Halfway through 2013… time for a mid-year check-in!

Mid-year check-in!

Together again…
The Lovers, The Dreamers, and You are back!
Photo Credit: Ceris Thomas

I just got back from recording an update podcast with The Lovers, The Dreamers and You team.  It has been a long time since our last podcast… we have not recorded anything since February!  Sad trombone!  But the entire team has been incredibly busy the past few months.  We discovered that in between all of us, we’ve worked on 7 shows — Matt and Ceris had done 5 each!

I thought I hadn’t done too much, but looking back on the year thus far, I’ve actually done a LOT.  So without further ado, here’s my mid-year check-in list!

January

February

March

April

May

June

It’s been a crazy busy six months!  Looking back on it, I’ve actually accomplished quite a lot.  It’s nice to have a list like this to look at when you’re feeling down in the dumps or uninspired.  A lot of these items blended into another, such as rehearsals for Edward and Mermaid and [TF!].  I’ve learned a lot, improved my skills, spent quality time with friends and family and tried new things.  Ceris wrote a post about her past few months and all the things that she’s accomplished as well.

At the same time, there is still a lot I want to accomplish.  I haven’t made much of a dent in my 100 Things list lately, but to be perfectly honest, I haven’t been actively pursuing any of those things, unfortunately.  Plus, wedding planning has been on my mind!

So here’s what I want to achieve by the end of December 2013:

  • Have a beautiful wedding in September!
  • Edit my two existing one-act plays (After Alice and Inspector Noble and the Figure in Black) and post details on how to purchase the rights to them on my website!
  • Finish The Artist’s Way (I gave up after Week 7, and I want to finish it once and for all!)
  • Write 30 pages of my one-woman show.  (If I finish this by the submission date, I just might submit it to the 2014 London Fringe.)
  • Get my own business cards.
  • Stretch daily and be able to do the splits.
  • Pay off the balance on my credit card and keep a zero balance.

I think that’s a good list!  Challenging but definitely achievable, as long as I keep focused and push myself!  I also am committing to doing a full recap in December with regard to these goals!

If you’re feeling a bit behind on your goals, Nicole Antoinette wrote a post about How To Grab The Next Six Months By The Balls on her blog, and you should go check it out.  SillyGrrl has an entire section of her website devoted to achieving goals, and Gala Darling wrote a great post about setting goals.

So, dear readers, what have you accomplished since January 2013?  What are your goals for the rest of the year?  Let me know in the comments!

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What I’ve Learned: Edward II Edition

Spencer Jr (Nick Harrison) getting beaten up by a girl (albeit a tough girl... Lord Lancaster, played by yours truly!)Photo Credit: Brendan Wield Photography

Spencer Jr (Nick Harrison) getting beaten up by a girl
(albeit a tough girl… Lord Lancaster, played by yours truly!)
Photo Credit: Brendan Wield Photography

Welcome to another edition of What I’ve Learned… Edward II-style!

  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… learn your lines early.  Seriously.  Starting learning them as soon as you get your script.  It’ll take the same amount of time now as it does a week before your show.  I’ve written about the subject here and here.
  • I’ve learned that line runs (also known as Italian runs) do nothing for me.  We did a line run about a week and a half before the show opened, and I think I called for my line for every single line.  Yet when we stood up and ran the show, I was perfectly fine.  Moral: know your learning style (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) and let your director/stage management team know that.  And if you’re doing a line run and things aren’t coming to you, try standing up and walking through your blocking while you say your lines.  I am a very physical person, and much of my performance comes from muscle memory.
  • Beauty rest is called beauty rest for a reason, and I need it.  I can’t stay up all hours of the night anymore and expect to be able to rally on as I used to.  Oh god, I’m getting old(er).
  • Be very grateful to the people who support you, especially those people who aren’t in the show.  (THANK YOU SHAWN.)
  • The holy trinity: lots of water, a really good moisturizer, and a multivitamin.  Double so when you’re in a show in the wintertime.
  • Carrying around a sword bag is a crazy good workout.  Even more so when you’re carrying around a duffle bag with all your hair and makeup supplies as well.
  • Search high and low to find a really good, gentle eye makeup remover.  Then buy stock in that company/product.
  • Take advantage of any opportunity to have your portrait taken, especially when you’re wearing a bad-ass costume and get to pose with swords and a throne.
  • Laugh until you puke.  Literally.  (But be sure to clean it up.)

How to Deal: Post-Show Blues (Plus A Free Printable)

The gorgeous cast of Edward II. Missing these lovelies! Photo Credit: Brendan Wield Photography

The gorgeous cast of Edward II.
Missing these lovelies!
Photo Credit: Brendan Wield Photography

It’s been a week and a half since Edward II closed, and I’ve been in a bummer mood.  When you’re with an awesome group of people day in and day out for a long time, you definitely get attached to them, and you get used to always having fun people around.  Then you’re back to life, back to reality once the show closes, and the doldrums can set in.  I’ve written about post-show blues before, and I’m definitely feeling it again.

If that sounds familiar, here are some ideas to help pull yourself out the post-show dumps!

