visitorium

Archive for September, 2014|Monthly archive page

The Fraud and I

In Just me doing stuff on September 26, 2014 at 10:18 pm

I never really knew how to connect to ‘the world’.  I know even less now.

Since coming back from Clown Camp on Manitoulin Island, I’ve only seen one bit of local theatre and already missed plenty.  Tonight, I missed a little more, only because they invited me and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to write about it afterwards, with my current schedule.  So I ditched, and feel like a piece of crap as a result.  Apologies all around to the OTTAWA IMPROV FESTIVAL, I’m the worse for missing you.

One day at Camp, I played out a Clown ‘turn’ for the group (a scene, basically), as we had a couple times before and would several times again.  And this particular time, I HATED it.  And I spent the rest of the day and night ignoring the rest of the students and wallowing in the filth of my own mind, screaming at myself what a fraud and a faker I was, and that as soon as possible I should contact the Fresh Meat Festival  and tell them to cancel my show, because there was no way an imposter like me could ever go on.

Pictured:

Pictured: an Imposter like Me.

But I did.  I forced myself to remember one of the hallowed rules John Turner taught us at that camp, and I made it through.   And now I’m still trying to remember.  I have lots of nights of rehearsal now, some for THE HAIRY APE with Lisa, Donnie and the gang, and the others for my Fresh Meat show FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING with Maddy and Jodi.  And I wish those rehearsals were EVERY day, because I don’t know what to do with myself otherwise.  People still want me to be ‘the Visitorium’, and Hell, so do I.  I’m stuck right now between two halves of the same world, and don’t really feel like I belong in either.  Am I a performer, a reviewer, or what?  I don’t goddamn know. I sure don’t tonight, at least.

I don’t expect this gets easier, so don’t worry about commenting (tho unless you’re a spambot, you don’t anyways).  I’m just talking out loud, and trying to figure out what happens to this bit of cyberspace while I’m ‘finding myself’.  If you’re reading, then thanks for that.  If not, then how are you reading THIS…?

Whatever.  Good fortune to you, and hopefully to me in the bargain.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

PS: The Fresh Meat show will be AMAZING.  Maddy and Jodi will see to that, don’t worry. 😉

 

Strange Visitations

In Theatre on September 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Well, I’m back. Or am I..?

It’s been yet another long absence from blogging SCHOOL FOR WIVES notwithstanding), but this one was, I promise, well worth it. Just recently returned to Ottawa after two weeks on Manitoulin Island (freaking gorgeous) for the Baby Clown Workshop led by John ‘Smoot’ Turner at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance, aka the Clown Farm. I write these words to you as an official Baby Clown, and it feels great to have been born again. And I know, lots of you have been waiting for me to write the big post telling all there is to tell about my time there.

Well, THAT’S not gonna happen. Sorry folks, but what happens at Clown Camp STAYS at Clown Camp. The ins and outs of John’s amazing workshop won’t be traded publicly by me (tho buy me a beer later on and you may get a few tidbits). What I CAN say is that it was a thrilling experience that taught me tons, and made me a better performer by miles. I can also say that camping was a helluva lotta fun, and that I still fucking hate mosquitoes. John Turner is an amazing teacher, and working with him was worth every penny and more. The Legion Hall in Gore Bay is a good spot for a cheap drink and darts, and you definitely want a mob of baby clowns to crash your 50’s/60’s themed community dance party. I can tell you that strip Bunny-Bunny is a great way to start the day. And I can tell you that Amaliya, Spenser, Ana-Marija, Verena, Nadine, Ali, Briar, Chrissie, Sonia, Rainey, Alissa, Oliver, Mario and Josh are a brilliant bunch to learn, grow, and papier-mache into the wee hours with. Fell in love with the lot of them, and can’t wait to see them all again some day. Special shoutout to the assistants Val, Donna (of the MISSOULA OBLANGATA), Sandrine (the LITTLE LADY herself), and wonderful boss Jenny. And of course, Paco.

Baby Clown Alley, Manitoulin Style.

Baby Clown Alley, Manitoulin Style.

So what, then? If I’m not writing a tell-all about Clown training, and I seem to have stalled out pretty effectively on the theatre review front (I honestly have nothing booked for the rest of the month), then just what the Hell am I gonna fill this blog with..?

Well, I have a plan. And it’s pretty much going to be to try and match these pages with what I’m actually filling my time with these days…which is, happily, theatre. Not seeing it, but actually making it. Somehow that crazy dream I’ve been nursing for the last few years is starting to come to life, and all of a sudden I’m hip-deep in doing what I love. Very excited to announce that I’m working on not one but two shows as of right now, and I’ll do my best to keep you updated on what’s happening with the both of them as rehearsals march on. On the long path, we’ve just started laying the groundwork on next Spring’s Chamber Theatre production, Eugene O’Neill’s THE HAIRY APE. I’ve been lucky enough to land a spot in the killer ensemble cast, and can’t wait to really start digging into the mad play with Lisa, Donnie and the whole lovable Chamber gang. It’s going to be a long haul (not hitting the boards until next March/April), but I’ll keep you in the loop.

