Directing?! ME?!

Meet Cute poster for Fringe Festival in TorontoSo a few months back I get a message from Erin Norah Thompson on Facebook: “I have a project I’m interested in having you as a collaborator…” turned out she wanted me to direct one of her scenes in this really neat concept of a show called Meet Cute. The 15 minute script would repeat 3 times but each time it would have a different edge to it: 1. Girl Meets Boy (and stalks him) 2. Boy Meets Girl (and stalks her) and 3. Boy and Girl Meet (and it’s all consensual/romantic).

I got 3! And I played up the awkwardness of meeting someone for the first time complete with muppet arms of excitement and bumbling over what to say (did I just rhyme, omg, they hate me for sure!).

Now you have to remember, I haven’t directed something since Grade 11 Sears Festival! It was God by Woody Allen and I had no idea what I was doing – I just knew I wanted to make the show happen and there was no director so I stepped off the stage to be that person. We ended up winning for Production Design and my days of directing were pretty much over. Granted I have collaborated on projects like my one-woman show and a few things at the museums where I was directing a lot of choices but still an outside eye was needed/had. So you can see why I was nervous to jump into directing. But I’m so glad I did! After sitting with the opening night audience I said “oh yay! no one left!” and I relaxed a little into this new experience of being a part of the stage without being on it. And now I may have a new love and addiction…

So I hope you can check it out! Here are some reviews that may encourage you to see it!

The Mind Reels reviews Meet Cute “Short, sweet, and just about the most perfect little rom-com scene I’ve ever seen presented” (oh hey that’s the scene I directed!)

Mooney on Theatre reviews Meet Cute “A standing ovation later, I heard a couple in the front row exclaim, “That is theatre!” I couldn’t agree more. This show is simply a joy to watch. Meet Cute is a must-see!”

A special thanks to Ada, Erin, Jesse and Ria who welcomed this newb with open muppet arms of excitement. Thanks for making this an amazing experience.

Where have you been?

Where have you been?

Under a rock. Yup. The month of May has been a rock to which I have been stuck underneath. But I see the light at the end of the the tunnel (please oh please let it not be a train) and I hope to have more awesome things to post about like the WWII epic theatre piece I’m in as a factory worker or the fact that Cranium Cookie just reached 100+ subscribers (I hope you’re one of them!) or that my mental health event Blanket Forts for Mental Health on May 29-30th is JUST about to happen (and it would be awesome if you wanted to join in on the fun from wherever you are in the world or to support and donate to my team!

smashing stigma blanket fort image for mental health event may 29-30

 

So I hope this finds you smiling, I know I am even though I’m still under this rock. I’m also trying my hand at directing a short Fringe show this summer – so I will tell you more about that when I can 😉

 

 

“Hey Adri, what are you working on?”

I get this question a lot. And it always feels good to say, “you might want to sit down, this could take a while…!”

Cranium Cookie is always happening! In fact we just shot another episode about dogs and behaviour with none-other-than my lil puppy McFly! Plus we are having fun online at @craniumcookie – join us!

Cast of State of Women by Tandum Entertainment with Adrianna as Jean
Cast of State of Women in rehearsal by Tandum Entertainment with Adrianna as Jean

 

I have started rehearsals (pictured is the main cast of ladies!) for this really awesome WWII EPIC called “State of Women” written by the ever-so talented Andy Lyberopoulos, and directed by Tatum Lee. It’s a 5 Act play (impressive right?!) that looks at the lives of women in WWII: factory work, personal loss and gains during the war – I’ll say it again: EPIC. It goes up in July for a limited run to preview to some big-wigs but perhaps you can steal a seat! I highly recommend it.

And lastly, I have written a web series about bereavement and grief and mental health: it’s called “2 Weeks to Paradise” <-*read the first 3 episodes here!*  and I am getting the first read of it with actors going next week! I’m excited and a little bit scared with a touch of ERMERGERD. So I feel like I’m on the right track to creating something here.

