People who inspire… a series: Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher passed away in December of 2016.

This affected me – far more than I thought it would. It affected me on the level of losing Robin Williams, and almost to the level of losing Jim Henson. This was big.

Over the past month, I’ve been thinking about Carrie frequently and asking myself why her loss was so great for me and obviously for so many other people. I don’t really have an answer, but I have some thoughts.

First – Carrie was a hero. She wasn’t a heroine. She was a hero. For so many reasons and to so many people. But to my young eyes watching her on the big screen in 1977, she was MY hero for being a strong, smart, woman – who happened to be a pretty princess. More importantly, she was a chick who got shit done. I always liked that.

I enjoy Disney films and Disney princesses (Leia is now owned by Disney, but sure as heck wasn’t in 1977!), but I never really wanted to be like them. I wanted to be like Leia. I wanted to be like her in my everyday life. I remember dressing as her for a costume party when I was young and trying OH SO HARD to get my hair to make the cinnamon buns on the side of my head. You need LOTS of hair – or other magical hacks to get that much hair on the side of your head. I had lots, but it still wasn’t enough. Regardless, I wanted to be a chick who got shit done!

Carrie Fisher as Leia

Second – Carrie was funny. Really funny. Sensually funny. Sarcastically funny. Witty. Glib. All of that. And she just kept it up and didn’t censor herself. I found that inspiring. I still do. Thank heavens for youtube and video footage of her interviews on talk shows and other such events. I’ve been watching a number of those and still have a tab open so I can watch some more.

Third – Carrie didn’t give up. She didn’t give up on herself, her family, her career, her mental health… any of it. And she didn’t give a FUDGE if anyone didn’t like her for it. She just did what she needed to do. I love that about her.


I could probably continue to elaborate why I love her and why I miss her, but I know that many of you felt the same when she left us. I’ll just say, that she inspired me when she first broke on the scene in 1977 and just because she’s left this particular location – doesn’t mean she will stop inspiring me.

I know her loss has affected others – like A nun’s life  who wrote another great article about the profound affect that Carrie had upon her.  Like the author, I rewatched Carrie in the original Star Wars on the night of her passing and I continue to marvel at her gift to us. I will always thank her for being a great lady, who got it done.

Thanks Carrie.

An Open Letter to Lin-Manuel Miranda

Re: Your Self-deprecating Tweet


*Lady rolls down her car window at 181st street*

“Congrats on HAMLET!”

Me: “I WISH I wrote Hamlet!”

Lady: “Yay HAMLET!”

*drives away*


34.4K retweets… 114K <3

Dear Lin-Manuel,

I am loathe to point out an error on the part of someone as talented and brilliant as yourself, but on this point, I must correct you. The Lady who rolled down her car window at 181st street is quite correct in her congratulations. You have written Hamlet and you need to accept any and all congratulations on your achievement. You have written the American, 21st Century Hamlet. The comparison between your work and the immortal Bard’s is apt. The poetry, drama, conflict, resolution and catharsis are all evident. Both works are brilliant. Both explore the human experience in their entirety. Both contain flawed and interesting “heroes” and “heroines”. Both conclude tragically.

You will continue to receive validation for your work, and the plaudits your production have garnered thus far are clearly correct. I’ve come to this conclusion from simply listening to your work and seeing snapshots on the Tony’s and YouTube. I have tried to see the show, but as so many are aware, tickets have been scarce.

I must also add, you have not just written Hamlet, but also Cyrano and JC Superstar. You have captured the imaginations of millions whilst doing honour to those who have composed before you. You have inspired others to greatness with your great love of your art and your generosity of spirit is evident to anyone who is willing to hear it. Your message that Love is love is love is love is love is love is needed. And I for one, hope it will be heeded.

I look forward to your next adventure and have no doubt that more ladies will shout about your achievements from passing vehicles. I roll down my windows and blast your scores for anyone willing to listen!


Keep creating!

Ceris Thomas

p.s. Hamlet also died in a duel he maybe should have avoided….

