Improv

Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 1.56.27 PMWhat the heck is this?

This is a photo taken by Margret Nyfors of the cast of Rookie Night at Vancouver Theatre Sports a few weeks ago. Can you spot me? Yup, I’m the one in blue in a weird pose. I was dancing. I’m always dancing.

I’m performing in this Sunday’s show – April 13, 7:30pm, $8.

I can’t guarantee I’ll be funny, but I can guarantee I’ll be the best dancer on stage. If you can’t spot me by my smooth moves I’m likely to be the only person wearing any colour besides black or grey.

The Young & Spontaneous Series

522104_583420238335169_485045649_nI’m a part of something (that’s me on the left!) that I’m not producing! Huzzah!

Here are the details.

The Young & Spontaneous Series
Four nights of amazing directed improvisation.

The Road Trip
A group of twenty somethings are about to take the trip of their lives. They’ll learn about the country, and themselves as they travel from coast to coast for a very important reason. Tensions will be high, lives will be changed, secrets revealed and fun will be had!
Featuring: Erin Weber, Tyler Weber, Jeff Sanders, Jameison Rafter and Maddy Rafter.
Directed by Shawn Norman

Star Alliance 557
The intergalactic space highway is long and tiring for the crew of the Star Alliance 557. Our crew of Navigator Scott Bucket (Andrew Chen), Captain Dartagnan Ganymede (Shawn Norman) and Robotic Unit B.I.L.L. (Warren Bates) travel through space doing the lowest priority jobs for StarCorp (a subsidiary of the Star Alliance of Companies). Sometimes they accidentally have adventures.
Directed by Alistair Cook

The Feud
A cast of six improvisors will explore a feud that divides a community. Based on two suggestions, this improvised play will showcase how a polarizing issue affects relationships, between enemies and allies, family and neighbours.
Featuring: Brent Hirose, Kyle P. Fines, Tristan MacKinlay, Michael Unger, Jenna Briscoe and Kiera Floor.
Directed by Lauren McGibbon

GRIT
Sex. Crime. Intrigue. 
This 1950′s pulp-style crime fiction piece will knock you off your feet with its gritty characters and thrilling story. Based on the dark heroes, seductive dames, and sleazy criminals of classic Mickey Spillane works, this show draws heavily on the genre to explore the ins and outs of a seedy criminal world. Crimes will be solved, lies will be exposed, hearts will be broken, and audiences will be left wanting more.
Featuring: Ayma Letang, Joel Cottingham, Julianne Hoyak, Mathieson McCrae, Peter John Prinsloo and Sara Bynoe
Directed by Nicole Passmore

Down the Rabbit Hole
Witness two characters in one location explore their relationship only to find their secrets unfold layer after layer of their reality. Join Zach Wolfman and Sarah Thompson in this character driven improvised one act play.

Daddy’s Lamborghini
Jim Miller and Nadiya Chettiar dive deeply into a world of Duo style improv. Inspired by long scenes, enchanting characters and maybe even a little Tarantino.
Directed by Alistair Cook

Cameron MacLeod’s NIGHTMARE ON HALLOWEEN FRIDAY
In this one man horror film Cameron will improvise a 25 minute slasher film involving an abomination of horrific proportions and the teens he prays upon.
Featuring: Cameron MacLeod
Directed by Mostly Cam with some help from Alistair Cook

Let’s Make a SCENE!
It is time for you to COME ON DOWN and join our cast for a Gameshow that will test your mental and comedic strengths! Instant Theatre Company member Brian Cook hosts as two teams battle to help their audience member win prizes and cash!
Featuring: Brian Cook, Brad MacNeil, Nicole Passmore, Tim Carlson, Kim Yip, Ryan Chaput, Peter Carlone and Louis Deschner.
Directed by: Alistair Cook

The Schedule:

Sunday: April 28th
7:30 –Road Trip / Nightmare on Halloween Friday
9:00 – The Feud / Star Alliance 557

Monday: April 29th
7:30 — Let’s Make a SCENE! / Daddy’s Lamborghini
9:00 – Down The Rabbit Hole / GRIT

Tuesday: April 30th
7:30 — Let’s Make a SCENE! / The Feud
9:00 — Daddy’s Lamborghini / GRIT 

Wednesday: May 1st
7:30 – Cam MacLeod’s Nightmare on Halloween Friday / Down the Rabbit Hole
9:00 — Road Trip / Star Alliance 557

DATES: April 28th to May 1st (7:30 and 9:00 shows)
Where: Havana Theatre (1212 Commercial Drive)
Tickets: $5 online $10 at the door ($15 for both shows)
More Info and tickets at www.instanttheatre.com

Schmacting

Sometimes I act. Hey, it’s what I was trained to do. I don’t get cast too often, probably because there’s something about my face producers don’t like. Probably my profile, which is so wonderfully displayed in the screen grab below.

