In fresh meat festival, Theatre on October 24, 2016 at 12:38 am

It’s been a day now since the 5th annual FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL closed its two-weekend run with what, I assume, was a kick-ass party. Sorry, the wind and the rain did indeed scare me off, and I stayed home all snug and watching bad superhero teevee. Maybe not my best choice ever, but I’m owning it.


Made it to the opening night party tho! Here’s me with a couple of strange girls I met there. Did’em a solid and let them get a pic with me (photo by Matt Helm)

But I did manage to catch almost all of the programming that Emily Carvell, Madeleine hall and Mahalia Golnosh Tahririha put together, along with tech team supreme Katherine Dermot and Conor Price-Kelleher. Sadly I did miss Mado Manseau’s 7 Minutes in Heaven, weekend two’s sneaky closet show, but other than that i got the lot in! And what a swell lot it were…

Darkness with John Doucet and Julie Le Gal, a supercool and short theatrical experiment in the dark for adventurous souls.

Space Jameration from good guy Greg Houston, a nostalgia-fueled and very funny standup comedy story about the most important movie in the world.  Which I still have to watch.

SS Lightbulb from Second Step, a funny and visually fantastic adventure comedy from three talented and joyous performers. Don’t forget to smile.

Burger King Lear from Skeleton Key, with the amazing Kate Smith performing the impossible feat of a one-person, fast-food themed retelling of King Lear in 20 minutes (and making it look easy). Loved the retro commercial spots.

Three from Plants, a structured improv bonanza with Jordan Moffat, Hayley Robatteau and Christian Glas simply bowling folks over with their talent. Are they still waiting for that salad..?

Pierre Brault by Will Somers, a piece perhaps initially inspired as a reaction to Brault’s coincidentally named show Will Somers, but that Will took and made so beautifully his own with story, song and heart.


Madeleine Hall and Mitchel Rose of OH NO! said the Parrot. Photo by Log Creative.

OH NO! said the parrot from Aplombusrhombus. Continuing on the incredible work they started with Cardinal at the Ottawa Fringe with this surreal and achingly funny comedy about a most curious air BNB indeed…

Crow’s Nest from Rapscallion Diversion, the true story of an amateur who tried to sail around the world in record time, and a show that deserves (and really, needs) to be expanded to a fuller length. Jake Smith is great as always, and Danielle Savoie shows great 1st-time chops as director!

Tead Talks from Deborah Ring, a very funny and inventive multimedia one-woman sketch comedy, another that almost begs to become an hourlong Fringe experience. A lady with talent to spare.

Boy vs.Chair from Two Kind Boys, with Matt and Matt following up their Fringe and Prix Rideau success with this inventive and merrily silly assault on theatre of the absurd. Beware the chair!

And then there’s that one other show…

Unzipping the Cat from Strange Visitations. The little show I blurted out in 12-minute form only two days after the departure from this realm of Winston the Cat 6 months ago, that I never expected to survive beyond its sudden appearance at the ‘Mop in the Grid’ fundraiser way back then. Except that I got such good feedback from the very tiny audience at that affair that I decided to enter it into Fresh Meat 5. And then I got IN, and it expanded to 20 minutes, and had some very emotional rehearsals before it came time to unleash it in front of a proper, full-scale audience. The results were wonderful, and I was (and still am) blown away by the positivity of the reception. So much so that my plans to put the show to permanent rest following this run have been, if not cancelled, then at least put into question. Not that I have any plans to bring it back anytime soon, and I don’t really want to expand it any further so Fringe is unlikely to see Winston’s furry face anytime soon. But, this show was also my tentative experiment in storytelling as an outlet, and I’m calling it a successful test. Maybe people CAN stand listening to me talk. Next year’s Fringe audiences might have the option of seeing me stand relatively still and tell them a story yet…I’m officially beginning scriptwork on a piece called ‘Fanfiction’ even now (note: shopping for interested directors, gimme a shout!). I hope ol’ Winston would be proud of me…or at least not actively annoyed. Cats, am I right?


