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.

An Original (Kids) Peter Pan???

We are a few weeks into our process at Original Kids and the troupe is picking up the material quite quickly. When actors are young like that, they are often very sponge-like. The material gets soaked into their brains super fast and with great clarity. So, the director is ploughing ahead with all the blocking and character work and the music director is already reviewing material and refining their singing. This means it’s the choreographer’s turn to jump in there and give the kids some movement vocabulary. Time for something new and fresh and NOT THE SAME AS EVERY OTHER PETER PAN?!?!?!? What?

Yeah, that’s a challenge, you know? Making it fresh and fun and organic when it is for a story that has been told 1000 ways in 1000 different cities with different songs and versions of the story and yet, certain movement just seems to be dictated by the characters, the story and the situations of the Lost Boys, the Indians and the Pirates.

So, what do you do? Do you force choreo into a situation, just so it can be different? Or do you accept your fate and go with the tried and true movement that you know has been done before? Well, for this very youthful version, I opted to go with what is going to work for the performers – and that’s simple, effective and funny choreography and blocking.

Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan
Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan

We are already close to having finished the initial blocking and choreo for the show and the kids are loving it. There are a pile of jazz squares, (a move that is classic! – and in this case quite funny) as well as some silly hijinks in the movement, because that is what the director wants. Ms Kerry Hishon enjoys the silly. The sillier the better and for this show and these kids, it really seems to be working.

So, here’s hoping those 7 or 8 jazz squares with the crazy eyes and sparkle fingers work for the audience, too!

Journey to Neverland: Second to the Right and straight on til…. March Break

Disney’s Peter Pan Jr.

This is going to be an adventure – hopefully a fun and interesting one, for the actors involved as well as the artistic team. This is, after all, a youth production of a full scale show created on 8 hours of rehearsal per week in a mere 9 weeks.

OKTC logo

Working with Original Kids is always an adventure. It’s is always an excercize in flexibility and creativity and Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. will be no exception.

For this project I am the choreographer for approx. 30 wonderful kids between the ages of 7 and 14. This week they came into that first rehearsal with excitement and energy and enthusiasm. They performed their audition pieces with all the professionalism they could muster and they’ve been cast – as fairies, indians, lost boys and pirates and we are off together on our adventure to create this show.

peter pan logo

They are going to learn so much from this experience, but it always amazes me just how much I learn from them while going through this process. I suppose that’s part of the draw of theatre, each show and each team of people have something to offer and it is always different. Even if the team is the same, or the show is one you’ve explored before – it is ever changing.

What a great life lesson.

So, here we go… Off to Neverland!

Why new projects can help you get through the dark days…

Have you ever felt blue, you know, a little anxious for no particular reason? A little sad, a little self-conscious or perhaps even really sad during those long dark times that take us from the beautiful colourful days of fall into the bright sparkling days of rebirth in spring? How do you combat that? What keeps you going?

Let’s face it, it can be difficult to get up in what seems like the dead of night to face whatever challenges your day may bring, but we’ve got to do it, right? We’ve got bills to pay and houses to clean and all manner of other commitments that make us get out of that comfy cozy spot where we’d much rather stay until April. So what keeps you going?

For me, it’s the promise of creative projects. This fall, I have less on my plate than normal, but that’s quite alright as the new year will bring several exciting shows my way and stocking up energy now is vital for all that I’ll need to keep organized.

Of course the podcast and blog will continue, but then there’s also a production of Sullivan & Gilbert with LCP at The Palace Theatre, a staged reading of Under Milk Wood again with LCP, two Original Kids Productions – one which will see me working with one of my favourite things (PUPPETS!) – that’s of course Avenue Q, the alumni show in June of next year and finally just today we received word that our submission to the London Fringe – [THEY FIGHT!] was accepted for this year! It’s going to be a busy six months for sure.

So, while I may be feeling a little non-specific sadness in these months as the days get darker, I know there’s some real creative buzz coming in the new year and that will certainly speed the time towards the longer sunnier days. And that’s my advice, find something exciting that will keep you going and make you want to get up, regardless of the light. Then, share it with others. They may benefit from your creativity as well.