And STILL more things that will happen at rehearsal…

The score won’t match…

When doing a MUSICAL…. or even a Play with Music… I promise you that whatever they have said in the script or written in the score – IF there IS a score… will not match any of the following…

a) the CD

b) the current script

c) the director’s vision

e) all of the above

Add to that… the cd won’t match…anything. Frequently it is a concept CD and that means it is very, VERY different from the production you are doing. The production that got altered before Broadway, before the Tour, after the Tour and before the release to amateur companies. It will be extremely different. Don’t count on it – in fact… the best advice is don’t use it. At best it is a basic, simple reference. Move on.

The script will NOT make sense… why would it? I mean, you paid for it, so it should… but believe me, it won’t. There will be typos for sure, but then there will also be ridiculous stage directions – that can only be done on MASSIVE Broadway budgets – and even then they are probably stupid stage directions, so Ignore them and do your own thing. Aside from that… there will be lines attributed to the wrong character or a missing character or someone you didn’t know was in the show… (seriously… ALL of these have happened in shows for which I have paid royalties to perform “their script word for word”) There may EVEN be stage directions that appear as dialogue… yup.

$h!t will be missing… Like a song you expected… or a character in the description list will be missing from the show… or an ENTIRE scene.. yup, once a script went from scene 7 to 9. We all wondered “What happened in Scene 8?”

Here’s the thing…. you roll with the punches, you do what is necessary to create your vision, you IGNORE the stage directions – and if possible, get your cast to ignore them as well and you make the best show you can. Even if it means you have to tweak a few things. Tweak away and get that show done!


10 Days of fun to come…. Join us!!!

Show Us Your Creative Side!!!

An Instagram Photo Challenge

TOP 10


We are thrilled to announce that we are starting a new creative challenge: The TLTDAY Top 10 Challenge on Instagram!

Since this is the first time we’ve created our own Instagram challenge, we’re starting with baby steps: a 10 day Instagram challenge right in the middle of March! The focus is creativity and the arts, and it’s going to be FUN!

Please put your Instagram name in the comments if you want to join in, so we can follow you and others can follow you, too!

Use the hashtag #top10challenge so everyone can find you! Show us your creativity… anything goes! Oh… and there’s a prize too!

Read on for more details and how to get in on the fun!



March 13: Very Superstitious
Inspired by a favourite song by Stevie Wonder, since we’re starting on Friday the 13th, show us something superstitious. Rituals, your rehearsal process, ghosts, a lucky talisman…

March 14: Inspiring Words
Stories, monologues, speeches… what gets your mojo flowing?

March 15: Lights, Camera, Acting!
We’re leaving this one intentionally vague. Show us what you can do!

March 16: Play It, Sam
Share your favourite play or film, maybe a quote… or misquote!

March 17: Your Lucky Charm
It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so let’s share the luck o’ the Irish! Share something lucky! Could be an object, a person, a place… bonus points if it’s green!

March 18: Something To Fight For!
Put up your dukes! Show us something worth fighting for. A cause, a friend, a role, or even a real (or “reel”) life fight!

March 19: And The Award Goes To…
Share your favourite actor/actress/performer, living or not, award-winning or not! Why are they your favourite, and what award should they win?

March 20: Dress Rehearsal
Time to put on your best dress! Show us your costumes, dress up, cosplay… let’s see those fancy pants!

March 21: Sing! Sing A Song!
Today’s all about music. Show us your favourite singer, lyrics from your favourite song, images from your favourite musical… or get brave and make us a video of you singing or playing music!

March 22: Closing Night
Party time… it’s a celebration! In honour of Kerry’s birthday, let’s throw an Insta-party! Confetti, tunes and party hats are HIGHLY encouraged!

How do I get in on the fun?
You should definitely save the image above — or like it on Instagram (follow The Lovers, The Dreamers and You on Instagram at @tltday)  — so you have a reminder of the prompts. Then use the prompts to inspire you! Take photos, upload them to Instagram, and be sure to tag them with #top10challenge!  If you are not on Instagram, then join in the fun on Twitter! We’re @LoversDreamersU

You can also follow anyone from the TLTDAY team on Instagram, they are:




How do I get the most out of this experience?
You will get so much out of the #top10challenge if you reach out to others participating: like and comment on their pictures, and add them as friends! Write something meaningful as your caption too. Share your creativity with images AND words!

What if I miss a day?
No worries! Just catch up whenever you can.

Can I post the challenge graphic on my Instagram?
Yes, of course! That way you’ll have it to refer back to. Don’t forget the hashtag!

