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April 2012

Monday Magazine

Many thanks to Monday Magazine and all the readers who wrote in and voted, bestowing me with the lovely, favourite performer title.  Very sweet.

Also, my thanks to the Monte Carlo International TV Fest for the Golden Nymph nomination for Bomb Girls. I know lust is considered one of the seven deadly sins, so I am really trying to contain myself, but my goodness that Golden Nymph is one of the prettiest awards I have ever seen.  It’s like a piece of art. A beautiful woman sitting on the ground, her feet tucked to the side, glancing over her shoulder, braids wrapped around her head.

Hey, I just looked it up and apparently, the Golden Nymph statuettes are copies of the “Salmacis” Nymph by the Monegasque sculptor Francios-Joeph Bosio (1768-1845), the original of which is on show at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

No wonder I thought it looked like a beautiful piece of art. 

Okay, well, I suppose I better trundle off to bed.  It’s it’s 4:20 AM and I’ve got a matinee today.  Hopefully sleep will decide to grace me with a visit.

Sweet dreams everybody. xo

Matthew Edison…take two

Matthew plays my son in The Real World? Or more accurately, I play his mother. 

Wait.  That isn’t accurate at all.  I’m not his real mother.  I’m the one he wrote. 

Sometimes, I flatter myself though, tell myself, I am his real mother.  His true mother.  The one that loves him unconditionally.  That is so proud and grateful that he wrote this play, gave me words, life.  I am the truth.  His truth. 

That’s what I tell myself.

But am I?  That’s up for discussion.  A discussion I don’t need to take part of.  People can have their opinions.  They might differ from mine.  And they might or might not be right. 

So, I feel very proud of him, Claude, Madeline’s son, but it doesn’t stop there.  The pride slides over, reality and the acting world melding.  I feel so proud of Matthew for his brilliant acting, how he becomes Claude so well, understands him, his longings so deeply.  When he, as the character, finally confronts his father, says the things that need to be said.  I feel proud of him, for the words his character wrote for me, that he saw what I and Madeline 1 had hid away for years. 

It’s weird, because Matthew didn’t write this play.  Michael Tremblay did.  And yet, I feel a swell of pride in my chest when I watch the other scenes and see what he has crafted.

And when the play is done and we are taking our bows, Jane and I meet up centre stage and bow and it’s cozy standing next to her, the two of us, bowing together.  And then Matthew, my character’s son comes out of the wings, walk towards us, and the play is over, but still that mother/son connection is still there.  And my heart swells with that motherly pride of what a good job he did, and I watch him stride towards us, standing tall, all of us happy we did a good show that people are clapping and cheering.  And I’m so proud of him.  And he bows and I bow too, because he’s the bow leader, we take our cue off of him.

Um… well… Okay, it isn’t supposed to go like that. 

Matthew is suppose to get a bow by himself! And then we’re all suppose to bow together.  But there I am, bobbing like a monkey.  Me and Matthew, taking Matthew’s bow!  Sheesh!  And to make matters worse, I’m not even aware that I’m doing it!  Last night I came off stage SO pleased with myself, doing a happy dance.  “I did it!”  I crowed happily.  “I finally got the bow right!”

“Um…No, Meg… You didn’t,” said Cara, laughter in her voice. 

At first I thought she was kidding me, but then Cliff weighed in.  “You bowed on Matthew’s bow again.”

“No…”  My eyes darting back and forth between them, my brain so confused.  “I didn’t.  Did I?” 

Yes.  I had.

Matthew was lovely.  Very gracious.  He thought it was funny.  Told me to Etch-a-sketch it.  But I was horrified.  I don’t want him to think I’m always going to muscle in on his bow.

I got up early today.  I am making him a batch of brownies.  I am hoping, praying that I can somehow manage not to make a complete ass of myself again in the curtain calls tonight. 

Matthew Edison

We have had our third preview.  The audiences have been lovely.  It’s funny how no two audience are the same, every night, the show, their reactions, are different. 

And then the next day, we all troop back to the theatre to rehearse some more, Richard, all of us, tweaking, refining, adding something new, soothing out a bump and so forth.  Then dinner break, me, not able to eat much, the nerves starting.  Not bad nerves, just there, making the stomach not able to appreciate the food like it usually does.

