2) How has your background in classical piano influenced your stage performance?
My mortal terror over piano exams has morphed into my mortal terror over theatre auditions. Only instead of being convinced that I can’t remember the next note, now it’s the next word or sentence. Old habits die hard. I loathe auditions and am consistently terrible at them. I blame nasty Royal Conservatory adjudicators. Good thing I’m industrious or I’d never work.
3) Is it important for a theatre company to have some kind of manifesto or mission statement?
I think it’s helpful. It doesn’t necessarily have to be too specific (it should give you license to do just about anything you want), but it’s nice to have some sort of root or anchor to return to when you’re feeling lost or without identity. When we were creating Gorey Story we’d often go back to “space and the body” to remind ourselves of the theatre we were trying to create.
I’m also a member of Wordsmyth Theatre, and their mandate is of the “great stories well told” variety. We’re rehearsing The Seagull right now and that phrase gives us a clear focus, it brings us back to what we want to do, which is to tell the story and tell it well. But if a mandate or mission statement makes you feel claustrophobic then it’s counter-productive. Change it.
4) What is butoh and why should actors study it?
All butoh inquiries should be directed to [The Thistle Project’s] Artistic Co-Director Matthew Romantini, whose bum of steel is reason enough for actors and civilians alike to take up the discipline.
5) What would you do with a $1,000,000 no-strings production grant?
Gah! I don’t know! But my stage manager would have a throne.
6) Have you learned anything in the past three weeks that’s dramatically changed your world view?
Hillary Clinton is running for Democratic Leadership. Like the weather, this too makes me feel a little less like the world is ending.
8) What do you see as the single greatest failing of Toronto’s independent theatre community?
That we haven’t yet figured out how to make people go to the theatre. Maybe radio mics and a subscription series would help.
10) What’s one of your most memorable moments on stage?
Cutting off a foot and a half of my own hair during my final hurrah at York University. One night only.