Tuesday, March 28, 2006

everything is trucking along

You know it is when you are really intimidated by a bunch of work you have to do, and then you work on it for a while and then it seems like everything is doable and going to be okay. This is the feeling I have today. And it is a good feeling.

"Work is the eraser of doubt" is a quote I heard once, and it applies here. It is a quote from Piers Anthony, a fourth rate sci fi writer, who is still better than LRon Hubbard. Piers was given to puns, a tendancy i only put with in very good friends, and even then not gladly (you hear me Kevvy and Jacob?) And though i deride him now, the fact is I read about 20 of the guys books from grade 11 to 12.

So, health care. Have you enjoyed the fact that in Canada your wife getting cancer means you don't go bankrupt? That's all gonna change. Don't believe the assholes. The government is set to fuck up health care good and proper and we're gonn pay for it. Not tody, not tommorrow, but when your wife gets cancer.

So make some noise. You kids think you're invulnerable, but you're gonna want some health care on eof these days. I'm telling you.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

wrecked is awesome

BTW wrecked in Toronto is going great! The cast rules and it looks and sounds great, and the show at Danforth Collegiate went well, despite the fact there were over 600 people there and we're only ever supposed to play for 300.

The crowd was unruly. When "Buddy" was asked the question, "did you ever think maybe pot makes you dumb?" they all shouted NO! It was a show stopper. Certainly some L.O.H's (lovers of herb) in the crowd. But they settled they got into it, and left and got back into it. Overall I was encouraged that this will be a big success.

So I was mistaken

And showbiz seems to be actually tough. It's a pretty hard thing to wrap your head around. Sure, doing shows was always some work, and fun work atthat, art even, which I am called to do vocationally and love to labout at, but this business stuff. So many people are so paranoid about contracts that there need be lawyers and agents and all kinds of people, and it seems that people have good cause to be paranoid, but the fact is, I have as of yet, never been cheated, practically ever in a theatrical business dealing. (touch wood)

it is also a big misapprehension that because I am successful and in charge of things that I am also an entertainment lawyer, ready to see at a glance what might be wrong with this contract and that. This is not so. I studied no law. Check my wall. It does not even bear my BFA degree, which was lost, unbeknownst to me, and found years later in Jacob Banigan's (formerly mine) basement, and then rather promptly lost again. I guess I should frame it, but it doesn't seem like it would look cool. Why can't degrees be commissioned to awesome painters/psychics who create a visual depiction of the graduate's potential? I would hang that up.

Anyway, I am tired, being used to getting up quite early from my time in Nicaragua and the busy-ness of life of late. And even though the show (rather a good one) kept me up quite late last night I was up at the crack of dawn to start worrying about and doing things.

It occurs to me rather self consciously that I use this forum to do something that is often much like whining.

It occurs to me also that of late my main typing mistake is that I put the spac eba rno twheret hewor dendsb utjus tbefor ethelas tletter of the word. Weird, right?

I sense that the RFT young company is becoming restless. I sense that me and Kevin are too often away, and these young artists feel rudderless. I also am noticing that while Theatresports is a fun outlet for many, it is vital art to others, and that the attitude of one might be ruining it somewhat for the others. I worry I am not a good AD in this respect. Sure, I promote well and put bums in seats. But I need to do more. Be more in this job than I have been.

How to balance between this weighty responsibility and my rather complicated playwrighting career? Perhaps a coke addiction...

Monday, March 20, 2006

check it out

the BoyGroove website is up! www.boygroove.ca!

So i filled out the profile

And now I am so exhausted.

The Other Reason I am in Toronto

So the other reason I am in Toronto, the non-BoyGroove thing on which I am spending most of my time, is my play for young audiences Wrecked being done by the excellent company Roseneath Theatre and directed by the awesome Richard Greenblatt, who you theatre nerds will know is the world reknowned co author of Two Pianos, Four Hands, as well as a million other things.

Also -this cast is terrific, what a bunch of awesome folks who are great in the show and bring the play to wonderful life. I hereby deliver a large package of mad props, and invite them to "holler". The show is gonna tour around high schools in Toronto for about 8 weeks.

