Well…Ouch. The path has some sharp curves, it turns out.
I wasn’t really planning on writing the third installment of this, a sporadic series on my continuing involvement in Theatre, for a good few years yet. The First Part outlined my intro into Theatre, a few night courses, the evolution of this here blog and my first ever audition for a play. Part Two came after a whirlwind year in which I actually successfully acted on stage in a terrific little Fringe production and, buoyed by that event, auditioned for and made it into the Ottawa Theatre School…an honest to gosh dream come true. Embarking on that journey was an unprecedented move for me, and I couldn’t wait to see how the path would change me over the length of this 3 year professional training course.
And boy, did I find out. What I expected to be a three year marathon turned out to be a wild three month sprint, as the OTS suffered the gruesome but predictable fate of oh so many Arts organizations in this day and age, and shut its doors due to lack of funding. It was a tremendous heartbreaker to me, and my fellow students, who had become my family in rapid order. You can read all my first semester reflections and subsequent mushy goodbyes if you like, but the thing that confronted me now was…what the Hell do I do NOW? When your three year plan gets the legs knocked out from under it after less than four months, it kinda throws your timing off, you dig? I was supposed to be all snug and safe, finally back in school after a 40 year drift, learning my new craft and figuring out about intention and Shakespeare and what-not and figuring out what kind of artist I was, ALL that jazz. Instead I’m out on my ear, having barely figured out that indication is bad and that I do it ALL THE TIME.
So…what now? Where’s the path taking me this time? Because while my younger self would likely have taken this as a perfect opportunity to wallow in self-despair, and maybe even start dropping out of theatre altogether (and believe me, the comforting thought of just heading back to the blog full-time was forefront in my mind when disaster finally hit…it would have been plenty easy, and I’m still worried that I’m using it as a sort of crutch) , I knew that, even though my time in the school had been painfully short, it had already worked a little bit of magic on me. I am not willing to go back or stagnate, and that’s just all there is to it. I HAVE taken a few inquisitive looks online at other training facilities, like NTS or even LeCoq (because it turns out I’m REALLY intrigued with clown and wanna learn more), but I just couldn’t…this ride was too emotional to take a second time, at least for someone in my stage of life (or cowardice, take your pick). For better or worse (note: it was for the better), the OTS was my school, my home, and if this is it four our time together, then so be it. For the time being, at least, my Path is going to keep me here in Ottawa. I’ve spent too long striving to become a part of the theatre community in this town to leave it just now. So, here I stay.
Doing what, you ask? Great question! Well, I DO find myself with more time for the blog right now, of course, so there’s a bit more of that than during my school days for the moment. Also, the Theatre community has been amazing at reaching out to me and my fellow students in our time of disarray, and I’ve taken up several of the wonderful offers coming my way with greedy, clutching fingers. For instance, a bunch of us from the program will be sharing the stage with Dead Unicorn Ink in their original production ACCEPTABLE APPEARANCE THEORY, premiering at the end of February in the mini-festival TROIS, sharing the evenings with May Can Theatre and Grimprov at Arts Court. Victoria Luloff, herself a graduate OTS gangster, is co-writing the show for DUI and spearheaded the offer to us displaced students to join in on the fun. It was a gorgeous gesture and I’m already having blast with the show, and I’m LOVING the idea that I’ll get to share the stage with Kathryn, Bobby, Nadine and Chelsea, as well as the Unicorn gang!
Plus, I’ve already begun sitting in on rehearsals as the new Assistant Director for Chamber Theatre on their much-anticipated production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN, finally making its way to the Carleton Tavern stage this March! I’ve been deeply enjoying sitting in on their rehearsals and learning so much about what goes on behind the scenes at a show of this size, and I am very grateful to Lisa Zanyk and Donnie Laflamme for inviting me to join them. And it’s gonna be a HELL of a show.
And beyond that..? Well, I’ve got a few ideas. There likely will be a major return to blogging form this summer, with my first ever trip to Montreal Fringe, and maybe even a recreation of Team Visitorium to tackle Ottawa Fringe. I’ll be hosting a live fourth anniversary party for the Visitorium at the Clocktower on Bank Street on June the 1st this year (save the date!), and will soon be actively looking for artists to pepper the evening with performances. And as an added bonus, I’m now officially challenging myself to publicly debut at this event what WOULD have been my second semester vocal masque. Hell, I may even do my 1st one again just for the Hell of it. Also starting to look into creating an ongoing, monthly theatrical variety show in the same venue, if I can find the interest. It’s an idea I’ve had for a while now, and visiting Red.Collective’s OFF THE CUFF event this weekend convinced me. And I’m certainly not done with my fellow Ottawa Theatre School students, no sir, I am not. Stay tuned.
Other than that, I guess I’ll be keeping my eye out for auditions and opportunities that show up along the way, and if you have anything for April or May, let me know, because I’m looking. I’ll be writing, getting some original works together, and by God I WILL enter into the Fringe lottery next year. Because like it or not, school time is over. I’m in Theatre now. And the path never ends.
To be continued…