Nevertheless, I was asked by my friend Jereme Watt to play a Mom to a 20-year-old kid in this short film for VFS (that means I would have had him when I was 10). I’m glad he did because I had a great time improvising with my husband for the day -the rest of the cast was fun too.

Ah, acting. Good times. Now if only I got cast more often in work that paid me I could get that nose job. Wait a minute …

Actor Schmactor

2

Slashy Awards – Actor/ Writers. We’re not just puppets!

A few months ago I went to a workshop.  It was one of those build your career, find your edge, life and career workshops for entertainment industry people. The coach was from L.A. and has been doing this for far too many years, at least that’s what I got from her auto pilot ramblings over the two day workshop. I had decided to go because a good friend highly recommended it and I wanted to kick start my career and get help marketing myself as a creative package – which seemed to be the point of the workshop.

The first day the ‘career coach’ -whose shirt was inside out until our break when someone pointed it out to her- and I did not click. When I told her I was an actor who just got an MA in creative writing and was writing a novel she said, “actors don’t write novels.” (She also later told me that I needed to get a better haircut.)

Coming from a woman who said she’d be our personal champion and wanted to inspire us to have the personal and professional careers of our dreams, I felt this was very limiting statement- the one about actors not being writers. For the rest of the day I was guarded and cynical about her ‘advice’ which mostly consisted of stories about how she’s friends with John Travolta and was in the first Broadway production of a famous musical.

However this experience did get me thinking – am I totally off my rocker wanting to do both writing AND acting? The answer: Hells No! And to prove my point here’s a list of actors who also write and do other amazing things and do them well -not like Ethan Hawke whose novel got panned by critics.

Stephen Fry - This man does everything! He’s played Oscar Wilde. Hosted the quiz show QI. He’s done theatre – he’s even hosted the BAFTAs. He’s written four novels, an autobiography, non-fiction books AND he writes a weekly tech column for The Guardian. He is the epitome of a Renaissance man. Don’t try to tell this man that actors don’t write novels, host radio shows or travel America in a black cab.

Hugh Laurie - The comedy partner of Stephen Fry has recently come to great acclaim in the US playing the lead on House. Before his television success Laurie appeared on the Blackadder, in mulitple films, and wrote a BEST SELLING novel. Apparently he’s written a second one but the publication date has been held back. He has a band and oh,  he’s won a SAG and Golden Globe award.

Amy Sedaris - Sister of the humorist David Sedaris (who is a fine writer/performer himself), Amy has created a TV Series, co-written several plays, worked as a sketch comedian, done  voice over and she has her own baking company out of her apartment. Don’t try to put Amy in a corner by saying actors can’t write, voice or bake!

James Franco - This future boyfriend of mine just got an MFA from Columbia University’s Writing Program (see- we’d have lots to talk about on our first date being fellow Masters).  James dropped out of UCLA (English Major) to study acting and got his break shortly after in a role on Freaks and Geeks. Since then he’s appeared in several high profile flicks like Spiderman playing Spidy’s BFF. He’s done hilarious work with Funny or Die and apparently he’s going to Yale this fall to get a PhD in English. A Ph-fricking-D! Booya!

Miranda July- Although she puts most of her work under the umbrella of Performance Art, Miranda July is an accomplished performer and writer. Her short stories have been published in the Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. She wrote, directed and acted in her first film You Me and Everyone We Know which won the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. She’s a musician whose music was released on Kill Rock Stars. Basically there is nothing this woman can’t do. She hasn’t even had a day job since she was 23!

The list goes on. Essentially all comedians are actor/writer since they write their own material. Look at Tina Fey! A few members of the Office ensemble cast are also writers for the show! And then there’s the biggest actor/ writer of them all Shakespeare! I learned a lot from this workshop and the limiting statement Mrs Wannabe-Tony-Robins made. Mostly I’ve learned that I should spend my money more wisely.
NOTE: If you want to know who the woman was that taught this terrible workshop please e-mail me. I’m not about to stoop to internet slander.

Dark Avenger – The Titilatting Conclusion

This is the third in a series of readings I’ve done for my friends Natalie and Jess. We found this terrible romance novel at a hostel in Bath. Listen as I try to read the long awkward sentences overflowing with adverbs without laughing.

Warning: this is the most X-rated of the series – just in time for Valentine’s day!

My favorite lines:

“He pulled her close, irrevocably close.”

“So what did that make her? A loose woman? A harlot? Or just an ordinary woman dealing with her feminine frailty in a pressure cooker situation.”