Archive for December, 2013

December 21, 2013

Day Two From the Archives for the Holidays

So rather than completely run away for the holidays, I took some time to find some of the best Sunday roundups over the past two years and will feature one a day for the twelve days of Christmas. We all need something to read while hiding down the hall, shamed for losing the fillings map to the Pot of Gold.

Sunday Roundup – February 5th

Groundhog Day has come and gone and it’s an early spring (though 6 more weeks of this type of winter would not have been a hardship).

This week was more about pages than posts so in order:

Linky Wednesday – I bookmark things constantly to write about, think about or post about and sometimes it gets cluttered. I cannot stand not being able to se all my bookmarks so I started cleaning house with this post.

Panels + Workshops – two requests in as many days so I figured it would be best to have the panels and workshops I’m giving or participating in all in one spot.

Linky Friday – my bookmarks page is now sparkling, let me tell you.

12 Hour Arts Marathon –  I’ve been thinking about this for weeks, and now that it’s on the Internet – I guess it’s true.

Bonus Post from another Blog – How Being a Theatre Major Prepared Me For Success. Love it. Have a read. I have to go make a Powerpoint presentation.

December 20, 2013

From the Archives for the Holidays Day One

So rather than completely run away for the holidays, I took some time to find some of the best Sunday roundups over the past two years and will feature one a day for the twelve days of Christmas. We all need something to read while hiding down the hall, shamed for losing the fillings map to the Pot of Gold.

Let’s begin!

Sunday Roundup – January 27

And there goes January.

Before I forget,  a reminder to all working towards that Toronto Arts Council February 1 deadline that grant apps need to go to their new place of residence at Toronto Arts Council 200-26 Grand Trunk Crescent Toronto, ON  M5J 3A9.

You see where my mind is at these days. Don’t forget the Ontario Arts Council February 1 deadline as well.

Last week? Last week.

Documenting Your Show – the incomparable Dahlia Katz explains why show photograph is wildly important

Three Articles on Social Media. Two Artists Doing it Right

A Room Full of Participants

I mentioned last week I’d be tag-team teaching a course at Ryerson – the Chang School, to be precise – here are the details – I’m doing CDAM 101 Communication and Promotion for the Arts.

Totsapalooza is in less than a week and I’m sensing a sold out event. Small Print Toronto does amazing work in the realm of kid-lit, and this one is no exception, with the talents of Oliver Jeffers being a major part of the day.

He’s lovely

December 19, 2013

What Your Email Signature Says About You

don’t get too excited. It’s not like reading tea leaves or your horoscope. From Doghouse Diaries

doghouse diaries

December 18, 2013

I’m back from a weekend in a basement with strangers

Picture1Yes I know, I totally disappeared there. Sorry about that. Last week was all about constructing the presentation for my biggest workshop to date – a full weekend with Theatre Kingston. Excellent combo of going home and working.

It was a great weekend – we were in a classroom in the basement of Jeffrey Hall, there were about ten of us and we spent from 10 til 6 Saturday and Sunday talking about social media and traditional marketing and actually having conversations about the work we do and it was just great. So you must check out the following:


Theatre Kingston – Kingston, Ontario’s professional theatre company – bringing Canada’s great plays and performers to Kingston, and Kingston to Canada

The Kingston Theatre Alliance – made up of 5 Kingston based theatre companies that first formed in 2012 to produce “The Library Chronicles”

Single Thread Theatre CoA Found-space theatre company

Domino Theatre– has a full seven-play winter season. Each season offers an appealing mix of drama, comedy and mystery from the Canadian and world stages.

Blue Canoe Theatrical Productions Inc. –  youth non-profit organization striving to create opportunities for young performers between the ages of 13-30 in the performing arts

Grand Theatre – Kingston’s premier performing arts venue, bringing world-class performers and artists to your local stage.

Empty Box Theatre – a company that emphasizes storytelling and challenges traditional audience-performer relationships. We are interested in re-staging the classics and creating new collaborative plays. Our work often looks at gender politics, camp, wordplay, mythical and historical themes.

Cindy Johnson – specializes in custom designing of jewellery in silver, gold, platinum, palladium and bronze. (and repairs too!)

Thanks to all of them for a really great weekend!

December 10, 2013

Happy Anniversary OCAF and The Science of Opera

1457703_705648616113421_1395050244_nWonderful anniversary party last night with the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, g celebrating fifteen years with old friends and new, artists from all over the province and supporters of every stripe. Thanks  so much to all who attended for celebrating with us.


Still tickets available for tonight’s Unspun Theatre’s The Tin Drum – reviews are coming in confirming it is a solid piece of theatre, so get your coat and hat and off you go. If you were thinking of going next week – you can’t. It closes the 14th so best get on that.


On the topic of art, this is a great video –  The Science of Opera with Stephen Fry and Alan Davies. 
What does great art do to our bodies?
In an exciting world first, The Science of Opera with Stephen Fry and Alan Davies saw a team of medical scientists from UCL discovering what happens inside us when we go to the opera.

Opera lover Stephen Fry took his friend, Royal Opera virgin and QI panellist Alan Davies, to the Royal Opera House. They were hooked up with the latest medical gadgetry to record the physical effects on their bodies of watching Verdi’s political masterpiece Simon Boccanegra.

It’s long – 44 minutes so you may have to watch in pieces, or find 44 minutes, but it’s wonderful.


