot of surprise visitors in the form of Montreal friends who have moved to Toronto. It was really touching. I feel blessed that people actually care about this story. Tonight I will be performing for my beautiful mother and aunt, who are making the trip from Montreal in this hail storm. I'll keep ya posted. :)

Friday, 15 April 2011

Opening in 4 days!

Things on the 8 Ways my Mother was Conceived front have been very hectic over the past few days. So many talented folks are helping me gear up for opening night this coming Tuesday. I've also started having the nightmares where I can't remember my line. Which, you know, lots of actors have. But it just dawned on me: this is a show with no one else on stage! No other actor to repeat a cue, or gesticulate elaborately or go into a lazzo until I remember my place. Eesh. I think the contingency plan for unspeakable disaster will be to play our hilarious soundtrack of angry sheep, courtesy of the wonderful Steph Bernston. Yes, the sound design of my show includes angry sheep. I'll bet that's intriguing. We've also got dirty Dickens jokes and a cameo by Al Pacino. You won't want to miss this!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Blocking Boot Camp was a Blast!

On Saturday my wonderful stage manager Cassandra Silver and I enjoyed the first day of warm sunny weather in Toronto in order to engage in "Blocking Boot Camp" and "Arts & Crafts Hour." My boyfriend Gab asked whether I was actually in Grad school or had gone back to kindergarten. But don't be fooled! It was all very hard work. The blocking for this play is quite complicated and could make a professional athlete sweat a little, I promise you. And the crafts...well...we put together a very nice set piece that you'll just need to come watch the show to see! Now I will leave you with the logo for my new company, MaryBeth Productions, designed by the talented Corinna Howard!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

A First Run-Through Kinda Day

Today we had our first full run-through in the space. We also had the lighting team in to watch and work ideas for the design, so it was the first time with audience-like people seeing the show. It felt shaky for me. Probably the way a baby chick feels when walking on its skinny little legs for the first time. All in all however, I was amazed that I got through it from top to bottom with regards to that was wonderful for me!

Graphic by the wonderful Corinna Howard
I had been having trouble with a certain monologue that I am supposed to deliver as my mother. It is a very dark and heavy scene in which she reveals a substantial secret. I was having a hard time switching from playing my mother comically to this particular moment. So I sent her the monologue in an email and asked her to call me and read it to me when she was ready. My mother has read my script many times, she has attended 3 readings of it, 1 of which was a full reading of the entire play. However, upon being asked to read this monologue out loud herself, she claimed she didn't think it was the same as what she'd seen before and that it was "too much." She was absolutely shocked and concerned about the monologue being delivered to the public. I found this too be very interesting. Her exact words were that she didn't think it was this "explicit" before and that she hoped I would "soften" it. No matter how much I urged her to believe that the monologue has not changed (it really hasn't), she refused. I think this discrepancy in (re)cognition between listening to a performer and being asked to perform oneself is something I will investigate further.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Progress Report

Hello, Hello!

I've been working hard on the show. Coming up to tech week in Toronto and things are getting into place. We have a wonderful stage manager named Cassandra Silver working with us now. I really needed someone to come on board and take care of administrative things because I was going nuts. I also got really sick. The stress and the worrying is not helping so much. We recorded sound effects for the play today....very cool. All I can say is: there will be sheep!

There is also a draft of a poster for the Toronto show available now. I'll share that with you and sign off! :)