It is awesome!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this thing, and what’s the point of having a blog if not to post? I guess I’ve been feeling the need to post something profound or meaningful like other bloggers I follow who put a bunch of preparation and research into their pieces. But that was never the point of Clown College Confessions.

CCC exists so that years down the line I can remind myself of what was going on throughout the stages of my journey in comedy from clown college onward. And, if it can help / entertain others along the way, bonus round! Let’s take a look at what’s new then, shall we?

Fringe

I’m so stoked to be in a Fringe show this year. Last year I stage managed a really awesome show, but I learned that working the tech could never satiate the desire to be on stage. So, the opportunity to perform this year is a huge #blessing for me. I’m playing a Mom/Teacher (totally my wheelhouse) in a Kids Fringe show called “Boy vs. Fly.” If you have kids, nieces, nephews or you just like cute shows, you should totally check it out.

The poster for Boy vs Fly - the Fringe show in which I'm performing this summer.

It's a bright photo with a cartoon image of the cast. Next to it is the title of the show, along with names of cast and crew.

In the Soil

St. Catharines, or the Niagara Region, I should say, doesn’t have a Fringe festival per se. They do have something called In the Soil, which is organized by the Suitcase in Point theatre company. A huge endeavour to showcase visual and performing artists of the Niagara Region.

I was very happy when I found out Improv Niagara was accepted to In the Soil this year. The point of the festival this year (or maybe every year?) is to present something brand new that audiences have never seen a particular company present. For IN, who regularly perform a short form competition show, we were happy to try something new to us. Narrative longform improv. *insert dramatic sting.

We rehearsed a BUNCH. IN is the first team I’ve really coached/directed, so it was friggin’ incredible to see a few things:

  1. The progress from the first time we tried to run a long form and were like “wait, how do we include all these extra bits if we’ve never just done narrative before?!” Rewind, let’s start from the beginning.
  2. The progress from the first time we got to like, 20 minutes and thought that was a victory, knowing eventually the show we were going to put on would be closer to 50 mins.
  3. Seeing the group come together, learn each other’s and their own individual strengths and weaknesses working them over and over again in rehearsal as we improvised a number of different books from sci-fi to Harlequin romance. Not to mention the discovering the complications of time-travel.
  4. The audience’s delighted response when we finally got to put Off the Shelf on its feet. Knowing the hard work paid off and that people were following along with our story as it built up to a ridiculous blaze of gun-shot sound effects (as these things do.) Ugh, what a fun and special and proud and awesome feeling.

Oh hey, I don’t thing I posted at all about opening a studio space, but we did that too. (Improv Niagara, that is.) Lots of stuff keeps happening, and for some reason I don’t think it’s worthy to blog about. But it is. It’s awesome. And I’ll try to keep it up.

Recycling Matters

Oh yeah, ALSO… the Niagara Region released some of the short videos we created a while back. Check out the first one, and then just keep watching them all and learn to recycle properly, k?

The Improv Niagara crew are about recycling!

What are you working on that’s awesome these days?

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Debt’s Ugly B***hole

I’m normally smarter than this, and know better than to stay up past 12 if I have to work all day and take a four hour flight immediately afterwards, inevitably landing somewhere I’ve never been before.  Actually.  Come to think of it, that situation hasn’t really arisen as of yet. Normally I wouldn’t have had to work.

People have been telling me I’m lucky to get the time off work to go to the Fringe, but am I?  When I got hired, I made my ulterior career goals known.  If the aim in hiring administrative support is retention, then really, if I want to go to Winnipeg for 3 weeks, and take a day off here or there throughout the year afterwards, jeez.  Just let me be.

I realize this is a silly thing to say and that people work for the tiny amount of time they are granted off, considering the amount of hard work and effort goes into surviving just the day, let alone the week, the year, the 30+ years to feed your family, pay off your mortgage and retire comfortably, but damnit.  I don’t feel that’s me.

