#10 – Aron

After over two years of not seeing each other, we finally meet for coffee.

He uses the word “cunt” in one of his first stories, and then apologises for his language.

I laugh.  Has it been that long?  Has he forgotten who I am?  Cunt doesn’t bother me… neither does any of the other expletives he throws out at me during this storytelling.

Same old Aron.

We’re known each other since university.  I had a huge crush on him, though he never knew that.  (I guess he does now… if he reads this.)  I played both his lover and his mother, not in the same production of course.  It’s the lover role that I remember the most.

He was my Romeo.

My crush had vanished by then (no offense Aron) and was replaced with awe of his natural talent and spunk.   (The energetic/vibrant type… not the biological fluid type… though I never had first-hand knowledge of the second.)    We were couple together for classic scene study class: the famous R&J balcony scene.  I could tell Aron wasn’t pleased.  I don’t think he minded working with me, but I don’t think he saw himself as much of a romantic lead.

You see, Aron is a clown.  In all senses of the word.  Always has been. Normally I dislike clowns.  Correction:  I dislike BAD clowns.   Aron, I adore.  So you see how good he is at what he does.

Our scene finally clicked once our prof got us to see the nervous energy, the eagerness, and the humour in the scene.  Once it became fun to play, Aron couldn’t be stopped.

Funnily enough, he eventually performed the role for Company of Fools.  I was insanely jealous of his Juliet.  😉

Our paths have crossed a few times since then.  I did some silly choreography for one of his first clown shows in Ottawa.  But then he left town.  Went on to study in Italy.  Did his MFA in Calgary.  Went on to learn from some dude…. Philippe Gaulier or something.  He’s now working for Cirque du Soleil.  You might have heard of them.

Aron is a deeply intelligent, artistic, and passionate person.  He’s a creator in the grandest sense.

He’s worked around the world, and he’s still as grounded as he’s ever been.

And when I’m around him, I feel grounded too.

Aron and I in The Lark (2001)

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#5 – Dalelle

The Glass Menagerie – University of Ottawa – 2001

Dalelle and I met the summer of ’98 at a University of Ottawa residence orientation weekend.  A year younger than me, she traveled alone from Sudbury to meet new people and get acquainted with the campus and city she’d call her home.  I journeyed 45 minutes from home, by car, with my Mom, for the occasion.  She seemed so… grown up compared to me.

She told me she was registered in the theatre department.  We found out we had a lot in common.  Both fully bilingual.  Both theatre lovers.  Both chatty as all hell.  We sat by the Rideau Canal talking about our dreams.  She was going to volunteer for everything she could and eventually get herself a job at the National Arts Centre.  She was bound and determined to make it in this town.  I admired her drive.

Long story short, she eventually went on to coordinate one of Canada’s major francophone theatre festivals for the NAC.  She’s now a Production Coordinator for the Museum of Civilization and often works for Bluesfest and the NCC.   Oh, and she’s barely 30 years old and she has two kids.

I consider Dalelle one of my best friends.  I’ve directed her in quite a few productions. She was the maid of honour at my wedding.  I babysat her first born while she delivered her second.  And yet, we only speak a handful of times a year.  We’re lucky if we see each other a few times a year.  It’s part of the curse of being very similar people, both intensely focused on family and our careers.

She always tells me I can count on her for anything… and she means it.  Just recently when I was stuck without a babysitter at the last minute, on a whim, I decided to email her.  Not only did she agree to watch the girls, but she wanted to take them for the entire day so I could relax.    She knows that I schedule babysitters for when I need to work, rarely for social/date time.   I would be more than happy to give you a “just cause I feel like doing what I wanna do day” if you would like. 

Amazing.

That’s friendship.

#2 – Hayden

He has been both my assistant and my student.

He’s the child whisperer.  With infinite patience, boundless creativity, and the calmest demeanor.

Two weeks of musical theatre drama camps would be significantly less pleasurable without him making me laugh.

He’s smart, he’s witty, and he studies biology (or some equally difficult and important subject) yet can’t stop thanking me for how much my university level Theatrical Event class challenged and stimulated him.

Actor, teacher, student, aspiring EMT, nerd and all around amazing guy, he’s well-rounded and level-headed.

Charming, funny, gentle and kind, I feel calm around him.  Like he’s got my back.

He’s as much at home on stage in character, as he is making sure a diabetic student is eating properly, as he is making sure that a down syndrome student feels at home in our class, as he is talking about first aid training.

He may have been my student.

He may currently be my assistant.

But I don’t think he realises just how much he’s taught me.