Podcast #8 with Special Guest Steve Swanson!

It’s double your pleasure, double your fun this week as we say happy birthday to both Walt Disney and our very own Ceris Thomas!  This time we interview web designer, musician and fellow podcaster Steve Swanson of the MuppetCast!  Steve talks with us about his love of the Muppets and Disney and what drives him to share his love with the world.  Steve is the inspiration for our own little podcast and we are very excited to have him on.  Also stay tuned at the end for a moving rendition of “Sing” from Sesame Street, featuring Steve on piano and vocals and Ceris, Luke and Kerry on vocals!  Let us know what you think in the comments, we’d love to here from you!

Podcast #7 with Special Guest Danny Ostropolec

Podcast #7 is here, and just in time for our special guest, Danny Ostropolec’s new show, Seussical! Now playing at the Palace theatre.  Danny is Horton in Seussical and is an author of  children’s books. He visits with us and we talk about writing, publishing, illustrating and performing. Give a listen, “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on twitter and comment below if there’s something special you’d like us to cover in a future podcast!

Spread the love…

In the last little while I’ve had great opportunities to share passion for theatre and things theatrical and creative. We do that on our podcast regularly, but there’s been extensions of late.

A few days ago, my senior students and I traveled to Medway High School to share our plays with other students. The different classes, from almost opposite ends of our school board had finished a unit of playwriting and we created our First Annual Three Way Play Festival! It was great. We arrived, played a drama game and took turns showing off our short plays for each other. Then we had a wonderful lunch, hopped back on the bus and made the long journey back to our school. All the plays were wonderful and all the positive support for the work was great. I know my kids enjoyed visiting another school and making new friends because that was the last thing they were doing, getting in a circle and asking each other questions. They want to do it again next year and they want it to be a whole day. We’ll see what we can arrange.

This week, Shrew’d Business, (my husband and I) are working with the LYTE kids at The Palace. We are providing workshops in beginner techniques in Stage Combat and they are eating it up! At the time of this writing we have one workshop left and you can certainly tell that the kids are excited to learn something new.

Teaching how to safely pull someone’s hair. See the smiles?

And last weekend, I shared with friends how to make a “muppety” monster puppet. Seven new puppets came into the world and they all had so much fun. The energy was completely infectious and the delight they each had when they made a new piece of their puppet was heavenly. Such a wonderful thing to share. We shared some pics on the social media(s) and the response was equally positive. It looks like I’ll be doing more of the same in future months! Happy to do so!

A collage of creatures. Thanks to Kerry Hishon for the pics!

The thing with spreading the love is, you get more of it back – just the thing we all need, right?

“I’ve got a dream too. But it’s about singing and dancing and making people happy. That’s the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And well, I’ve found a whole bunch of friends who have the same dream. And it kind of makes us like a family.”

Kermit the Frog

Podcast #6 with Special Guest Elizabeth Newman!

Podcast #6 is here and we are proud to interview the one and only Elizabeth Newman!  Elizabeth is a native of New York City who recently directed the well received Goodnight Children Everywhere at the Palace Theatre.  She has worked with many great actors and artists during her time in film and we talk extensively about her experiences.  Elizabeth will be leaving for Texas soon for new adventures with her family and we wish her all the best!

Podcast #5 with Special Guest Erin Hunt!

Podcast #5 with visual artist Erin Hunt is here! Tune in and listen to our in depth discussion about inspiration and interpretation in the visual arts.  We talk about art school, art shows and the stresses of showing your art.  The entire team is here for this one with Matt, Kerry and Luke all chiming with Ceris.  Erin Hunt is our special guest this time, and you can see her artwork on display at The Aeolian Hall during their Autumn Art Exhibition II.  Also be sure to check out her website at http://www.erinhunt.ca.

Living Creatively with Critical Thoughts

This week I took my cat to the vet and while I was standing there waiting to pay the bill I was admiring the artwork on the wall. It’s a beautiful illustration or watercolour, and it captures my attention every time I’m there. While I was admiring this piece, that critical voice in my head started to reprimand me for not practicing my drawing last weekend or for several days before that. I started to think that I was quite the failure for letting “other things” get in the way of my creative work. Then I remembered… I didn’t draw anything last weekend because I was in Chicago making Puppets and practicing performing with them. Cut yourself a little slack, eh?

But this happens all the time, doesn’t it? Even though I try to live a life that is perpetually creative, I become more and more jealous of my time to create my work – be it theatre, art, sewing, drawing, music, podcasting – whatever the work, there’s always something mundane that’s going to get in the way.  Bills, laundry, dishes, yardwork, workouts, ordinary dayjobs, illness, … whatever.

It’s easy to understand the workaholic when you are trying to be creative. There’s never enough time to do all the shows you want, or catch all the photos, or write all the plays… so what to do when that Critical Voice starts to get you down about all you’ve not accomplished?

I don’t really know, actually. At least, today I don’t. Because that voice did manage to get me a little down yesterday. On sensible days I have a plan, I have a schedule and I just keep plugging and keep creating. It’s like living Sisyphus’ life – the Greek King condemned to pushing a boulder up a hill to see it roll down again before it reaches the top. I’m constantly rolling my stone up the hill. It’s a “punishment” of my own devising, really, and most days I don’t view it as such, but there certainly is a sense of the never-ending to living creatively. The task will never be done.

How long do you let yourself celebrate after a creative task is complete, before you begin the next? Or does that ever really happen?

Podcast #3 with Special Guest Britt Mumford!

Ceris Thomas and guest host Matt Stewart talk movies, inspiration and dreams with Britt Mumford.  Britt is off to school in Toronto to get her masters in Film Studies and we chat about favourite movies, directors, styles and what drives Britt to be a part of our local theatre community when she’s home!

Brittany and Ceris get friendly before the karaoke