Category Archives: Improv/Comedy

My First Ever Audition

Hobbies, Improv/Comedy

The gig? A 30 second MTV promo spot, filmed as if 12-13 people are interviewed in the street, rambling on about random topics. That’s about as much as I got.

I entered the Masonic Temple at noon and was herded into the main stairwell with 20-30 other people. Including myself, there were about 2 other people over 35. Everyone else was young or made up young, fresh from an emergency “GOD I NEED THIS FOR MY AUDITION!� shopping trip to H&M.

Did I feel old?

A bit.

Thing is, I had nothing to lose. I already had a job. This is a hobby.

As I waited, hungry actors mouthed the words from the sheet the AD handed out. Random lines like “Yeah. Fucking awesome! Bob Dylan was the best!� or “I just signed a contract!� or “This country is run like a Canadian Movie of the Week! Go read the news!� (my personal fave, more later). Even though the AD said “just be yourself� (confirmed by people offering hints as they left the audition room), the hardcore actors still practiced their lines.

There was one guy dressed in a light blue dress shirt that was beyond form fitting, his buttons were straining to stay in place like a fat drag queen who found the last small D&G frock at discount prices at Winners. When this guy got up for his digital head shot, his back revealed that someone must have pinned that shirt right down the yolk in the back to make it LOOK that way. For whatever reason, I don’t know. I wonder if he felt like a dolt when the AD said that the audition had nothing to do with how you looked…

There was the nervous girl so freaked out that she thought she might have hypothermia just from walking from the subway a block away. Her leg was bouncing a mile a minute. She punctuated everything with a “Really? Hahahah!�

There was the calm guy, reading a mythology book. Cool as a cucumber.

There was the over-confident guy who revealed all to us what the director wanted when he came out. Then again, I thought, he might be doing that to throw us off the audition!

Then there was me. All smiles and goofy eyes.

The audition room held three people sitting around a big board room table. I stood at one end and delivered the 12 lines. Normally, I thought. I think I channeled my brother at one point by putting my hand to my neck. I remember him doing that move during one of his plays. I know I tanked a couple. How do you deliver “Vanilla ice cream IS the best! Everyone in the world knows it!� with the words “Punk eating out of a can� in parentheses after that. Was that stage direction?

They asked me to reread the lines I liked. I did.

They asked me to reread the same lines but ad lib if I wanted. That’s when I spewed that aforementioned line like this in my best frantic guy way:

“This fucking country is run like a bad Canadian tax write off movie of the week. What is this?! Stargate SG-1!? Go read a fucking paper!�

Yeah I chewed scenery.

Did I get it? I don’t know. I was in there longer than some, shorter than others. Who can say? I did wonder as I left the room about my brother and how he dealt with this kind of uncertainty. Did he ever turn to the director and plead for a second chance? Did he leave angry? At himself?

I’ll keep you posted if any news comes to me.

Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk

Hobbies, Improv/Comedy

What an action packed weekend I had.

It’s another world here
The streets are gleaming
I was even dreaming
That they’re paved with gold

Friday, I was on stage at the Bad Dog Theatre and had a great time, although I have to admit that my class with Bruce Hunter has sent my head into a bit of a spin. I think I’m over-thinking stuff when I’m on stage. I didn’t attempt one “character” while up on stage on Friday. By which I mean any funny accents or kind of nervous tics to enhance my choices: I pretty much played the night straight. I managed to get a couple good moments in but nothing notable, made obvious by the after-show notes from the MC, who didn’t mention any particular moments of mine from the show. Certainly I was more “in the moment” while on stage, but I was hesitant and thoughtful while in scenes which resulted in me being dissatisfied with my performance. Gotta find that balance…