Then back to the theatre to get ready, preparing our makeup, our hair, a gradual process of slipping inside our characters.  I get in Madeline 2’s body and her clothes last, because after the show starts, we can’t run water or flush the toilets because the pipes running can be heard right over the stage.  There are certain parts of the upstairs where you can’t walk as well, because the floors are old and they creak.

I go downstairs around 10 minutes before the show starts and sit, collect my thoughts, slip into Maddo 2 more fully.  I was going to say in quiet, because it feels that way, I’m tucked in a dark corner by her fridge, a little light bleeding around the corner of the exit to the kitchen from the stage.  But it’s isn’t quiet, the happy cacophony of a full house fills the air, people talking, laughing, settling into their seats in anticipation of an evening at the theatre.  Emilie, with her earphones on, making sure everything is ready, in it’s place, always, always, there, ready.  Don’t know how she and Miranda do so much, stay so calm.  They are like magic elves that somehow everywhere and invisible all at once.  Solid and steady.

So it isn’t quiet, but it is too, sort of like a quiet house with the wind roaring outside, but inside, things are getting more still, more focused.

And then everyone else comes down, Cliff Saunder’s who plays my husband always whispers, “Good show,” in a hopeful, encouraging way.  Tony Nappo blows me a kiss and I blow him one.  Jane and I touch aprons…

Wait.  I am WAY off topic!  I wasn’t writing a blog today to talk about all of this.  I wanted to tell you something else.

I’m going to start over. 


I said I’d let you know how yesterday went…

Um…not well.

But today is a new day and I’ve got a day off.  And I’m going to take a break from Madeline 2. 

I had chocolate for breakfast to start the day right.  Then I put on a load of laundry, went to the market and bought a bunch of fresh fruit, plums, apples, oranges, bananas.  I bought some buttermilk too.  Was planning to tuck in on this rainy day and make some delicious homemade banana bread and then smear it with slabs of butter when it came out of the oven, piping hot. 

But then Jane Spidell (Madeline 1 and a brilliant-multi-Dora-award-toting-actress to book ) invited me over for dinner, bless her generous heart.  I’m telling you, if you have a sad day, there is no shoulder more solid, more caring, to have a good weep on, than Jane’s. 

But today?  No more weeping for me!  I’ve got a fridge full of food, tasty chocolate in my drawer and the promise of a wonderful cozy evening. 

Life is good.

Better now

Okay, just worked up a sweat raging around the living room for a couple of hours.  Think, hope, pray that I’ve made a breakthrough, worked out some of the kinks in that scene.  We’ll see.  Gotta hop in the shower, make my lunch and then it’s off to work.

Will let you know how it goes. 

Sunday, April 22

Don’t feel like I’m a very good actor.  Every day, going in, working as hard, as focused as I can, giving it my all, and still…
It’s dumb to get sad about such things.  It’s just art, not life.  But still, feel small, uncertain, and yes, sad.

where I’m at

Had a dress rehearsal for The Real World? last night.  Tony Nappo and Matthew Edison’s final scene gave me goosebumps. 

My scenes?  Not so much.  It was discouraging.  Been working so hard and last night was the first time in Madeline 2’s real clothes, make-up, proper hair, shoes.  We were on the sets, out of rehearsal hall, with sound and lights and so many more personal items around the living room that we didn’t have before.  We even have an old refrigerator that we can open and close in our pretend kitchen off stage.  What a luxury.  And yet, with all of this, still, I let her down. 

Got some good notes afterwards from Richard Rose. 

Thought about them all the way home, getting ready for bed.  Woke up thinking about them, turning them over and over in my head, reading them out loud so the sound of them would hopefully penetrate on a deeper level and I’d somehow be able to absorb them into my skin/her skin… Thought about them while eating breakfast, not much of an appetite.  So close to previews and still haven’t gotten where I want/need to be. 

I’m off to rehearsals now.  An ache in my stomach, but it’s not because I don’t want to go.  I do. 

The Real World?

We did our first complete run through today.  Walking to work, I had butterflies in my stomach.  I tried not to get too freaked out, made myself focus on the multitude of new spring flowers that have been appearing in peoples gardens on a daily basis.  The gardens here aren’t huge, but oh my, some of them are so pretty. 

