Monthly Archives

July 2014

Lifestyle

Shooting the Trailer for “When It Rains” by 2B Theatre

Another summer project put to bed. 2B Theatre is a group out of Halifax who asked me to re-shoot their trailer video for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival happening in August (a.k.a. the largest fringe festival in the world – 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues). I was a bit nervous because they’re a pro touring company, and I knew that making a better video meant helping to grab more ticket sales out of the throngs of people that flock to Edinburgh for the festival.

The play uses projections (it’s all about using projections in theatre these days – luckily, Halifax has Nick Bottomley) and stark colours to emulate a graphic novel aesthetic. It’s a pretty cool piece and has been touring around since 2011. You can check it out on 2B Theatre’s website, here.

Here’s the trailer:

If you happen to be lucky enough to be in Edinburgh for fringe this season, be sure to check it out! It’s running August 2nd-23rd at Pleasance Kingdom (Venue 23) at 3:35 p.m. You can buy tickets, here.


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Lifestyle

Reading: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith a.k.a. J.K. Rowling

Even when Rowling’s not writing on about snitches and snollywogs, she still knows how to weave a damn good story, filled with lots of fleshy characters. What I’ve most enjoyed in Rowling’s new adult works (the other one being A Casual Vacancy), is how much she seems to know about how little we seem to realize is going on with our own lives. You saw a bit of this in Harry Potter, the various narratives leading to an ultimate truth (ex: “Syrius killed my father!” later: “You framed Syrius for killing my father!”). Her ability to weave one narrative through multiple, unreliable or self-interested narrators is absolutely astonishing. I think it’s fast becoming one of my favourite hallmarks of her works. And for a detective story, it’s perfect. Her protagonists’ stunning honesty and integrity always gets me too, In this case, the shiny and eager-to-do-her-best secretary/assistant Robin, (who as a legal assistant eager to prove myself I all too easily relate to) whose mundane job title easily understate the bright mind and ability she brings to her role (does that last sentence almost sound like a clandestine attempt at self-flattery? Just ignore it if it does).

All in all, really enjoyed it, and enjoyed the broad cast of characters. The Harry Potter cast was (of course) stunning, but Rowling does no less favours to the lovingly sculpted, realistic denizens of the U.K. Well done. Now, go read it!  I’ve already loaded the recently-released sequel, “The Silkworm” onto my e-reader.

On that note, what do you think of readers? I love being surrounded by books, but I also love not having to haul a 400-page tome (*cough*The Luminaries*cough*) around in my bag to and from work, since I get most of my reading done on my lunch breaks. I like that the kobo is tiny, lets me read easily at night, and there might be something in there about the financial ease of getting certain books in digital format rather than in hardcopy (seriously, your average book nowadays is like $20. What gives? I remember when I was younger it seemed like all books were $9.99. That gets expensive if you’re breezing through a book every few days). Also: great battery life. You only need to charge it once every few weeks. Compared to my iPhone who i seem to need to resuscitate daily, that’s a huge boon. 


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Lifestyle

What I’ve Been Up To: Lawn Summer Nights Hfx

It’s a soggy summer night out there Halifax.

“A unique lawn bowling fundraiser benefitting Cystic Fibrosis Canada”

When I got word that what would’ve been our third Thursday night gathering tonight would be cancelled, and the four-week event extended into five to let us bowl on July 31st instead, I thought I’d take my (now free) night at home to take a breather and tell you about this awesome event I’ve been tied up in photographing for the last few weeks.

Lawn Summer Nights is this super well-thought-out fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada, which works by getting a bunch of teams together who have to raise funds in order to put themselves through this fiercely competitive (if your definition of fierce is Beyonce-like greatness) lawn bowling tournament. The event has got this really well developed aesthetic where all the teams and organizers dress up like they’re on their way to Jay Gatsby’s, or the pony races with the queen. It’s all 30s housewives, boas and jewelled headbands here. While you’re throwing stones on the green, there’s funky remixed jazz and prohibition-era tunes playing and fancy gin-based drinks being served. Plus, you have a hip photographer mashing around taking photos of you and all your dolled-up friends while rubbing elbows with other well-dressed and good-looking people who are also into being awesome and helping out a good cause. What’s not to like?

Every night before the bowling begins, there’s a speaker who is someone who has CF. It brings some real gravitas to the situation, and brings it home how important it is to fundraise to help new medicines and therapies make their way through the expensive and time-consuming processes required for treatments in Canada in order to be approved for widespread (and affordable) distribution.

There has also been some really shining examples of generational interplay between the older lawn bowlers who have been teaching the younger teams how to play.

This is also the first year that LSN has been continental across Canada. From Victoria to Halifax. To celebrate this awesome coming-together of Canada for this event, Lawn Summer Nights has set an incredible total of ONE MILLION DOLLARS as their fundraising goal for this year. #lawnmillion on Instagram and Twitter. If you see that floating around, now you know why.

#lawnsummernightshfx #lawnmillion and #lawnsummer are all good ones.

#lawnsummernightshfx #lawnmillion and #lawnsummer are all good ones.

It’s also remarkable that this fundraiser was inspired by a blogger. Eva Markvoort, author of 65 Red Roses (a common malapropism among children for ‘cystic fibrosis’), an award-winning documentary, and a hugely popular blog about her life and times living with cystic fibrosis. Her amazing courage in undergoing a double-lung transplant, and eventually her tragic death due to  transplant rejection touched so many people. Her life is all amazingly documented through her blog, up until a few days before her death.  She was a vivacious and passionate spokeswoman for CF, and before passing on Eva talked strongly about creating a legacy. She was even able to take part in the inaugural Lawn Summer Nights event in 2010. Since then, the event has only grown bigger and stronger each year. Their website says, Eva was a truly magical person, and her legacy is only the beginning. Inspired by her life, her struggle and her story, we’re carrying on from where Eva left off; endeavouring to accomplish what she cared for the most – enjoying life, and finding a cure for CF.”

All the teams and organizers involved in the Halifax event seem to be going a pretty good job of fundraising for this event. Each team has to raise a minimum of $400 to even be allowed to enter the tournament. I can’t wait for the final week, to see all the hard work, fundraising barbecues, and hashtag-sharing come together, to see how much we’ve raised to help this cause.  I also can’t wait to party at the Stubborn Goat afterward. They’ve been providing all the food for this event, and so far it has been amazingly spot-on delicious. 

Way to go, everyone. Way to go, life.

If you’d like to make a donation to help Halifax reach its goals, please follow this link.