Tag Archive: Holy Mo

2009 in Review: Work

Whenever I meet new people, one of the inevitable questions that comes up is “So, what do you do?” and whatever that piece of information is, it becomes one of that person’s defining characteristics. He’s a chef. She’s a banker. They are artists. Our work often defines us as people.

I am currently stage managing The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe which continues at Pacific Theatre until Jan. 2, 2010.

I am currently stage managing The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe which continues at Pacific Theatre until Jan. 2, 2010.

In the past 12 months I worked on 12 shows for seven different companies. There was a one-woman show about the birth of modern dance at the time of WWII (A Time To Dance), a collaborative storytelling project to celebrate World Theatre Day 2009 (My First Time: The Tour),& a clown show (Holy Mo). There was Shakespeare in a park (Hamlet), Stoppard in a park (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead), and a magic show (Unshuffled). I stage managed a a dark tale of pedophilia, murder , & forgiveness (Frozen), a response to gay-bashing (Stop Kiss), and a magical Narnian adventure (The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe). I worked with 22 emerging artists on a showcase piece(You Still Can’t), 16 musicians & storytellers on a Christmas extravaganza (Christmas Presence) and the graduating class of the William Davis Center for Actors’ Study (Memory).

Of those twelve shows, some of them were only a single night (Unshuffled, My First Time: The Tour) while others ran for six weeks or more (The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe; You Still Can’t) and the rest were somewhere in between. Each time, a new venue, a new group of people, a new set of challenges to look forward to.

The variety is part of the fun of being a freelancer. I get to take on all different

Cast & Crew from shameless hussy's production of Frozen.

Cast & Crew from shameless hussy's production of Frozen.

sorts of projects over the course of the year, working with all different sizes of companys and on all different sorts of projects. I have a couple of contracts in place for 2010: I”ll be returning to Pacific Theatre to Stage Manage Refuge of Lies by artistic director Ron Reed which opens mid-April and I’m booked for the month of February as well. Other than that the new year is a blank slate. I’m sending resumes across the country. I’ve told myself that I will apply for every stage management position I hear of that I could even possibly qualify for. Chances are I will have moments where I look just as crazy as I did last March when I did that mailout. I’m taking a leap of faith that there will be work for me and that I will continue to be able to live off my theatre income.

My work related goal for the next year: get my first equity apprentice stage management credit.

Tonight’s Live Tweet of Holy Mo

I live tweeted tonight’s performance of Holy Mo. To read everything in Chronological order you need to start at the bottom.

atomicfez: RT: @SMLois} Show’s over – time to go wipe the paintballs off the set and close down the theatre for another night. #holymo #theatre

shamelesshussy: RT @SMLois Shows over – time to go wipe the paintballs off the set and close down the theatre for another night. #holymo

SMLois: Shows over – time to go wipe the paintballs off the set and close down the theatre for another night. #holymo

SMLois: @travisbedard That’s the joke. God is referred to as either Yamma or Yam all show. #holymo

travisbedard: @SMLois I Yam who I Yam #holymo

SMLois: One more chorus of “Love you Yam” and the show is over. #holymo

SMLois: Only about 7 min left in Act 2. Tonight’s show has flown by. #holymo

SMLois: When we got to this point Saturday, where no one talks for a couple mins, audience member shouted out “We paid good money for this.” #holymo

SMLois: “There is no money in the profession [of acting].” “Then why do we do it?” “The story. The story needs to be told” #holymo

SMLois: We’re almost at my favorite lighting cue: LX 77. It’s just after this YouTube reference. #holymo

SMLois: Time for our one operatic song of the night, titled “Piece of Turd” #holymo

SMLois: @atomicfez I’m guessing you’re not going to make it for this production? #holymo

SMLois: Oh – a little Braveheart in here as well. #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } I vote brilliant as well. Been a fan of hers from some time. #Frangione #holymo #theatre

SMLois: Now we have our first sword fight of the show. The swords are wooden baseboard pieces stapled together. SQ = Flight of Valkyrie #holymo

SMLois: @atomicfez Don’t forget Celine Dion, Mission Impossible, Lassie, & Louis Reil. Lucia is either brilliant or crazy (I vote brilliant) #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } so… Scots Tragedy, Evita, Jaws, Good / Bad / Ugly, Hockey, asparagus (and SJR), and a paintball gun. Oh Lucia… #holymo #theatre

SMLois: Now we’ll mix in a little MacBeth. Because why not? #holymo

SMLois: Don’t cry 4 me little Spew Boy/My heart will never leave u/I know u will wait for me/& soon will return to me/because I am gorgeous #holymo

SMLois: @atomicfez No complaints from folks expecting Sunday School here. Most of them like it. And yes. There’s a paintball gun. #holymo

SMLois: Only in #holymo are aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, & reflexology threats underscored by the Jaws theme. #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } anyone expecting trad Sunday School Bible interpretations ought to adjust their expectations before attending #holymo #theatre

SMLois: I’ll be right back – gotta go grab the paintball gun and pump it full of air pressure #holymo

SMLois: Throwing an asparagus boquest slow mo into the audience. Caught tonight by Miss Sarah Jane Redmond. #holymo

SMLois: Goliath just hit a lighting instrument with her sword. The audience loved it. And the light is well locked so it won’t move #holymo

SMLois: Okay, it’s everyone’s favorite part of the show: Goliath. (S)he’s up a ladder with a hockey helmet on. With a broom brush on that. #holymo

SMLois: “I’m the princess and men only want me for my great big………..kingdom” #holymo (it always gets the audience laughing)

SMLois: @atomicfez Actually, the lighting designer is @bryson. He’s swell. #holymo

SMLois: @atomicfez The lighting designer and I have worked together a number of times. He knows I’m not a fan, but sometimes its unavoidable #holymo

SMLois: The entire prophet character is defined by a staff with a bell on the end that rings whenever she moved. And its funny. #holymo

SMLois: @travisbedard The bandana is out there. Though I fear that the sign is in the wrong place. OOP. #holymo

SMLois: @atomicfez Sorry I couldn’t give you the go for that one – I had to actually push the button. I’m now at LX 58.5. #holymo

SMLois: In Act 2 we move from the story of Moses (Mo) to David (Spew Boy) #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } I”ve still got LX 512 standing by, you know… #theatre #holymo

SMLois: Enter the Kit Kat bar. I have a whole case of them in the booth and am going to end up with left overs. #holymo

SMLois: @atomicfez The drape is on a track and moves throughout the show #holymo

SMLois: Act 2 is up! #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } LX 51 standing by… #holymo #theatre

SMLois: Last song before Intermssion. Standby LX 51. #holymo

travisbedard: @SMLois BANDANA #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } I’m always amazed at what PT is able to shoe-horn in that space merely by tilting a deck and careful use of drape #holymo #theatre

SMLois: Buffoona (one of my lovely clowns) is blessing the 12 tribes…also known as the audience. #holymo

SMLois: The first act is flying by. We are now about 5 min to intermission. Intermission is also known as those 10 minutes where I run. #holymo

SMLois: I love it when the audience laughs as Mo is given the 10 commandments. #holymo

SMLois: For those who are wondering what kind of set we’re working with http://smlois.tumblr.com/ #holymo

SMLois: Lassie, Chariots of Fire & the parting of the Ocean all in a matter of seconds! #holymo

SMLois: 12 days of Christmas meets the 10 plagues upon the Egyptians. “Flies floating freeeeeeeee.” #holymo

SMLois: Oh dear. An actress just ran into a set piece. Looks like everyone is alright, but i jumped! #holymo

SMLois: What a great audience tonight: They’re banging away on their pots and pans at all the right moments. #holymo

travisbedard: @SMLois After I properly weighted it and everything? #holymo

SMLois: Ever heard a rap featuring “Aunt Jemima” “Betty Crocker” & “Mr. Christie”? I’m listening to one right now. #holymo

SMLois: LX28.5 GO #holymo

SMLois: First Elvis joke of the night. Complete with radioactive jukebox. #holymo (Sorry @travisbedard I didn’t tweet the flying palm tree for you)

SMLois: Country music for y’all. “To forget about my blues, I tune into the news. It’s the only way that I can take a little mental snooze” #holymo

SMLois: Ooooh! It’s my favourite secret Horatio cane moment. I never know if anyone sees it, but I love it. #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } never use “Celine Dion” and “good” in the same sentence without also employing a negative modifier. #Frangione #holymo #theatre

SMLois: There seems to be a large group of high school students in the audience tonight. Wonder what they think of it all? #holymo

SMLois: And a little Celine Dion for good measure…. #holymo

SMLois: @atomicfez True enough :) #holymo

SMLois: Straight from Mission Impossible to The Good The Bad and the Ugly. This show is full of pop culture references #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } THEY’RE CLOWNS! Don’t go demanding the Dali Lama! #Frangione #holymo #theatre

SMLois: “Can’t I just go kick his head? Why’s he got to die?” – That’s what I call wisdom. #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } let’s watch the master working at speed, folks… quietly now, no distractions… #Frangione #holymo #theatre

SMLois: @atomicfez Unfortunately #Frangione won’t be able to see it – she’s in a show of her own at the moment. #holymo

SMLois: It’s almost at my busiest cue section in the show: a little Mission Impossible inspired chase scene. #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } clowns is the funnnerest! Plus is a #Frangione script, so all is well there. #holymo #theatre

