The immortal question. I want some answers soon. I know I need something new but what. Well in the immediate future, I’ll be going to the launch of Lilly Barnes’ new amazing book of poetry on April 30, 2014. Which I’m very excited about. I have to say a little bit about the newest addition to my life. Lilly Barnes is truly one of the most incredible human beings I’ve ever met. At an age where most people are slowing down, she is so full of curiosity and creativity. She was the head writer for Mister Dress-Up for the entire run of the show. She was a freelance documentary producer and interviewer, a writer of children’s books and short stories, a novelist (I met her for the first time at the launch of her novel, Mara), and now a published poet. I’m sort of in awe. But I have rarely met someone so accomplished who has such love of human life and experience – in all it’s good, bad and in between. She observes mankind and translates it into emotional works of art. I’ve spent many hours in her company where I can’t believe she is talking to me because she’s so extraordinary. Then on top of that, so loving and giving of her time, energy, affection, intellect and her delicious, raucous, joyful sense of humour.
Pluuuuus her stories of growing up during wartime are shocking and fantastic. Which is also why her poetry is so beautiful. (As are her other works I’ve had the honor and privilege to read.) Anyway, the launch is on Apr. 30, 2014 between 6 and 8:30pm at The Supermarket on 268 Augusta Ave. in Toronto. Her book is called JOURNEY and what a journey she’s had. 3 other ladies will also launch books that day but this blog is not about them so I’ll let you look them up if you are so interested. LOL Hey, it’s my blog, I get to talk about whatever I want to talk about. And if you can’t make it to the launch, you can still by the book.
What else is happening? Well we have 4 more show left of Elegies. Amazing! I have now revisited a show 7 years apart – twice. Songs For A New World and now Elegies. Both with mostly the same people. A very unique experience. I love this cast. The show is deceptively exhausting be very rewarding. It’s amazing what changes in how you hear the piece. How it emotionally hits you. The audiences have really gone on the ride with us. We’ve had one or two that seemed reserved but on the whole really taking us in. Thank God.
On other performing fronts, I have sung for this charity a couple of times before and it’s always an amazing time and star-studded event. It’s called Heart and Soul and every year they honour 2 or 3 individuals who have made a difference in the world around them in some way. This year, the honorees are Shirley Douglas and Jackie Richardson. I’m so honoured to be singing for these amazing women. It takes place on Monday, May 12 at Metropolitan United Church at 56 Queen St. and it starts at 7:30. It’s a great line-up of folks.
And then I guess the other news which seems to be happening enough now that word is out. I’m going to get to cross a role off of my bucket list. I’ll be playing Captain Hook in Peter Pan for Drayton Entertainment this summer. It’s a panto which I’ve never done and always wanted to. And it’s the perfect length of contract, split in two. We start rehearsals on May 19, then start performances on June 5 and finish June 21 at King’s Wharf Theatre in Pentetanguishene (I don’t know when I’ll be able to spell that without looking it up.).
Then we have 5 weeks off (hello, New York) and then back into rehearsals July 28 to perform Aug. 7 – 30 at the Huron Country Playhouse II ( the smaller theatre up in Grand Bend).
Very excited, actually, for a few reasons. One – AJ Bridel who was one of the three finalists for the role of Dorothy on Over The Rainbow. Talented cookie. And secondly, my buddy Melanie Phillipson is playing Mrs. Darling/Tiger Lilly. Thirdly, a summer with chunks where I hang by a lake or two is just what I need right now.
Which brings me back to my title. What the hell am I supposed to be doing? I know it’s time for a change but I’m not getting the clearest of pictures as to what that should be. I know I want to really pick and choose the acting roles I want to play from here on in. (Not that I have the luxury of money to make such decisions but if you make decisions based solely on money, you are doomed to repeat the same things that make you unhappy over and over again). I also know I want to do more reality TV – I’m working on that. But beyond that. I’m not sure. Write? well I do feel a bit of that but I’ve been tentative – perhaps that’s what the summers by the lake are to introduce me to. Directing? I’ve always known I would one day but I thought it would be a little later. Maybe it’s time to start testing the waters. Coaching? Interesting. I never thought I would coach until a few years ago. I’ve really started to like it and for the first time in 32 years, I really feel like I have something to share. So that could very well (and probably) be on the near horizon for me.
But is that all? Is there something else. I feel like I’d be working like a bastard if I only knew what to be working on. I feel like the universe still has a secret for me that it’s waiting to reveal. That is exciting and a little exhausting . . . but mostly exciting. I want to really use whatever I have to use while I still have it . . . I’m just not sure I know what IT is yet. LOL I am in a state of discovery.
What I do know is that I feel myself getting into a state of discovery. Last year was very hard emotionally for me and I ended up gaining a large chunk of weight. Hey, it happens! There was no shame attached to it but I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes. It worked for Nicely-Nicely at Shaw and I think knowing that I could, allowed me to rely on food to feel better. But then that ended and it was time to get things back on track. I’ve always been able to alter my body depending on the upcoming “role” and I felt in my soul that I have things to accomplish that involve me not being that size. So when I went back to NYC in January, I started my own personal campaign of body transformation. Happy to say that I’ve lost 40 lbs. Thanks to the Wheat Belly Cookbooks – I kid you not; they are my new food bibles (I stay away from the higher fat options) and my amaze-balls trainer, CRAIG RAMSAY. He’s a genius and unbelievably informed and sweet and relentless. A few more pounds then I’ll see where I am. But I already feel like I’m creating, healthily, with the universe again. I just need a few more signs as to where the hell I’m going.
In the meantime, I keep breathing and striving to make healthy choices in my life, physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. I want to be as ready as I can for whatever is coming. I do love surprises. And I feel really ready for a big life change.
I do wonder if something is in the air. I know a handful of people who seem to be in a similar state of mind, though not necessarily as acute as I’m feeling it. Change is fun. infinite possibilities.
Okay now I’m just rambling. It’s 12:47 and I should go to bed now. I may have to wait to post this until the morning just so I can make sure I wasn’t writing gibberish. Well, it’s probably gibberish but what the hell; as I said earlier, it’s my blog so I can do what I want.