Saturday, Photog Bill called us and asked if we wanted free tickets to “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District” at the COC. This was my first opera ever and I was completely engaged the entire 3 hours of this Soviet Era comment on infidelity, bureaucracy and punishment. The actual show was the final dress rehearsal which was played to a packed house, so I think they’re going to have a great run. We were informed by a rather patronizing announcement at the beginning of the show, that we may encounter some technical glitches (only one – Curtain came down lurchy goosey at the end of Act I) and that we should just remain quiet while the problem was solved. Meanwhile, LMMD has two entr’acte which (the first with music) as the lurchy curtain lowered, the conductor bellowed to the crowd “CAN WE HAVE QUIET IN THE HOUSE – PLEASE!” So I’m unsure if we were being scolded for not being quiet after a technical glitch or we were suppose to be quiet during these “pauses”. Despite all this, I would recommend going to see it. Yes it’s Russian opera with a plot so slow you could get a hair cut at the beginning and end, but the ensemble pieces are so powerful your heart leaps from it’s cavity when they belt out that first note, comrade!

While you pretend not to notice
All the years we’ve been here
We’re the bums you step over
As you leave the Theatre

The COC Opera House itself is pretty amazing, considering they had to cut back during the build. The generous wood and glass accents make the experience more warm, considering you have magnificent views looking out over University Avenue, of the homeless sleeping over steaming grates.

Photog Bill, if you have tix again, please think of us again! I’ll carry your bassoon!

Keeping Up With The Appearances


Two shows this week, kids!

One is That Fridays Show, at the Bad Dog Theatre. I will be on at the 8:30pm run. Small room, get there early! Evangeline and Rain (see below) will also be there in the second half of the show.

Some Happy Monkeys

Second is the Happy Monkeys show at the Victory Cafe, Mirvish Village, Sunday Nov 19th, 8pm start. PWYC. Keep buying drinks people! Its how we get the room for free! Expect Rain to do an R2D2 impersonation using stir sticks and old OMNI magazines.

Imma Go Git


Last night at the Victory. The audio is low so don ye now your headphones and turn it up a bit. Lora, Lisa and I are doing a game called “Imma Go Git” where we endow the next person to come on stage with specific characteristics.

Quiet, quiet, slowly slowy monkey

Improv/Comedy, Personal Bits

Sharkboy and I locked up the campground shed for the last time this year with a faint trace of relief. We were done for the season. And the shed had a ton of room left after loading up all our crap into it for the winter so next year we need to get more crap there.

So now on to the winter stuff. Like… uh… I’m tearing into lots of Improv stuff right now:

Friday Oct 6th, 9pm, I’ve been invited to perform up at the Timothys Coffee Emporium with Gord Oxley and The Wrecking Crew for this week’s Comedy on the Danforth show. The last show I saw here had 4000 maurading pre-teen girls on a birthday party sugar high and Gord kept the whole thing under reasonable control. He assures me that there won’t be that much mayhem.

Tuesday Oct 10th, I audition for the Bad Dog’s Master Class. Please drop to your knees right now and pray for some good mojo my way.

Sunday Oct 15th 8pm, the Happy Monkeys return to the stage at the Victory Cafe. Different line up of humans and games, never the same show twice. Bring your friends and pocket change. I will see you there, right?

Last Night’s Show – Upcoming Shows

General, Hobbies, Improv/Comedy

What a frigging rush last night was! The energy of the room was so charged I felt like I could say “poop!” and people would laugh. I did a great set of “Slow Motion Commentary” (think MXC but with the athletes moving in slow motion) with Lisa, Evangeline and Rene that killed. “Imma Go Git” was fun but I fell out of character near the end of it (I had to be blind in one eye, talk using Western phrases and trip every third step). The rest whizzed by so quickly… I have to single out Evangeline for the best line of the evening: Her line during a Film Noir short scene with Earl brought the house down: “You’re cheap like a $0.10 steak and just as tough.” Brilliant! Obviously she’s been studying!

Our next “Happy Monkeys – Invaders from The Danforth” show will be Sunday October 15th.

I’ll be up on stage again at the Bad Dog theatre this Friday at 10pm for their “That Friday Show”. Face time!