Birthdays and cabaret

Saturday was birthday and cabaret day, as I spent the afternoon with friends to celebrate their son’s third birthday. One of his friends declared it to be a “boy party” – the kids had split off into girls (who were mostly older and friends of the older sister) and boys. Ever been in a room with a bunch of three-year-old boys and a basket of balls? Pande-freakin’-monium. The five-year-old sister of the birthday boy had her party back in November – and it was like Lord of the freakin’ Flies. This one was more Apocalypse Now.

From there, I high-tailed it over to Whistler’s for a grown-up birthday party with a gang of theatre pals from Cabbagetown Theatre – dinner downstairs, followed by No Sweetheart Required upstairs and back downstairs for the after party. Check out my NSR write-up on the Alumnae blog: www.alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com

Think I had one pint too many – but I was okay. Nicely toasted and goofy.

Missed a couple of things late last week/this past weekend: Sweets & Treats at the Village Playhouse (I’ve asked Alumnae friend/colleague Tina McCulloch to do a write-up on that for the Alum blog) and my pal, the lovely and talented jazz singer Kira Callahan, who did a Valentines gig at Hollywood on Thursday night. She did send me this great photo, though:

Sunday was a quiet day of brunch with a friend and doing some final weekend errands/chores. All in all, a good one.  And lovin’ the spring-like weather we’ve been having, however briefly.

Have a good one all.

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Theatre stuff this weekend

Loving and working in the theatre is very much like being in the mob: you can’t quit.

Found myself talking about, thinking about, working on and otherwise attending the theatre a lot this past Friday night/weekend – from telling a new friend about my play Over the Lips over coffee on Friday night, to going to see friends in a production of Real Estate at the Village Playhouse on Saturday night, to prepping a package to submit Over the Lips to Clean Sheets (in Vancouver) on Sunday. Just. Can’t. Get. Away.

Oh well – there are worse things to be addicted to, I guess.

Check out my recent post on Real Estate on the Alumnae blog: www.alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com

By any other name

Went to the Indian restaurant near my office for some lunch-time take-out and, barely in the door, I heard the owner behind the counter shout: “Beef thali to go!” to his co-worker in the back. That’s how I’m known there – “Beef thali to go.”

At the Vietnamese place near my house, I”m known as “Number 95 to go.”

For Swiss Chalet and the Thai place near my office, I tend to mix it up – and at least one of the folks at the Thai place (Ivy) knows me by my first name.

At work, I’m “Proofreader.” At the theatre, I’m “bloggergal” or “scenic artist” – at least lately. Sometimes “actor” or “playwright.”

With family, I’m daughter, sister, aunt and Godmother.

And, I imagine I’ve been called things that I can’t publish here.

At various times in my life, I’ve also been girlfriend, lover, partner.

All of these things are me – to varying degrees. Facets. We all have ’em.

My mother also sometimes calls me “Diamond in the rough.”

Art and loss

Learned of another artist gone too soon today: tattoo artist Stan Wong, who died this past summer.

The last tattoo artist I worked with is not around anymore and that shop moved, I think, and I remembered that my brother Sean had mentioned that Stan was working at Way Cool Tattoos in Oakville. I looked up that shop on-line about a year ago to see if he was still there – and he was. But when I looked again today, there was a note from the shop, saying they’d lost their friend and co-worker.

I first met Stan back when I frequented Abstract Arts tattoo shop on Queen St. West in Toronto – and the previous artist I’d worked with there had moved on from that shop, so I started working with him. I didn’t really know Stan – my only experience of him was during the time we spent when he inked a few of my tattoos, but he was a good guy and an amazing artist. The first piece he did for me was on New Year’s Eve Day 1999 – the Circle of Brigit on the right side of my lower back. Later, he did a single wing for me on my left shoulder blade – and I was chuffed that he liked my hand-drawn design. Even later, he did a gorgeous Sacred Heart, in full colour, on my left bicep – and customized it so the flame rising from the top of the heart cupped the green Celtic cross I had above it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, even though I didn’t really know Stan, having someone ink you is a pretty intimate thing (unlike getting your photograph taken or a painting or drawing done of you). They’re etching colour into your skin – and there are health and safety issues involved here – and that’s art getting very personal. And, to varying degrees, it involves pain and blood – actual and emotional. A lot like an intense acting gig, I guess, but without the autoclave.

So, to artists gone too soon like Stan and Lindsay: Those of us who knew you and worked with you, even just a little bit, will miss you – and we thank you for sharing your artistry.

Oscar nominations

So not a lot of surprises in today’s announcement of Oscar nominations, but a few glaring omissions and baffling oddities:

  • No sign of Barney’s Version, except for a Makeup nomination (makeup?!) – why no Best Actor nom for Paul Giamatti? why no Best Picture nom?
  • Toy Story 3 gets two best movie nominations: Best Picture and Best Animated Feature (could they not have made room for Barney’s Version in the former category?)
  • Toy Story 3 gets a Writing (Adapted Screenplay) nomination – again, why not Barney’s Version?
  • No makeup nom for Black Swan (which would have made more sense than Barney’s Version).

I will admit my own personal bias and say that I liked Barney’s Version a lot. But WTF, Academy?!

For a full list of nominations, see the Academy website: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/83/nominees.html