Bats v Supes

 

Batman v Superman

Ok, I know. I am about a million years too late, but tonight I finally saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Overall, it was not as bad as I thought it would be. But that actually isn’t saying much.

The storyline was an ABSOLUTE hot mess.  I’m still not 100% what the flick was actually about.  Batman was cranky, Superman didn’t smile, stuff got destroyed, Lois needed saving a bunch of times, Wonder Woman showed up, and Lex Luthor was an asshole.  That’s pretty much it.

The plot was so awful that it actually made me angry the longer I sat in the theatre.  And mostly, it was because they tried to cram too many comic books into one flick.  Obviously, Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (no matter what Snyder says) and The Death of Superman (and all of that Doomsday nonsense). Add in the vague references to Wonder Woman’s origin and the origins of the Justice League, and well, like I said, angry.   They could have stuck with ONE of those books as source material and could have had a decently cohesive plot instead of the big turd that they ended up with.

What else didn’t I like?  Oh, I detested Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Like HATED.   Now I am not the biggest Supes fan and certainly no fan of Luthor, but I dunno, Eisenberg’s portrayal made Luthor out to be more of a petulant child than an evil mastermind and genius.  It was grating. Plus, towards the end, I think he was trying to channel the Joker.. well, poorly. I also continue to dislike Amy Adams as Lois. I grew tired of her about half of the way through Man of Steel and well, it hasn’t improved.  She has nothing on Margot Kidder, man!  And she certainly has no chemistry with Henry Cavill.

Oh Henry Cavill. I struggled with him in this flick too. Contrary to a lot of other people, I really enjoyed Man of Steel and his portrayal. Supes has always been so boring to me so I really enjoyed the darker Superman (I may have cheered when he snapped Zod’s neck, I’m not going to lie).  But in this flick? Ugh, he was so wooden and so…. boring. And not even in that, Supes is a boy scout boring way. In the boring “Why am I watching this? Well, at least he is handsome” kinda way. Not great.  And what pains me is that Henry Cavill is a good actor (Watch The Tudors, I am not just blinded by his beauty!), but he isn’t getting the opportunity to show everyone that. Maybe they will introduce Bizarro (cuz why not?!? [eyeroll]) and we will get to see a bit more from him.  I don’t know.

Still, there were some really great moments.  Ben Affleck was absolutely fantastic as the Bat and Bruce Wayne (especially the latter).  I am not sure if he is my favourite Bat, but he is definitely in the top two (I am a Christian Bale apologist – sue me). I look forward to an Affleck solo Batman flick.   Gal Gadot was, well, alright.  Admittedly, I was a bit underwhelmed with her. But I can tell that she is going to do great things with the character (if the fucking plot isn’t this abysmal) and I squee’d with delight when she saved helped out the boys against Doomsday.

I enjoyed the psuedo-introduction to the Justice League. Though I am still pissed off that Martian Manhunter won’t be in the flick and that there is still no Hal Jordan love (come on guys, even Ryan Reynolds is over it…) And after seeing BvS, I am less annoyed that my Grant Gustin won’t be Movie!Barry because well, these films just aren’t that great. I just wish Affleck was directing the Justice League film. I am so over Zack Snyder (he gets no links!)

Yah, it was a film. I watched it.  It was… alright, which isn’t a ringing endorsement, I know. I just wish DC knew how to make better films. As a DC fan, it hurts my soul that Marvel is making these amazing flicks (Captain America: Civil War opens in less than two weeks, aaaaahhhh!) and DC is making…well, this shit. Upside, DC can at least make pretty fantastic TV.

So I guess there’s that.

Or something.

:S

FRC’s 2016-2017 Season

Last night, Front Row Centre Players held our annual season announcement gala!

Finally.

As a member of the Board, I have been sitting on the show selection for next season since December. And while it may be one of the worst kept secrets in Calgary community theatre, I am really glad that the cat is officially out of the bag! We are going to have a fantastic season. Seriously. I am so excited about our shows. I am so excited that our shows are going to push some boundaries and are just regular musical theatre fodder. And I am SO EXCITED that my friend, Danielle, gets to make her directorial debut on her dream show!

Each year, as part of the show marketing, we have a poster designed for each show (common practice for every theatre company).  It can be a trial for our marketing team. Sometimes posters work, sometimes they don’t. It’s a tricksy undertaking. This year, it was my great pleasure to design and complete the show posters as well as our season poster for the 2016-2017 season.

