Recently I had the pleasure of sharing a story with Stories We Don’t Tell, a storytelling gathering in Toronto. I like their mandate:
“There are some stories that we get really good at telling, we tell them to our friends, our coworkers, and even strangers at parties. We tell them because they are a part of us, and in doing so they build up our sense of self.
There are also stories we don’t tell, maybe because they’re sad, or weird, or just a little too intimate. These truths are just as much a part of who we are, despite being erased from our day-to-day conversation.
The Stories We Don’t Tell is a monthly live event, held in living rooms across Toronto, and podcast that gives you a window into experiences that are so often left unseen.”
Have you noticed my sweet new look? It’s all thanks to Ann McDougall! She is a talented storyteller herself, and has used her abilities to read a person and brand like a script and translate it into some great graphic designs. Like me! Check it:
Here is her notes on why she made this design for me:
“Adrianna is a delightful person to know and work with. She’s an outstanding actor/historical interpreter/ web series host/ social media manager and a bundle of ideas and enthusiasm to boot. I wanted this logo to be bold and energetic but kind of classic, too.”
I can’t recommend her enough! Being a theatre specialist too she can be a huge asset to your next show, your next round of business cards, posters, or even social media campaign. She is on the top of my go-to list! https://www.facebook.com/AnnMcDougallDesign/
So you want to be a gunslinger in the Wild West do you? Well so do I! That’s why I got my PAL complete with a full weekend learning about guns (eep!)
If you scroll through the gallery of pictures you will see the types of guns I learned to handle correctly and safely. I got 100% on my written and 96% on my unrestricted (rifles and shotguns) and a double 90% on my restricted (handguns) tests. This was an intense weekend! The first day was 12 hours and the second was 6 hours – all safety and handling and legalities of guns in Canada. I’m fascinated by guns in movies as part of character development or the time period they live in. Keep your fingers crossed and send good vibes as a Western script is up for funding and should it go through yours truly will be a leading gunslinger lady who is out for vengeance. This character would have an 1850 hip hugging Colt single-action pistol (see, I learned some things!) and she would be a dead-shot marksman. Looks like I will have to hit the range and work on my targets so I can shoot as badass as my character demands!
Next phase is a one-day workshop at Rapier Wit Studio to learn about the actor side of gun safety. This is when I will finally be able to shoot my historic gun and get a feel for just how much recoil/kickback it will have. Nothing says badass like falling on your butt after the gun shoots. I will have to learn to keep my feet planted and look my enemy straight in the eyes 😉
Great news! I have a new adventure and it includes magic, horror, and puppets! Check out the upcoming show from Eldritch Theatre:
I am now their Marketing Monster and I am in LOVE with what I get to do for them. You know I’m addicted to social media right? And I’m polishing my Producer hat to help Brimstone McReedy come to be this Halloween. I really hope you can make it.
How did this come to be? I actually went to see Eric Woolfe’s show Doc Wuthergloom last year for Halloween (my partner Jason and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Halloween) and we had such a great time that we talked about it for days. So I had to email the theatre because this doesn’t happen everyday! The Artistic Director (Eric) was very humbled by our reviews and when I said I would be delighted to help with social media for the company in the future – guess what? 8 months later he asked me to do just that 🙂
For one thing, I didn’t know it was going to be so gosh darn gorgeous. I mean look at those photos! I was compelled to stay outside and if you know me that is NOT my factory settings! I hide in the shade or stay inside, but that weekend I was constantly trying to stay outside and soak up the sunshine and the beautiful relaxing landscape. But wait, isn’t the Toronto Islands a tourist destination? How can that be relaxing? Well, the organizer (and friend) Phil Rickaby planned our weekend retreat on Mother’s Day weekend + the weekend was cold and calling for rain so not many people were there except the usual suspects (aka the people who live there).