OH and I’m still at the museums as their Social Media Community Manager (oh lookie I have a fancy title now!) and I’m helping plan a Steampunk festival for Zion Schoolhouse in August – be there or be a steamed square! And I am 3 courses deep into my College certificate for Social Media at George Brown (top of my class, well la-di-da!) and of course being zany on commercials or as a knight (SQUEE BEST GIG EVER!)

So ya, what’s new with you? 😉

Adrianna on set as a 70's chick (but looks a lot like Velma from Scooby Doo
Adrianna on set as a 70’s chick (but looks a lot like Velma from Scooby Doo
Adrianna as The Red Knight at Casa Loma March Break 2015
Adrianna as The Red Knight at Casa Loma March Break 2015

A month in a day

This past weekend I feel like I have lived a month in a single day. Or, I guess, counting the fact that I did two different shows in two days, it should be a month in 48 hours…

IMG_0398On Friday at 9 am I did my one-woman show for the Durham School Board, District 13 to be precise.

With 37 teachers representing several different schools I was more than a little nervous to do this show for THE FIRST TIME IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE. And a very important audience at that. I was presenting to them on their themed PD DAY event about Mental Health Awareness with the hopes that if they liked what they saw they would invite me to their school to present my show.

IMG_7364

 

 

<– The talented Dwayne Harmer made these awesome teacher’s info sheets. And then it was time to do the show….

 

 

 

AND THEY LOVED IT!

IMG_7373

IMG_7375

 

 

 

 

 

^ That comment card above made my heart swell, much like the Grinch, to 3x it’s size. I knew after the presentation that I had something. I had a story to share. That Andrew’s story was to be shared. It felt great to be able to do that. One teacher asked if I could do the show next week! HA! I hope my team can follow up and start a tour soon, but that may be too soon! But just to be safe, I quickly went on an epic journey to purchase a projector for the awesome projections in my show. I nicknamed it “Princess” because Dwayne and I were laughing about the fact that it did turn into a quest not unlike the quest of rescuing Princess Peach in the Mario Bros videogames. The projector/Princess was always “in a different castle” (or store) and we had to keep moving onwards! So when we finally found one it was rightfully named Princess 😉

Then that evening I had the pleasure of escorting my very talented boyfriend, Jason Martorino, to the private screening of his horror flick “Kingdom Come” which was AMAZING! Sometimes it’s easy to get swallowed up by one’s own projects – but I am so very lucky to have Jason who is supportive of my work and I his. It was great to be his plus one and witness his hard work on screen. So great. And so great that he helped me out on my project as he was my Sound Operator for my PD Day presentation.

Next up on Saturday was Drunk Macbeth – with only 2 rehearsals (including the day of: 12 pm start and I left at 11:30 pm…) it was nerve wracking up until we took the stage at 8 pm. Get this, we SOLD OUT and had a rush line that we ended up turning away! The best part? Wearing Scottish attire:

995247_10153549127255193_1927166764_n

 

I was given such great compliments for my Lennox/Second Witch roles! My fav was that I was such a “badass goddess” with my dirk and tartan 🙂 Yup. That made my day.

So after this weekend, of which I did a month of prep for production wise (please visit the website I designed www.everythingbutthecat.net and enjoy the twitter feed of @Urban_Bard from the show night and @EverythingCatTO because they were curated by me!), and acting wise (holy jeeze a 45 minute monologue of a show, and then remembering my iambic pentameter…oy.) Ach mon to be more in theme 😉

So you will excuse me if I fall in a heap as my brain/heart/limbs are all exhausted from this weekend. And thank you to everyone that helped me get here. After a nap, or two, I will get back to making the tour happen!

 

 

They Fight.

Today I had the pleasure of fighting. Not usually a sentence most people get to say. But my good friend Tammy Everett is a singer/actor/stage combatant and she asked if I could play the big bad in her up coming music video for her new album. I adore playing the villain, they always get cooler clothes – why is that?!