Now, I have designed posters before (mostly in a past life when I was still playing roller derby), but this was a very challenging (in a good way) project. I was able to work my graphic design muscle and grew my digital skillset. I am much more comfortable in Illustrator now. It was great. It also is inspiring me to continue working in digital for a few most art projects* I have on the horizon.

Here’s the result (and our next season!)

I worked really hard on these and I am proud of the results.  Each show has its own design and aesthetic, but the four of them work pretty cohesively together.

Are they perfect? No, of course not.  This is me after all. There are definitely things I would change. There is always room for improvement. But I don’t really look at any of them and think that they are a bag of shit, so I feel like this is progress. ;)  And I’m not gonna lie, my ego is pretty happy that these little colourful things that germinated out of MY brain and out through my little sausage fingers will be gracing all of FRC’s marketing materials for the next year and a bit.

Hopefully I’ll get to do it gain for the 2017-2018 season too!

*SEA CLOWNS!!

The Overcommitment Monster

I have been debating it for a while, but I am going to retire from props. Well at least temporarily. I need a sabbatical I think. It just doesn’t provide me with the same joy as it used to. Now, don’t get me wrong, when I am building awesome props (like I did for She Kills Monsters – which opens on Friday! Go see it!), I am in the zone and I completely love it. It exercises my problem solving and creative muscles. But prop induced stress, managing props, making props lists, figuring out rehearsal props, working on props budgets, etc. etc. aggravates and bores the shit out of me.  Ugh, I dislike it so much.

Plus, I am overcommitting myself in general. After this season is done, I will have worked on five (possibly six) shows as well as being FRC’s Inventory Director, co-producing FRC Season Launch Gala and designing next season’s show posters. It’s a lot.  And as I am finally learning, way too much.

Next season will be different.  It has to be if my plan for going back to school full-time in the winter semester comes to fruition. Sacrifices will need to be made. The first two will be props and the number of shows I am willing to commit to next season.  Right now, the magic number is three (doing things that aren’t props).  That’s considerably less than what I have done in recent years; however, it’s a necessity. I am starting to burn out which isn’t awesome. I just need to remind myself that I don’t need to do ALL OF THE THINGS – even if a show or project is awesome. It’s ok to just be an audience member. That’s going to be a challenge for me, but one I am determined to meet head on.

In other news, this video is amazing. I can’t wait for May 6th!

Oh, and for those keeping track (or ya know, following me on Tumblr), yes, I am still obsessed with Chris Evans and his magical beard.  Seriously, that beard is DIVINE .

Marketing Done Right: Deadpool

Yes, the trailers for Deadpool are nothing short of glorious. Seriously, I can not wait until February 12th! I am ridiculously excited. But it really is the other marketing that is making me super excited for the proper cinematic version of the Merc with a Mouth.

Take the following, for example:

Brilliant AND entertaining. Plus, they really are awesome PSAs. Everyone SHOULD be touching themselves.

Deadpool may actually make the Universe forgive Ryan Reynolds for the Green Lantern*.

*I still maintain it could have been a good flick. While Reynolds isn’t really Hal Jordan material (He has always been Wade Wilson to me – even after the steaming pile of crap that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine – totally not his fault, but I digress). GL just suffered from ABYSMAL editing.

…That Time I Met Cancer Man

In honour of the X-Files revival that starts tonight (!!), I give you this – one of my most prized possessions.

That, my friends, is a 25 year old me that time that AvD and I met William B. Davis, everyone’s favourite Cigarette Smoking Man.  It was at MacEwan Hall Ballroom for a spoken word event circa February 1999. I have a vague recollection of him discussing science, physics and all sorts of smart things.  We had the opportunity for a meet-n-greet after.  He was so very KIND and SWEET. Nothing like his infamous character at all and thus, secured him as one of my favourites for all time.  He signed our tickets and took a photo with each of us.  I was so excited and nervous!

I have a shit eating grin in the photo. But in my head, all I could think was:

“OH MY GOD! CANCER MAN IS TOUCHING ME! CANCER MAN IS TOUCHING ME!”

It was amazing and he was amazing! And I can’t wait to see him in the revival!  I know AvD is excited about seeing her Duchovny in the suit. Me? I am all about Mr. William B. Davis! Can’t wait!

Farewell, Moffat!

Steven Moffat
Finally.

Steven Moffat is FINALLY leaving Doctor Who.