December 8, 2013

Sunday Roundup December 8

A week until the Theatre Kingston workshop – very excited to head back to my hometown to teach.

photo by Keith Barker

photo by Keith Barker

The Tin Drum is dark today so a reminder they do have Monday shows, a bonus for theatre practitioners. Reviews have been strong thus far and the show itself is a remarkable achievement. See you there!

two good articles from theatre practitioners – and who finished the coffee?

more tweaks to your newsfeed = fewer cats?

World Stage 2014 – Artistic Director’s Statement #artlive

Time for a book post

December 6, 2013

Time for a book post

imagesI haven’t done one in a while.
What I’ve Been Reading

Moral Tribes-Emotion, Reason and The Gap Between Us and Them;

Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave

Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Womens’ Prison

The telling room : a story of love, betrayal, revenge, and the world’s greatest piece of cheese

Next time you’re in the Gladstone Hotel, check out the latest art installation at the front desk – two tall stacks of every book that’s launched there..

And finally – a library video.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. –  Nelson Mandela

December 4, 2013

World Stage 2014 – Artistic Director’s Statement #artlive

this fills me with anticipation and excitement for 2014. Read on.

We’re going to try this a little differently. We need to.

We’re going to start by trying to have the courage to face the conditions we’re in. And the conditions we’re in are very uncertain.

The fact is that we just don’t know about a lot of things. We don’t know how to preserve the environment. We don’t know how to treat each other with justice and fairness. We don’t know how to relax. We don’t know how to live within our means. We don’t know how to take care of our elders and we don’t know how to raise our children.

We don’t know how to believe in our politicians and we don’t know how to change the system. We don’t know how to love and we don’t know how to die. We don’t know how to remember and we don’t know how to forget.

And we don’t know how we are – although we have a few ideas.

When I write “we” I could be writing about our city or our country or the world (and I think that these words would probably be true) but the “we” I’m writing about is actually more modest. The “we” I’m writing about are people who make the shows in this series and the people at World Stage who help put them on and fight to keep them accessible. “We” are the ones who don’t know. But we have a feeling that, in this regard, we’re a lot like you. And that possibility is what justifies all the risks we take with this programme.

Because we are taking risks. The work in World Stage 2014 is messy, beautiful and provoking. It’s a challenge. It’s not easy – but neither is understanding the world and how we can live in it.

The best, gentlest understanding of the world is arrived at not from isolated facts but from the appraisal of relationships and equivalencies – between questions and certainties, culture and politics, artists and audiences.

I think World Stage is the place where this can happen.

Like the equals sign, World Stage is neither the answer nor is it the question. It’s the structure that makes it possible to see the relationship between the two.

If this connects with you, if you’re up for the enlivening challenge, I urge you: let us know, share, talk to us in person and on #artlive. Most of all, be a part of World Stage 2014.

Join us. Let’s figure out who we are.

Tina Rasmussen


Artistic Director, World Stage

December 3, 2013

more tweaks to your newsfeed = fewer cats?

Facebook is tweaking again.

Facebook Tweaks News Feed for More ‘High Quality’ Content

Facebook updated its News Feed algorithm yet again, this time with the hope of presenting users with more “high quality content” like news articles and current events.

The updated algorithm means that users can expect more news and story links to appear in News Feeds, especially on mobile, wrote Varun Kacholia, an engineering manager, and Minwen Ji, a software engineer, on the company’s blog Monday.

Stories and posts that a user’s friends have commented on may be bumped back to the top of her News Feed, an effort at creating more conversation around articles in the comments, the duo wrote. This means you may see the same story numerous times, the only change being new comments from your friends (underline mine).  read more

If I have seen a story numerous times already and it keeps getting bumped up because people keep adding comments like ‘right on!’ or ‘lol’ – how does this necessarily add to the quality of said content? Granted I do tend to unfollow – the moment there are more than two such comments in a row, or people start repeating things already said is when  I tend to unfollow a post – the comments aren’t adding value to the post (IMHO) nor do I wish to be notified of them. I might check back in later. You can tell usually tell when a thread is fading (or has been outright killed) if you’re viewing said thread as a conversation. It’s similar to excusing yourself from a conversation at a party to get another drink or talk to someone else.

I don’t think an algorithm can do that. It seems  it’s assuming “new comment” is equal to “value-adding comment”. Not the same thing at all.

Also “we’ll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo…This means that high quality articles you or others read may show up a bit more prominently in your News Feed, and meme photos may show up a bit less prominently.”

grumpy cat


December 2, 2013

two good articles from theatre practitioners – and who finished the coffee?

Read a couple of articles this weekend by Michael Wheeler – Storytelling in the immediate –  and Jacob ZimmerPolicy, politics, Rhubarb

from Storytelling:

“A character on stage may look back and tell a story — but that character continues to live in the present, in a time that’s defined as “right now” by the very play he or she inhabits (a “right now” that we, as spectators, are allowed to imagine we share, simply because we share an actual “right now” with the actor playing the character). So that, in a large-ish nutshell, is my conceptual beef: theatre can’t tell stories, because stories are always necessarily retrospective. And theatre isn’t about the past. It’s about the present.”

What I have noted recently, is a number of shows that are not performed by ‘characters’, but the actual people who created or are creating the narrative.

From Policy (and you can read the backstory here)

In negotiation, we’re well advised to find mutual shared interest and work towards a solution that benefits all parties.

This is not a negotiation. It is a debate, where multiple sides are appealing to a “third” party (people who vote) to declare a winner. We can be sad about this state of our politics but we shouldn’t be naive about the strategies being used by the other side.

Have a read of both – they both make excellent points and give you something to think about.

Coffee! I found this infographic the other day and was not surprised my profession was on the list, but that it was so high. I also need to meet some scientists – apparently they’re awake as well.



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