I’m wearing my hoodie up as in the shoot I will have a hooded cape (see? cooler clothes!) so I wanted to let Tammy get used to grabbing my hooded head and not my hair – which will be wigged! Fun!

So here is a behind the scenes look at us building a fight:

 

Shaking my Speare

After two rehearsals with Spur of the Moment Shakespeare Collective I am happily back on the Bardolator bus – and by that I mean, I’m spouting Shakespeare again!!! (Yes three exclamations for that!)

The last time I did Shakespeare was… yeesh… that long ago. I think at least two years? Really? Huh. See why I used 3 exclamation points? I missed the Bard. Missed him dearly. Sure I got to write a play for Humber River Shakespeare Co. Sonnet Show (which goes up May 24th) but writing and being inspired by Billy Wiggle Stick is much different than acting him out.

Spur (for short) is doing a couple different things with the teams they have collected from auditions. They have us not only doing the Shed Shows @ Fringe Fest, but traveling around doing shows at hospitals, nursing homes, and whomever else wants to have an immersive Shakespearean show. I really dig the Shakespeare-in-Hospitals part – it is kinda the coolest thing. Even cooler than that I got to pick some monologues that I am very excited to explore:

First is Richard III Act 1 Scene 1

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew’d up,
About a prophecy, which says that ‘G’
Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Clarence comes.

 

CHILLS. I love that speech! And the allowance to explore it is a gift. So excited!

Next is Queen Margaret when she has to say good-bye to her lover, Suffolk, because King/husband is starting to figure things out so Suffolk needs to leave now or lose his head!

 O, let me entreat thee cease. Give me thy hand,
That I may dew it with my mournful tears;
Nor let the rain of heaven wet this place,
To wash away my woful monuments.
O, could this kiss be printed in thy hand,
That thou mightst think upon these by the seal,
Through whom a thousand sighs are breathed for thee!
So, get thee gone, that I may know my grief;
‘Tis but surmised whiles thou art standing by,
As one that surfeits thinking on a want.
I will repeal thee, or, be well assured,
Adventure to be banished myself:
And banished I am, if but from thee.
Go; speak not to me; even now be gone.
O, go not yet! Even thus two friends condemn’d
Embrace and kiss and take ten thousand leaves,
Loather a hundred times to part than die.
Yet now farewell; and farewell life with thee!

So vulnerable. So honest. She is so much better at her goodbyes than Juliet any day! Speaking of… I have to play Juliet (gasp/shudder/horrors upon horrors/no really) in the balcony scene no less! I know right? But still – Shakes is good times, even if you’re a whiney snively teenager. My other scene ROCKS MY SOCKS. It’s the Iago and Othello scene where Iago says “beware the green-eyed monster” and plants the seed of jealousy in Othello’s mind. *insert maniacal laugh here* I get to play the baddy and I can’t wait.

So in short – I’m excited to be barding it up this summer. I hope you can catch some of this at Fringe or maybe around town. Watch the calendar for where and when. Until then, I’m perfecting my spear wiggling 😉

Love/Hate for rehearsal

I love performing – but I am finding that I have a love/hate for rehearsals – is it the same for you? I love trying new things – but I really want to be able to do ALL THE THINGS and do them well. So right now I am learning to tango and faux-tango (aka movie movies to make it seem we are tangoing the crap out of a song) which is equally frustrating and exhilarating. I enjoy it so much, but hate that I am 30 years old with little dance background so it is a constant uphill battle. CONSTANT. But I am loving it at the same time. It is such a weird experience.

Here is some of the fight choreography, because learning to tango is just not enough, I’m having to relearn my small sword stage combat for this film too! LOVE IT. But again, life takes turns and twists and I haven’t been practising my bellestras and lunges in my living room for years so I am also rusty on my combat.

You can see how rusty here:

en garde sword small sword high guard

And yes because this is a dance-fight I have to fight in SLIPPY BALLROOM SHOES! This is my curse. This is my challenge. This is awesome – *sigh.