That’s something I really like about about being Toronto.  The traffic is too daunting for me to attempt, so I walk everywhere.  And because I’m walking, the world goes by at a much slower pace.  Very different than soaring past in a car, the little patches of gardens a blur, zipping past the window.  Walking, I feel the pull of my muscles, the slap of my backpack stuffed full with my lunch, script and what-not.  I am made aware of the always changing nuances of the weather here.  Feel the chill on the shady side of the street, the shift from the morning snap of cold to the warmth of mid-afternoon.

Sometimes, the wind will pick up, and it’s not a dainty little breeze either, these Toronto winds can kick butt.  Bright sunshine, but I’ve got to bundle up, everything zipped, snapped shut, my hair whipping around my face like a witch-woman, needing to walk bent way over to help propel my body forward. 

I’m really liking being here.  Liking living in the city.  Being a city dweller Going to rehearsal.  Having somewhere to go.  And then, when I get there, people to create with.  Still can’t believe that I am paid to play, to work together to create a world, a world for them to inhabit, and a new world inside me too.  My character, someone who was a stranger a few months ago and who now is a new previously undiscovered part of myself. 

How lucky I am to have fallen into this work.  How lucky I fell back into it again when my sister, Jennifer, gave me that bracelet a little over a year ago. 

I am loving working at The Tarragon.  Loving it.  Love the whole cast, Jane Spidell, Tony Nappo, Cliff Saunders, Matt Edison, Sophie Goulet, Cara Gee.  Everyone, so talented.  Everyone, so committed to making this the very best show we possibly can. 

Today, when there was a scene I wasn’t in, I would sneak around to the front to get lost in the world everyone was creating, I got shivers of excitement watching them.  And in a weird way, every time I watch everyone else’s scenes, it’s like it helps me understand my own Madeline 2 even better.

And then there is the director, Richard Rose, such a sure hand. Such a pleasure.

Next week we move out of the rehearsal room and start working on the actual stage!  Eeeee!  Exciting, scary, fun, like that way one scares oneself, walking down a dark tree ladened driveway at Halloween.  A good kind of scary.  And then, April 24th… Previews start!

Okay.  When I wrote that I didn’t get the fun/scary Halloween jolt in my belly.  This jolt was a little more daunting.  Sort of like, “Oh god, I drank way too much water at dinner and we are good twenty minute drive from the closest toilet.”


my boys

I’m feeling a little melancholy today.  Not a big blast of melancholia, just a tiny hint of it, like a sprig of thyme in a soup or stew.  Nothing overwhelming or even noticeable to the naked eye.  It’s just there, is all, I’m aware of it, a slight thrum in my belly.

David left yesterday and there is only another week left before Will’s off to England to resume his studies. 

It was nice having both boys in Toronto for a visit.  I had rehearsals, but in my off time we packed a lot in. 

It was an adjustment at first, to go from just Don and I in the apartment to the four of us banging around.  We ran out of glasses and tea mugs WAY too fast.  The dishwasher ran everyday, sometimes twice.  Which is quite a lot considering that we ate out a bit.  When it’s just the two of us, it can be several days before there is a need to run it.  And I’m thinking that perhaps the dishwashers in condos are smaller than the ones in houses?

Anyway, it’s the way of things, the way life needs to expand and contract.  The missing, the making room for, and then the missing again. 
Being a parent of grown-ups is different than being the parent of children or teenagers.  It’s a constant process of letting go and then letting go some more… A letting go of them, of trying to control, of trying to protect, learning to relax or at least pretend to.  Knowing that it’s no longer necessary to be so vigilant, don’t have to try and form oneself into a good and responsible leader because someone had to be in charge.  They are in charge now.  And it is as it should be. 

And I’m sure, next week, when Will disappears past the airport security’s frosted glass that there will be this pang again.  This missing. 

Then in a day or two I’ll be used to it again.  The life of an untethered parent.  I’m sure I will appreciate the extra lounging about time before heading off to rehearsal, no one to fix a motherly breakfast for.

But now, today, I’m missing my boy, Dave, his hugs and good humor, his gentle way and warm dark eyes.