Showing posts from July, 2005

The View From Here #97: Winnipeg, MB

So this “View From Here” goes out to my Aunt Marie, who died this week, following a long bout with Alzheimer’s disease. I miss you, Aunt Marie, and think of you often.

A note to Fringe Festivals everywhere: Enough with the cute pre-show announcements. This seems to be the year that the fringe saw the need to tell people to turn off their cell phones (a five-second conversation, at best), as an opportunity to engineer big audio production numbers that are sponsored by everything from local realtors to the CBC. Some of them are way over a minute long.

Some of them are hilariously funny … the first time we hear them.

Some of them are funnier than the shows we are about to see.

And some are longer than the shows we are about to see.

No, not really, but they do extract a minute from the available performance time, or the subsequent changeover time.

And lately, the venue techs, assumedly in agreement with the performers, have stopped playing them.

And what happens as a result? Watches and cell pho…

The VIew From Here #96: Thunder Bay, ON & Winnipeg, MB

As well as the Saturday night performance in Thunder Bay had gone, the Sunday afternoon performance was back to only a dozen people in attendance. Most of them were actors and volunteers, which meant that only four people actually paid to get in. Still hurting from the night before (my voice hadn’t woken up quite yet), I decided to go easy, and not push things. Most of the audience was congregating toward the back, and I encouraged two familiar-looking teenage girls to sit closer, which they did.

In the first volunteer scene, I couldn’t get a volunteer onstage to save my life. The teenage girls at first refused, and then a couple of older women would not go for it, and eventually I had to return to the teenage girls and literally drag one of them onstage with me. She seemed extremely scared, so I kept a respectful distance throughout.

Several songs later, however, came the microphone chord scene, and I steered clear of the scared one and her friend seemed to enjoy the scene very much. I…

The View From Here #95: Thunder Bay, ON

The folks in Thunder Bay had been telling me how excited they were about me coming to town. At one point they were planning to have my show open the festival. Some rearrangement of the venues had nixed that plan, but they were also planning on putting me in to perform at a local restaurant, where my show would be scheduled for a dinner-theatre performance, as well as a “lunchbag” event. They were certain I would get at least a hundred people for each.

And so, in anticipation of that income, I bit the bullet to finally get some full-color posters and flyers. I was dealing with a Thunder Bay printer, and asking them to put it together last minute, and working from “power point” which is notoriously bad with “color separation,” but at last I would have full color promotional materials. In fact, I laid out my entire fringe summer schedule on the postcard, so that wherever I went, I would already have the info handy.

Not only that, I now have CD’s available, and my “I’m Looking For A Groupie…

The View From Here #94: Chicago, IL & Quebec, QC

Oh, how the time rips past!

Back at home, I spent about a week working on “Tartuffe” and “Imaginary Invalid”: Watching videotapes of the shows, listening for words that went “clunk,” and rewriting things that have been niggling at me for several years. I signed off on my contract with Playscripts, Inc. (which already has a Tim Mooney page at, and pulled together bio information, photos and reviews.

Speaking of websites, if you haven’t checked out lately, please go take a look at it. It’s really cool.

No really, go ahead. I’ll wait.

I performed “Karaoke Knights” three times. Once in Chicago at Jan Graves’ theatre (Actors Workshop Theatre), once at the “Purple Hotel” in Skokie, and again at Deb Pekin’s house. Response was great in Chicago. In Skokie, a few friends-of-friends showed up, and I was performing in an open bar area, with people walking through the whole time. Some of the audience was more interested…