I’ve had a lot of time lately to reminisce and contemplate. Think about where I’ve been. Try to decide where I want to go, what I want to do.
I got a new computer near the end of 2016 and, much like moving houses, migrating the contents of a hard drive can result in finding old files, buried in some subfolder or other. In one of those, I found this picture.
It’s been cropped within an inch of its life and I think it was taken with a then-cutting-edge point-and-shoot digital camera. But, by golly, that dude in it had some hopes and dreams.
In it, I’m seated on the brick path around the Ryerson Quad. My best guess is that this was taken in the spring of 2001, or perhaps the previous autumn. I’m as much smirking at the camera as I am at the photographer, the woman I was dating at the time. I can’t help but feel I’m also smirking about the future I envisioned. My last year of theatre school. I was thinking about studying and performing in opera if, y’know, the lifelong contract at Stratford fell through.
I wonder what that naïve son-of-a-gun would think of where he wound up a decade and a half later. Would he appreciate the fact that I’m happy, despite the strange misshapen reality I made of his dreams? Probably not. Idealistic infant. At the very least, I don’t think he expected me smirking back at him today. Let alone everyone else smirking at him with me here and the other places I’ve shared this on social media. #TBT
This morning I woke up, opened Twitter on my phone, and landed promptly upon a pretty delightful thread of tweets by @Zestlord, in which they shared a quick, clear, and entertaining history of Marvel’s Nick Fury. My enjoyment of the thread combined with my deep and abiding love for both hashtags and alliteration would not let me retweet the thread without enjoying the fortuitousness of seeing it to start my Friday. So, #FuriousFriday it is.
Now, I do, when prompted, make a point of saying I’m apolitical, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have strong opinions about events set in motion by politicians. And the appropriateness of fury that may arise as a result of those events. So, there were only a couple of short jumps of the hashtag train of thought before it firmly landed on the track of the whole series of conversations being had online covering the spectrum of “Nazis: To Punch or Not To Punch.”
Any reasonable person who falls on either side of that difference of opinion has their pick of professionally written opinion pieces to which they can post a link, but I find myself really curious about the opinions of my friends on that question. What’s the best way to ask and get a thoughtful answer? What if I strongly disagree with the answer or the reasoning behind it? So, yeah… those thoughts led to me returning here to my site and writing on it. That’s a way to kick off a Family Day long weekend, huh?
And, yes, I realize this topic has already had its news cycle, but that doesn’t make me any less curious.
“The nature of love is to create.”
– Fr. Cecil Zinger, C.S.B.
There have been some recent situations where I’ve been asked what I “do” – that old chestnut. Sometimes saying I’ve worked on a legal marketing client database for nearly five years is enough to steer smalltalk elsewhere. If there’s a sincere desire on the asker’s behalf to know who I am, though, I have to follow up with the information that, after high school, I studied acting.
I’m an actor.
It’s true, even though I haven’t taken a bow since 2010.
It’s true, even though I’ve officially auditioned exactly twice since then.
It’s true, even though saying it feels more inauthentic than saying I’m in legal marketing (so much imposter syndrome, all the time).
It’s true. The Nature of Love (cont.)
I have lots of opinions about theatre, especially the theatre I want to make. Generally, they’re passionate and have been refined over the years that I’ve been making theatre and attending shows, viewing them from a community member’s perspective. I will happily talk ears off when sharing these opinions, particularly after a couple of glasses of wine. I try to keep my more critical stances to myself, both because of the tight-knit interdependent theatre ecosystem of which I’m a part and because I know my own tastes and products are not for all markets.
But there is one topic I will sprint out of rooms to avoid. Fundraising for independent theatre – even when it’s for Monkeyman Productions, the theatre company I helped to found in 2008. I also very seldom read articles that bring up fundraising – you clearly have a stronger stomach than I do if you’re choosing to continue reading. For that, I’m grateful.
The reality is that making theatre requires money. And no one starts working in theatre to get rich. Or, if they do see it as a path to fame and fortune, they don’t hang around. And because we aren’t putting our geeky energies into scheming any major bank heists, for now, there are 3 obvious options Monkeyman Productions has explored as a company. Show Me The Mon(k)ey! (cont.)