The Tango!

So even though Secret Lives of Lovers is on hold – the director Marc Morgenstern put some of the raw footage together to get a feel for the Tango we all worked so hard on.

Remember: I am not a dancer! This was a personal triumph and I thank Five Strangers Films so much for the opportunity…

 

That’s Jason Martorino and Siobhan Richardson as my dance partners.

The dance goes on to turn into a fight! I hope we can see the footage of that sometime in the future too as Siobhan was so great to work with (read: so patient!).

 

The good, the sad, and the ugly

First the sad news:

Secret Lives of Lovers has been put on hold indefinitely. Yes, the movie where I was playing Grace, the dancer alcoholic, is pretty much done at this point. We got two days on set – I did my tango which took a lot from me as I have never had to be something I’m not. I know, I know that sounds silly – I’m an actor – I clearly am not Lady Macbeth or a lesbian from Montreal (both great roles I had such fun playing in the past) – but this was a talent I couldn’t fake. I had to ACTUALLY dance. And I loved the challenge. It opened my heart and mind to a new me: one that just says yes even when severe doubt persisted. So I thank Five Strangers Films for that experience. And I hope someday soon to be Grace and get to finish creating her with the wonderful people involved in that production.

The good news – I’m researching my new play about love: why we keep it and why we discard it. But the catch, because I’m trying to stay away from writing a rom-com; is that I want to find science to back me up. There are several thoughts on why and how we love – like this gem that my friend Val showed me is Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love which defines different relationships. Fascinating! So this is my mind-set. It is a really slow process as I am still heart-broken about the movie being shut down.  But if you have any ideas on love, preferably something like this TED Talk then please pass it on!

And lastly – my play Everything But the Cat… is having it’s first staged public reading at Alumnae on March 23rd at 12 noon for a pwyc audience. I am terrified and excited. I hope to see you there 🙂

The Tango

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The sunrise was most promising – getting up at 6 am is not something one usually looks forward to (personally I think getting up at dawn is for two things and two things only: getting on a plane in time and getting to set on time.) but I was getting to set on time.

It was the dreaded TANGO FIGHT DAY on set for Secret Lives of Lovers that I had been prepping for (in rehearsals on and off for a month) and today was the big day. (Well, yesterday…)

20130211-084546.jpgThe costumes were awesome – thanks to Ginger Martini, and I could fly away by eyelash alone after Kim Haddad got through with me! Look at them lashes! It was like I was doing push-ups with my lids ALL DAY – it was a weird feeling…

The set put me at ease because it was a theatre I knew and loved: The Annex Theatre. I did a Dracula the Un-Dead staged reading here and I have seen many a Fringe show here.

It was great to be someplace I felt cozy and homey with:

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20130211-084611.jpgIt was almost a 12 hour day. I need to remind you that I was dancing in heels, full make-up (with push-up lashes), this awesome red dress (see below) and using a sword for most of that.

I am proud to say I did not cry.

Filming is a different beast than theatre and I must confess I don’t know exactly how to make it my pet yet.

 

As you can see here – this is about half way through our day (the lovely Jason Martorino – also not a dancer – was my partner for the tango in this scene) and already my face wants to fall off. Bless the make-up artist! She kept me beaming all day!

 

In the end I’m pleased and proud I did something that challenged me mentally and physically. I have been watching movies with a different filter lately too… Now I always watch movies with the “oh cool, that must have been a crane shot” or “oh cool, I wonder how they got the hoverboard in in post?!” and stuff like that. But lately I have been tipping my hat to any actor that does something FOR REAL that requires them to do something they ain’t. Like Natalie Portman in Black Swan – she USED to dance, so maybe it wasn’t such a huge leap – (no pun intended) – okay better example, fight scenes in tv shows. They get zero time with their choreographer (okay they get some but really? For the amount of time they do to the time they have to mark and finalize it?) It takes an amazingly fast mind and dedicated will to let your mistakes go and just DO IT. I tip my hat to all you talented artists out there. If you can let me in on your secrets I would love to know them! Until then – I will take this weekend as a win and let myself ice my right thigh from all the lunges I did over the past 24 hours…

Thanks to everyone working on set for Secret Lives of Lovers yesterday and making it a really great day for me when the whole time I was scared to death of the Tango Fight. You all rock. You all rock SO HARD.

First day on set for Secret Lives…

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First day on set for Secret Lives of Lovers was so fun! Though the snow storm from yesterday rendered most of Toronto’s streets useless – we still trudged on for our external shot of the day with me waiting for a ride home after shopping. We had to shovel the streets to get the car on its mark.
Back inside was more fun in the warm as we did the “dance rehearsal” scene.

I’m happy to find fellow comic nerds and geeks on crew to talk nerd with over the next month!

 

Here’s the fake poster for my show within this film – it even kinda looks like me!

 

Tomorrow is the dreaded Tango Performance!!! Ahhh! But if today was any indication – it will be so fun!

 

End of day crash on the set couch with @jasonmartorino and @fighteractress

And now for reward sushi – because sushi is ALWAYS a reward 🙂

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.

 

Tango Tango

I have started my tango lessons – and guess what? I’m not entirely lame at it! I was told by my partners that I follow their lead really well and that I will pick it up in no time. Here’s hoping.

In case you didn’t hear I got a leading role that has some tango attached to it. I, in fact, do not dance. Or at least, I’m not a dancER. I like to dance, and I’m finding that I like to tango. That is, I just started so the basic steps are fun at this point. I can’t wait to get to this level:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9XGsp8FpOQ

Tonight I have a sit down table talk with my director Marc Morgenstern from Five Strangers Films about my character Grace and who she is. I’m excited to get deeper into this project!