Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Hey Abyss,

Solo Show happened, and it was beautiful.

It was everything I anticipated and more.

I will reiterate the talent that I am surrounded by in my class. All eleven of us are so completely different, it's wonderful. I feel honoured to be part of such a diverse class that has so many things to offer. And really neat to see that we will all be pursuing something completely individual after we graduate next year.

Where has the time gone?

The performance was phenomenal, I don't think I have ever been so nervous.

It was surreal.

I performed on Saturday to a 110 person audience, who beautifully accepted Lioness in all its glory. The opportunity to play with the audience was something that I missed deeply. There is talks of me potentially remounting the piece in Halifax this summer, but that is still undecided. I really don't want that one performance to be the end, as wonderful as it was.

The wave of energy that accosted me when I walked out was something I have never experienced before and was truly remarkable, and once I figured out how to deal with the enormous amount of energy I was home. It brought me back to all the reasons of why I love what I do and what has made me pursue this. That feeling of making people laugh, and transporting them to my world, so we can play together. Simply unforgettable. It also reminded me that is doesn't have to only be my own work that these qualities happen in. This feeling should flow through all my work, I should be affecting people that much in every performance I do, regardless of who wrote the script!

My new goal is: I want to be as open and as brave as I can be in every role. To me, right now, this is the only way to have the audience trust me enough to convince them to follow me down the rabbit hole.

Thank you Adam and Jodi, you are amazing.

We have started rehearsal for A Midsummer Night's Dream and I am playing Theseus. Joe Ziegler is directing us and he is simply awesome. His energy and enthusiasm for the text is infectious and I am stoked to get on my feet with him. I am doing my best to crossover all the work that has been percolating in me from the start of the year into this project, as there is no time like the present.

(More to come on this over the next little bit...)

I read this quote today and I think it is perfect in reminding me how to make compelling work:

"The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake."

I as an actor want to challenge peoples ideas and make them think about what they are seeing, and the only way I can do that is to work hard and give myself over to the art and where it wants to take me.

There is no room for insecurity, only vulnerability.

I am inspired by so many things lately, I feel both focused and pulled open. I want to be in this state for as long as I can. Anything is possible here.

Night Abyss.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March happens to be a good month for me.

Hey Abyss,

These last two weeks have been amazing for me. Similar to last year, this month has proven to be a very cleansing period for me. My March Break was last week, and I worked almost everyday on prep for my Solo Show. I had forgotten what it was like to motivate myself and work on something that I am proud of. That sounds sad, but it isn't. I find myself forgetting to have fun and treat the work that we do at the school as my own, rather than an assignment I have to do.

Solo Show has been truly wonderful at this point in the year, we just came out of our first production where we as a class had to work together like a pseudo theatre company, which was an interesting first experience for some of us, and not as much for others. The whole thing (process. character development, etc.) was a mutual effort, rather than singular processes coming together. Everything is still a learning curve at this point for me, so no judgement. Solo Show is different, because it is completely singular and process based project. We write, perform and produce our own 15-20 minute show. Everyone in my class is doing something completely different, and are each having our own challenges to deal with in front of our directors/collaborators, Adam Lazarus and Jodi Essery.

The Solo Show project at NTS is a right of passage, and I give so much credit to Jodi and Adam for dedicating the time to all 13 of us (this includes the 2nd year playwrights) to make our shows what we want them to be. They truly deserve awards for the patience and attention span they both possess. My script was approved yesterday and I feel a giant weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I consider myself a rather organized performer and can only deal with one thing at a time. I have perfected my character visually, and physically, so the next step for me was getting my script done.

Half of us will be performing on March 22nd and the other half is going on the 23rd. I am really excited to see the changes to my show over the course of the next week. The anticipation to see everyone else's pieces is killing me, because I know everyone is gonna kill it. I am going to keep my show a secret at this point. but will go into more detail after I perform.

Because my class spends so much time together, it is easy to fall into the thinking of "we know so much about each other and our performance abilities", but this project is an opportunity to show our classmates that we are capable of more than what they think, and also to challenge ourselves. I cannot wait to learn something new about everyone. We are all so different, and I tend to forget that sometimes.  When we all graduate we are going back to our communities and what dreams we have in mind, we are not mutually going back together.

This thought occurred to me today; There is no sense in comparing yourself to other people because you can actually never be them. You may be able to emulate them visually, or in their mannerisms. But there is something special about each an everyone of us, and we all fit a particular role, ourselves. The issue that a lot of actors face is whether that niche is what the Casting Directors are looking for. The artists that are prevalent now, have a certain personality or image that works for them and it is the public wants to see. (e.g. Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Gosling, etc.). But the desire for their personalities will fade, and their talent will hopefully remain, especially these people.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, perhaps who you are isn't what people are looking for right now, but that doesn't mean they never will. Trends change, people become disinterested. Casting Directors are always looking for something fresh. This idea gives me hope, that if I stay true to myself and what I love, then maybe someday someone will notice me for it. And by me trying to be Ryan Gosling, or Tom Hardy is not going to make "it happen" for me any quicker. If they wanted those guys they would hire them. I have to offer me and my passion. No one else's. And Solo Show is really opening my eyes to the fact that I have more to offer than just doing a good job on cold reads, I have something that could be exactly what someone needs, and I need to own it and not wait for other people's opinions of me to act on what I love.

I want to do what inspires me, I don't want to spend the rest of my career trying to be someone else -- the trend of the week. And so I am going forward with a clear mind, and will do what I do best; being me.

Night Abyss.

If you are interested in attending the two day show add yourself to the guest list!
Solo Show!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Break!

Hey Abyss,

It's finally March Break, I am so excited to finally have a break!

This last week has been a whirlwind; we did 5 shows of The Seagull and I also had my Solo Show Tutorial. That doesn't sound like a lot but it is, I can promise you.

Looking back on the experience, despite my initial hesitations about it, it was truly amazing and I am so grateful to have worked with Tanja on this wonderful show. It challenged me in so many ways and her supportive and blunt ways only made it more successful. Thank you :)

The weeks leading up to now have been rather introspective for me and I have solidified a lot of my personal and artistic goals. I have also started to understand that everything takes time and although I am becoming aware of the things that will help me grow, I have to give them the time to flourish in myself. Instead of demanding growth and beating myself up for it not happening right away.

Tanja called me on owning my wins today in our "end of project interview" and it has never rang more crucial. I am very reliant on the opinions of other people when it comes to my work and life. This trait is extremely deadly in myself and I am glad that she put it out there for me. I am learning how to feel confident in my choices regardless of how people react, or how they feel. It is about me and my choices and how I choose to express myself.

This seems elementary, but I have always struggled with feeling good about my ideas. Especially here at NTS due to the massive amounts of talent that abound. In order for me to become stronger in myself as a young man and artist this issue needs to be resolved.

I have had a few people come into my life lately that have shown me what my life could be like without my insecurities, and it is far better. So, my mission to myself is to continually do what I love and work towards that positive and brave person that I know I a capable of being.

Life is so funny sometimes.

I am truly blessed.

When I take the time to actually listen to what's around me, as well as myself, I learn so much. This week is going to be about me. I have started a cleanse of my mind and body and really want to enjoy and learn this March Break.

I am going to see Montreal this week, finally, and focus on my Solo Show.

That is a promise. (I am full of promises today...)

And on that note I am going to take a shower and begin with going to see Twelfth Night at the Monument - Nationale!

Here is a goofy photo of my character from The Seagull.

Night Abyss