The bus is empty. I tap my Prest. It gets declined. The bus driver apologizes for missing me. I’m less than five feet two tall. ‘That’s okay,’ I say, ‘I’m small’. I start to cry. Not classy, Jane Austen type tears. I really cry. I stand there and say, ‘I’m having a really bad night. I’m successful on paper but can’t afford bus fare. Nobody loves me. I mean, it feels like I am really alone in the world and I’m so sad.’ I cry great big tears on the bus and the bus driver, a small man, who needs to keep his eye on the road says, ‘Aw, don’t worry. It feels hard now but things will look up soon. You’ll be fine. Trust me.’ I cry harder. I’m grateful that no one gets on the bus.Read More
But when God closes a door, he opens a window, or whatever. The Canada Revenue Agency called and the ex-ballet dancer handling my file is pissed at me!Read More
It would be nice to be discovered a la Lana Turner at a soda shop and then signed by Warner Brothers but, alas, writing is a grind that you have to buckle down and complete, or you never get better.Read More
Once you complete that pilot, start another one, and then another. You can never have too many samples or enough practice, so don’t stop.Read More
When the right people believe in you and your abilities as much as you do, I am telling you, YOU WILL BE UNSTOPPABLE.Read More
He’s been looking at me when I didn’t even know he was there and the worst part is, it’s not a crime to be creepy.Read More
This must be what house arrest looks like, I thought, as I sipped the Mexican hot chocolate my neighbour brought me, wrapping myself in an Afghan throw. At least there are mini yellow roses to brighten up the place…not that I can see them, of course.Read More
Life can feel long and very isolating, if you let it. Put down your phone and have a conversation with a stranger; you’d be surprised how great it can be.Read More
Depending on the angle, when I look at you, all I can see is a blank space where your face should be. Other times, you are fractured and broken, like a Picasso. My eyesight is playing tricks on me but I am also seeing things differently, metaphorically.Read More
Fight or flight are real reactions to danger but so is freezing in fear. There was a man watching me and he knew that I was alone in the house.Read More
David Auster was my mentor at the Stratford Festival for three months. I called him up one day in early March of 2017 and asked him if he’d like to be my mentor and, without thinking about it, said yes. He could have said no since he’d only met me a couple of times at various Stratford function. I was pleased at the possibility of learning more about producing in an environment like the Stratford Festival as my only experience had been working on my own plays with budgets not larger than $15,000. I was going to be allowed to look at budgets with several more zeros attached; it was exhilarating!
It’s been a week since I left Stratford on May 19 and what I remember most is the mentoring ‘lessons’ often accompanied food. Specifically, David eating. I made a point of taking a scheduled lunch at 12 every single day but, like most of the executive level individuals at the Festival, David ate at his desk and continued to work. A father to two young daughters, he made a point of leaving every day at 5pm in order to get home at a reasonable hour for supper.
It started with goldfish crackers handed to me on my first day as a wink to the goldfish dream I'd had before arriving. An orange was peeled and consumed as he explained the intricacies and difficulty of producing an original musical in Canada to me and Carson Nattrass. A 2 hour drive to Toronto to attend Musical Stage Company’s Funhome was a tab by tab walk through the exhaustive spreadsheets for the Festival. He stopped talking long enough to eat his dinner, a chocolate bar from a vending machine. He took me out for lunch at Mercer’s Inn to say goodbye but he used to opportunity to explain the hiccups that inevitably occur when a large production hits a snag (creative, financial, or otherwise). David used every chance he could to educate me on some aspect of producing theatre at an elevated level.
It was especially important that not only did I get the producing education I craved from the Stratford Festival but I was welcomed into meeting rooms as not only an observer but as a participant. If you happened to be at the Festival Theatre or the Avon you might have seen me trailing behind David, walking as fast as I could, clutching a pink ‘Classy & Fabulous’ notebook where I recorded notes on everything. He always introduced me as an award winning playwright who produced her own shows; I always appreciated that little boost.
He checked in on me frequently to make sure that I wasn’t bored, lonely, or, after I rhapsodized over a slice of chocolate chip banana bread, stress eating. He took me grocery shopping and made sure I got to an emergency eye appointment in the middle of the day. This was a pretty lovely and productive mentor/mentee partnership and even though he wished he could have done and taught me more I feel like I am ready and armed to produce a large scale production while being a fair leader who truly listens.
The three month mentorship was an invaluable experience supported by the Ontario Arts Council and Theatre Ontario that would never have happened without the support and encouragement of Bruce Pitkin, Rachel Kennedy, Pat Bradley, Kristina Lemieux, Katie Leamen, Michael Wheeler, and Esther Jun. On the Stratford Festival side of things I can’t say enough to thank Antoni, Anita, Susan, Jason, Bob, Bonnie, Franklin, Joy, Marion, and Beth who made me feel like a part of the Director’s Office team. I’m used to working alone to get projects completed but this experience required many hands and hearts for me to succeed. I cannot thank all of these people enough for their generosity, warmth, and kindness. I jumped at the sun and all of you helped me fly. Thank you.
When I was the victim of verbal abuse two years ago I cried for hours. When it happened again this week I definitely did not cry. Sometimes you need a callous on your soul to get through the week; thank goodness, I’m a writer.Read More
Kanye, Cosby, Nas, they are in the twilight kingdom of their careers and we should look away, pay them no mind.Read More
Pretending is a virtue. If you can’t pretend, you can’t be King - Luigi PirandelloRead More
Inspiration comes from some of the unlikeliest sources.Read More
Expectations ruin everythingRead More
Watching a grant deadline come and go can be very dispiritingRead More
If you inhibit yourself, you're not just inhibiting yourself, you're robbing everyone else of your perspective. - Jennifer PalmieriRead More
Flags should remain at half-mast when you see how often they kill us without cause.Read More
30 years ago I was introduced to Arthur Miller's work and that's how I became a theatre nerd.Read More