FRC’s 2016-2017 Season

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


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!


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.

JCS Shenanigans!

Ah! Jesus Christ Superstar shenanigans!  This video makes me so happy! This was one of my hardest and most rewarding experiences on a show so far (mostly cuz it was my first time producing). I learned so much and met all of these crazy, wonderful humans.  I can’t wait to see a bunch of them on Friday!

So yah, it was tough, but I definitely look back with fondness…especially when I have this kinda stuff to remind me. 🙂

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.