I was there with 5 other writers, only two are pictured above as I didn’t want this to be a “vacation” where I photograph everything (though I couldn’t help the pictures above because AGAIN it was so damn gorgeous!) – all of which had a project they were working on. I was working on the 2 Weeks to Paradise webseries script! We shared our pieces together and gave feedback on what we heard.
We had our own desks in our rooms and came together at meals and hung out (Phil and I went to the farm on the island and got kissed by Prince the llama(!), and heard about each other’s projects. It was really inspiring!
Here is a sample of what I wrote while I was there; it’s shifting the focus on Claire, the principal character’s intern. I want each of them to have a full story of their own as “supporting” characters…
CLAIRE You know what I mean. You’re dedicated. You’re an artist.
JENNY Graphic artists don’t get to be “artistes”.
CLAIRE Ya you do, it’s in your job title.
JENNY Ya but, I don’t use a brush I use a keyboard and I don’t think a museum wants my digital creations any time soon. Hell, I just want my Etsy to blow up – pay my rent, hell buy me groceries…
CLAIRE Do you need money?
JENNY No no no. I just, ah, I just am feeling like a faker. No one wants my shit.
CLAIRE It’s not shit.
JENNY Says the dutiful sister.
CLAIRE Says the sister who is always right.
JENNY I love you “sister who is always right”.
CLAIRE I love you too. Now (waves her fork like a wand) it is time for another glass of wine! Why? Oh, because I’m always right!
Here’s hoping the next round of grants will let me finish this and produce it up for you to see! In the meantime, if you can BOOK SOME TIME at Artscape, I’m already planning on going again later this year. It was exactly what the writer doctor ordered 🙂
*Special thanks to Phil Rickaby for putting that weekend together and all the participants who were just an amazing talent and energy to be around.
I haven’t been in front of the camera or treading the boards since State of Women closed, but that’s not to say I haven’t been performing… You may have noticedI fell in love with social media and I have pursued it with a college certificate & I made a move to headquarters within the museums I work at to tell the story of ALL the museums, not just the two I have managed since 2011. I love storytelling. I think that it was only natural for me to become a performer/actor, but online media is a new stage of sorts to perform on! I tell the museum’s stories there and I am super excited about it.
Last night I got to dress up and tell the museum’s stories at a 1960 Beatles event at Market Gallery and it was oh so fun! I used Joan Halloway from Mad Men as inspiration, see the results!
It was so fun to be in period dress (and not be in a bonnet!) and get so many people’s reactions – so many participants shared their stories of fashion and memories of their friends and family looking like me! (And a lot of people thought I looked like Joan so that’s good! Mission accomplished!)
I love playing dress up, that will never change. I love telling stories either on stage or off 🙂
So 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!)
In the past week I have travelled through over a hundred years of time:
My work at the museums mean I dance between 1851 farm house living in a tartan parlour dress and bonnet, to the Edwardian teacher jumper that makes me feel like Anne of Green Gables all grown up!
New to the mix was stepping in to talk about the end of War of 1812 and then walking Old Toronto and making a pit stop at Toronto’s First Post Office.
Lastly, fast forward me to 1945 to the WWII epic “State of Women” with me making airplanes for the war.
Each gig I dive into history and I never stop learning. People share their stories with me and I pocket the information to tell someone else. I love the sharing that happens when you start talking about the past; everyone has one and everyone has a story to tell. I’m one of the lucky ones that gets to do that all the time 🙂
So that’s 130 years in one week. I wish I got airmiles for that.
My friend and constant inspiration Kat Leonard asked me some great questions, and I mean GREAT. These rival the #AskHerMore questions on Twitter! Here, click the pic & take a look at what I answered:
I think everyone should ask themselves these questions. Furthermore, Kat was so generous to ask me to come out and take part in her WonderFest in March where I will be performing a piece from my Everything But the Cat… one-woman show. It looks like it will be March 5th at 3030 Dundas St W – stay tuned for more details 🙂