Did you say something about a prize?
Yessir! We will be awarding a special surprise prize (ha ha!) to one of our favourite photos during the #top10challenge! The prize winner will be chosen at the end of the challenge, and eligibility is worldwide. The more photos you post, the better chance you have of winning!

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Follow along with us at @tltday on Instagram!

Podcast #17 with Special Guests Ceris Thomas & Kerry Hishon!

Well here we are again….

Life gets busy and takes us away from things we’d like to share with you, our listeners. But today, Kerry Hishon and I are here to talk about things that inspire us, things that we love and the struggle to keep those things going when life gets busy.

Since you last heard from us the team has done a variety of exciting things… We’ve directed and performed in a bunch of shows, made puppets, created art, some of us moved house, just a whole bunch of creative things that kept us from this creative thing.

But we love doing the podcast so much, so we are back again and we have a plan in place to keep us coming back… so we are hoping that you will continue to tune in and tell us what you think.

We’ve missed you. See you soon.

10 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Creativity! – Guest Blog from Kerry Hishon!!!

The members of TLTDAY have been going in a variety of directions lately and we had to arrange our schedules so we could even find a chance to meet and re-connect, (and even then one member messed up the schedule!). But as a team, we are hoping to reinvigorate our podcast and blog with some new themes and ideas in 2014. So, what is a better way to get the ball rolling than to have a guest blog – from the delightful Kerry Hishon? Read on to see what her suggestions are for reinvigoration…. maybe we’ll even put some ideas to use!



10 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Creativity


It’s January, it’s cold and crummy outside, and you’re feeling uninspired.  What’s a creative person to do?  Shake things up, of course!  If you’re feeling the January blahs, take a look at this list!


  1. Have fun in the snow.  Don’t let snow bum you out.  Like the song says… “Do you wanna build a snowman?”  Help a neighbour shovel out their driveway, or make a fort with your friends.  Or draw happy faces with the snow on peoples’ cars!  Fresh air will get your muscles moving and your brain thinking!
  2. Immerse yourself in culture.  Go see a show or a movie, check out a museum, hit up a concert.  Just get out and get inspired!
  3. Plan a creative get-together.  Arrange a time to spend time with some of your most creative friends and go get some food and drinks.  Leave the cell phones at home.
  4. Revisit a childhood hobby.  Colour in a colouring book.  Make friendship bracelets.  Finger paint.  Let yourself reminisce about the good old days.
  5. Get out and about.  Go for a walk or a bike ride.  Spend some time in nature.  Bring your camera and take photos of interesting things you see.
  6. Rest.  You may be feeling burnt out – take some time for yourself and take a nap!
  7. Take a class.  Is there something you’ve been dying to try?  Find a class and sign up!  Painting, trapeze, modern dance, Cantonese cooking… there’s something for everyone!
  8. Mix things up.  If you’re a costume designer, try volunteering to run lights on the next show. Are you an amazing ASM?  Try making props!  Are you an actor extraordinaire?  Perhaps you’d enjoy being an assistant director!
  9. Do something mundane.  Sometimes people get the best ideas when they are doing a seemingly mindless task.  Clean the bathroom, cook some soup, sort and de-clutter your craft room.  Side benefit: you’ve done something productive!
  10. Make a list of everything you like.  No holds barred.  Teddy bears, professional wrestling, yellow roses, sailing, dubstep music, fuzzy blankets.  Now take the list, cut out each item into small strips, throw them in a hat, and pick out three.  Figure out how to combine them in a ridiculous way: a professional wrestler goes sailing with his childhood teddy bear.  Now you have the start of a play, story, drawing, improv situation, song… even if it doesn’t work out, you’ve at least written created something!

Cue to Cue…. standing by….

Today is setting all the lights and sound cues for the show. I really enjoy this process. It’s another one of those phases that feels tedious, but once it is complete, you’ve added so much to the overall look and feel of the show.

When you have an expert team as well, then the whole thing can be very entertaining and fulfilling. As my wonderful lighting designer builds each cue, I see dimensions of the set that weren’t apparent before. It is truly amazing what coloured light shone from different directions can do for furniture, paintings and costumes. Not to mention how different people look when light isn’t florescent.

