I’m waiting for a phone call as I start this post. A phone call that, as some actor-types might reinforce, feels kind of important just now. It’s the call telling me whether or not I got the part. Let me back up.
It was way back in June of 2008, when I wandered into the Ottawa Fringe Festival for reasons passing understanding, that I first tumbled unwittingly onto this path. For the previous xx-years of my so-called ‘adult life’, I’d been merrily unaware/ignorant of the beast THEATRE. Things had been going along well enough, I suppose…I had a pretty epic comic book collection going, some nice tee-shirts…I was fine, really. But then, Fringe. Then, THEATRE. And then, without meaning to at all, at all, I found myself on the Path.
I saw a shitload of shows that summer at Fringe, blown away by things I never imagined you could DO with acting (Jayson Mac and Gemma Wilcox, bless your hearts). I started writing plays in my head, pondered taking acting classes, and generally got all worked up in my head. Then, for a whole year…nothing.
True I didn’t see a single play outside of Fringe for that year, until the 2009 Festival. Then I saw even MORE shows than the previous year, got blown away AGAIN, made a few connections and friends this time (Amy Salloway, I’m thinking of you, darlin’!), and left witht he same high hopes and dreams as before.
THIS time, I started seeing some theatre outside of Fringe. Caught my first shows at the Gladstone and the GCTC, caught plenty of little independent shows at interesting new venues, even made my first mini-roadtrip to catch COUNTRIES SHAPED LIKE STARS at a coffeeshop in Toronto. The Path was getting more and more complex.
2010. The Fringe again, only this time, I did something diff’rent. This time, I decided to TALK about it…or write, rather, in computer form. And rather than just post some Facebook notes, instead (inspired by FamousActressNancyKenny), I started what the hip kids call a ‘blog’. THIS one, in point of fact. And then the Path started going just plain NUTS. Suddenly, after only a few weeks of entries, people I’d gawked at on stages were coming up to ME and talking. Saying nice things! I was meeting people left and right, and loving it. I saw more shows than ever (48, to be precise…), and left more excited than ever.
I took my first real theatrical roadtrip after that, in August, to SUMMERWORKS in Toronto. And even though I was sick the whole time, I had a ball, finally meeting Emily and Nick from MiCasa, and seeing some grand shows. One even used a line from my blog on their sandwich board! The Path was chugging right along.
on returning to Ottawa, certain real-life events prompted me to make a decision I’d been putting off for a couple years…Acting Classes. Specifically, at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama. Just a one-night-a-week course, but with the mystical Barry Karp at the helm, my Path was leading me along faster than ever. Met some lovely folks, had a blast, and re-upped for a second semester when it was over.
Meanwhile, I was seeing more and more regular season shows all over the place, and writing about them on the blog, which was getting more fans than I could have dreamed of. Okay, they weren’t exactly commenting regularly (hint), but the stats were steady, and the more shows I went to, the more people seemed to know who the fuck I was. I met cool beans characters like Tim Oberholzer, Simon Bradshaw and Kelly Rigole, Andrew Snowdon, Pat Gauthier, the aforementioned Nancy Kenny AND her cat Winston, currently in the 7th month of his 2-month stay at my pad (not complaining), and many more. Finished semester 2 at OSSD with coach Brie Barker, learning plenty of cool new stuff, and re-upping for S3. Met Fringe Executive Producer Natalie Joy Quesnel, who offered me a gig helping out with a super-secret project for the Fringe itself!
The Path was starting to roll me along faster and faster now. I was at the point where I realized that, if I ever got one of those ‘girlfriends’ again, she’d better be hyper into Theatre, or else she’s gonna come in second. Which sounds terrible, but it’s true. I’m Theatre’s bitch at this point, and ain’t nothing I’m gonna do about it. I love it. It’s the Path, dig? I’m on it, and I’m not getting off for anything.
Which leads me to Nadine Thornhill, another of those cool beans people I was mentioning before. She’s got a play coming up at the Fringe, and invited me to audition for it. And, with some prodding, I did just that. And even though it was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done, i made it through, and director Ken Godmere even brought me back for a second audition just yesterday. I read with such awesome folks as Jen Vallance, Tim Anderson, another Jen and a Steph (whose last names escape me at the moment, apologies, you lovelies!). And as in my first audition, I relied on Ken’s direction for a lot, but I had fun and I think I did good. And today is the day he makes the calls to let us all know the final score on casting. And so, as I sat, waiting to see where the Path was leading me next, terrified both that I might get OR lose the part, I started this post. Post #144 since June of last year. Not bad, I think, as these things go.
And as I was writing these last few paragraphs, Ken finally called. And the final news is in:
I didn’t get the part.
…and okay, I’m disappointed. Maybe equal parts disappointed and relieved, really, which is confusing as Hell, but I thank Nadine and Ken many times over for the opportunity. And I DID make it to final cut on my first time out of the gate. Not TOO shabby. I feel kinda proud about it, actually. So there. I’m proud.
Meantime, I’ve got semester three with Brie Barker starting up, and have to memorize a whole new monologue for THAT. Which should keep me busy in case I’d been thinking of moping over the news tonite. I will try and NOT do that, although you better believe I’ll be hyper-critical when watching the guy who got my role in Nadine’s play this June! He’d better nail it, you dig? That’s COMPLEX NUMBERS, by the way, and I’ll be there, front fucking row, covering it for the Visitorium. Bigger than ever. I’m going for an even 50 this year, and I pity the fool thinks I can’t do it. I may do Summerworks again, too. The Path stops in one spot, it just starts again in two other places. I like that.
That’s it for tonite…I’m off to drink my not-getting-the-part away, like a proper actor should. And I’d better see some of you madfolk at the DANGER PROJECT tomorrow nite at the Avant Garde! Because I’m nowhere near done with the Path yet, nor with meeting cool beans people. To be continued, someday. Peace, lotsa love, and a whole lotta soul, y’all,
The Visitor (and Winston)