In a dreamworld, I would fly out to Winnipeg, someone would catch my show and think: “my these girls are damn gifted writers, here:  have your pick of TV shows to write on, or radio shows, here’s something I want to pay you to write” etc.  If only it were that simple.  If only I had those 8 + travel time hours a day I use up to go to work Monday to Friday, to stay at home and get my ideas written down, my creativity challenged, that would be the best.  But debt is sticking out its nasty butthole right in my face, and it’s damn stinky and needs to be payed back.  Like, now.  Or else light a match or something, because peeeeee-yew!

So, post-Winnipeg, it’s belt-tightening time. But until then, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come check out our show!  FOR REAL!  It’s really good!  And it’s a lot more fun when there’s more people in the audience!  COME ON!!!! I NEEEEEEEEED THIS!

I mean.  *Brie gets up from the floor.

Good night everyone.

BRIEVIEWS – Fringe Edition #1

Fringe is upon us, Toronto!

What a fun way to take in live theatre – and live COMEDY – in a medium different than the everyday scene.  I’m aiming to see as many comedies as I can this Fringe, because I tend to prefer those to dramas or otherwise, but hell – I’ll see anything if it’s free, folks.  Just sayin’.

So far I’m at a 1 show : 1 day ratio for Fringe since the party launched on July 4th.

I’ve seen two solo performances so far.  Sometimes, it’s nice to hear about someone else’s struggles for a change.

Fringe Show # 1 -> The only reason I know there’s a Big Brother UK is because my former roommate used to watch it for the nudity…

My first show of the Festival was July 4th at 10pm ->  ZACK ADAMS: A Complete History of Zack Adams with my pal Gillian at The Solo Room venue at the Tarragon Theatre.  This is a show about the life & times of a young man from Australia who’s always wanted to perform & who must come to terms with the fact that home is where the heart is, and it might just be the best place to perform as well.  We follow along with Mr. Adams’ sometimes funny, sometimes tragic tales about friendship, love and… bees He recounts his life as a performer and the struggles progressing from small town big fishdom to bigger cities, where one becomes well, just-another regular-sized fish.  A regular-sized fish who landed Big Brother UK, but a regular-sized fish nonetheless.

As someone interested in maybe putting on a one-person show in the future, I liked this performance.  It’s amazing to see another human being pour his heart out to a bunch of strangers.  He was fearless, sometimes singy, sometimes dancy (no doubt showing off the training from that fancy Australian performing arts school) – but also very honest and simultaneously very theatrical.  See it.  Learn about this great performer’s interpretation of the hand he’s been dealt.

Fringe Show # 2 ->I knew I wasn’t the only one who wanted to see Stewart & Colbert in an intimate setting.

My good friend Erin and I met up at the Theatre Passe Muraille for the 9:30 Backspace show of Fake News Fangirl.  You should see this show.  I’m not just saying that because I know Sharilyn personally and I think she’s wonderful.  Because there is that.  But if ever you’ve felt like you were a fan of something and tilting slightly towards the obsessive, Sharilyn’s show will help you to acknowledge you aren’t alone in this world and, in fact, it could be much much worse.  In high school, I really dug the Kids in the Hall.  But my so-called obsession is really nothing compared to the hours Sharilyn has spent on her affections for Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert et. al.

This show was a wonderful insight into the world of someone who isn’t just a fan of comedy, but who lives for comedy.  And not just for the laughter – I mean, Sharilyn is basically comedy Wikipedia.  And to hear about her endeavours – because  she’s done comedy — the open mic scene, improv, writing for the Daily Show & Colbert Report classes in NYC — she’s done it.  You will witness a struggle of the self as ‘one who does comedy’ vs. ‘one who loves comedy’ and see how blurred the lines are between the two.

A must-see for all the comedy nerds!

But…

Along with my being an active participant in Fringe this year, I can’t help but harbour a bit of resentment over the fact that I (we?) could have been in the festival this year, but that for reasons beyond my control (ie. I’m broke/internal collapse) – it did not happen.  What an amazing experience it must be to perform/produce/promote your work on your terms.  That being said, the more shows I see, the keener I am to make something happen Fringe-wise for next year.  In the meantime, I’m going to go plot out my next round of shows for the weekend.  Oh, and find my softball gear.  Comedy Softball season starts tomorrow!

Happy Fringe, everybody!