Keeping Your Head Above Water

Blink once and you’re trying to stay awake driving to Montreal in a rental car because your own recently decided the breaks didn’t want to work and the tires were on strike. Blink again and you’re over two weeks later, riding first class on a VIA Rail train, eating zucchini, potatoes and scrambled eggs that taste vaguely like ham, even though I don’t remember if it said ham on the menu, and sleeping off the two-week long blur that was the Festival St-Ambroise FRINGE Montréal.

This was my first experience ever performing in a Fringe Festival. I’ve attended some Fringe festivals in the past, notably last year in Toronto and my last summer in Ottawa, where I volunteered in exchange for a few free performances. Let me tell you folks, performing is a whole nother ball game!

But one totally worth mentioning in CCC as the next great leap into comedy performance outside the protective walls of clown college. Even though clown college helped out a bit along the way. The truth is, Fringe is tough! In general, and particularly when you have to leave half-way through the festival to go back to your day-job on those few days you don’t have shows.

I ain’t no Spring chicken any more either, if you know what I’m saying. When I drive somewhere and arrive at 2am, I find it pretty damn tough to be fresh as a daisy and raring to go the next day. Which, apparently, is crucial in promoting your Fringe show. Luckily, my trusty partner was available and on location throughout the entire duration of the Montreal Fringe, and did more than her share of promoting, being interviewed, flyering, postering and chatting to friends and strangers alike trying to promote our show.

One thing I’ve learned, is that it’s helpful to have a tag-line. And I totally just thought about that, even though it makes sense, as that’s precisely what you need if you’re pitching TV shows, or movies or whatever because inevitably, people will ask over and over again “What’s your show about?” When your show is entitled “Water Wings,” it’s sortof vague, (which is amazing and appropriate, because vague is the French word for wave… oh I amuse myself,) it helps to have a quick, catchy way to summarize it in order to peak people’s curiosities and spark their desire in seeing your show.  With help from our wonderful director Pamela Barker, we’ve settled on a theme, rather than a tag.  And that theme is transitions.  Water Wings are a major transition – they help keep you afloat while you’re learning to swim on your own.  Just as each of our scenes, in one way or another, reflect transitions, both actual and metaphorical – relationships beginning and ending, people growing and learning, half-genie/half-horses using magical powers to turn people into inanimate objects.  You know, life!

Blink once again and you’re at the airport, waiting for your delayed late-night flight to Winnipeg, ready to do it all again.

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@TOsnoozefest

Sleep deprived driving is dangerous, you guys.

I guess there’s that moment when you realize, as a motorist, that you probably shouldn’t be on the road. Like, for me yesterday, it was about 6:30 pm on my way back from the FedEx depot because apparently my ROE is so important it can’t be sent by regular mail.  It came when I realized I felt dizzy with each push of the accelerator and as I stared out, without blinking at the road ahead and it seemed to widen and retract with every breath I took.

It was starting to feel a little like this:

When my eyes start playing tricks on me, that’s normally a sign that I’ve gone to too much sketch comedy for one week.

I’ve been (trying) to see as many shows at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival (henceforth known as TOsketchfest) as possible because a) I’ve been deemed the social media coordinator for the event and b) sketch comedy in Toronto is great and the line-up this year is fantastic.  BUT, I just started a new job, and the process of doing both right now is seriously impeding my health and well-being.  And what I mean by that is, holy crap I’m sleepy!

During my FedEx excursion (FedExcursion) I fought with myself for a good long time about whether or not I check out more shows, or go home, take a nap and see what happens.  The nap won, except it sortof turned into a 2.5 hour snooze, a drowsy phone call, and a return to sleep the rest of the night away.

And when I woke up… I WAS STILL TIRED!

Luckily, it’s Friday because:

  1. No boss at the office today;
  2. I don’t have to work tomorrow;
  3. I don’t have to wake up super early for work tomorrow;
  4. I don’t have to drive tonight

…so I can go out and see as many shows as possible until I pass out in the audience and have a member of some big-time sketch troupe (oxymoron?) staring at me disapprovingly after having been prodded awake by an audience-member disgruntled by my noisy snoring.

So far, the Festival has been fun, but I really wish I was currently more awake and alert so I could be blogging about how amazing Bruce McCulloch’s show was, or how it was dang nifty to meet Eugene Mirman…

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I swear I was going to my car and NOT following him, OK!?

…or how much of a blast it was to perform in Nerd Off, even though I’m not in a sketch troupe participating in the festival this year, but I have a buddy who likes to look out for me! (Thanks Erin!)

I’d love to rave about it!

But I’m so tired.

New jobs, eh?   The worst…

/The best.

Yay for work!

See you tonight @TOsketchfest!

D and the New CatChatz

I had my Level D improv show last night at the Second City Training Centre – it was a lot of fun despite my being tired from having just driven back into town from Niagara in a rental vehicle with New York license plates than I’m paranoid I will ding because I’m a terrible parker. But there you have it, the show went well and I got to spend the rest of this Sunday evening as far away from Grey Cup nonsense as possible!  (SO glad I left King/Peter before the game let out. SO. glad.)

The newest episode of CatChatz was released to the world today.  This one guest stars my buddy, the very funny and talented Erin Rodgers as a Pet Psychic/Therapist who tries to help Melanie Marble (Paige McIntyre) get over her separation anxiety resulting from her catless move to the big city.

CatChatz – E05 – Pet Therapy

I hope you enjoy it!  Share it with the people in your lives who love cats. (ie. Everyone, amirite? #catsrule)

Speaking of which, I’m taking Peanut to the vet on Thursday because she keeps scratching her face so much she looks like Heath Ledger’s Joker.  Pet ownership is the greatest!  Now, where’s Dad’s credit card, again?