If you know me, you know that I think Steven Moffat is a fantastic writer, but an absolute shit show runner.  He has given the Whoiverse some of the BEST episodes ever written. Both in Who and in the science fiction genre as a whole. He gives Joss Whedon a run for his money. “Blink”, “The Silence in the Library”, “The Forest of the Dead” and “The Empty Child” are brilliant pieces of television.    He also introduced Captain Jack Harkness and River Song (who upon initial introduction was a fantastically wonderful character despite what happened to her in later seasons).    He was one of the strongest resources in the Who writer toolbox since the first season of the 2005 reboot.

After Russell T. Davies left and Moffat took over as show runner, well, things changed.  Now, yes, full disclosure, David Tennant‘s Ten is my Doctor and will always be my Doctor. So I adore anything that RTD gave us – even the schmalz-y ‘shippy stuff.  So when Moffat took over, well, Who was not really my Who anymore.  Yes, Matt Smith‘s Eleven was fantastic (and in my opinion, much darker than Peter Capaldi‘s Twelve*) and I loved Eleven almost as much as Ten. And because of Matt Smith’s portrayal of Eleven, I continued to persevere with Moffat’s Who.

But I dunno, things changed.  The storylines became unnecessarily confusing and convoluted, time was way too timey-wimey, a bit of misogyny started to rear its head, River Song was absolutely decimated as a character, Clara/The Impossible Girl was a wasted opportunity, and so on.  I even thought with the addition as Capaldi’s Twelve that things might improve, but instead it got worse. By the time, my viewing of the second episode of Season 8 had finished, I just could not support Moffat anymore. I continued to watch, but would complain after almost every episode.  It hurt my heart to be so annoyed and upset with a show that I loved so much. I was counting the episodes until he announced his departure.

And today he did.  After next season (which, unfortunately, won’t air until 2017), Moffat will depart and Chris Chibnall** will be taking over. I am ecstatic about this.  I loved both Broadchurch (gads, it was SO good) and Torchwood.  I think he will breathe much needed life into the series.  I can’t wait!

As for Moffat, he was an abysmal fit for Doctor Who, but his tenure running Sherlock has been nothing short of AMAZING.  “The Adominable Bride” was absolutely brilliant and the creative collective between himself, Mark Gatiss, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is GLORIOUS.  It just keeps getting better and better which is not something I could say about Doctor Who.  So now that he is stepping out of the TARDIS, I wait with bated breath for him to step into 221B Baker Street once more.

Unrelated, if they make that Labyrinth reboot that I have been hearing about all day, I will cut a bitch.

Heath, you are still missed. :(  I can’t believe its been eight years.

*Its a fact.  Tears of a clown and all that. Don’t try and argue with me. I will fight you.
**Though, Toby Whithouse would have been even MORE amazing.  But Chibnall is rad.

Uhm, Hai?

So yah, its been a while.

For the last few months of 2015, I was in a weird place. On one hand, things were really awesome on the theatre end of things.  Tommy was getting ready to move into the theatre.  Catch Me was cast and started rehearsals. I agreed to prop a proper play called She Kills Monsters about D&D that I am very excited about. I get to make some rad things and the play, itself, pretty much depicts me and my life when I was 22 or 23 years old.  We also decided on the 2016-2017 season for FRC.  It was pretty stellar couple of months on that front.

On the other hand, the remainder of 2015 had me in a really not-so-awesome place. I don’t really discuss mental health or depression or anything like that.  Not here and not really with anyone in my life. I just don’t. Its too private and too in-my-head. It’s too… well, my shit and not anyone else’s.   So I’m not going to change that particular behaviour now. All I will say is that there was a lot of really dark and ugly stuff in my head for the month of December and into the early part of January.  Now, most folks probably wouldn’t have noticed because I am a fucking amazing actress, a great faker, and stunning liar when it comes to putting on a happy face when I am actually in a seemingly endless pit of emotional despair. Still, as usual, I pulled (mostly) through.  I am too stubborn to be swallowed up by it for too long. Fact.

Now we are in a fairly shiny-and-new year, things are better. I am still out of work, but I have returned to school.   I am doing some academic upgrading through SAIT with a longer goal of returning to do a really-real program once I have improved some of my grades.  It’s a crazy awesome thing that happened on a whim at the end of December.  I just thought “Fuck it, why not?” and submitted my application.   Like I said, its crazy, but it is awesome! I am only two weeks into the semester and so far, so good.  I am taking English (which I love), Chemistry (which I think I love) and Math (which I am trying love).  I am learning things everyday and I could not be happier about it.  Learning is the BEST.  And honestly? It’s probably the main thing that yanked me out of my portable hole of angst.  So, its cool.

