Annual Navel Gaze 2019

As I say every year, I don’t do New Years resolutions. Instead, I take a look back at the past year and take stock of the things that happened, the things I accomplished, and then look a head to the new year and see what I want to accomplish. Its a great way to take stock of the year that was, and to both put what i want for the new year into the universe, as well as create accountability by putting these goals out for public viewing.

This year’s accomplishments:

  • I was finally able to perform The Commandment at home, at the Toronto Fringe. It was a real joy to be able to share this play with the home audience. We won North (519) Best of Fringe, and performed the play three more times in Orangeville.
  • My theatre podcast Stageworthy crossed the 200 episode mark, and turns four years old in the new year!
  • The podcast for introvert’s (The Introvert’s Guide To…) that I co-host with Jess McAuley continues to grow, and crossed the 15,000 listens mark this month.
  • I got a bunch of writing done.
  • I got a tattoo!
  • I did a little travelling. The highlight was a trip to Quebec City, though I would have enjoyed that more without the fractured rib I got two days before!
  • I started a monthly pub night for creative people. This came from my noticing that I am more creative when I surround myself with creative people. So I launched a very informal monthly night of getting together and talking about whatever comes up. And while the numbers of people have fluctuated, the conversation has always been good!

Last year, I set myself some challenges like “be nicer to myself” and to lean into my introverted “stay home all the time” nature. I had limited success with those. I don’t think I was as good to myself as I could be, I think in the later months of the year, I made some strides. I did not do very well at getting out and not isolating. For example: after the Toronto Fringe, I spent almost two weeks at home not talking to anyone.

So, for the year ahead:

  • My 50th birthday is coming up in April. I want to do something to mark and celebrate it. So my plan is to go to London, England (I’ve never been and always wanted to go).
  • I want to continue to find performance opportunities for The Commandment.
  • Last year, I said that I was going to finish my Christmas play and perform it this year, which you may have noticed I did not do. I’m still working on the play, and it continues to evolve. But I am getting there. And while I’m impatient to be done, I have to remind myself that The Commandment took me a long time to write too.
  • Keep growing Stageworthy and The Introvert’s Guide To…
  • Keep writing, and do it more. While I have written relatively consistently, I haven’t done as much of it as I want. I’m a pretty good procrastinator, so I often find things to do that aren’t writing. I want to get better at not doing that.
  • I have had an idea for a new play for Keystone Theatre, and its high time I pitch that idea to the gang (and also, it would be great to get the band back together).
  • I have also had an idea for a musical for a while, so it’s time I started sketching that out. I don’t write music, but I want to have the idea straight when I find a composer/collaborator.
  • Be more social. Get out to some events now and then, even though I am more comfortable staying home. And not to talk myself out of going (like I often do).
  • I said this last year, but I’ll say it again: do more things with friends. Yes, being a homebody is nice, but you have to go out sometimes. It’s better to connect with people in person than digital.
  • Take more photographs.
  • Post on this blog more. I realized as I was writing this that the 2018 Navel Gaze is the last time I posted.

How was this year for you? What are you most proud of? What are you looking forward to next year?

The Last Show

In a Fringe Festival as large as Edmonton’s (there were 215 shows!), it’s nice to get noticed. We were happy when all but one of our shows was sold out. We were even happier when we were asked to be held over and do two additional shows. To be one of 7 shows held over is quite an honour, especially on our first ever fringe tour.

But now it’s done. Tonight, we performed for the last time this tour. Tomorrow, we head for home.

It’s been an exciting seven weeks. I’ll take some time to summarize more later. But for now, I will leave you with a picture of the cast getting ready for the last show.


Not yet the end

Last night would have been our last show, both of the Edmonton Fringe, and the summer tour. We would be on the road tomorrow morning, heading back home to Toronto. Except that it wasn’t, and we won’t be… At least not yet.

We were selected to be held over for two additional performances at the big mainstage, so we will be staying in Edmonton a little while longer.

Edmonton Fringe has been quite a ride. It can be overwhelming. There are massive numbers of people, many out for the buskers and the food (and the beer tents). The first few days, I needed to take some time away from the crowds and try to find a quiet corner, which was not an easy feat. Our first show sold out, as did most of our other performances, and the reviews have been amazing.

The holdover allows us to put off the end of the tour, which will be bittersweet. The tour has been so successful, and the cast so close, that the end is more than a little sad. But we are also tired, and ready to go home.

Today, we will move our set to the big theatre, and tonight we will go to the Fringe closing. And then… A day off.

This photo was taken immediately before what was to be our last show: