Tiny Theatre Tips #9: Make The Time

Tiny Theatre Tips #9: Make The Time

Tiny Theatre Tips #9: Make The Time

This tip is not only for theatre people, but for everyone in general…

If you want to be successful, you will put in the time to get there.

If you want to improve, you will make the time to practice.

If you want to master a skill, you will put in the hours necessary to master it.

It doesn’t matter what discipline you’re in. Acting, stage combat, dance, singing, writing, sports, knitting, cooking, makeup artistry, sketching, programming, photography, sewing… anything. Insert your “thing” of choice!

If you want it badly enough, you will make the time to make it happen.

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Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo

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5 Items You’ll Need For A New York City Theatre Trip

5 Items You'll Need For A New York City Theatre Trip

I’m heading to New York City in less than a week with the Original Kids Theatre Company, and I’m so excited! This will be my fifth trip to NYC, and my third with OKTC. I’ve already got tickets for Sleep No More and School of Rock, and I’ve got a list of other shows and adventures I want to explore while I’m there!

Before any trip, it’s important to get your things packed and ready to go ahead of time so you aren’t all stressed out before you leave! If you’re specifically going on a trip to immerse yourself in theatre, here are five items you won’t want to leave home without!

1.  Sharpie markers.

Easy to stick in your pocket or purse, and great for getting autographs on your program at the stagedoor after a show. I recommend having three different colours: basic black, a metallic (gold or silver) in case your program has a mostly black cover, and one random, bright colour like red, fuchsia or purple. Avoid yellow at all cost!

2.  A small notebook and pen.

Useful for taking notes, giving notes, getting autographs, making tiny origami on the subway (why not?). It’s just really handy to have.

3.  A bunch of Broadway deals.

Theatre tickets can be expensive, so arm yourself with deals. Playbill.com and Broadwaybox.com can email you deals that you can print out and take to the box office. There are also deals at TKTS booths, lots of apps to find deals (TodayTix is a great one!) and various student and general rush policies, so do some research and get the best deal possible! (As a general note, Disney theatrical shows in New York City such as The Lion King, Aladdin or Mary Poppins tend to have very few, if any, deals available.)

4.  Comfortable shoes.

Get ready to max out your Fitbit. Every single packing list for NYC will say to bring comfortable shoes, and I will echo it. You will walk SO much in NYC and you don’t want to be suffering. From early mornings in line for rush tickets, to late nights in an immersive theatre experience such as Sleep No More or The Grand Paradise, you will walk more in NYC than you will anywhere else. However, do NOT wear flip-flops in NYC, ever, no matter how hot it is, and you’ll probably want to avoid white shoes, because they’ll get filthy fast.

5.  Cash

Honestly, just pack light and bring cash. You can buy literally anything in New York City. If you forgot something, you can easily replace it there. Cash is easier to manage for budgeting (swipe your credit card too much and you’ll just end up crying when you get home), and it’s the most convenient way of buying show swag if you want to buy it!

Leave at home:

  • Enormous suitcases. Just pack less. I’d recommend a duffle bag over a rolling suitcase — you don’t want to be struggling with a massive rolling bag on the subway.
  • Selfie sticks. Gross.
  • Cameras with neck straps. Bring the camera, but leave the strap at home or risk looking like a tourist.
  • Big golf umbrellas. Nobody will be able to walk around you on the sidewalk and you’ll annoy people. If you need an umbrella, get one of those tiny folding ones.
  • Fanny packs. Use a small cross-body purse instead.

What would you put on your NYC packing list?
Let me know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!

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Adventures at the Oxford Renaissance Festival!

Adventures at the Oxford Renaissance Festival

One of the items on my bucket list was to attend a renaissance festival. I’ve attended a pirate festival before and had an amazing time, but going to a ren fest has been on my radar for a while. This past weekend I got to do just that, at the Oxford Renaissance Festival in Woodstock, Ontario, with my friends Lizz and Nicole. And while the weather was not on our side, it was still a great time! We were determined to have fun, rain be damned!

We attended on Saturday June 27, and it was rainy and gross most of the day. I really wanted to go in costume, but changed my mind at the last minute since it was pretty chilly. I regret not going in costume anyway, since almost every fest-goer was dressed up! I still got lots of compliments on my crazy umbrella and wacky rubber boots.

The Oxford Ren Fest featured tons of vendors, fantastic entertainment, and great food. Not all of the entertainment was able to perform on Saturday due to safety concerns from the weather (including the birds of prey and the jousting event) but we still saw performances by Men In Tights, The Flying Freakshow, a great Celtic band called The Devil’s Drink, and an aerialist and fire performer from Illuminair Entertainment.

Adventures at the Oxford Renaissance Festival

No trip to the ren fest would be complete without snacks, and we gorged ourselves on apple fritters and tornado potatoes. (You can see from the photo below how very rainy it was!)

Adventures at the Oxford Renaissance Festival

And, of course, we had to come home with some souvenirs of our adventure. Lizz and Nicole chose a flower crown and mermaid crown respectively, but I went for a bit different route. I was inspired by all the amazing costumes that I saw (everything from fairies to warriors to even Dr. Who), and noticed that the similar thread was what I call the “ren fest utility belt.” Everywhere I looked, festival-goers were wearing all their gear attached to their belts (leather or drawstring pouches, frogs and holsters for their weapons, even metal or pewter mugs for handy impromptu mead-consumption), keeping their hands free for whatever came their way. So I picked up a red leather pouch from The Dragon’s Den and a Slytherin-esque wand holster from The Hungarian Wand Shop (to hold my wand that I got from MacFie’s Wizard Shop at the Pirate Festival a few years ago). Next time I go to a ren fest, I’ll be properly kitted out!

Adventures at the Oxford Renaissance Festival

I cannot WAIT to go back again next year. Nicole and Lizz were lucky to both have Sunday free and were able to go back the next day and experience the fest with less mud and muck! But even so, I had a fantastic time and am looking forward to the next fest!

Are you planning on attending a renaissance festival? Here are my top 5 tips to make the most of your time there!

  1. Bring cash. Some vendors will accept credit cards, but food vendors won’t, and it’s just easier to have cash handy. Plus, if you have to use the ATM, you’ll be charged a fee.
  2. Go in costume, no matter the weather! If it’s raining, wear rubber boots and carry an umbrella. It will be WAY more fun in costume!
  3. Give yourself lots of time to see everything. There are tons of activities to do and it can get overwhelming.
  4. Ditto for vendors. Make a promise to yourself to check out all the vendors before committing to a purchase.
  5. Go in with a sense of fun and adventure. Yes, ren fests are super geeky. And they’re AWESOME. Everyone is super friendly and if you keep a smile on your face, you will only attract more fun!

Have you ever attended a Renaissance festival? Tell me all about it!
Share your stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!

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