The cool thing about doing TYA in Toronto is that their schools are old, and in the olden days schools used to be built with an "auditorium". A huge room, capable of housing the entire school population in comfortable chair for an assembly or a speech, or in our case, a play. In Alberta we have to do them in gyms, and the kids have to sit on floor. Which generally sucks.

The play is doing it's first high school performance today at Danforth Collegiate. I am going to check it out, and then get out of Dodge. First stop is Brussels, where my Uncle bought a massive house, like truly huge, like how can a house this big NOT be haunted, big house.

(One of the things about small towns in Southern Ontario is that there are mansion sized houses for sale all over for bargain prices. This one cost my uncle a really reasonable 200K or so, which in Toronto will buy you a parking space and zoning for a tent. )

Then I am off to Kitchener to visit my wonderful Moms who gave me my life all those years ago. Thanks Mom!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

And here I am on the beach. I am exhaling cigar smoke. One day i will do this while dealing nicaraguan art. Posted by Picasa

We took several art shots of the waves and jania in repose. So creative. Posted by Picasa

And there is my lovely girlfriend. Note especially her tanned shoulders. Posted by Picasa

This is me boogie boarding. It's surfing for people who don't know how to surf. It's fun though. One time I was in the water and someone yelled shark. We all got out pretty fast. Posted by Picasa

This is another example of alejandro's wonderful work. Note the mathematical detail, the precision, the colour, the energy. So good! Posted by Picasa

Here I am with Alejandro Carera, the foremost pimitiist painter in Nicaragua, with the painting I was lucky enough to be able to buy from him. This experience spawned my fantasy of becoming a latin american art dealer, who smokes cigars and wears a jaunty hat. Posted by Picasa

here i am with some street kids we befriended in Leon. I am not smiling, but it is not because I am not having fun. At the time I was making hulk noises and shouting "Todos de ninos! Todos de ninos de Nicaragua!" Posted by Picasa

This is a painting of a smug Reagan sitting on the head of a peasant woman, while her life's blood spills out. Dancing beside her are Kissenger and Cheney. Kind of says it all, doesn't it? Posted by Picasa

This is a monkey we saw in it's very own tree. It may the one who tried to pee on me. Or it might have been it's pal. Pee is a monkey hello! Posted by Picasa

This is a sunset from a rickety boat we took to Omatepai, an island in lake nicaragua, as big as an inland sea, featuring the world's only fresh water sharks. Posted by Picasa

This is a picture of my blogging spirit, youthful, yet full of the spirit of the warrior, somebody is actually reading this stuff. I fight on! But with the eyes of a child... Posted by Picasa

A Nicaraguan Slide show

At long last. Some pictures from my trip. Such a trip it was. And as I read of the 18 inches of snow in Edmonton from my warmer current locale in Toronto, I do heartily miss those warm days not so very long ago. Hopefully they will come again soon. Until then, digital photos!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Look at Harper in his little army suit. Doesn't he look like....Bush? Posted by Picasa

look how CUTE they are!! Posted by Picasa

you must LOVE THEM! Posted by Picasa

these guys are BOYGROOVE!  Posted by Picasa


I spelled Ken's name wrong. it's cause i am such a shitty typer. his name is really brown. you know. like the things that are browwn.

so here i am in toronto

And times is crazy.

I wrote this musical about boy bands called boygroove. I typed half of it, and the other half I wrote long hand half-stoned on a beach in Thailand. And it is now poised to be the most successful thing I ever wrote, and even in my humble career, that's saying something.

My valient cast has been touring the thing for two years now, fringes across Canada and down in Orlando, the Just For Laughs Festival, Centaur Theatre in Montreal, places like that. It contains songs like:

You make my hips buck baby
ooh you drive me crazy

and rap like:

that band sucks
sucks, more than their mother
sucks, more than they suck
when they suck off each other
more than than fuck
their own little brothers
and move on to the others UH!

As the boy band croons and the evil Eminem character is the bad bad guy. It's a bit silly. Certainly fun, and kind of awesome, when done properly, and I am here to make sure it is. Aaron Macri did the music and Ken Grown directed it. There's a website www.boygroove.ca if you wanna check it out. Look quick and you can compare it to the one the big producers put up.

Yeah. Cause some big producers are gonna put it up on a big stage in Toronto. Then New York. If things go well. So now it's time for all of us to go about making it go well.

