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Promote the Hell Out of Your Fringe Show! – I’m Holding a Workshop.

Promote The Hell Out of Your Fringe Show is a three (maybe four) session workshop patterned after my recently published article, The Reason Nobody Will See Your Fringe Show.

On Stage, Ottawa's Theatre Arts MagazineFirst, yes, all the main topics we’ll cover in this workshop are available for FREE in my article.

Session one will be selecting titles and crafting synopses. Session two will be thinking posters and videos. Session three will be tying it all together with getting you ready for hitting the ground at the festival itself. All of which you can find for free in the article if you want to work on your own. That’s why I wrote it.

But here’s what you can get in this hands on workshop that you can’t get from the article Continue Reading …

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Writing is feeling like you’re a bad person when you realize the horrible things you’ve put your characters through. And accepting it.

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Writing is knowing who your characters are, what they want and need at any given moment, and why they can’t get it.

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Sometimes writing is taking a long walk, existing in the moment and in the world at the same time as being entirely in your head, and not facing a screen at all.

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Sometimes writing is vomiting onto a page all the things bouncing furiously around inside your head, smashing their way out.

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Sometimes writing is writing the same group of sentence fragments over and over, colliding them and cleaving them, until they start to take the form of what they always intended to be.

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Sometimes writing is using the wrong sentence and letting it sit there until the right one shows up.

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Sometimes writing is just staring at a screen and willing words into existence.

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2013 Year in Ottawa Theatre

We’re just about closing off 2013 at this point. Inspired by this post, and the annual wrap up Kevin “The Visitor” Reed tends to do, I figured “hey, why not write a blog post.”

In total, I’ve seen 68 shows this year making for about 105 hours of watching people on stage. Some were good, some were not so much, and some were, I’m sorry to say, pretty forgettable once the curtain dropped. Here’s the breakdown. By month. Just because. Continue Reading …

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Desire is a hard thing to shake. When you have it for someone, really have it, I mean, we’re not talking about a schoolgirl crush here, well, then you’re stuck with it.

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The ever changing face of valleywind.com

Allan Mackey Web 2004AllanMackey.com has gone on and offline repeatedly since I first bought the domain name in 2000. Generally the pattern would be me wanting to have a website up, designing something I thought was cool, putting it online briefly, then deciding I wasn’t happy with it or not really knowing what to do with it, and taking it down again.

On the right is a a screencap I was able to dig up of a 2004 iteration of the site. I was going through a monochromatic design period. Most of the other iterations have been mercifully lost to the annals of time where they belong.

So instead, let’s look at at my second longest running website, valleywind.com. Valley Wind Productions has had its website online and in use consistently since the beginning of 2008 and it, too, has undergone a lot of changes. With five very different versions in just under six years, it goes through designs quicker than the Doctor burns through regenerations.

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“There are people we meet in life who miss being important to us by inches, days, or heartbeats. Another place or time or a different emotional frame of mind and we would willingly fall into their arms; gladly take up their challenge or invitation. But as it is, we encounter them when we are discontent or content and they are not. Whatever they are, we are not and vice versa. Two trains going in different directions that pass for a few powerful moments at full speed, blasting noise and wind but then they are gone. Whatever serious chemistry might have been possible if, isn’t.”

— Jonathan Carroll

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2013 Ottawa Fringe Overflow, part 2

If you found your way here, make sure you read part one of my 2013 Ottawa Fringe Overflow first, where I highlight my favourite shows, the shows I felt had potential to be so much more, and why. If you’ve already gone through that, let’s jump right into the rest of my thoughts on the 2013 Ottawa Fringe Festival that didn’t make it into my reviews.

Alex Vincent in Botched

Alex Vincent in Botched, which I’ll be talking about after the jump (photo: botchedbaby.wordpress.com)

The Big Lesson

For those who didn’t read part one and maybe don’t care about these shows per se, but want to know what I’m talking about, here’s the TL:DR version of the entire overflow:

Make Me Care.

Where The Frenzy of Queen Maeve and The Fight succeeded was that they made me care about the characters. (And not one of the three in The Frenzy of Queen Maeve are terribly likable. )

What I wanted so desperately from The Day We Grew Wings and The Vanity Project was to care about Clara, Narcissus, and Echo.

Continue Reading …

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Happy Antiversary

Anti-versaries are hard to predict.Today is an interesting day. Today is the last day before something that took place a year ago tomorrow. As in, today is the last day for which a year ago, “Condition A” didn’t exist. While “Condition A” isn’t any major event, it does mark a permanent change in state, which makes it interesting to think that today is the last time I could say that a year ago it wasn’t a thing.

So not really an anniversary. But maybe an antiversary?

Have you ever considered your antiversaries before?

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2013 Ottawa Fringe Overflow

The 2013 Ottawa Fringe Festival

Yes, I do have all three!

The 2013 Ottawa Fringe Festival ended recently, so completely ignoring that I’ve been in neglect of this website for six months (I’ll get to that eventually) let’s talk about that.

Putting aside my own show in the festival (I’ll get to that, too) I saw twenty-six different shows between June 20th  and June 30th this year.  You can find my official reviews for twenty-five of them over on Production Ottawa (I was paid to attend the twenty-sixth as videographer, so didn’t review that one) but we have a specific mandate, style and word count on Production Ottawa so a lot of thoughts about a number of those shows never made it into the reviews. Plus I don’t get to compare shows in proper reviews. Basically, this is the overflow.

Continue Reading …