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!!

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.

Change on the Horizon

A couple of days ago, word finally arrived that I was getting laid off.  They are relocating my role to the corporate head office in Scottsdale, Arizona.  It’s something that I had been expecting on and off since about March so it came as no great surprise.  And the timing? Well, probably perfect. I have been unhappy in my position for a while, there was no room for growth and I needed a change. I have been doing the same thing for the last seven years.   This is the nudge I need.

So, while getting laid off is always kind of sucky, I am happy.  My severance package is acceptable, I don’t have to travel to train my replacement, and I am going to spend much of my remaining time working from home.  My last day is October 15th so I have just under a month to get all of my ducks in a row and figure out my next move.

And therein lies my problem.

I know I need a career change. Lately, I have been very unhappy doing what I am doing. The only reason that I haven’t left sooner is because of the stable pay cheque and it was safe.* But now that isn’t a safety net, I need to re-evaluate.   I know this will be an on-going process, but I think my current plan is threefold:

1. Find a job.  Obviously. Likely in a similar field/role that I am currently in.  This is short term to handle the human requirements – food, shelter, paying my credit card bills. I might even consider doing some temp/contract work.  Not sure.  Luckily, its just me that I have to worry about.

2. Education. I decided a while ago that becoming a Project Manager is probably a good idea.  With my small amount of experience producing shows, I think I could be a really good Project Manager. It isn’t industry dependent and you can make a decent living as a successful Project Manager.  But I lack formal education and experience.  There are certificate programs through SAIT, U of C or Mount Royal that I could do through Continuing Education.  However, this is entirely contingent on #1 – I have to pay for tuition/books somehow.  Thankfully, however, it is not contingent on a huge time commitment as most of the classes are workshop based. I could possibly have the certificate completed in a short couple of months. So there is that.

3. Art business. I would very much like to resurrect my art business. I have a very strong desire to be a creator and art maker who is in charge of my own creative destiny.  This one is a bit foggier. Mostly because I do not know what a resurrected art business would look like.  It is something that I need to consider, research and plan.  It would be a side business for sure. But planning on the front end will help eliminate headaches on the back end.  Taking some classes at ACAD probably wouldn’t be a bad thing either.  They have some certificate programs for Illustration and Graphic Design that I might be interested down the road. You can’t have too much education, right?

Now, I get it.  All three are kind of loosey-goosey – some more than others.  They are high level ideas that require a lot more thought and research before any of them are ready to be implemented.  But its good to start thinking about these things now.   The refinements can come later.

All I know is that this is just the first step in the on-going journey of trying to figure out what I wanna do when I grow up. Especially since apparently no one will pay me to play video games, watch flicks and oogle my Tom Hardy.

*The job market in Calgary isn’t awesome right now.

The Mystery of Whosit, Whatsit?

 

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

We have a cast for The Mystery of Edwin Drood and tonight is our first readthrough!  I am particularly excited about this because:

1. The cast is awesome. Some of my favourite humanoids are in the cast. This fills me with happiness and joy.

2. I haven’t read the script yet. I generally (unless there is a need*) do not read scripts for any of my shows until first read.  That way, I can hear it in the voice of the actor we have cast. Its a little ritual I have started since my early beginnings in community theatre. I had the Anything Goes script for almost a year before I cracked it open. This show is bananasauce with the Choose Your Own Adventure aspect of it and I am really keen to see how it all puzzles out.

4. I have no REAL responsibility on this show!  Well, that’s not true, I am responsible for making some pretty fantastic drawerings. But that’s it. I don’t have to worry about budgets, or schedules, or people, or regular ol’ show drama bullshit! REJOICE! VICTORY! VIVA LA FRANCE! EXCELSIOR! ….. until November.  I am sure as shit going to enjoy this respite from Producerly shenanigans. Yessiree!

5.  I am going to enjoy this project. Not only do I get to combine creative forces with JZ again, but I have been doing a lot of research into Victorian illustration, some Arts & Crafts movement, a bit of William Morris, and some Art Nouveau (cuz, why not!?) and gads, I love it so much.  So pretty.  It really renewed my interest in Art and Design History.  I am a bit of a nerd about these things and really need to take more classes. I am so excited (dare I say giddy?) to just be drawing again.  It is going to be rad.

6. Flippy flaps. ‘Nuff said.

*I should probably read that Tommy script before tomorrow night’s creative meeting. :S No one tell JZ.

Anything Goes… It Really Does

 

Anything Goes

After an arduous* tech week, my last show of the 2014-2015 season is open! We opened on June 12th and with each performance, it just keeps on getting better and better.

Its a very ambitious show.  Every single piece of it was put together in a spectacular way.  From the set, props, set decoration, set paint to the lights and sound to costumes, hair, makeup, to the direction, choreography and music.  And above all, the performances of my beloved cast and band which make all of the other stuff come alive.

Each piece of this epic puzzle work together in a fantastic mish-mash of awesome.  And I am not even saying that because I am astoundingly biased! 😉 Its just an awesome show. Period.  And if you are in the neighbourhood, you really should come see it. It’s opened until June 27th!

Now that Anything Goes is open, I can start looking forward to next season.  I am officially doing five shows next season in 2015-2016.  And it will be amazingly varied from scenic illustration, to my good ol’ props/set dec standard, to producing (again) and assistant directing TWO shows.  The diversity of next season will be fantastic. I am pretty eager to stretch my skills and abilities. Especially the assistant directing gigs. I am going to be mentored by two of my favourite humans – JZ and CB. I know I will learn a lot from both of them. And with any luck, it will kick start my desire to direct my own show in the future (we need more lady directors in our community, we really do).

Oh and then there’s the little summer project that I was recruited for last night.  I am co-producing a feature-length indie film (!!!) with another one of my favourite humans, KM. But that’s all that I can really say about that right now. I’m sure I will be able to divulge more as the summer and project progresses.  And really, I am just excited because it is such a different thing from producing a theatre show and being such a film nerd, well, it’s rad.  It’s a bit terrifying, but kind of awesome.  And hell, anyone who knows me knows that I always like to do stuff that scares me a bit, so this is right up my alley.

*Well, just from a human perspective.  There were some struggles. The actual tech and week were amazing.