  • Allow yourself time to reflect and relax.  You’ve probably been go-go-go for awhile now, between final rehearsals and performances.  Now is the time to sit back and rest, and allow yourself to rejuvenate.  Do something nice for yourself, such as getting a massage for those sore muscles (especially if you’ve been in a strenuous show with lots of stage combat or dancing) or a facial (especially if you’ve been wearing tons of stage makeup!).
  • Spend some extra time with family and friends outside of the production.  They’ve probably been very patient with you while you were off being an ACTOR (pronounced “ACK-TOR!” with lots of emphasis on the “TOR!”) and have been missing you.  Spend some time doing something with them unrelated to the show, and don’t bring up how much you miss your old castmates.
  • Think about what you learned and what this production meant to you in terms of career/fun/whatever.  Did you make new friends?  Learn a new skill?  Don’t forget to update your resume!
  • Thank your fellow cast and crew members, and keep in touch with them.  Send them an email or a tweet, or drop them a message on Facebook, or for heaven’s sake, pick up the phone and call them.  If you’re really missing them, arrange a reunion.  A bunch of us E2 people met up on Sunday night for an Oscar party, and it was great to see everyone again.
  • Don’t necessarily jump right into another show right away.  I feel like a hypocrite for writing this one, because I’ve been working on The Little Mermaid at OKTC concurrently with Edward, and have been making plans for [THEY FIGHT!] at the same time as well!  You may think it’s a good way to distract yourself from feeling lonely or bored without a show in your life, but it’s a good way to lead to burn out.  Your body and mind need to rest!  Instead, why not…
  • Print out those cast photos and add them to your scrapbook.  Or upload them all to Facebook.  Oh, the memories!

Got any suggestions on how to deal with the post-show blues?  I’d love to hear them!
Leave them in the comments!

Click here for a free resource,
“The Post-Show Recovery Checklist,”
delivered straight to your inbox!

Linktastic – February 20, 2013

I am obsessed with this photo!  It's the Mean Girls of Edward II!Lord Pembroke (Claire Lawton), Lord Lancaster (me), Lord Warwick (Jessika McQueen)Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Rietdyk

I am obsessed with this photo! It’s the Mean Girls of Edward II!
Lord Pembroke (Claire Lawton), Lord Lancaster (me), Lord Warwick (Jessika McQueen)
Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Rietdyk

  • Ceris has written three articles for The Lovers, The Dreamers and You about theatre personnel: what makes the best producers, stage managers, and set designers.  I’m looking forward to reading more of this series!  We also recorded Podcast #11 on Monday with the LDT Online team — look for that one to come soon!
  • My amazing fighter-friend Amelia Rogocka (aka “Monkey”) writes a blog.  You should check it out, especially this article about her experience at the Art of Combat NYC Intensive and her longsword fight (which I fought with her!).
  • I have yet to work with Casey Hudecki, but I definitely want to!  Here’s her take on What does a Fight Sound Like?
  • An awesome article about Heidi Pascoe, an L.A. stuntwoman who specializes in huge falls and dives!
  • Via Bitter Gertrude: A Common Problem I See In Plays By Women Playwrights.  It’s Not What You Think.  More plays FOR women, written BY women… and not about women reacting to actions of men.  And here’s a response to this article: Theatre is activism, Playwrights are activists.
  • I was going to blog about this, but the Globe and Mail beat me to it: Does the standing ovation mean anything anymore?  Personally, it’s seeming more like a requirement rather than an accolade, and I’m really seeing this at the Stratford Festival.  I only stand if the show is worth standing for — or if I want to watch the curtain call but can’t see it because everyone else is already standing.
  • As an educator (albeit not in a school, but I still work with kids on a daily basis), I think this article is totally spot-on: 3 Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids… And How To Correct Them.  One of the comments really resonated with me as well: “I try to teach the parents the best way to handle these situations with the best outcome but they all tell me I wouldn’t understand because I don’t have my own kids.”  Most of the families I teach understand that I don’t have kids myself yet but they have never undermined me this way — yet I have friends who teach in schools who have had this experience.  How horrible for them.  I worry that someday, some of these pampered, spoiled kids will be running the country, and what will that country look like?!
  • Via Nubby Twiglet: The One Thing I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Started Blogging.  I’ve actually been blogging on this site since July 2010 (hard to be lieve!) and before that I was blogging at Diaryland and Xanga.  I was not one of the cool people with a Livejournal.  It’s so interesting to see how blogs have changed over the years.  My biggest piece of advice?  KEEP BLOGGING.
  • And if you are stuck: Get Out the Jumper Cables!  Ways to break writer’s block!
  • Via Loosen Your White Collar: 3 Things Never to Tell Your Boss.
I am obsessed with Grumpy Cat.  Have a great day!

I am obsessed with Grumpy Cat.
Have a great day!

Reviews are in for Edward II!

The "Mean Girls" of Edward II (Pembroke, Lancaster and Warwick) with Mortimer Sr.Photo Credit: Brendan Wield Photography

The “Mean Girls” of Edward II (Pembroke, Lancaster and Warwick) with Mortimer Sr.
Photo Credit: Brendan Wield Photography

We’ve received two reviews for Empty Space Productions’ Edward II.  Check out our review from Theatre In London by Kenneth Chisholm, and Beat Magazine‘s review by Donald D’Haene and Doug Bale, who called the production “a courageous undertaking for a new company.”

My favourite quote from the Beat Magazine review:

” The three female actors near the beginning in supporting roles reminded me of the supporting cast of Mean Girls. I kept waiting for Lindsay Lohan to show up.”

Any time I can be compared to the cast of Mean Girls is just fine by me!

There are three more chances to see Edward II before it closes!

The show is playing at The ARTS Project, 203 Dundas Street, London ON.  Tickets are $15 General Admission, $12 for Students (with valid student ID).  Call (519) 642-2767!

Showtimes:
Fri Feb 15, 8pm
Sat Feb 16, 2pm
Sat Feb 16, 8pm

Please Note: Due to depicted violence and mature themes, this production is not recommended for young viewers.

If the links don’t work, please copy and paste the URLS:
Beat Magazine Review: http://www.thebeatmagazine.ca/index.php/theatre-reviews/1533-edward-ii-a-courageous-undertaking-for-a-new-company/
Theatre In London Review: http://theatreinlondon.ca/2013/02/edward-ii-review/