First, the photo above was taken by Joanna Haughton as part of her Strength in Vulnerability photo-series. Here is what she wanted to share about it:
Strength in Vulnerability. The moments of our greatest strength are those we are most vulnerable. We think strength is hard, but it isn’t. That’s weakness. Strength is found when we are broken, when we let all our defenses down, and find that after everything we still stand, love, and live.
I started this series a couple years ago. Finding people willing to be totally open has been hard. But I feel this needs to be shared and can’t wait anymore.
I thought it a fitting day – Suicide Prevention Day to start to share this series. Because we all need help sometimes, we all need love, and support. And sometimes we don’t have the strength to do it alone.
I am happy to share my story in hopes it will help others through Stories Like Crazy, my co-hosted mental health podcast with Lori Lane Murphy. I live with anxiety and situational depression each year November hits as that was the date when my brother took his life in 2010. Each year I find new ways of managing and dealing with the anniversary of his death, and each year I try to spread awareness and resources so others can be alert to suicide in their community. So today of all days I would like to give you places to learn from and lean on when dealing with suicide:
I am planning on a safeTALK workshop in November to commemorate Andrew’s passin; let me know if you would like to be notified (in comments below) as I have about 12 spots this time around. Time and location TBA – but definitely in Toronto and most likely November 19th.
It’s ok to not be okay, but it’s also okay to ask for help. 💚
My talented friend Ryan Fisher of Rainyfresh Photography let me check a bucket list item off my list: being a historic cowgirl. I have always loved Calamity Jane (from Deadwood was an amazing interpretation!) and Back to the Future 3 – heck I live my life in the times of the Gold Rush, but I’m stuck in Toronto 1850s not the Klondike! My costume in this photo-shoot was inspired by Calamity’s classic look from her 1880’s portrait, too. I have been training to be her with stage combat, whip work, gun work, and of course horseback riding.
My friend Phil from Stageworthy Podcast wrote this when he saw the Rainyfresh edit of the photos:
“Red Anna. Some’ll tell you that her hair wasn’t always red. That it turned blood red from the entrails of the men she killed. Others say that it’s red because it was touched by the flames of hell. Still others say that its the dark mark upon her, placed there for some sin too dark to mention. What the truth is, none can say. But she’s earned each and every tale that’s told about her, and more.”
So here is Calamity Jane’s 1880 portrait I used to inspire my costume that I put together myself:
I can’t help but gush about this great moment in my geeky life: I am now a Fraggle at Fraggle Rock and part of the Jim Henson universe!!
Did you watch this amazing (Canadian?!) muppet puppet show?! It was one of my very favouritest as a child and it fills me with great joy to be a part of this universe as Pebbles Fraggle:
My nickname is Pebbles, as in Flintstone since birth from my Dad, in fact my little brother Luke didn’t know my real name was Adrianna until he was about 6 years old as he always just called me Pebs. They still do today ❤ so when Jay Fosgitt who is SUPER AMAZING and asked if he could make me into a Fraggle in his Fraggle Rock Comic book debut I was over the moon! Of course she would have big red hair but… Red is already a beloved Fraggle so the name was taken. Enter my nickname: meet my Fraggle doppelgänger Pebbles from Fraggle Rock! I am so excited to have my copy and one day I will have her as a real muppet puppet too.
Thank you Jay for making this little redhead’s dream come true!
I was on set for The Spell Tutor as the creator Herman Wang asked if I would want to play a Victorian witch, knowing full well that 1. I am a huge geek 2. I am a Harry Potterhead 3. I am a Victorian for most of my time at the museums. So naturally I said yes! I played Dorthy Kelpie, a Victorian woman trapped in another dimension.
This is their final season and it looks like I will be in episode 4 of it. I had my scenes with Parissia played byAlexandra Bayer. I don’t want to spoil the plot but I will definitely post the final result when it airs as I haven’t had much fun with green-screen and this was a treat to do.
Thanks for having me on the show! And congrats on 4 seasons!
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.”
One of the many hats I wear is shaped like a bonnet – well, at least that’s my usual hat when I’m at the museums. I am a storyteller and sometimes the story I have to tell is that of Toronto’s history at some of the historic house museums. You can learn about my endeavors on my Historical Interpreter page and see more about my historical dramas built for site specifically on my Playwright page.
The Toronto History Museums and I have a long standing history (pun intended) of creating experiences for patrons to explore history in a different/immersive way. I have created several theatre-in-situ/site specific stories based on artifacts, letters, diaries, and photographs. Here’s my little piece in the museum magazine about it:
So fun! I can’t wait to see what our next creation will be 🙂
I have this dream to be in a Western movie… maybe it’s because I have spent the last 10 years working in the right time period at the museums I teach and tour at. Maybe it’s because I started to ride horses when I was a kid and grew up to show horses in Hunter/Jumper class or Barrel Races. Maybe it’s because I have been fascinated with archery and single action lever rifles. Maybe it’s because I have always wanted to be a badass woman saving the day. Maybe it’s because I fell in love with Back to the Future part three or Deadwood tv series (because Calamity Jane played by Robin Weigert blew up my heart and mind!)
Whatever the reason, when my friend Ryan Fisher of Rainyfresh Photography wanted to do something other than weddings and I immediately suggest an old Western photoshoot where I could pay homage to the likes of Calamity Jane and badass ladies in general.
The day before I hung out with my brother at the gun range as we both have our license and trained up on bolt action rifles and pistols, I have to be a markswoman if I’m going to duel at dawn in 1847! Turns out I’m a pretty good shot – look at that grouping and target hits below:
And a preview of what’s to come from the photoshoot: here is one of Ryan’s awesome photos of me in my full Calamity Adri costume get up!
I had the wonderful opportunity to do my not-so-one-woman show “Everything But The Cat…” for CMHA National #MH4A17 Conference and it was amazing! Met new amazing stigma fighters and even saw some familiar faces. The audience for my show was equally amazing, such great feedback and probably the world’s greatest hugs that ever happened in my life today. A special thank you to the AV team that hustled the conference room into a mini theatre, and to the team that puts together a great event to bring together stigma fighting warriors to learn from each other, inspire each other, and refuel on each other’s passion. Thank you to Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences#MindVine for having in as an impromptu guest, it was so great hanging out with you! And the love from Natalie from Art With Impact was so great just before I went into my presentation.
And as always Stevie Baker is the best Stage Manager and had my back & made the show that much more awesome!
I love history, more over I love me some local Canadian history – to be fair I have been immersed in it since 2007 when I got my first museum job as a Historical Interpreter here in Toronto. But wait! I also did Renaissance Faires and a Pirate Festival before that (which were probably the best summers of my life,) so I feel like anywhere from 1790s up to 1914 I have a fair understanding of what was happening in the Western world.
But then I got to play a heroine of mine: Kit Coleman who was an Irish immigrant who came to Canada, Toronto in fact, and was a journalist – the first to be a female war correspondent, and a fantastic feminist who challenged people to judge her work by what she wrote rather than what gender she was or what she wore.
The full episode airs on CBC at 9pm on Sunday April 17, but for now here is a mini-episode with me as Kit!