September 2018 - Big Ugly Truths

September 17:  Just the other day, I was chatting with a family member who was planning a family reunion. Because of the job hazards, I am rarely at family events because basically, when you are on vacation I am working. Let that sink in for a bit. OK, so back to the chat with the family member who was lamenting that it has been quite awhile since they've seen me and are looking forward to hearing about my successes on the stage and oh by the way....you can sing a couple of song for us over dinner time.  Cue in the sound effect of a car coming to a screeching HALT! Think about it. At a family reunion, do you ever see the members bring their work? The accountants, gardeners, garbage disposal professionals? No, right? Ok. Let that sink in.

September 15:  Lately, I've been blessed with a lot of work in acting, in both cities (Montreal & Toronto). With what I am about to say, please note that I am not complaining. I am very grateful for the work that comes my way, but there is an ugly truth in three; when folks who are not in the industry say how glamorous my lifestyle is, I do not have enough words to let them know how un-glamorous the lifestyle is. It's not like a business trip when the itinerary is planned' it is more of a last minute get up and go. Specially when it's audition time - last minute bookings with the plane or train, hotels (depending where the audition is). Then when it's time to work, depending on how many days and where (if it's a multi-site shoot) - I never know which city I am in when I wake up. It's not a glamorous life-style at all. Most of the time, I am too tired to go out with friends as I have to learn lines for the shoot. It's living with a perpetual suitcase beside the door but not knowing when and where you're going, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

September 11: Most times, in between songs, there's some banter on my part. Depending on how I'm feeling at the moment, it could be about the song, or an event, or a situation. Sometimes, I would even ask the audience a question and appreciate the replies and then the band cues up the song. I start singing. I am concentrating on the lyrics, the words, making sure you understand the meaning, delivering the emotions that come with the words. This wouldn't be the time to talk to me. This isn't time time to start up a conversation. There was even a time when an enthusiastic audience member reached out to me on stage to hold my hand (which is OK) but then, please let go! I need to go on with the song.

September 3:  Ok, so this month's entries might not be as nice and uplifting as I usually like to post but it is the truth, my truth - something which I always like to share. This is about some ugly truths that happen behind the scenes. Stuff that happens and that I am very, very uncomfortable with.

As a performer, we give it all we have so that the audiences can have a wonderful experience. It's quite an oxymoron when I say, I "get intimate" with the audience from the stage. I tell my stories through song or play, and I can see the immediate reaction. I like that, I "feed" off that and there are times when I know I've moved you. But remember there is quite a separation from me being on stage and the audience. In theatre, we call that the 4th wall, an invisible barrier that must be respected. Remember, this is my job; as in any kind of job, a mere handshake, a pat on the back, a kind word is always appreciated - sometimes a hug and a very light peck on the cheek is also accepted and appreciated. However, when it crosses the line to something gross and disgusting, like groping or trying to get a full on kiss and "beyond" - THEN you are disrespecting me. I've had this happen so many times, and so many times I've pushed away and even resorted to kicking someone where the sun doesn't shine. I know that I may have moved you with my performance, but please don't dirty it up with yours.