Thinking out loud (or via blog post) means you have to do it.
Marketing. Communications. Planning. For your Art.
Thinking out loud (or via blog post) means you have to do it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about teams lately, mostly because I am part of many different ones, and of course seeing Sudden Death at Next Stage last week. Background on that – it’s about hockey legend John “Rambo” Kordic and his last night. From the Hockey Hall of Fame website: “A tough right-winger who could score more than most people realized, John Kordic was relegated to the role of an enforcer in the NHL. He spent parts of seven years in the NHL with four different teams.”
Enforcer is an unofficial role in ice hockey. The term is sometimes used synonymously with “fighter”, “tough guy”, or “goon”. An enforcer’s job is to deter and respond to dirty or violent play by the opposition. When such play occurs, the enforcer is expected to respond aggressively, by fighting or checking the offender. Enforcers are expected to react particularly harshly to violence against star players or goalies. (wikipedia)
Anyway, that’s the background of my “team player” headspace. That’s who he was on his team. I don’t know if he liked it, I know he was good at it, I don’t know if he was happy doing it. But that’s the kind of thing I wonder about.
Who are you on your team? Excellent question to ask. I think an even better question is “what team is it, and how does that team define “team player”? The definition seems to hit either end of the spectrum – and I found a couple of interesting results.
Definition one: a team player is someone who follows the rules and never questions authority. To one leader, it is a sign of respect if his followers obey him. They are truly part of the “team” when they comply with the direction he has set for it. The organization rewards team players who do not disrupt the set flow of the organizational structure the leader has established for the organization, and punishes those who fail to play as a part of the “team”.
Definition two: The leader expects that each person on the team will play a part in helping the organization set goals and see those goals become reality. The leader is offended when someone on the team refuses to bring his or her own original ideas for the entire organization to the table for discussion or feels his or her input is not welcome. If one member on the team struggles, it affects the entire team and it becomes the entire team’s responsibility to help them. The leader believes that each team has a leader, who must make final decisions and set ultimate vision for the organization, but welcomes challenge to my authority if done with the intent of helping the organization succeed. Those rewarded most with this definition are those who work hardest to help the entire organization, as well as their personal area of responsibility, achieve its goals.
I’ve been a member of both types of teams. As you can imagine, the first was not the best place for me, so much that I actually took the hackneyed phrase “is a team player” off my resume. Because based on definition one – I wasn’t a team player, I questioned, I wondered, I asked why a heck of a lot. With better answers, I would have been an excellent team player in definition one. I realized then that my position on a team is a combination of “wonderer” and “idea pusher” (a colleague called me that a few weeks ago, and suggested I put it on my business cards. Am thinking about it). And if I can’t play that position on a team, or a variation of such, it’s probably not the right team for me.
Some 2013 thinking – what kind of team player are you? What kind of teams do you run? And how do all your players fit into it? I’m not saying definition one or two is the better one, I know which is better for me personally. How about you? Have you found your team?
Next Stage Festival is HOPPING, great reviews for Awake as well as other shows and things have already started selling out. Time to shake off the holidays, get a ticket and keep that resolution of “see more theatre”.
First week of 2013 nearly complete and it’s been a good one – what went on?
Next Stage Festival is going incredibly well (as always) – whoever said nobody goes to theatre in January was sorely mistaken. Prove them wrong – go see somethingEveryone gets back to work in earnest on Monday, so I’ve got some work to do including a script to read, trading cards to sort (more on that later) and some press releases to prep. And blog posts to think about. Enjoy whatever you do with your lightly snowy Sunday!
The Next Stage Festival opened last night to great fanfare with sold out shows, old and new friends and in true Fringe tradition, a packed beer tent. Extremely pleased and proud to be part of this organization and kudos to the Festival staff and volunteers.
Expect Theatre‘s AWAKE opens today. I worked on this show in its Fringe incarnation in 2011, and I’m so very very happy to be working on its new life at Next Stage. Things have been re-staged, things have been re-written and it’s even better than it was before. Expect Theatre (or as I know them Chris-and-Laura) do remarkable work, and this show is no exception – great article in the Star linked here for your perusal. Final paragraph strikes me:
“The church setting is important,” insists Mullin. “The death of every young person in gang violence is a loss of life, opportunity and hope. We know that the life can’t be brought back, but we want our audiences to leave feeling that the hope and opportunity can be restored.
“That’s the message we feel that our play leaves them with.”
It really does. The cast are without a doubt some of the most talented folks I’ve worked with, and they bring me joy every time I walk into the rehearsal hall. It feels like coming home. We’ve had fun with marketing stuff again as you’ll see at the Festival, and the give and take again has been more give than take and I thank them for that.
Come watch this show. Come see these joyful people. Let them break your heart and then make it whole again.
To read a headline is one thing, to be given hope is another. We’ll see you at the tent.
“It seems wrong and unfair that Christmas, with its stressful and unmanageable financial and emotional challenges, should first be forced upon one wholly against one’s will, then rudely snatched away just when one is starting to get into it. Was really beginning to enjoy the feeling that normal service was suspended and it was OK to lie in bed as long as you want, put anything you fancy into your mouth, and drink alcohol whenever it should chance to pass your way, even in the mornings. Now suddenly we are all supposed to snap into self-discipline like lean teenage greyhounds.” – Bridget Jones’ Diary
Before I go any further I have to let you know that the CharPR Prizes have been announced and you should visit their website to see who’s won. Go ahead, I’ll wait, it’s first day back and we’re all a little tottery. You back? HEE!! I KNOW, RIGHT?? Thanks so much Charpo!!!
You can win a backstage pass to Totsapalooza! Click here for details
Next Stage Festival opens TONIGHT! I’ve got all my shows booked – go book yours!
Okay then. Since the year-end roundup expanded into three posts – we’ll I’m pretty happy about that, and so I’ll keep today short. I’m not going to ask what your resolutions are, it’s none of my business, but I hope you succeed.
Some things I’d like to see or not see in the New Year – we’ll start with just a couple – we just got back after all.
post/tweet ownership. If there are more than one of you posting for your group, show etc – you have different tones, different writing styles. We know it’s not all one person, so can you please at least initial them so we know who is who? Why you ask? because we know it’s s different people. Let us get to know you, who you are. If you develop a relationship with us (even one based on initials) odds increase that we’ll look for your posts. And it And it allows you to create a persona based on you, as well as the company.
fewer patently obvious auto-posts: I got a lot of tweets, posts, emails etc in the last two weeks of December that were auto posts. How did I know? Because I found it hard to believe that they were being posted by a human at the times and on the dates they were being posted. Mostly it was the fact that it made no acknowledgement of the time of year – no matter what holiday is being celebrated, an indication that things are different this day would have gone a lot further in making me believe some thought had gone into those posts, rather than rote visit-my-website tweet links. Again, it’s tone of voice, just like the item above. Unless of course you precede each post with a warning that Harry-the-Holiday-Robot has taken over for two weeks. (Okay, that I would have LOVED). Or put on the Best of Crane and be done with it.
I think that’s all for the moment. I have to get ready for Next Stage- the tent awaits!
I like trailers for plays – I love trailers for plays that tell me the story behind it. Like video director’s notes. Here’s the one for Awake. The show’s tagline is this is real. It is. Watch the trailer to find out just how real it is.
and in the category of very cool…
Call for Submissions: Original Work for 4.48 Pyschosis, Necessary Angel Theatre one of Canada’s most acclaimed independent producers of original and provocative theatre, is seeking proposals for original work in support of its upcoming production of 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane. Deadline: January 11, 2013. Necessary Angel will curate a series of original, multi-disciplinary works reflecting on the artist’s relationship with depression. We are seeking work that excavates depression from the perspectives of contemporaries, outsiders and insiders alike. We welcome and are encouraging proposal submissions from visual, literary, dance and spoken word artists. Read more
and finally today…
Remnants of an old brick-firing kiln that remains buried under the parking lot of Evergreen Brick Works will finally get the recognition it deserves, thanks to the StreetARToronto (StART) program. Artists Dan Bergeron and Paul Aloisi created the work—Underground Kiln—to highlight the site’s historic industrial role in city building. Read more
Spent yesterday at the AGO chaperoning a group of Grade 11 visual arts students from Jarvis Collegiate, we went to see the Kahlo-Rivera exhibit. It’s fantastic, and apparently although it’s not the first time they’ve shared an exhibit, it is the first time that their works have been interspersed with each other (as opposed to the Kahlo room and the Rivera room, type of thing). It adds a really interesting context to their pieces. The place was packed – go and see it before it closes. It was another great group of students – I had a good time, they’re quite talented and fun to talk to.
