May 31, 2015

What if Mad Men ended like a '90s teen movie?

What if Matthew Weiner's brilliant series Mad Men ended like the not-quite-as-brilliant teen movies of the 1990s - She's All That, Can't Hardly Wait and American Pie?

Two words: mandatory montage. Here's a little video I put together just for fun.

May 16, 2015

The Worst Thing You Can Say to Each Type of Theatre Professional

The ancient art of playmaking unites a ragtag troupe of skilled artisans around the ephemeral goal of transporting an audience into a story. Each thespian brings their strengths as well as their own nuanced weakness... Achilles' heel, if you will... brittle ego... I swear if she says one more thing I am walking out of this rehearsal hall an never coming back...

Erhem. The Theatre is one of the best places to spend your waking (and dreaming) life, but it's a minefield laced with delicate relationships. The clever person avoids sharing the following thoughts with the following people (and others, if you'd like to share them in the comments)

To the director: We'll just have to recast

To the actor: I saw (other actor) in your part. A-mazing.

To the playwright: So it's like Proof?

To the stage manager: The schedule needs to be flexible

To the choreographer: I know it's West Side but we couldn't get many quote unquote dancers

To the producer: It'll still be a success even if we don't sell a single ticket

To the production manager: Who are you again?

To the lighting designer: That seems a bit dark

To the sound designer: That seems a bit loud

To the fight director: That seems a bit too real

To the set designer: (after the set is built) Still, you can't beat a black box, right?

To the costume designer: Just think "period drama on a budget"

To the usher: I'm a friend of (actor) and it's only five minutes. Can't you let me in?

May 3, 2015

Hamlet and sunshine

Stepping out of Hamlet's corpse-riddled conclusion into sunny downtown Winnipeg was jarring. Behind us, Elsinore had cleared the deck; in front of us, an always overdue Prairie spring was green with energy. Nature worked against the play's mood... with higher production values...

I'm not disagreeing with Shakespeare. "We're all dying and you should get used to that," is a solid argument, pentameter or no. Maybe that's all the more reason to soak up the sunshine while it lasts. I imagine the original script got there: an extended Act 5 Scene 2 where Hamlet and Horatio hit the trails, hike to this lake Hamlet Sr. used to take the fam in better days. They fish, one reels in a trout.

"You know what we should do, H? Fry this up and dip it in butter."
"Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is 't to leave betimes? Let be."

A few day's ago a friend said my life look pretty perfect on Instagram. It isn't. Yours isn't. Did your uncle murder your father and marry your mother? I don't have the words to tell you how wretched that sounds, though I can recommend someone.

Get out there and soak up as much sunshine as you can. You owe it to yourself to be happy.

The rest is...