Wooden Anniversary with the 6ix

Thanks to Facebook, it’s  now easier to get super-reflective on the stuff you’ve been up to over the past, well… since you joined Facebook…. For example, on this day, 7 years ago, I visited Lyon, France. I had a panic attack in a taxi on the way to a Coldplay concert and wasn’t quite sure at the time what was going on. I carried on anyway because I would eventually stand so close to Chris Martin, I’d hoped to catch a bead of his sweat in my mouth. I would later discover Lyon is the hometown of the first CBC employee who would call me a friend.

See how close?

See how close?!?!

On this day 1 year ago, Gill and I had our first improv set together as a duo at Winprov at the Cage. We called ourselves Exit, Pursued by a Bear. A name combining her love of Shakespeare and my desire to be chased by bears. I would later discover we were bound for more than just that one performance. We founded a monthly show for emerging and established comics to come present and perfect their material all while doing the same with our own craft. This would eventually bring us out to Halifax, where I am currently enjoying performing daily hour-long improv sets for completely new and different audiences than those from our Toronto base at the Social Capital Theatre one Thursday night per month.

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“…unusually surrealist…”

At this time, 5 years ago, I was settling into my new apartment in Toronto, having up and left my life in Ottawa. I had some big dreams, which is apparently rare for someone leaving the civil service. I was happy because if I walked a few feet away from my apartment and gazed through the trees, I could see the CN Tower, not knowing how significant that landmark would become to me. I went back to school. I was weeks away from performing stand-up comedy for the first time. Months away to writing my first comedy sketches. Years away from producing my own shows and touring the country, working in one of Canada’s most significant cultural establishments as well as one of North America’s most recognized comedy institutions, from meeting my future husband, (still not used to saying that,) meeting new best friends, new amazing colleagues & immensely talented creative partners and laughing more and harder than ever before.

I would later discover Toronto (dramatic pause) …is my home.

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Happy anniversary, you beautiful bitch.

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Nous sommes tous Charlie

I know this is really just a blog about my own personal experiences writing and performing comedy in Toronto, and I don’t really take on topics that are too politically-heated.

In spite of that, the events in Paris today call for solidarity among all of us who poke fun at the world and how ridiculous it can sometimes be.

Nous sommes tous Charlie.

June Update = Jupdate

It’s been a fun past two evenings down at Comedy Bar for Sketch Com-ageddon, but sadly I won’t be able to see the rest of the competition because I’m working the next few evenings and on Saturday I’m going to see Radiohead.

Finally, a band I’ve wanted to see live in concert since I was pre-high school.  The Bends was the first CD I ever bought.  For whatever reason, I never got around to seeing them live.  I had tickets the last time they were in Canada, but I had to re-sell them in order to return to France (oh, boo-hoo, I know!)  The kicker, they’d been playing the city where I lived in France the DAY before I arrived.  I really should have planned that better.  But this weekend, I’m finally going to see them.  Unless someone has free tickets to France.

Back to Com-Ageddon, it was fun!  I performed on Monday and Tuesday I attempted to live-Tweet the festivities (despite my tardiness.) It was fun to re-connect with some TOsketchfest pals & Humber pals.  It felt a little strange to see fellow Humber students now, even though we used to see each other every single day of the week.  Maybe that’s why.  Or maybe it’s because I’m kindof awkward, socially.  Mph.

I’ve got a PREVIEW to some news.  A few of my fellow comedians with similar sensibilities are planning somewhat of a comedy tour in October.  We’re thinking about hitting up some more Eastern areas, such as Ottawa, Montreal and Sherbrooke, and some more Western areas, like St. Catharines, London and Guelph.  If anyone who reads this blog lives around any of those places, keep reading for more information to come.  If you’re from those areas and you have tips about venues and booking information, please get in touch with me – because I value your knowledge and experience.

Ooooh!  Also.  My partner in cat-crime, Paige Mcintrye, & I finally put up our second episode of CatChatz.  You should be sure to check that out, because it’s funny and about cats.

Time

With the launch of Facebook’s new Timeline and, as time, in the real, non-social-networky world goes on, I’m beginning to realize I have a bit of an obsession with time.  Let’s add the word “time” in here one more time for good measure.  Time.

I'm making it easier and easier for you to find out everything you need to know about your next victim.

I’ve never been the greatest at managing time.  I used to sign up for many extra-curricular activities, (dance, piano lessons, army cadets, sports, improv, taxidermy, etc.)  I was out so often that some of my fondest memories are of my parents and eventually my siblings rushing me from one place to the next.  It was a regular occurrence for the driver to brake especially hard at red lights and stop signs when I was trying to put on my cadet dress uniform over top of my ballet tights in the back of the moving car.

In university, I became a bit better at managing assignments, but not until third year.  I’d had enough of all-nighters because I worked.  I needed to be (somewhat) conscious to up-sell popcorn to miserable suckers.   I began to recognize patterns in the professors’ assignment-schedules, knowing I would be given a certain amount of time to write a certain amount of essays that were all going to be due within the same week so, I’d begin writing them well in advance. By fourth (and fifth) year, I had pretty much managed it.  And if I still couldn’t finish on time, there was always bribery. Sexy, sexy bribery.

I finished school and moved to France and there, time sped up.  It started to feel as though it was going so fast I was spinning. (Note:  it might have been all that wine.)

When I came back state-side, (province-side?) I was obsessed with seeing people; staying in touch with friends I’d made in France and re-connecting with school and work friends – booking and often over-booking myself,   throwing parties at which I would try to combine all of my social circles at once in an attempt to save time and thus, kill several birds with one party-stone.

Who spiked the punch?

It is impossible to combine everything in one.  Comedy in Toronto is helping me to realize this. On any particular night, there are at least a dozen performances I can attend, either as a performer, or (more commonly) a spectator.  I can’t see them all.  I can’t do it all.  And  there are parties.  And there are other meet-ups.  And there are joke-jams.

Then, there are nights in.

Nights. In.

Sometimes they’re the simplest and the most meaningful.

OctUpdate!

Holy Crap.  I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since the Moneyball review.  I have been BUSY, ladies and gentlemen!  Time feels like it keeps speeding up.  I’ve been completing assignments the day before they’re due, staying up past midnight, despite having to work super-early in the morning at the Career Centre.

 

It seems in each class, we’re working on major projects.  There isn’t really one in which we’re working less hard than the other. It’s crazy!  The workload is by vastly greater than last year, but folks, I am loving it.

I’m working on a chauvinist male “bro” character called Brian for my Acting class.  It’s both liberating and challenging to portray the type of male I absolutely despise.

I’ve written and submitted the first draft of a 10-minute play (more dramatic than comedic) play about a soldier of the First World War who visits a French brothel.   Apparently, I’m feeling very nostalgic about my time spent in France.  Like it or not, talking about hundreds of thousands of dead guys for 5 months straight two years in a row really gets into your head.

We’ve completed our clown pieces in physical comedy and are now moving onto different techniques.

In sketch writing,  we’ve been working on two major projects: a parody of a TV show (I chose Star Trek, obvi) and a monologue script based on a person we know upon which we’ll be building characters.

In stand-up, Larry’s teaching us what it would be like to work in a writing room, working on a late-nite host’s monologue.  The humour is very topical, news-related, so it’s been helping us with the LaughDraft news as well (which we will be filming this week after a long hiatus!)

Finally, we’re working on writing a sit-com.  I won’t reveal too much about that at the moment, in case anyone reading this blog decides to steal my class’ ideas and prevent us from ever working on this project in the ‘real world.’

And then there’s all the ‘outside school’ stuff… and work…

Life is crazy!!!

…Just the way I like it.