Also saw This is What Happens Next, the MacIvor-Brooks piece courtesy Necessary Angel. Great work, and thought provoking. Go see that too.
This is interesting, especially after TAPA Day At The City a couple weeks back: Councillors look to increase arts funding.
“For ten years, various Toronto City Councils have periodically affirmed and re-affirmed our commitment to increase the per capita arts and culture funding to twenty-five dollars,” (the two councillors) wrote in the letter. “Unfortunately, previous political commitments remain unfulfilled.”
Budget Deputations are next week, I’m 44th on the list on the 10th. Wish me luck. On that note here are two great pieces from the fine folks at torontoist: Toronto’s 2013 Budget: A Decoder and Toronto’s 2013 Budget: How to Follow Along.
Speaking of music, two things – I saw Simple Damned Device at the Painted Lady the other night – excellent music and band. I will be paying closer attention to them. Their lyrics really twig something in me, particularly their songs “Monsters” and “Furious”. And I need to see the full lyrics for “Poor Alice”, because that said something to me too.
And do you remember a few months back I was talking about the irrepressible Corin Raymond and his Canadian Tire money campaign? He’s got over SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS. In CT Money. I know right? More info is here, including how to donate, the CD release party, etc. Mon oh man.
Sue Edworthy Arts Planing is hiring an intern. The posting should be up on Work In Culture today or tomorrow.
On that note I am off into the day. Brr out there. Keep warm! Where’s your mitts?
(Love spelling Laureate. Just keep spelling)
The Fringe Lottery happened Monday night, and although results were live tweeted, you can click here for the whole list in a row of who was picked out of the hat.
Didn’t get in? Console yourself by attending Next Stage. Tickets here.
Did get in? You need to start Fringe socializing by attending Next Stage. Tickets here.
Respected Toronto-based poet, dramatist, novelist, and professor George Elliott Clarke has been appointed by City Council as Toronto’s fourth Poet Laureate. He takes the reins from outgoing poet Dionne Brand.
“It’s a great honour,” the gregarious Clarke (said). “I am humbled to follow in the brilliant wake of Dionne Brand, Pier Giorgio di Cicco, and Dennis Lee.” Read more
It’s Friday! Whatever that means to you, be it the end of the week or the start of the week or a day like any other day – it’s Friday!
Next Stage Festival passes go on sale at the top of next week. Since at some drunken point between late December and New Year’s you’re going to resolve to “see more shows” in 2013, here’s the deal. Go buy a pass now while you’re still pre-holidays flush and then when it’s New Year’s Eve you can confidently say you’ve already started your resolution, and then when Next Stage hits two days after the New Year, you’ll have cured your champagne headache, already HAVE tickets and still have the cash for a beer in the tent.
I can’t help you any more than that – wait yes I can, at this point I am recommending you see Expect Theatre’s Awake and Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman’s Sudden Death. You’re welcome.
Speaking of the holidays and January and cold, Carly Maga has written a really good piece in the Grid about our attempts to be Broadway North – “If Toronto is Broadway North, then we might as well give in and declare Canada “America North.” That’s not to say we haven’t had wonderful commercial theatre productions travel through Toronto. But theatre tourism here just isn’t what it used to be. It simply doesn’t make sense to focus on pleasing tourists instead of locals.”
Across the ocean Danny Boyle is accusing Maria Miller of an “outrageous snub“: “Not one of those [artistic directors, including Hytner] has been even approached by this woman,” he said. “That is outrageous. This is cultural life of our country. She is the minister of fucking culture. I mean, come on.”
Found this video on Facebook courtesy Brendan Healey and the fine folks at Buddies – Sacred Geometries. “Theo designed all the artwork for Toronto Workshop Productions. He passed away earlier this year. He’s a vital player in our city’s rich theatre history and this piece shows just how stunning his work was.”