Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Christmas Wishes, Sue-Ann Levy... and Clowns.

I love Christmas.
Yes, I know...I am not alone...after Christmas is over, winter is really just bull crap. Which is sad because winter lasts for about 4 more months after that...if we are lucky....but I digress.
THAT is NOT what I wanted to talk about.
George and I have been joyously working on this show for Thursday...picking songs...asking friends new and old to be a part of the night...buying props and rehearsing...I almost don't want the show to get here...I wish lead up  would last a bit longer...
A few years ago, which may seem a little late in life, I know, I realized that Christmas for me is all about the lead up...when Christmas morn arrives I already feel a bit sad....because it is all almost over.
I love the decorating and the moment twilight comes and I can plug in the lights...I especially love most people this time of year. Yes, I said know who you are...all Grinch-ie...and bad driver-ie...and drunk loud talker-ie (the last may actually be me-ie...FYI...I did make a Christmas pledge today to booze it up...much to George's chagrin.)
But I love the people who wouldn't usually strike up a conversation finding themselves in a long line up and instead of getting mad deciding to have a chat...which ends with you parting ways with a "Merry Christmas".
I do love it. I love the spirit of the season.
I wish you could anticipate Christmas day a bit longer.
I have traveled all over the world this year, and I am so thankful for all the opportunities that I have had...but there is no place like home...truly. Family, friends...and peace...I feel so thankful to live in Canada.
I believe one of the only problems with this country is I  wish our people appreciated and helped out our artists more...this is painfully obvious to some but not to all...but in this we are sorely lacking...sorely. When I traveled this year (and during the last two years)  I met, saw and worked with some amazing artists...just amazing. I had such a clarity, this year, on the difference between the way artists are treated and celebrated in Europe and here. 
Maybe because this was my third year, I found a great deal of rightness and peace in performing and had the presence of mind and good health to see a lot of work and do a lot of promotions with other artists. And the work that I saw was so interesting and controversial and experiemental and attended by ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE!!! Supported by people who wearing collars blue to white.
That was the thing that always surprised me as I introduced myself to the audience as they filed past in Scotland, London and South Africa...was that there were people from every age group,  religion ( I know this because it came up A LOT with the "Jesus Thinks I'M Funny" show last year) and economic level. They also went to clown shows (Two of the biggest artists at the EdFringe this year were clowns...Dr. Brown and Boy With Tape on His Face...and they are almost always SOLD OUT and Boy With Tape had a 700 seat theatre this year), to see magicians, comics, mimes, improv artists and to so many other things that were happening.
Because there are so many amazing, eclectic artists to be inspired by, young people really see no limits as to what they might try and create.
It is amazing. 
AND don't get me wrong...we have MANY inspiring artists here in Canada...there is just more per capita there...and work that is considered "outside the box" here has a greater chance at a wider audience just does.
I wish more people came out to see theatre large and small in Toronto...and took a chance on going to see something interesting and risky ALONG with the latest big show that is coming through town or being produced at one of the big theatres.
I do find myself heartened by all the cabaret that is happening in Toronto...I thank Albert Schultz for the Global Cabaret Festival, the only of it's kind in Canada, it is one of my favourite things to be part of in Toronto...there are all the young people working at Statlers on Church Street and other small clubs that encourage performance such as that...Maggie Cassella's Pubaret on Parliament, an EXCELLENT and very eclectic room and Maggie is working her ass off there to program interesting stuff...The Green Door Cabaret on Ossington with an amazing line up of artists...people are doing cabarets at the Toronto the backrooms of legit theatres likeTheatre Passe Muraille, the Tarragon, and the Factory. Acting Up Stage is hosting their amazing popular music concerts and hosting cabaret nights in their seasons. Angel Walk Theatre has cabarets as a regular part of their yearly line up.
And then there is my favourite room in the whole world to work in...where I have been trying my stuff out and performing for the last 10 years, Buddies in Bad Times. They have always been wonderful supporters and have sponsored my tours...and you can see so many amazing things at that theatre and in that space...I have done some of my best work there...if I humbly do say so myself.
I daresay that cabaret is almost becoming mainstream.


If I had one wish for this year...besides never ending wealth...I mean come on, let's be honest is a great helper...if I had one wish it would be that more people would come out to the theatre. If I had two, I would wish that more independent artists had access to international touring opportunities. If I had three, I would wish that our country's TV and Radio media supported us more (This year I had the joy of writing a two page proposal that included my resume to try and be featured on a radio show...and no THAT was not Q...we all know what I went through to try to get on there...this does not include Classical 96 and Proud FM who have had me on a lot and who support all kinds of theatre). If I have four, I would wish that there more grant opportunities for "commercial" (such a dirty dirty word) artists. If I had five, I would wish that there cabaret would keep growing. If I had six, I would wish that we would all try things that scare the fuck out of us. If I had seven, I would many wishes.
Oh, I forgot...I REALLY wish that there were fewer articles like this... 

And fewer "journalists" like this...simply, if you have a distaste for the theatre, Sue-Ann, don't come...and don't approach artists after the show and criticize their their faces...yes, just stay will be happier and so will we. Don't mess with something you know nothing about. I love people like you who think artists should bow and scrape and be thankful for whatever arts scraps we get thrown from a government that we contribute our taxes to.  
Art is beautiful. Art is necessary. Art makes you think outside of the box and encourages young minds to dream. But don't take my word for it....

“The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation.” 

- Michelle Obama

Damn right.
So much to be grateful for and so much to hope for.
I am so looking forward to our Sing-A-Long on Thursday. It was George's idea...he is real idea man...and when we talked about it he said, "Everyone is looking for somewhere to sing a carol at Christmas, to laugh, to feel like they belong and, maybe, are a part of something special."  
I am not a religious gal but, Amen.
It sold out faster than anything I have ever promoted. And so many different people are coming (wish number one...granted) who have never been to a night like this...someone from George's kindergarten class is attending...among so many others! 
We are getting there early to decorate the room and I am so excited that some of our pals are coming down early to help that we live in Stratford we don't get to see everyone as much...and I get to do this with of my favourite performers.
I hope the day lasts a good long time. 
We have had some people emailing for tickets...but we are truly sold out...BUT there will be a special block of STANDING ROOM tickets that will be released on Thursday night just before the come down and line up!! WE would love to celebrate the season with you.
And you ticket holding smarties? Get their nice and early to get the seats you want...because the Standing Room people will come in at about 7:50pm...and you are gonna wanna have bought your drink, claimed your seat...and selected a cookie!! 
Michael Hughes, one our dear friends and guests on the show is running a non-perishable food item drive, for the Food Bank...what a wonderful idea, Micke!! 
Oh, what a night it will be.
I what a holiday season it will be.
I hope all my wishes come true.
And yours, too.

1 comment:

Lisa Montsion said...

I love that cute paper snowflake.