The theatre is cool. The producers are cool. Tommorrow i meet with the PR company. Probably they are cool. I'm cool.

So all should be well.

(check back here to see if all will be well)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's been awhile

So where to begin.

I went to Nicaragua. A beautiful confusing wounded wonderful place. My girlfriend was already there.

She is a do-gooder, you see, while I am merely a showbiz phoney. She was guiding some dentists who were travelling by canoe through the bosawas bio-sphere region (brought to you by our friends at the UN) where they did emergency dental work on the indigenous people there, called the Miskito people, unless they are called the Sumi. Dental infections are the 3rd leading cause of death out there, and despite what we say at RFT, laughter is NOT the best medicine. These men and women are heroes, and i suggest you admire them for awhile, instead of 50 cent or whoever. In ten days they pulled 982 teeth in conditions about 40% worse then what you see on the MASH reruns. My girlfriend pulled one too.

We went around to the cities, wounded managua, pretty grenada, youthful and spunky leon. we had a mission to buy some art for funraising auction at Change for Children and as a reslut I saw a lot of latin american art. It rules.

(about here I developed a fantasy that I would become a latin american art dealer, speaking perfect spanish and wearing a jaunty hat. Give me five years. The first step is the hat.)

Here's Nicaragua's big problem. The United States of America. What else is new?

This tiny country has been in one kind of war with invaders from america or another since 1934, when a general marched in with a private army, burnt grenada to the ground and declared himself president. That was the first time nicarauguans had to go to the mattresses and kick out a foreign national, and the first time the US said, OH NO YOU DON'T! The revolutionary in question was a man named san dino, and he is revered as a saint to this day. the country is strewn with large siloettes of the man and his famous hat, and he is a symbol of resistance to the US running their country against their will. Which they still do.

After this first ONYD!, the US installed a dictator called Samoza (much less tasty than the middle eastern snack) and he passed the title around his family through sham elections for the next 46 years).

In 1972 a huge earthquake hit managua. 80% of the building over two stories hit the ground. 80%!!! Billions in foreign aid flowed in, as will happen, and as will happen too, the dictator stole it. He stole it all and then left people to die in the ruins of his capitol city. The people of Nicaragua decided it was time for another revolution. And as this revolution struggled on, Samoza was revealed to be an even bigger asshole than was previously thought.

One example was when the revolutionary force got lucky and killed the main Samoza's brother at an opera house. In retaliation he fire bombed Grenada, he went to Leon and opened fire in a student square!! The US started to get nervous. They wanted to move Samoza out. They chose a journalist from the local CIA run newspaper and named him the new president. When Samoza heard about it, he had the journalist killed. This started to get even the right wingers and middle class to back the revolution.

And then won! 1979 saw the day of victory. The new government was leftist, but not communist. The seized not one single farm or factory or business. All they seized was the massive estates Samoza gave out to his cronies and made them into farms. They gave away 100 000 farms in those days and started a program aimed at 100% literacy for their people. Obviously the US was not going to stand for that.

Every revolution has a counter revolution, usually made up of the people who lost their massive privledge under the assholes formerly in charge. But not every counter revolution has 100 million dollars in US funding, and the back up of a CIA cell with a 300 million dollar budget to destablize the current government. Later when there were elections and the people democratically elected the same government again, this changed the US stance not one fucking bit.

And who was the secretary of defence? A young Dick Cheney. Yeah. Exactly.

dd this to the crippling economic sanctions that really cramp the style of a country that does not produce it's own steel, and you've got yourself a fine mess.

In 1990, the right wing party campaigned under the slogan "A Vote for me is a Vote for Peace!" and it was. As soon as the exhausted Nicaraguans gave up and elected the party the US wanted, the war stopped. The economic sanctions lifted and Coca Cola flooded freely back in to the country.

But they never gave up. Not really. The heart of Nicaragua beats with revolution, even as they embrace peace.

And that is why I propose we dig up Ronald Reagan and burn him in effigy (for he was always a straw model of himself), using Dick Cheney as firewood.

Who's with me?

All that said, I really had a great time. I learned a lot. I rode horses. I chilled on beaches. I saw monkeys in their own tree, and one of them tried to pee on me.

And i saw my girlfriend, who is so cool.