Happy World Theatre Day!

Woo hoo! Finally, World Theatre Day again! I don’t know about you, but I thought it would never come. I’m so excited, and there’s so many things to do before tomorrow! Let’s see, put together a costume of a great historical theatre actor or playwright, decide which World Theatre Day house parties to make an appearance at, bake some theatrical goodies, and of course, decide which play to enact for everyone this year. Crap, that’s always a tough one, isn’t it? Everybody gets so competitive on WTD, I really need to choose something with extra gravitas this year, maybe a Beckett or a Mamet…Read More »

Me? I’m an actor.

One of the girls in class tonight said something that smacked me square in the side of the head. We were all having a conversation about the responsibilities inherent in calling oneself an actor, and about taking personal ownership of the choice to wear the mantle of “artist”. This particular young actor mentioned that she thought it worth remembering that we live in one of the very few parts of the world where being an artist is a vocation that needs to be defended, that most of the world understands that it’s both a demanding and a crucial job. This just isn’t so in Vancouver, for some reason we tend to apologize with the tone of our voice when we reply to the question of what we do, we couch our response in a soft cushion of self-deprecation for fear of sounding perhaps pretentious or schmaltzy. I think this is a pervasive issue that is felt here for all artists, but actors in particular, possibly due to the fact that whenever we fess up to someone that we ah, well, you know, do some acting, that the first response to this is “Oh, cool, what have I seen you in?”. Every. Single. Time. Like it’s not enough just to be this kind of artist, but you have to be placed in some kind of pop culture context to be legitimized. I’m sure not many painters get “Yeah, what paintings of yours have I seen?”, they’re just accepted as having answered a divine calling and the conversation moves on. Well, it’s all art. It’s all a divine calling, and it’s all out of our control. We just do it, and hope that something we want to say gets heard through the particular medium we choose. And if we can get paid for it too, then we’re very, very lucky, because that is literally a dream come true, making a living at what you love. May we all be so lucky.Read More »

My Modest Proposal

First off, welcome, and thanks for stopping by. Just by visiting this site you’ve already expressed a little bit of support for theatre here in Vancouver, and that, gentle reader, is my mission in a nutshell. Long lost are the days in this city when taking in a new play was part of the cultural landscape, this option just seems to have evaporated from the civic lexicon somewhere along the way, replaced perhaps by the megaplexes and giant screen TVs. I’ve been doing some investigating and it seems that a large portion of the population now considers going to the theatre a stuffy and tiresome prospect, its image has taken on an air of elitist, academic institutionalism. Well sure, okay, there certainly are plays like that. But not all movies are Ishtar either, and if some of plays that I’ve seen in this town in the last couple of years could have been experienced by more people who hold this view, then that particular myth would have been forever exploded for them. I’m talking about honest, unrelenting, sexy, hysterical works that simply deserve to be experienced by a broader audience, from artists that work from a place that anyone with a beating heart can identify with. A healthy theatre isn’t just viable, it’s imperative.

Of course, there is a theatre-going community in Vancouver, but it’s way too small. There is some theatre here as well, if you look hard enough. But outside of the few professional houses (home to the vast majority of play-goers), there still isn’t a whole lot of foundational theatre groups, collectives who hold an agenda of consistently producing a regular season of visionary material, a body of progressive work. (The ones we do have, I would like to add, have done a lot of work towards laying a very solid bedrock for us to build upon.) What I’m talking about here is starting is a movement. A retro-revolution back to the days of a healthy public stage on the North West coast. And I’m going to put my money where my mouse is. This site is started in concord with a new theatre company that I am proud to be a part of, and to introduce to the world. Its formation has been a long time coming, and it exemplifies everything that I believe to be of worth in its particular art form. We’ve set ourselves a lofty goal (buy hey, go big or not at all, right?), that is to not only present outstanding, relevant stories to the public, but also to inspire our peers to do the same.

We are a cooperative of like-minded actors, writers, and directors, and we’re taking the bull by the horns. I will be chronicling our journey here in this space for anyone who may be interested, and I welcome any and all comments about our pursuit. This company’s medium is all about communication, and my commitment to that starts here. Enjoy the show.