Archive for August, 2013

August 29, 2013

We Are Closed Today but here’s a thought

imagesit’s that time of year for staff retreats and year planning and looking forward to the season and all that stuff. So we’re closed today and will get back to you tomorrow.

In the meantime  – blog post a few months ago from me: Product Is Not More Important Than Brand.

and now a similar one from unMarketing. Brands Need To Stop This. Now.

So that makes two of us.
Now knock it off.
What’s wrong with you?

August 28, 2013

A Day That Will Live Forever.

Just watch and listen. Don’t click around, do do other things, no multitasking. It deserves 17:29 of complete attention.

Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream Speech – August 28, 1963

August 27, 2013

What Is THE GAME, client PSAs and Who’s Using What


Release just went out for an upcoming event – THE GAME.

Click the image to find out what it is, when it is and how much fun it’s going to be as an event!



A reminder that the fine folks over at Theatre Rusticle have a new Facebook page and are phasing out their group page in the run up to Dinner at 730 this fall – head on over and give them a like because that’s where we’re putting everything from now on.

Good article here on Which Social Media Site you should use for business

I have an agree/disagree with it – “Which social media sites should you be using? All of them, or at least you should sign up for all of them. It’s always a good idea to reserve your name, even if you do not intend to be very active on the site.”

Absolutely agree that you should reserve your name, it’s one of the first things I do when a newfangled social media option comes out. Disagree that you should be using “all of them” – unless you have someone whose job that is, and that’s all. The folks I work with have a ridiculous number of other things to do, including creating the art that their using social media to promote. My rule is – pick something. Pick something that works for your style of work, style of update and do it. Always loved Steamwhistle Brewing’s statement: “Do one thing really, really well.
Know your abilities, know the time you have, know your interest.  Find what suits you. Know what you can handle and maintain. If you do not enjoy writing, it makes no sense to say you’re going to have a blog and post every day. You won’t.  And folks trying to follow you will dismiss your blog when they get there and the last update was three months ago. Ditto a year old twitter account with 23 followers and a tweet from last winter.

You don’t have to do everything. You have to do something. And you need to do it well. And further to a previous post Who are Your People? you need to take it a step further and figure out WHERE are your people? (I might expand on that one in another post). Time for an infographic – thanks to Justin Beach for the article linked above and this masterpiece below.  It may seem to be rather general – but general is where you start. Then hone in.



August 26, 2013

so – an “un”conference?

I’m all registered up for this:

Toronto Performance Unconference 2013
Thursday September 19 9–5 (+social)
Art Gallery of Ontario – Weston Family Learning Centre.
Early Bird $15 (includes lunch)| More information

the tagline is: The world in which we do the work is changing.  Let’s share how we’re dealing with that.

in case you don’t know, an Unconference is “many things to many people. But to us it’s an event where the content of sessions is participant driven and in which you spend most of the time in conversation with others who care about similar things. There are no panels or lectures. You’ll get to propose sessions and only attend sessions that are helpful to you. You’ll be in conversations not as a representative of your organization or as an “emerging artist” – but as an individual who wants to help and to get better.”

I went to one of these years ago, same folks organizing it. I think it will be interesting to see how it has evolved and equally importantly, how I have.

You should sign up and go. If you’re wondering who else goes to these things: “Theatre people, dance people, music people, performance art people, people who don’t identify by genre. Actors, directors, dancers, designers, playwrights, technicians, administrators, marketing people, Artistic Directors, fundraisers, video artists, dramaturges, General Managers, students, teachers, people who don’t identify by occupation. “Emerging,” “Mid-Career,” “Established” “Award-Winning,” “New Arrivals,” “Culturally Specific,” “Ethnically Diverse,” “White,” “Not white,” people who don’t identify by those kinds of phrases. Older people and younger people and yes, people who didn’t identify by age. All those kind of people.”

