Gallery

Chicago, my beacon

Last weekend, my longtime best bud Dina and I took a road-trip down to Chicago. I’d wanted to see The Second City’s all-women “She The People: Girlfriends’ Guide to Sisters Doing It For Themselves” because:

  • it sounded like a cool show
  • I like the idea of an all-women cast
  • I wanted to go back to Chicago & Dina had never been to this city of wonders
  • Feminism.

The show was fantastic and the experience had everything I could ask for, including an uncomfortable middle-aged white man at my table unsure as to why his wife and daughter took him to see this particular show. (See “feminism.”)

For the record, the scene with the dinosaur suit was hundo p my favourite.

I don’t do this very often on WordPress, but I thought I’d post a few choice photos from my trip to Chi-town with Dina.

Traveling for improv is probably my favourite thing to do right now; and that I got to have this quick little trip into improv mecca (we saw a show at the iO! as well) with my Dina, (who I’ve know basically my entire life and who has recently agreed to start an improv company with me,) well that was just the icing on the cake. Or the cheese on the deep-dish, if you will.

I can’t wait to see where improv-travel will take me next. Or what all-women show I produce as a result of the burning hot lady-fire She the People lit under my ass.

 

 

New Episode of the Constant Struggle featuring Alex Wong!

Our new episode of The Constant Struggle podcast features actor & improviser Alex Wong. Click on the images below to find our more about his awesome acting journey and his cool new webseries “In Real Life”:

Screenshot 2015-11-22 23.25.2312190937_1668318533415549_4594362649317257580_n

Back to Something

Ever notice how new beginnings always surface in September, even though you’re not going back to school? What the heck is up with that?

Maybe it’s because my recent trip out East had a very “wrap-up the Summer” sortof feel to it. And I actually didn’t get much of a summer because I was working pretty much constantly throughout the PanAm Games. So it was nice to get a little summer/end of August break and do a little travelling… and then do 10-days straight worth of performance. (Not really, there was one day where I didn’t perform, but I did 2 shows on another day, so it totally makes up for it.) It was nice to be a tourist and to visit a part of the country I’d never seen before. I got to check off two Canadian provinces I hadn’t yet been to. I’ve now got the ENTIRE East Coast checked off! #PointsMe #GottaCatchEmAll

But then immediately upon my return it was like BOOM: Here’s the shit you put aside the past few weeks galavanting amongst the “friendlies.”  (what I have decided to nickname people from the East Coast.)

All of a sudden I was like: “Oh crap! My contract with CBC Sports is up! I’m unemployed!” Luckily, HR’s wheels were in motion while I was away and have secured me a new position amongst the Corporation’s Communications, Marketing, Brand & Research Department. (Seriously, who wants to talk about how much they hate the unions, because I will kick you in the face to defend mine.)

Show-producer-wise, Exit, Pursued by a Bear came back after a successful Fringe run, with great reviews and lovely audiences to our monthly show at SoCap with TWO paying customers. (I love you Dave & Alanna) and one drunk dude who just kinda walked in and out of the show at his leisure. I don’t want this to sound complain-y. It’s just sortof a matter-of-fact consequence, but now we’re forced to rethink our show. Whether to and where to keep doing it, if we indeed want to keep doing it. It looks like we do. Personally, I get a lot of enjoyment out of being able to perform alongside some of my favourite the troupes and people in the city looking for stage time. And it allows Gill to play together as well, because over the past year of playing together, and certainly after 10 days in a row playing together, I like to think we’ve become a pretty dang good duo. (Now, if our duo could get into a couple improv festivals to showcase it, that would be great.)  <– THAT, was complaining.  (Note the distinction.) 😛

I just auditioned for Toronto’s French improv league: “Les Improbables.” If I make it into that, there go all my Tuesday evenings, which would require adjustments to shows I run and play in, namely “The Drill” at the Second City Training Centre, but also other great shows that take place on Tuesdays at that venue. That’s a big decision to make.

I need to make time to write a potential one-woman show. I want to work on my stand-up. I might apply to teach improv to seniors. It’s GWCI?’s birthday and I need to learn to bake a cake. I want to write my original pilot. I need to write more specs… and on and on and on with the things I still want to accomplish this year.

At least I AM sure about one thing. I am NOT going back to school! (Although, I could use a bit a bit of those deadlines and discipline.)  There should be an app that’ll make me feel horrible if I hand some life project in late. Get to work, nerds!

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.

11215517_10100677169903829_7712976546361081126_n

“…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.

11755638_10101214234377586_4336519533150132158_n

Happy anniversary, you beautiful bitch.

Windy Inspiration (This is not a post about farts)

It’s still cold, it’s still shitty out, but guess what? I went to Chicago.

That’s right, the Second City itself. I’m a little late to the draw at writing about this, but that’s because I had to spend a bunch of time putting together this cool collage:

Chicacollage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mmm. Collagy-goodness.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you all about the trip in super-extensive detail or anything, as this isn’t a travel blog, let’s be CLEAR about that! But what I will do, is tell you that if you think there’s somewhere in the world that will inspire you, you should visit it, even in the dead middle of February where it’s equally, if not more cold, than your own crap-cold igloo of a town, because it probably will.

Inspire you, that is.

My buddy Sharilyn had mentioned she would be heading to Chicago in February to take a Second City intensive & I happened to be “dark” the week she was planning to go. (That’s TV talk for “the stars of my show had to go to a tropical place and work on their tans,” so we had to stop shooting for a week.)

Nevertheless, bit by bit, the plan came together and sure enough, we ended up in the Windy City, catching a different comedy show every single night we were there. (And bits and pieces of the SNL40 Special, which in hindsight, we should have just watched in its entirety.)

When I was asked at customs what I was doing in Chicago, and I answered “watching a whole wack-load of comedy,” it was a completely plausible answer. I feel like there aren’t many places in the world where you can tell a customs officer that, and not be thrown into some strange questioning cell.

Despite a bout of food-poisoning, the trip was a dream. An frozen, shivering, ice-cube of a dream, but a dream nonetheless. I imagine myself one day, holding a magical green card, actively avoiding some of the dodgier modes of transportation in the city when it gets dark, and performing every night on the various stages that launched the careers of so many of my heroes.

I wasn’t sad when I came back to Toronto. Because it just so happens that a bunch of my heroes started out right here too.

So now it’s back to work, a little more inspired.

Sometimes I can’t believe it, I’m movin’ past the feeling

I feel like I won the lottery today!  Not because I like, won the lottery or anything, but simply and purely because I was able to make it to the Service Ontario in Streetsville before it closed! (HOORAY!!!)  (…despite my directions from Apple maps which sent me in the COMPLETELY opposite direction.  Why was I even USING Apple maps?  Apple maps SUCKS!)  Anyway…AND the Service Ontario office stays open well after it’s supposed to close to serve all the people who were able to sneak in the door before closing time.

So hooray for updated health card, drivers license and car registration!  Now the government and everyone has proof that I’m a resident of the… *gulp*…suburbs.

You guys should totally come out and visit me out here in Mississauga sometim-oh right.   The suburbs.

 

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.

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.

Fringe Benefits

*cough, cough*

So, can you guess my big news?

That’s right folks, Brie’s off to the Montreal & Winnipeg Fringe Festivals!  And no, not just to watch!  (Or live-Tweet)  But to perform!  Oh yes, to perform!  Erin Rodgers has graciously invited me to write and co-star in a one-hour sketch extravaganza!

Lake Erie.jpg

Our newly-formed duo; Lake Erie.

OK, so the picture doesn’t really do much, but that’s the best I could come up with with my 10 minutes left of break at work today. (So glad the past two jobs I’ve worked have MS Publisher!)

Anyhoo, so Erin & I are going to be writing up a storm over the next little while and bringing a brand-new hour-long sketch show to the Fringe Festivals in both Montreal and Winnipeg entitled …

Water Wings

Stay tuned as news of this awesome and epic adventure develops!