As we work through each cue it constantly amazes me how people will work to their utmost when given the chance to try out their ideas. Any show will progress a great deal during this process, the actors are so focused in helping their tech team to practice and perfect their changes that I find their performances become even more focused than before. And of course the tech team is so focused as they know that they have a very limited amount of time to get their work perfected.

It’s all so very exciting. Isn’t it? If you’ve never experienced it, you need to do so.

Join us, next time… won’t you?


Here comes Tech Weekend!

There was a palpable energy in the theatre when I entered tonight. The cast was a buzz, the musicians were all present and the load in of some more last minute pieces were happening. More painting had happened, costumes were arriving and more details were being added to them. I’d stopped at Fabricland to pick up foam to repair a piece of furniture and all seemed to be on schedule. There was nothing particularly special about this night… but there’s something undeniable about the last rehearsal before tech. No matter how tired actors may be, they always want to give that little bit more in this rehearsal as they seem to realize that the focus for the next little while will be elsewhere – other parts of the show are needed to be brought up to snuff, really, really quickly in order to match all of their months of efforts.

Personally, I know it is one of my last chances to give my people on stage any more advice that I have left to improve their performances and I’m always reluctant to let go of the whole project, even though I know it is completely necessary and part of the process. It’s a very draining and energizing process at the same time.

Our production is a show within a show – a backstage story that examines the beginning and middle and end of things. That’s always the way of life, isn’t it? One thing starts and another ends… Just as my job is almost done, the show opens. Just when actors memorize their lines, the characters come to life. The performance itself has a beginning a middle and an end – each character in the story does as well. We cycle through it all and experience each phase.

Even productions as a whole… we finish one show, celebrate it’s ending with a cast party… take a little break and then begin the next one.

That’s the key, isn’t it – relishing the process and each phase along the way. It moves quickly, so you’ve got to pay attention, or you’ll miss it.



4 Weeks! You rehearse and rehearse!

Here I am again… spending my evening in a darkened theatre preparing for an opening.

My job as the director is almost complete, but the final stretch is the busiest with all the tiny details coming together. It’s frustrating and exhilarating and you always wonder if it will ever come together. But somehow it always does – “it’s a mystery.”

i cant its tech week

In Kiss Me, Kate! a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew the cast sings of their nerves before the show opens.

Four weeks! You rehearse and rehearse…

Three weeks! And it couldn’t be worse…

One week! Will it every be right…

And out of the hat is that big first night!

So… soon it will be first night. Very soon. There’s always nerves involved and there’s always something that you wonder if it will ever work or ever conform to your vision, but time will march on no matter what efforts you may make to the contrary. So you do the best you can and you spend all your free time with your team and your cast and crew to get every last detail perfect. Each show has it’s own particular hurdles, be they technical or artistic and no matter what, you cross your fingers that the efforts of your team will be fully recognized.

Perhaps that’s why I feel the need to attend almost every performance of the shows I direct. I get so connected to the entire project and feel the need to morally support it right through to the end. I suppose if I directed shows that lasted a whole lot longer, I wouldn’t attend all the performances, but here in my community, most shows run for about 8 performances, maybe 10 and it’s over before you feel it’s even started. You’ve got to make the most of it.

That’s a good life lesson, don’t you think? Making the most of something because you know it isn’t going to last – no matter how hard you try.

To sum up… What makes the best…? (Part 10)

Good people. That’s what you need more than anything is good people who are willing to give their time to a project. Then you got to let them run with it! Give them the tools to succeed, support them and believe in them.


This community of theatre we work in is so accepting, so dynamic and so very, very rewarding. Take a chance on a new role in theatre. Push yourself to succeed and then give someone near you a push as well. You’ll never know what you can accomplish until you try.

The theatre needs you. It needs you to perform, to produce, to create, to direct, to sew, to dance, to sing, to sell, and most importantly, it needs you to attend and support the creative efforts of your community. So get out there and get involved. You won’t be sorry.

Share these with your friends and get them to join you in your love of theatre – they won’t be sorry either.

Part 10=People

Part 9=Actors

Part 8=Directors

Part 7=Music Directors

Part 6=Choreographers

Part 5=Lighting Designers

Part 4=Costume Designers

Part 3=Set Designers

Part 2=Stage Managers

Part 1=Producers