I’m looking forward to it.

co-hosted by Small Wooden Shoe, The Art Gallery of Ontario and Necessary Angel Theatre Company

accessibility partners: FADO Performance Art Centre, The Toronto Arts Council and The Ontario Arts Council

with support from: Canadian Stage, Dancemakers and Tarragon Theatre

Facilitated by Misha Glouberman

Designed by Jacob Zimmer with Misha Glouberman and Kari Pederson

August 25, 2013

(double) Sunday Roundup August 25

Double roundup because last Sunday my website was being flipped to another server/host and I was staying out of the way. Am sure you all survived. So here we are:

Excitement, Inc – Mission Paradox

What KInd of Reader are You? and a website flip

Website flipped and an Afternoon in Downtown #hamont

That’s One Awesome Kickstarter you Got There

Upcoming Learning and a Twitter Lingo Infographic  head over to my Panels + Workshops page for more info on workshops and courses I’m teaching in September!

Creating Tweets – an infographic from Neomobile



August 23, 2013

Creating Tweets – an infographic from Neomobile

Continuing with things for clients and things Twitter, a thank you to neomobile group

Folks who are still wrapping their heads around twitter – believe me, some days I am too, often wonder what to tweet and more often, how to tweet it so it’s useful – as a friend was said to me, “If a tweet isn’t retweeted, does it exist?

Agree with the bulk of the tips and tricks below with EMPHASIS (yes, I am YELLING) about multiple hashtags (DON’T) and not using all 140 characters if you can avoid it. Ditto call to action, and I’ll add to that, can we think of another call to action besides “check this out”?

Back to the multiple hashtags thing (which drives me insane some days) – apparently more than two and your tweet may be considered spam. I’ll add to that: some may also consider you to be unfocused, unsure who you want to see this and so you’re going for that niche known as “anyone and everyone”, and unsure as to what you actually want to say (thank god you’ve selected “anyone and everyone” to see it).


I’d like to point out my own tweets are nowhere near perfect, and I’m going to try some of these things. It’s going to be my Understanding Poetry by J Evans Pritchard moment, minus the ripping.


perfect tweet

August 22, 2013

Upcoming Learning and a Twitter Lingo Infographic

Before we go any further, I invite you to wander over to my Workshops Page and check out the sheer back-to-schoolness of it. Teachings at Ryerson, at Humber, at DTRC – one evening, one day, multiple evenings – there’s something for everyone.

I have some clients who are getting into Twitter, slowly but surely and determinedly. It really is like learning another language, so this post is for them.  My personal favourite to keep in mind? TL;DR. Remember that one.

Thank you Amy-Mae Elliot from Mashable for this handy infographic.


August 21, 2013

That’s One Awesome Kickstarter you Got There

Meghan was over the other night crowing about her latest comic book sort of thing. I am not a real comic kind of gal, so I listened patiently and get increasingly excited about the thing she was talking about

The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure!
To Be Or Not To Be is an illustrated, chooseable-path book version of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, written by (me), Ryan North:

Okay this is kind of awesome. Meg had contributed so her book had arrived and it was indeed – awesome. From the Kickstarter page:


  • My friend: it is exactly as awesome as you remember, only now you’re playing the main character instead of watching someone else just PRETEND to be him.
  • Also unlike Shakespeare I didn’t skip over the pirate scene in Hamlet.  You get to fight PIRATES.  With SWORDS.  And yes OF COURSE you can choose which body part you cut off.  Why would you write a book where you can’t do that is my question.

Article here from Slate to tell you more. A line that blew my mind  – underlines mine –  “Thanks to media attention and a viral spread that attracted an audience beyond fans of North’s popular Dinosaur Comics, it became the most funded publishing project in Kickstarter history, surpassing its initial $20,000 goal by more than half a million dollars.

Amazing. Why do I like this? Possibly one of the more genuine Kickstarters I’ve seen – you feel like you know exactly who Ryan is based not only on things like his pledge level options, but also by how he writes about them.

Nicely done sir.