ChamberTheatre

In the much more immediate future, I’m beyond giddy to say that rehearsals are underway for FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING, a new show for the third Fresh Meat Theatre Festival that I’m creating with my new ‘Production’‘Company’ STRANGE VISITATIONS (which technically made its debut with last June’s event FOOFARAH LIVE!). The show goes up October 23-25 at Arts Court, and stars myself and the wonderful Madeleine Hall, with Jodi Morden calling the shots behind the scenes. I can say with certainty that I couldn’t be working with a more perfect bunch for this show, and anytime I catch myself wondering just what the Hell I’ve gotten myself into, remembering that I’m working with these two fantastic gals makes me breathe a lot easier.

FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING, coming soon to a Fresh Meat Festival near you!

FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING, coming soon to a Fresh Meat Festival near you!

I think this is going to be a really special show, and I’m already proud as shit of the work we’re doing. I hope you’ll like it too, and I hope you will all stick around as this blog undergoes a bit of a change over the next few months. I’ll try and sneak in a review or two when I can, and will definitely keep updating with info about new and upcoming shows. But like I say things are changing, and…and I can’t lie, I’m pretty ecstatic about it. It’s the path, gang. Come on along. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

PS  Anyone know where I can find a cheap STAR TREK ballcap..?

Take Your Wife to School

In Theatre on September 16, 2014 at 10:16 am

Tried to do some blogging for the first time in a month, and WordPress decides that’s the moment it gets hungry and needs to eat a post, so this one is a little later than I’d planned (which was plenty late already). In their defense, I HAVE been starving the old Visitorium of posts lately, it must be admitted. What can I say, Clown Camp eats up some time and energy (and yes, there may be a post coming about that, one of these days…still getting my typing legs under me, so bear with me).

But, I’m back in Ottawa and eager to remind myself why Theatre is the bestest thing ever, so off I went on a jam-packed opening night to the first show of the Gladstone Theatre’s ever-expanding new season. Kicking it off was THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES, a raunchy comedy from that scamp Moliere in a new rhyming translation from David Whiteley, who did similar service for CYRANO with Plosive productions a ways back. This time Plosive and Seven Thirty teamed up to bring us the tale, with John P.Kelly solidly at the helm. A good pedigree already, and the cast gave me even more to look forward to.

The story follows wealthy schmuck Arnolphe (Andy Massingham), a man obsessed with never being made a fool of by any woman. To that end, he has been secretly hiding away and raising the beautiful Agnes (Tess McManus), grooming her to be his ideal, ignorant child-bride when the time is right. With the help, such as it is, of his grumbling servants (David Benedict Brown and Catriona Leger, stealing scenes one after the other), Arnolphe is all set to put his less-than-feminist plan into action, ignoring the words of warning from his friend Chrysalde (David Whiteley). Enter the dashing Horace (Drew Moore), a lusty young fellow with long wavy locks, who somehow manages to slip by Arnolphe’s defenses and fall head over heels with Agnes. A battle of wits ensues, though that may be giving Arnolphe more credit than he’s due, as he goes to increasingly greater lengths to protect his dimwitted prize at all cost. Of course, he never seems to reckon on his ‘ignorant’ Agnes having a few opinions of her own on the subject.

Tess McManus and Andy Massingham in THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES.

Tess McManus and Andy Massingham in THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES.

Armed with a rockin’ good cast and Whiteley’s fast-paced and fun translation, John P.Kelly flexes his farce muscles big time for this production and turns out probably the funnest and funniest show the Gladstone could have hoped for to open up the season. Andy Massingham is in his element as the omnipresent Arnolphe (or ‘Monsieur la Douche’ as he wonderfully renames himself), playing with words, actors and audience alike…and not backing down from the inevitable darker turn in the latter half of the play, making some of previously goofy scenes with co-star McManus downright offputting. Tess’ Agnes is terrific as well, balancing dim and loopy with proud and strong , and making it look easy. Drew Moore as the earnest Horace is great fun to watch, especially his banter with Arnolphe (who does an impression of Horace in the play that is just brilliant). And of course, Dave Brown and Catriona Leger are too much damn fun as the randy servant pair…it’s worth the ticket for their hijinks alone.

So, yeah…that was a lot of fun! Whiteley done good with his updated but faithful translation, and it serves the Gladstone gang well in a crowd-pleasing jamboree of a show that gets the season started right, with a wink and a nod. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)