Upcoming hiatus & news

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

 

Hi all – Hope 2020 is being good to everyone so far!

life with more cowbell celebrated its ninth anniversary earlier this month and—counting two years blogging for Alumnae Theatre Company—that means I’ve been blogging about theatre for 11 years now. Time flies! It’s been an amazing 11 years, reviewing remarkable, mind-blowing theatre; shouting out Toronto’s rich and vibrant literary, visual arts and music events; and interviewing and getting to know various artists.

When I first started the blog, I had a permanent full-time office job, so I was able to put in the requisite time and energy on an unpaid after hours/weekend passion project; and, since its inception, life with more cowbell has grown in both readership and inclusion on media lists. Over the years, I’ve considered various ways to ‘monetize’ the blog, but in the end decided to keep it free and without strings attached.

A couple of things have changed since the birth of the blog. First, I was laid off my full-time job almost four years ago; and I’ve since become an accidental freelancer/contract worker (copy editing, proofreading and writing, in addition to working as non-union voice-over talent) as I continue to search for permanent employment. Also, as much as I’ve enjoyed shouting out the Toronto arts scene, especially theatre, I’ve found that I’ve been spending most of my free time writing about other people’s art instead of making my own. For a while, I considered that writing about other people’s creative work was my creative work. But after performing in Andrew Batten’s last play The Sad Blisters and exhibiting in ARTiculations’ 2019 Curio Shadow Box Show last year, and a day on location, acting in an indie film adaptation of a novel couple of weeks ago, I realized I really miss working and playing in that creative space.

So, I’ve decided I need to make a change. And to that end, I’ll be putting life with more cowbell on an indefinite hiatus as of February 1 as I ponder a new direction for myself and the blog. I already have a few review bookings coming up (Shakespeare BASH’d’s Cymbeline and Toronto Irish Players’ Many Young Men of Twenty in February; and Discord and Din’s Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. in April); I intend to honour those commitments—but, otherwise, I won’t be doing any reviews in the foreseeable future.

I’ve thought long and hard about this. In fact, it’s come to mind every New Year for the past few years. And even though I won’t be reviewing, I’ll continue to broadcast boost shows and performances/events on social media; and tweet, share and post about performances, events and exhibits I attend. When I return to the blog, I’ll provide an update on where we’ll be headed next.

To my readers, thank you so much for your feedback and support throughout the years; and big thanks to all the marketing/PR and production folks for including me on their mailing lists and inviting me to see so many amazing shows. The blog and I aren’t going away—I’m just hitting pause as I prepare for a return with a new direction. And I will keep shouting out Toronto’s rich and vibrant arts scene no matter what.

Cheers, Cate

 

 

 

cowbell blog: Changes to Toronto Fringe coverage

Hi all. Have some news before coming out my annual June hiatus next week—and before we head out for the long weekend.

As many of you know, life with more cowbell is a one-person, unpaid, part-time passion project; this means I support myself with a day job. My previous full-time position was phased out in May 2016; and I’ve been job searching, networking and freelancing ever since, as well as doing voice-over auditions since I signed on with VOX Talent in March.

I’ve been invited to a number of awesome Fringe shows this year. In previous years, I was able to take a week off to cover 20 shows. That’s not possible this year, as I’ll be starting a new job on Tuesday (yay! details to come). As a result, I’ve set up an abbreviated Fringe schedule for cowbell—covering fewer shows (I’ve booked 10) and writing shorter blog posts.

I want to thank all the Fringe productions that invited me to their shows. If I don’t get to your show, it’s not a reflection on your company or your play—it’s just that I wasn’t able to fit it in (I’ll also be covering the opening of Hogtown and a matinée of Billy Bishop Goes to War in mid-July). Even if I’m not able to see your show, I’ll do my best to shout it out on social media.

Have a great long weekend and happy Fringing! Please support local theatre and artists all year round.