We Entertain Thee, Hear Us!

Oh My Godspell! In a long line of successful shows IANA has produced over the years, GODSPELL is the next big show in their 2012 Season.

A few days ago, Tim Porter (Godspell Director / IANA AD) and a few other members of the cast took the two hour car ride from the big city to Tweed, Ontario. Every trip we take to Tweed, I have so much going on in my head. Most of the words that come to mind, when I know what is to come during the rehearsal process or an upcoming show are excitment, fear, curiosity, positive, numb, inadequate, exuberant, tremulous, and of course, happy. Then we actually arrive and everything changes. Not for the better and not for the worse. It just changes.

IANA projects are always bigger and better than the production previous. With this comes sweat, laughter and tears. And, that’s only on the first day of rehearsals.

GODSPELL will be my seventh show with IANA. I really feel like there will be a lot of work put into this production only because there are so many elements to the show that are new to the company and new to us as performers and staff. For one, many of the actors in this show are learning to play the music on instruments they’ve never played before. This is a major test to a person’s motivation. But at least one thing that keeps you motivated is time. I will admit that the rest of the cast, beside myself are so ahead in the ‘playing an instrument’ category. Whoops!

Also, the other amazing thing we gradually see happening during the first few days of rehearsal is the development of the set. I won’t give anything away but you will love the costumes!

In my opinion, this cast is probably one of the most friendly and relaxed casts IANA has ever had. I have made some amazing relationships being a part of this company and I don’t see that trend coming to an end anytime soon.

Being a videographer for IANA, it’s hard sometimes to creat videos for an upcoming show if I’m cast in it. In this case, I’m really trying to film rehearsals to help build more of a following before the show even opens. A video for Godspell each week before it opens may help a bit. Videos shared on social networks can go a long way. The first video of week one of rehearsals is already done and it is posted on youtube and the IANA website. It turned out better than I had planned!Image

I’m sure the cast can agree with me on this, Godspell is bringing great moments and great memories for all of us. I am very curious for what will come in the next couple of days. Apparently, local press are already starting to come by to do stories on the new IANA show. The Tweed Fair is coming up and the Godspell cast will be performing at that! Oh oh AND, on Canada Day IANA will have it’s own float and the cast will be singing songs from the show. It’s all very exciting.

I call myself lucky to be involved with this classic, spiritual, and beautiful show. One of my favorite songs I’ve ever performed in a show is a song I’m singing in Godspell. It’s called ‘We Beseech Thee’! This song makes me very happy and I can’t wait to sing it live for an audience.

Keep posted on upcoming posts and videos on the IANA website or IANA YouTube Channel. Hopefully you’ll find them almost or just as entertaining as the show! Interviews featuring Tim Porter, Danielle Leger, Emily Mewett, Ashley Earl, funny and serious moments, and more…

A bit of the Godspell Set. Photo by Joel (Me)

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STALKYARD

APRIL 6TH????  What???  Has it been so long?  I mean, I knew I had been absent, but April 6th???

Anyways, as I sat down tonight to unwind from a long day of hard work, glass of red wine in my hand, the IANA blog flittered across my mind.

It keeps getting shoved aside, pushed back, left in the dust, as I prioritize it completely out of my mind.

But I miss you blog.  I think about you often.  And I know you’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been, and who I’ve been hanging out with, but let me tell you, I’ve had good reason to be away.

That good reason was a new show called STALKYARD HURTS.  And that great reason is the only thing I want to talk about in this post.

Let’s start at the very beginning.  This season was planned before the first leaf fell off the first tree last fall, but come late October, plans suddenly changed when we found out we couldn’t in fact do one of the shows we had planned.  I was stumped.  We were a couple weeks away from announcing our season, and now there was a gaping hole in it.  What could fill this void?  Where would our Canadian Musical Theatre inspiration come from.

And then I flew to New Brunswick to visit with a few of my good friends who were running an improv company in Sackville.  I took a couple short bumpy plane trips, and arrived at the Sackville airport where I was picked up by two of those fabulous friends, Justin Collette and Karine Berube.  We weren’t in the car more than five minutes when the question was raised about what we would be doing for our 2012 season.  So I blew through our big drama, and how we had no idea what would be a good show to take that slot, etc, etc, when Justin simply replied ‘Well, why don’t we write one?’  Now, had that car been driven by anyone else, or had that question come from any other source I probably would have laughed it off as not even a possibility, or shrugged it away with a maybe, or a we’ll see, but coming from that man, my quick and easy response was ‘Okay’.

And so, the process of STALKYARD HURTS began.  We sat down at a pub in Moncton and started throwing around ideas.  It was a few ideas in when Justin pitched a live Rock band Mockumentary.  Sorry blog, but I fell immediately in love.  The more we talked about the idea the more my faith in it grew, and the more I was convinced it would be a fantastic concept.

As soon as we arrived at the house, I was given a quick tour, I blew up my bed, and we immediately enlisted the help of the amazingly talented and hilariously funny Danielle Leger.  Danielle and Justin began working on the music immediately and obsessively, and within days of my arriving in New Brunswick they had several pieces to show me, most of which remain in the show today.

While I was there we figured out the bare bones of the script, continued to write some music, and build on ideas we had for the show.  Also we watched a bunch of rock band documentaries.  Very informative and very entertaining if you get the chance.  By the time I left I was confident we were going to have a hit on our hands.

Months went by…the writing continued, the planning progressed, and the cast began working on the show.  At the end of April, we sent a young man, one Colin Jones, one of the BEST singers I have ever heard out to New Brunswick to begin working on the show with them.  I then didn’t see anyone until we started rehearsals in Stirling the first week of May.

The first day I walked into that theatre, and they played the bare bones of the first couple songs for me, I literally fell in love with this show.  The more I watched this group rehearse and the more I sat back and listened to these songs, the more I fell.

Then, the time came to share our work.  To present this incredible product that Danielle and Justin had created to the world.  We were doing a show at Revival bar in downtown Toronto.  The doors were opened, the house started to fill up, the opener went on, the audience was riled up, and when the time came, STALKYARD HURTS took the stage.  And they literally TOOK the stage.  That night was pure magic.  The audience was blown away.  I was blown away.  I think the band was blown away.  What happened in that bar that night was one of the most exhilarating things I have ever experienced.  This group of people set fire to the stage, and wowed a group of people to a point of pure excitement.

We trucked it back to Tweed.  We rehearsed for our final week, and we finished building the show.  The show opened.  The audience sat enthralled for the entire 2 hours and 45 minutes that is STALKYARD HURTS.  And at the end, they stood, they cheered, and STALKYARD HURTS was born.  The first band to have a reunion tour before they even began, the first band to release a greatest hits album as their first release, the first band to create from scratch, in a matter of six months, one of the most remarkable, moving and exciting shows I have ever witnessed.

Although STALKYARD HURTS has now closed at the Marble Church, I have the most faith that this show will live on, and on, and on.  I can promise you that you haven’t seen the last of STALKYARD HURTS.

This show needs to be shared with the world, so watch out, cause STALKYARD HURTS is coming for you…

Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for our promo video from the show, as well as our Flickr to see all the great production shots courtesy of the wonderful Kelly Brazeau.  Thank you to everyone who came out to check out this show, and for everyone else, we look forward to seeing you in the front row next time around.

So Blog, I’m sorry I’ve been cheating on you for the past couple months, but I promise I will do my best to be faithful from now on, although with how well GODSPELL is coming along, I can guarantee you I’m going to be cheating with her as well.  She’s hot.  Just wait.

See you at the show!

Tim