Singhouse Studios is a voice and performance school for people of all ages, and one night every year the students perform in a big show. This year, the show — titled Sparkle — was celebrity-themed, complete with a melange of hits from the last five decades, a red carpet runway for all the stars, and even Ottawa’s local pop heartthrob, Alex Lacasse.
Music by Five Stripe Studios. Adrian and I worked closely to make sure the music had the right kind of playful energy to focus on the school’s main demographic.
I was asked to create a promotional video for the studio, so I followed the performers to tell the story of their day, from the backstage to the main stage. I felt it was as important to see all the preparation as much as the performances themselves, which is why I included footage of warm-up routines, practice rituals, and dress rehearsals. I love to see the focus so many of the young performers have, and much of that comes out before they even step into the spotlight.
The problem with working from home is that you’re never really off. There’s always something you can be doing, so it’s hard to detach and just relax. The days of the week lose their meaning. I haven’t had a vacation in about a year, and I’ve been at home almost that whole time. It’s left me feeling burned out. Lisa and I are both going through the same thing at this point in our lives, and we’re trying to figure out how to pick ourselves up from problems that seem insurmountable when we’re living them by ourselves.
But baby steps first, and today was back to a greasy breakfast. I watched The English Patient, cause I’ve been in the mood for epics lately, and I’d been denying myself the pleasure for too long. I discovered the part I used to place my kisses is called the suprasternal notch. Now I wonder if she ever sees the English Patient, whether she’ll think I just stole some idea from some movie, or whether she’ll remember and gently finger the valley my lips claimed as their own.
At the end of these movies, I always feel a mixture of emotions, the same when stepping out of the Shakespearean plays I saw in high school: dejected from all the tragedy, yet amazed by such profound performances and productions. It was the same after I finished reading Doctor Zhivago. Maybe cause I identify with the poet-warriors, the themes of their love, the depths of their emotions, and the trappings of their fate. No matter what the emotion is though, it makes me sit in the dark and write about things the way I used to.
And that’s enough for now.
The best time of the year to make the drive to Darren’s house is in the Autumn. It’s about five hours door-to-door — barring any traffic or construction — so there’s a good chance I’ll catch a sunrise or sunset no matter when I leave. It’s particularly beautiful when the leaves are changing and the colours are at their richest along the stretches of the 401.
Sometimes I’ll turn on a stand-up comedy station instead of music, and it helps take my mind off the dreariness of the less scenic parts. It’s like having another person to talk to, except the conversation goes one way, and they tend to be funny when not overly political or Andrew Dice Clay.
Zhaliang and classic Cantonese noodles. #thingsIcouldeateveryday
I still think of moving back to Toronto, where there’s everything that isn’t available to me in Ottawa. But I hate all the things that come with such an unwieldy and poorly amalgamated city. At my age, I value comfort over excitement, and Toronto has become a city that’s better to visit than to stay.
After meeting Mike in London, I knew that’s where I was meant to live, with Bloc Party and Monty Python and The Underground and rainy weather and Portishead and a billion accents and Only Fools and Horses and that stoic British mentality and Paris just a train ride away. But that wasn’t my fate, and the dirty streets of Toronto are the closest I’ll ever get to that.
Read the rest of this entry »
It’s in these stories, these moments, these connections, these words, these images, these harmonies, these delightful chilly breezes that foretell the coming of winter where I find a part myself lost for so long.
A general sense of numbness filled my life, but I’m starting to feel again, something I’ve been needing for a while now. It was as if I’d lost a sense of purpose, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix that cause I couldn’t tell what was wrong.
Maybe the fact that I started tapering off my dose of Cipralex (a few months ahead of schedule) is adding to the effect. It’s hard to tell with everything all mixed up, and so much happening at once.
I can’t imagine what things will be like in a few weeks, let alone a year. There’s never been so much uncertainty in my life, but that doesn’t scare me anymore. There’s always a way out. Ironic that I had to lose everything to learn that.
Two hours later, I woke up without any sense of direction.
Now I’m trying to figure out how to stay awake so I can be tired enough to fall asleep again. The fatigue isn’t enough to keep me down. I had a big breakfast, something I haven’t done in as long as I can remember, owing to the fact that they used to be the ritual of a person with weekends and a need for rituals.
At some point along the way, I realized it’s easier to take care of my friends and help them fix their problems. I can’t figure out why I’ve avoided dealing with my own, but I decided that as long as my distractions are fulfilling and healthy in themselves, there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, there’s nothing else one can do.
In turn, they’re helping me through this odd passage of time, where I find myself unsure of what to do or feel. I’ve had to open myself up to give them a chance to help me. It always leaves me vulnerable at first, but when they listen and understand and support me, all my insecurities go away. It’s a tangible love that goes far beyond words and intentions.