SMLois: @atomicfez You’d have fun in this cast though. Come on, it’s a clown show! #holymo #theatre

SMLois: I like to call this part the send up of “2001:A Space odyssey” #holymo

atomicfez: @SMLois } this is almost like sitting in the booth… which is possibly better than being in the cast, depending. #holymo #theatre #Frangione

SMLois: First song of the night “Holy Mo” – Guitar, Mandolin, and a homemade Washtub Bass. #holymo #theatre

SMLois: First sound cue of the show and I don’t push the button – it’s run from an onstage CD player. #holymo

SMLois: My innovative FOH speech: there is no speech, just a clown with a cell phone threatening death #holymo

The next live tweet of a show will be A Time to Dance on Friday, March 27 as a part of the World Theatre Day 2009 celebrations.

Holy Mo Sneak Peak

Today we did our archival photo shoot for Holy Mo. Here’s a glimpse at the show. All photos are by Damon Calderwood.

Meet our clowns: (from l-r) Buffoona (Erla-Faye Forsyth), Guff (Julia Mackey), and Follie (Katharine Venour)Guff & Buffoona Face off.
Mo receives the 10 commandments from Yamma (along with a book of guidelines for the ministry of health and wellfare)
“You cannot see my face and live”

So those are just a few of the sights you’ll be in to see if you come see Holy Mo 😉

Mid Tech Week

Hello. Out. There.

See that mess there on the left? That’s where I’ve been hiding for the past week.  I’ve been hiding in a dark little room with my binder of awesomeness.  We’re mid tech week for Holy Mo and every now and then I wonder how much more information I can cram into my brain (somehow there’s always room for more, but I’m not quite
sure how).   Tonight was our first full dress rehearsal where I actually got to run the show.  At Pacific Theatre the Stage Manager is also the lighting and sound operator, so I look forward to the day when the lighting console and sound computer get turned over to me so that I can have a little practice before the first audience members arrive.  But tonight went well. I only screwed up a few times & none of them were cause to stop the show.
I’m always amazed during opening week how far forward the shows move with each run through.  The actors get to live and settle into the world of the play and so more discoveries are made as they are immersed in it.  It’s an exciting time.  We cut a whole long slow-mo sequence today that had gotten a lot of laughs from the designers yesterday, but it was the right choice.  Not only did it take a couple of minutes off the show, it is also funnier.
I should really get back to sending out my rehearsal notes, but I just wanted to poke my head in and say hello to the rest of the world.

An Excerpt from Holy Mo Director’s Notes

Pacific Theatre’s Artistic Director Ron Reed has thrown a first draft of his program notes for Holy Mo up on his blog, so I decided that it was only fair for me to throw a section from the director’s notes up on mine.

(Left: Katharine Venour, Erla Faye Forsyth, Julia Mackey; photo by Kevin Clark. )

“Plays that deal with big fat questions, ancient heroes and mystical unseen beings are tricky. It’s hard to make someone invisible. It’s hard to be a hero when you’re just an actor making a living in a city like Vancouver. But then, maybe that’s exactly what makes it possible to be an actor and a hero – the fact that making a living is secondary to that great dance these strange people-performers do with an invisible muse whose presence is so often felt in curious buildings where the lights go out on the hour – matinee and evening after matinee and evening – when people take the time to sit down together to listen and watch. I wonder whether those listening and watching people feel and hear the sign of that muse too, rustling behind a stage curtain, shimmering somehow in the sound around them, pin-pricking their imagination with a catchy tune or an unusual turn of phrase. If you do, let us know.”

Morris Ertman, Director

Friday Arts Quotes: Holy Mo Edition

“It isn’t easy traveling around the world in a circus wagon with a couple of clowns. The only reason Follie, Bufoona and Guff are still together is because they love each other and need each other, they are family. It hasn’t been easy touring all these years, dust in their nostrils as they pull their wagon across windy prairies, through hostile villages, over skin cracking sand dunes and up mad rutted mountain trails. As Follie sings for tomato slinging tavern sailors, she remembers that she could be making a lot more money dong cartoon voice overs. Bufoona pulls out a ratty picture of Cirque de Soliel on nights when audiencese cough, shuffle and move along. When rain starts to fall during the parting of the red sea and soot fingered boys steal backstage props, Guff remembers how much she got paid as a roadie for the Rolling Stones. So why do they do it? The story. They are more than just performers, they are prophets. Sometimes, when they sing around the camp fire, bells will come after quiet thunder and the presence of Yamma will fill the circle. Follie might see a vision, Bufoona might dream a dream, or Guff might burst into ecstatic dancing under the stars. Either way, they seek an undeniable ferociously beautiful Other and their stories are an invitation to the whole world to dance with the Divine.

– Lucia Frangione, Playwright’s Notes, Holy Mo (Emphasis mine)