Continue reading

So That Time I Blocked A Scene…

Yesterday, I attempted to block my first scene.  Ever.  It was a small scene with three actors. Thankfully, I was blessed with three very awesome and patient humans who really tried to make the experience fantastic and easy. I can’t even imagine trying to do it with other actors (thank you again, DR, BR and TK!).  And of course, JZ and LW were there to support me (you guys are my favourites!).  It was a great situation for a neophyte like me to be in.

Unfortunately, it did not go well as I expected hoped. Yes, I am harder on myself than I need to be, but I struggled with intention and insecurity. Then the scene just ended up looking so… boring.  But! JZ (as we had agreed before the rehearsal) jumped in to save a floundering me.  So all is certainly not lost, but the scene is definitely still a work in progress.

After rehearsal, I felt crushed (strong word, I know, but it fits). I let a whole shitstorm of insecurity and other self-condemning bullshit wreak havoc in my brain.  Yah, it was awesome. [eyeroll]

But now that I have had some time to think and stew about it, the rehearsal also didn’t go as bad as I originally thought. (Yes, JZ, JD and JER, I know, I know.)  It wasn’t great, but that is OK. I mean, I am learning, right?  The first time I drew a portrait, it looked like balls. And now I am a fucking superstar when it comes to my portrait work.  Maybe with some time, patience, listening and more learning, I will improve.  And perhaps, maybe, just maybe, I would be willing to try it again. (Who am I kidding? I will try it again. I am a masochist.) It really was a valuable learning experience for me.

In hindsight, the three things I took away from it:

  1. 1. All of the Directors I have worked with are/were Performers.  Like ALL of them.  I couldn’t even think of a single Director that I have worked with that didn’t also perform at some point.  This is a huge realization that I had in the shower this morning.  They have a very special insight into how this directing thing works because they have been on the opposite end and have a greater understanding of the Actor brain/process.  I am coming into this thing not truly understanding either so it will likely take me a lot longer to process and learn.
  2. 2. Come to rehearsal prepared. Overprepare if you have to. I thought I understood the scene and I thought I was prepared. But I really, really wasn’t. I should have taking much more time preparing and understanding what I wanted to get out of the scene.
  3. 3. Ask Questions and Pay Attention.  I am in a great situation where I am/will be the Assistant Director to two really awesome Directors and two even more awesome humans.   After yesterday, I didn’t really have a strategy for what I am doing as an Assistant Director. I pay attention in rehearsal, but I don’t ask questions when I don’t understand something or I don’t try to figure out where all of the ideas come from.  I need to be more engaged in the learning process.  Hell, maybe even a bit obnoxious. (You have been warned JZ and CB!) Learning is an active process – my artwork has taught me that time and time again – so I need to start being more active as a mentee.

But TL;DR…

I blocked my first scene, it sucked, but that’s ok. And I will probably do it again.

Tech Week of Show One… Done!

I have been a bit MIA over the last few weeks.  A lot has been going on. A lot of difficult things.  Getting ready to be unemployed as well as trying to get all of my shit together for Drood tech week. It was a classic case of Past!Kris fucking over Future!Kris.  She’s such an asshole. ;)

Tech week has come and gone. It was probably one of the toughest tech weeks that I have gone through in the last few years.  Very long hours and loads of stress.  But the Droods team is amazing and dedicated. Instead of cutting set pieces for time, we rallied and made shit work even if it meant staying at the theatre until 4 or 5 am on multiple days.  It was exhausting, but seeing the set in the space kind of made it worth it.  I am extraordinarily proud of the set that JZ and myself came up with – we collaborated really, really well – and even prouder of the folks that helped make this ridiculously ambitious thing a reality.  We have received many compliments on the set and that feels really awesome. Especially given where we were on Monday of tech week.  I would even go so far as to say that I am 95%* pleased with my contribution to the set. Crazy, right?

But, I will say this, as an artist, seeing something that gestated in your brain, then came out your fingers, then was made REALLY LARGE and put under a bunch of theatre lights for hundreds of people to see…. it is very surreal.

Awesome, but, surreal.

Now that Drood is in – you should buy tickets! – I can turn my attention to Tommy (first run of Act I tonight! Yay!) and Catch Me If You Can… and ya know, maybe find a job, clean my house, take a nap, or something.

*Only 95% because there is ALWAYS room for improvement. Otherwise, its all entropy and stagnation. I don’t give a shit who you are.