Photo slideshow below of all the stuff Meg got, and Meg proudly holding her book, and Paula being a pain and photobombing.  Ignore her – she just wants attention.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


August 20, 2013

Website flipped and an Afternoon in Downtown #hamont

IMG_00000036So my website host is all flipped over and many thanks to the uber-talented Linn Alexandra for not only doing an awesome job, but doing it quickly. I consider myself a good client because I do my best to stay out of the way and not cause too much trouble while designers are working, (which is why there have been no blog posts for a few days, and next Sunday will be a double round up). So I went to Hamilton for the day on Saturday. My friend, colleague and partner in arts rabble-rousing  Bridget lives and works there, so we decided on a lunch date and a wander down James N.

I’ve never been to Hamilton, I’ve heard great things from people I love and respect so off I went. Super easy – Hamilton Express GO bus from Union takes about an hour and leaves every half-hour, and every twenty minutes on the way back. Twenty bucks round trip. Adventure!

Hamilton is a cool city, and it’s in the midst of transition right now. You can tell but the types of stores there from before, and the types springing up and I think great things are happening and in store for the future.  I was going to buy some sort of souvenir mug or keychain or something until we walked into Lister Arts and I saw this – Paris Corset, acrylic on wood by Donna Coulter. Fell in love with it, bought it and left it to be wrapped up while we continued our wanders. Off we went.

Mixed Media is a very very cool little store.”We are an art shop like no other and believe that art = fun and that creativity should be expressed each and every day.” I love art supply stores – there’s unlimited creative potential within them. And notebooks galore – I resisted – I had purchased art. Next time.

Hawk and Sparrow was next –  a curated boutique of new and vintage clothing for men and women located in the art district of Hamilton, Ontario. H&S sources their pieces both locally and internationally. It is Hawk & Sparrow’s mission to only pick pieces that are truly beautiful and unique. Absolutely true – some lovely lovely pieces in there. Bridget did not buy the dress that would look awesome on her – she should go back and buy it.  Bridget if you’re reading this go get that dress.

Lunchtime – because if we’re visiting for lunch we should have some. On the hunt for a patio, we saw a sign advertising the best patio ever. Off we went round the building to a super cute little backyard patio, and quite possibly one of  the best burgers I’ve ever had at Jack and Lois – burger lovers, take note! Burger and beer and gossip on a sunshiney breezy day.

Final stop – Blackbird Studios. Oh my GOD.  Comparable to Lilliput in Toronto for everything but hats. I’m going back there. With money. BLACKBIRD STUDIOS is Kiki and Buckshot’s latest fashion endeavor! Drawing on years of experience catering to the demands of Rockstars, Roller Girls, Burlesque Artistes, Fashion Misfits and Fashionistas, Kiki and Buckshot were inspired to create their new “BLACKBIRD STUDIOS” line of clothing and accessories. MADE FOR A GIRL WITH A PAST…A WOMAN WITH A HISTORY.
I mean COME ON.

As you can tell, I had an excellent time hanging with a friend and discovering new places, new creativity and new art (with an excellent tour guide). I’ll be going back. You should go. Take a day trip. Easiest one I’ve ever done.


August 16, 2013

Out of Town Clients Doing Cool Stuff


Not all my clients, or their projects take place in the downtown core.

I met Maya and David at the Toronto Fringe, and I had so much fun working with Steady State Theatre on Eighteen Twitching Cheerleaders, the piece they’ve brought to the Edmonton Fringe. The circle of Fringe continues!

Delighted this interview happened (and it meant I got to see the postcards)!

Happy Fringing, Steady State!


Connected a few weeks ago with Vanessa Baylen who was looking for a bit of PR help on her Spies of Barrie project happening Sept. 14 & 21 in downtown Barrie.

 Your mission, if you choose to accept it: solve as many of the 30 puzzles hidden around downtown Barrie as you can within 60 minutes. You and your fellow spies will meet at the start venue (a secret location provided only to ticket holders) where you must complete your first task: locate the spy kit! Spy kits include a map with the puzzle locations, instructions of what to do once you arrive at them, as well as the location of the final meeting place.
Similar to The Amazing Race or MIT’s Puzzle Hunt, Spies of Barrie is an interactive puzzle game designed to challenge the minds of its players and celebrate local businesses and artists!
Good luck, Vanessa!




%d bloggers like this: