#12 – Pier

While I was waiting in line to grab a coffee before my meeting with Kate, I ran into Pier.  I don’t think he and I have properly spoken in a long time.  Maybe even years.  Sure, we’re friends on Facebook.  I stay up to date with his company’s work, but it’s been a while since we… talked.

This is strange in some ways.  He hired me for my first major professional acting gig.  I stage managed and assistant directed on a beautiful Brecht piece he worked on.  DD5 and I saw him perform at her school.  He was a witness at my first wedding ceremony and sang at my second.  (Same guy.  Long story. Don’t ask.)

I’ve always been in awe of him.  I hesitate to call myself an artist, but wouldn’t for a second hesitate to give him that moniker.   I greatly admire his passion for children’s theatre and his organic creative process.  All of this admiration can be scary though too.  One day, I watched him in rehearsal release an actress’ voice so much that she was sobbing by the end.  I was afraid I’d be next!

Pier has a way of bringing out vulnerability in people.  Getting to the core of what they didn’t know they were capable of.  Thankfully that often translates to depth and truthfulness on stage… and not just tears in the rehearsal room.

Our brief chat while I waited for my coffee was typical Pier.  A bit of a whirlwind.  Charming.  Slightly self-deprecating.  Always creating.  He said he was at the cusp of something new in his life, and that he’d really like to reconnect properly.  He said something along the lines of he thought it would “do him some good.”

I think it would do me some good too.

#11 – Kate

Looking fierce! (And yes, my youngest daughter was born with a mohawk.)

My friend Kate has given me an amazing opportunity: the chance to direct again.  I’m not just directing any play.  I’ll be working in the theatre for young audiences realm, specifically for kids 5 to 9.  Wheee!

 

I feel like Kate and I have a special bond.  We have daughters near the same age.  We both did the single mom working theatre contract to theatre contract thing.   We both have twisted, and often dirty, minds.  (Which we would never bring into our theatre for young audiences work, of course.  Ahem.)  We’re both hard-working, driven women with nice faces and yummy gooey emotional centers.    Nom.

 

We recently got together for our first brainstorming session about the new play.  I’ll be honest, the first time I read this piece I put it down after the first page.  It did not grab me, at all, but I gave it a second chance.  After all, I trust Kate.  She wouldn’t give me a bad piece to work with.  Right?

 

I’m always a bit intimidated when, as a director, I meet up with an Artistic Director because I want to make sure I impress them.  Confirm that they made the right choice in hiring me.   Reassure them that, though I couldn’t remember to bring a change of clothes to my daughter’s daycare, I’ll most certainly meet all deadlines with verve and creative gusto.    I had no real reason to be worried about meeting with Kate.  Within a few minutes, I confessed my original uncertainty with the script and she told me she felt the same way.  The more we talked, the more I realised we had a lot of the same questions about the narrative, the characters motivations, about costuming…  I mean, really, does he need to have a full-body fish costume?  I mean, can’t he just say he’s a fish and we’ll believe him?  Anywho, I digress.  The point is Kate is an artist and a being an artist involves having a lot of questions, and worrying that you’ll never find the answers.   The creative process ends up being trial and error mixed in with random silliness in an attempt to make sense of things.  And often the end result is an artist’s best attempt at making the answers interesting and beautiful enough for an audience to soak up.

 

I love doing all these things with Kate.  I think she’s a pretty talented lady and, when I’m around her, I feel just a bit more talented too.

Day 305 – Bling

42 days into my 45 straight workdays without a day off, and I come home to find this on my pillow. Not only did my amazing friend Bryony take two babysitting shifts at the last minute, she also brought gear with her so my little ladies could make me a beautiful present.

I’m such a girl.
I love a little bling.

Day 256 – 261 – Where Did The Time Go?

I can’t believe it’s been almost a week since I blogged last.  Time flies when you’re, well, struggling.  I wasn’t necessarily that busy, but finding a few seconds to sit down quietly at my computer has been difficult.  (The operative word there was “quietly”… actually, it could have been “sit” too.)

Day 256 –

Bedroom Ceiling (by AJ, 3 years old)

Day 257 –

Mommy and Me (more AJ photography)

Day 258 –

End of summer

Day 259 –

For-No-Reason Flowers (from my Daddy)

Day 260 – After spending an entire day inside the house with the kids, I made one comment on Twitter about needing adult interaction.  Within seconds, I had people on Facebook, Twitter and (gasp!) by phone checking in on me.  Yay for the internet!  I sometimes use it to shield me from the surroundings, but sometimes it’s so much more useful as a way to reach the outside world.

Day 261 – I was at the park this evening with my two little ones when a mother and her young daughter in a stroller came by.  My 3 year old smiled at them and said: “Hi!  This is my mommy and this is Beatrice.”  She seemed so proud to introduce us to the world, and I was so happy watching her be so fearless.  (Though I think this means we have to have the “stranger” talk soon.)

Day 219 – Excuses Excuses

AJ is not a baby anymore.  She is a big girl and she knows it.  She’s asserting herself  by whining.   She goes out of her way to protect her baby sister.  But my favorite “growing up” thing she does right now is come up with excuses as to why she can’t say certain things.

My darling soon-to-be 3-year-old is learning two languages at once and she’s definitely taken to English more better.  (teehee) She understands me completely when I speak French, but she still has a hard time saying many of the words.  So she’s come up with an excuse that she uses all the time to get away from speaking French.  The funny part is that she now recognises this as being “funny” so she uses this line to try to get away with anything. Cleaning up her toys.  Holding her own cup.  Going to bed.

And her excuse is:

“But I can’t mommy.  My mouth is too big.”

Day 194 – Christmas in July

Our family helps out with testing toys for an amazing site. It’s a pretty fabulous deal. Our kids get to test out a load of toys (we’ve had anywhere from 1 to 15 in our possession at any given time). We get to share our opinions. They get posted on the website, which then helps parents/guardians make informed choices based on a toy’s value, safety and playability. Finally, all of the toys get donated to charity at the end of the testing period. And for a family like ours, who really shouldn’t be spending a lot of money on expensive toys (especially if we’re not sure our kids will like them), it’s a great way for the little ladies to have special presents.

I haven’t picked up any toys to test for a long time because of how busy we’ve been, but it makes me so happy to be able to give this experience to my kids. Plus the only payment I have to make is with my time.