Unzipping the Cat – photo by Stephanie Godin

But for now, we have the Fresh Meat afterglow, and a whole bushel of thanks to the gang for putting on such an amazing festival once again. It was especially great to see fest co-founder Jonah Allingham there on week two, filming a documentary on the shindig for his new Toronto endeavours. I’m already looking forward to Fresh Meat 6…which I will not be entering into, by the by. After two stints in FM, I don’t feel like Strange Visitations is particularly ‘Fresh’ anymore. Tho if anyone wants to cast me in THEIR next Fresh Meat show, I’m all ears. And as for Strange Visitations itself..stay tuned for some exciting announcements in the days to come. Fresh Meat or no, there’s still theatre to be done, and I feel like doing some of it. Peace, Love and Soul,

Kevin Reid

Unzipping the Cat

In Theatre, Uncategorized on October 3, 2016 at 3:01 pm

So with Ottawa and Vancouver Fringe done for this year…what’s next? What does a ragamuffin bumpkin of a DIY artist like myself do to keep himself busied and out of trouble? Shlepping back to my dreary kitchen job, I suppose, ho hum.

Well, true…but happily there’s one other gig I have to delve into straightaway, and while it’s not kitchen related, it does involve a nice heaping helping of FRESH MEAT. Yes, I’m fortunate enough to have been selected back into the roster for the 5th annual little Festival that didn’t give a fuck! It’s the second time Strange Visitations has made the FM grade…first was back in 2014 when I teamed up with Madeleine Hall and Jodi Morden to create FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING, which just went out West to Vancouver Fringe. So what could I possibly do to follow up that madcap, fast-paced clown adventure?

How about…talk for 20 minutes about a cat?


Basically 20 minutes of this. Photo credit: LOG Creative.

No, wait, come back..! Not just ANY old cat, now, come ON. I mean the legend, the icon, the furball, Winston the Cat his own dearly departed self! Back in April, I was slated to appear in a small fundraiser event, hosted and organized by good guy Nick Amott. I had a piece all set to do, when 2 weeks before hand, the worst happened and poor old Winston had to be put down. A few days after, while drowning my sorrows at the Carleton Tavern, I pulled out my laptop and out poured a 12 minute monologue about our time together, Man and Cat. With a small bit of tweaking, I performed that piece, titled Unzipping the Cat,  on stage at Live on Elgin just ten days later. Now, I know this is a technical violation of the Fresh Meat edict that every piece must be a world premiere, but gimme a break, there were only a dozen people in attendance that night and I’d only had a grief-stricken week to rehearse!

I’m happy to be given the chance to put this piece back onto a stage and give it the time it deserves, and that Winston deserves too. And other than Winston, I’m gonna be well and truly going this one alone. No director, dramaturge, nothing. My tech rehearsal will be a BREEZE. And it’s not that I think I’m so shit-hot I don’t need anybody’s help…my past few Fringe experiences have hammered the exact opposite lesson into my brain, trust me. I just want to keep this piece (I hesitate to call it a ‘show’) as real, and as honest as possible. It’s my own personal experiment with honesty on stage, and we’ll just have to see how that goes. I hope you show up.


The Ghost of Winston COMMANDS YOU!

And if my self-indulgent cat show does NOT excite you then never fear, I’ll be sharing the stage with plenty of WAY more talented people than myself, including Kate Smith, Hayley Robateau and Jordan Moffat, Prix Rideau Award-winners Two Kind Boys and much more! Check out full schedule, lineup and ticket info at the Fresh Meat website, and we’ll see you out thee for the coolest time around.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston…just this once)

The Speed of Fringing

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Back in Ottawa for about a week now…still missing the mountains, wicked sushi and cheaper, more efficient mass transit big time. And definitely missing Fringe, tho the worst of my post-fest ennui has evaporated by now. But this was a particularly special Fringe for me, not only my first visit to Vancouver Fringe, but first time performing in another Fringe Festival to boot. And how did that go down?


lux elle imagery is fine art, editorial, and comercial photography, digital editing work and motion work.

FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING. We (meaning myself, Madeleine Hall and Jodi Morden) opened this weird little silent physical comedy to an unexpected crowd of 60 people on Friday September 9th and then never looked back. And while we never did crack that 60 opening, our houses were always good and I feel safe in saying our trip to Vancouver Fringe was a resounding success. Much lovely feedback abounded, including some from some familiar and friendly faces (thanks again for the surprise visit, Sarah Finn!) With the assistance of our terrific venue tech Phil, the show went off without a hitch 6 for 6, we had a blast every time, and quite frankly are already itching to come back.

As for the future of Speed of Dating, well, we’re definitely hoping to do an Ottawa remount in the months to come, and we’ll keep you posted on that front. The new bits in the show went over great and we can’t wait to show the hometown what we got! Special thanks to the Fresh Meat festival for helping us premiere this one 2 years back, and good luck on the upcoming 5th anniversary edition…and more on THAT in my next post, coming soon.


VANCOUVER FRINGE. Can I just say I love this festival? Granville Island is maybe the perfectest setting for a Fringe that exists on planet Earth (although I did make it out to some of the off-Island venues to, like the historic Cultch and Rio), and we lucked out with damn near perfect weather for the entire time. I managed to catch almost 30 shows while I was there, and for the record that includes:

Space Hippo


I Forgot to Fly Today

Happiness ™

the Ballad of Frank Allen

the Girl who was Raised by Wolverine

Does Not Play Well with Others

the Jupiter Rebellion

In the Trenches

Great Day for Up

Bella Culpa

Curious Contagious

Perpetual Wednesday

Fat Sex

Love is a Battlefield

the Lion the Bitch and the Wardrobe

Frank: to be Frank

Falling Awake

Love, Lust and Lace

Berlin Waltz

Til Death: the Six Wives of Henry VIII



Get Lost Jem Rolls

Cabaret of Bullshit

In the Blue of Evening

Ze: Queer as Fuck

Some AMAZING stuff in there…Vancouver had a seriously stacked deck of talent this Fringe. I count myself lucky anybody found the time to squeeze our little show into their schedule! FALLING AWAKE and BELLA CULPA, a pair of 2-hander physical comedies, were definite highlights and inspirations for me, not to mention the hilarious BALLAD OF FRANK ALLEN that I caught twice. But things were great across the board, even the very setup of the Fringe, setting out from sandwich board village every day to see shows, and meeting back at the open air Fringe bar in the evening (I didn’t realize how MUCH I’d missed an open air Fringe bar, you guys!). Props also to the simple and brilliant Artist Rush Pass system, replacing the occasionally cumbersome password system for this Fringe. And of course, huge thank you to my amazing billet Naomi, who not only kept a roof over my head for the duration, but provided our show with the chairs we needed to go on!  You’re the best!


I guess the view wasn’t so bad, either.

FAV’RIT MOMENTS. Skytrains. Aquabus. Sandwich board village. Lizard-Maaaan. Seagull ate my pizza. If it seems too hard…stop trying. You can’t predict the Heather. Epic dance party. 100 dollar lunch at Queen Elizabeth Park. Tacos at Cats. Sushi Aria. Reunion with Cliff. STU! Crowdsurfing cardtrick. Moths. Dancing with Frank. Popcorn and beer at the Rio. The Berlin Wall comes alive. Closing Night Selfie with Jayson McDonald.


Also, and inappropriately, known as the Giant invisible Selfie.

And maybe my last, fav’rit moment at Vancouver Fringe came on the final night. Sandwich board village had been torn down, last shows were on, we’d closed the day before. A gentle rain was falling across Granville Island, and this dream of a trip was almost done. I took a long, lonely final wander around the place to say goodbye, getting a bit misty-eyed in the misty evening, fully feeling an early post-Fringe depression. Then, as I was passing a small restaurant, a happy couple spilled out not too far from me. They saw me, and one of them immediately shouted “Hey, it’s the Speed Dating guy!” We walked together for a minute, and they told me how much they’d loved the show, and the Fringe, and my frown turned upside down in a flash. To quote one of my fav’rit philosophers in what feels like appropriate timing…the Human Race. Don’t you just love it? Yes I do. It is the only Possible way to cope with it.

Bless ya Vancouver Fringe. I’ll be back. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid