The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

Win Tickets to the Opening of Twelfth Night! June 28, 2010

Filed under: Contest,Local Shows — Rebecca Coleman @ 5:56 am
Tags: ,

And now for something a little different.

If you go a little further down the beach from Vanier Park, you’ll find the Jericho Arts Centre at the entrance to Loncarno Beach.

Put together by a dedicated group of up-and-coming actors, William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, produced by What You Will Equity Co-op, opens Friday night.

Here’s the official blurb:

What You Will Equity Co-op is pleased to present one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies: Twelfth Night. Mistaken identity and gender confusion all figure actively in this Twelfth Night, set in the Victorian Era and an llyria that evokes the British Columbia of the 1890’s. Twelfth Night runs July 2 to July 24 at The Jericho Arts Centre.

Twelfth Night starts with a stormy night and a shipwreck, followed by cunning capers, concealments and mistaken identities: all resulting in a love tangle to rival no other, and a whole heap of mischief and mayhem in Shakespeare’s most captivating comedy. To anyone who has experienced the suddenness of love, Twelfth Night will always resonate.

Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s finest comedies, and with good reason,” says Tariq Leslie, director. “It’s a rich delicious jewel, full of love and light, which also pierces with exquisite agony. Twelfth Night explores love in all its touching and absurd extremes; love that is exotic and familiar, and aching with desire.”

What You Will Equity Co-op is made up of a group of experienced, well-known, younger actors: Adam Bergquist (Sebastian), Trevor Devall (Orsino), Paul Herbert (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Yurij Kis (Antonio), Courtney Lancaster (Viola), Tariq Leslie (Malvolio), Michael Smith (Sir Toby Belch), Ashley O’Connell (Fabian), John Prowse (Feste), Bronwen Smith (Maria), and Lori Triolo (Olivia). Tariq Leslie also directs, and original music is composed by Ross Smith, the lead singer for Edmonton Blockheater. The creative team is rounded out by Tamara McCarthy (Assistant Director), Kyla Gardiner (Costumes, Set and Lighting), Nicholas Harrison (Fight Choreography) and Jethelo Cabilete (Stage Manager)

Twelfth Night opens Friday, July 2nd at 8 pm, and runs through until Saturday, July 24 (Mondays and Tuesdays dark). There will be two previews: June 30 and July 1, all tickets for these shows are $1. Regular tickets are $20, or $15 for Seniors, Students, Equity and UBCP, and are available though Tickets Tonight:, or 604.684-2787, or through Jericho Arts Centre: (604) 224-8007 Wednesdays are pay-what-you-can, available at the door, cash only. There will be only one matinee: Tuesday, July 6 at 2pm. All performances take place at the Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery St.

Email me at contests (at) rebeccacoleman (dot) ca, and answer this question to be entered into a draw to win a pair of tickets to your choice of one of the July 2, 3 or 4 th performances:

What does Maria’s note (which Malvolio thinks comes from Olivia) ask Malvolio to appear dressed as to show that he loves her?

I’ll notify the winner Thursday night.

For more information, visit
Facebook event

Video interviews with the cast

add to : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook


Why we need award shows like the Jessies June 23, 2010

Monday night, here in Vancouver, we celebrated The 28th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Vancouver cultural landscape, The Jessies are our answer to Toronto’s Doras or Broadway’s Tony Awards. They honour theatre excellence over the past year.

You can say what you like about awards shows: that they don’t really mean anything, that they are shallow, that the same people are nominated and win every year.

But what I witnessed Monday night was none of those things.

What I witnessed was unbelievable support for each other, and rallying in the face of some really, really dark and difficult times. I saw a lot of love. I saw a note of glamor in our otherwise “I wear Stage Manager’s blacks” lives. I saw us not take ourselves too seriously.

@SMLois and I clean up pretty good!

Let’s face it, since the first round of arts cuts in August last year, our community has been reeling. A conversation I had with Bill Millerd, Artistic Managing Director of The Arts Club, indicated that they may need to turn to programming smaller shows: 2-3 handers, instead of the bigger-cast, bigger-budget stuff they have been doing. Deb Pickman of the Shameless Hussys joked (seriously) that they can only afford to do one-woman shows from here in, and Ruby Slippers Theatre has put a list of shows that have been canceled on their blog.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year from these arts cuts, it’s that we have the ability to come together and make a lot of noise as a community. Our whole is indeed greater than the sum of our parts. And part of what the Jessies are about are celebrating that community and the strength we have when we get together.

We only really get to do this once a year. All the other times, we see each other in our shows, on stage, or at openings or workshops. But this one night of the year, we get to come together and not work and hang out and laugh and celebrate.

For me, the acceptance speech of the night belonged to Anthony F. Ingram, for Shameless Hussy’s Frozen. “I’d like to dedicate this to my dad Gary who fought so hard for me not to do this, and over the last few years has become one of my biggest supporters. He thanked me for showing him that theatre can open your eyes to the world.” He added, “This is not a community–it’s an industry. Maybe if we start calling it an industry, the government will listen to us.”

The full list of the nights winners can be found on the Jessie Awards website.

I’d like to especially congratulate the producers of the shows I got to work on: Touchstone Theatre, Presentation House, and Leaky Heaven Circus.

You can read  Miss604’s LiveBlog of the event here.

And, remember a couple of weeks ago when I said that Laara Sadiq was my favorite in the best actress, small theatre category? Well, she won.

Here is her acceptance speech:

add to : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook


Being and artist and a parent June 9, 2010

At Babz’ memorial service a couple of weeks ago, it was mentioned many, many times how, “her kids were her life.” Babz had three children: Aviv, Orpheo and Jordana, and I think, at times, their lives were a little crazy. Babz was a singer with a band, and her kids went with her.

Babz' family at the memorial service. Wendy D photo

It started me thinking about those of us that choose to be artists and parents. What we sacrifice for our kids, and what we can’t…

I have a deep admiration for Christine Willes. I first worked with this talented actress a few years back when she directed a production of Metamorphoses that took place at Pacific Theatre. I was very happy to hear that Christine is going to be in a production that I am doing publicity for that opens Friday at the PTC Studio: Herr Beckmann’s People. When I first met Christine, I was adjusting to my new status as a single parent, and we had some really great conversations about parenting solo and being an artist. Christine made the choice to continue in the arts and to raise her two children. And she did it–by securing quirky character roles in cult series like Dead Like Me and Reaper. Her kids are now grown, but she is a real inspiration.

I am also very inspired by Rachael Chatoor, someone that I met through Babz, but have become friends with on another, deeper level. Rachael is a singer, performer and mother of two children, 6 and 10. Rachael says:

Rachael Chatoor

My life changed when I had a child because I was no longer living for myself.

I did sacrifice for a few years, and as my children grew as I spent every waking moment seeing to them, but later, I learned that I could honour them best by also living my best, most creative life, by chasing my own dreams and leading by example. I do feel that we may sacrifice too much when we only live to serve our children. If we don’t stop doing this then once they are grown and are out on their own, they will wonder “Why isn’t the world serving me”? and they may not be fully able to chase their dreams. If they are never left alone to fill their own time you rob them of the need to create, they just sit there waiting to be told what to do.

How does she manage as a single parent who is out gigging on weekend nights?
I have a great village, there is one free room in my house and I have given it away to a room mate who exchanges child care for it. I also am lucky to have lots of family who will take the kids if I have out of town shows.
For a slightly different (ie: male!) perspective, I talked to my old friend Bart Anderson. Bart is an instructor in the acting program at VFS, and will star with his old Ryerson buddy, Eric McCormack, in Glengarry Glen Ross at the Arts Club opening July 22. He is also dad to Louisa, and his wife, Hillary, who also works at VFS, is pregnant with their second child. Congratulations, Bart and Hillary!
Here’s what Bart says about parenthood and being an actor:
Life has changed dramatically since Louisa was born… to the degree that I’ve forgotten almost all of it!! Gone are those Friday nights home alone, exfoliating, snackin’ on Doritos, watching a movie and wondering when I’d meet that special gal. My life was ready for an overhaul and I welcomed all of it!!
The struggle to keep alive, financially has amplified, and the focus quickly shifted to creating stability (or the illusion anyway). And the love… there is so much joy and love in my life. That changed how I see it all: a bit more compassion and clarity of purpose.
I don’t do as much of the non-paying work I used to before having a family. I would get involved in things knowing there was no money, for all the reasons we do as actors. I’m more selective now. I love collaborating with friends and the students at VFS, I do these kinds of projects when there is time. Hilary is an actor, director and works in wardrobe as well. and we make sure we continue to do projects we feel passionate about.
How do they juggle childcare? Creatively!
We have Louisa in daycare Monday to Wednesday. Hilary has Thursday off, and I get Friday  off from VFS… we have our weekends and our weeknights to play!!
It can be tough being an artist and having kids. But every single person I spoke to echoed the same sentiment: it’s worth it.
How about you? For those of you out there that pursue an artistic life and have kids, how do you manage it? What have you sacrificed? Do you have regrets?

add to : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook


It’s Jessie Time! May 31, 2010

Filed under: Local Shows,Success — Rebecca Coleman @ 3:13 am

I love this time of year: the weather is getting warmer, all my skirts are out from their winter hibernation, and flip-flops are  heavy in the shoe rotation.

And the Jessie nominations are announced!

For those of you not from Vancouver, The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards are Vancouver’s answer to the Tonys. Or the Toronto Doras. The Jessies celebrate excellence in Vancouver theatre.

This happens to me very rarely, but I actually saw all five shows in one category this year: Performance by a Leading Actress, Small Theatre (this is partly because I did publicity for four of them).

The nominees are:
Diane Brown, A Beautiful View, Ruby Slippers Theatre
Tamara Podemski, The Edward Curtis Project, Presentation House Theatre
Gabrielle Rose, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Blackbird Theatre
Laara Sadiq, Palace of the End, Touchstone Theatre/Felix Culpa/Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre
Christina Schild, A Picasso, Presentation House Theatre

I was really excited to work on A Beautiful View, because, well, Daniel MacIvor has been my hero for a very long time. Diane’s portrayal of the naieve Mitch was super fun. You can see a clip of Diane talking about the show here.

The Edward Curtis Project has been in development for several years, so I was excited to see them honoured with 7 nominations!

When I saw the cast for Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolfe? I knew I had to see it. I very seldom buy tickets to the theatre–I often get offered comps–but I bought tickets to this one, and was not dissapointed. Gabrielle did a great job, and this nomination is well-deserved.

I can honestly say that I have not been emotionally affected by a performance in the theatre like the way I was by Palace of the End, specifically Laara’s, in a long time. I was sobbing throughout her monologue. I think she might be my favorite for this category.

Finally, I’m very happy for Christina Schild. A Picasso was a really great show, and Christina is an emerging artist. Her portrayal of the Nazi administrator with a soft spot for Picasso was nuanced and powerful, with a hint of sexy thrown in.

Congratulations to all the nominees! You can see the full list here. Best of luck on June 21.

add to : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook


Twitter/Art + Social Media March 26, 2010

Last month, I wrote a post on a new show at the Diane Farris Gallery called Twitter/Art + Social Media. I’m very happy to say that two artists with whom I have done social media work with have been accepted into the show!

Ross Den Otter

I’ve known Ross and his wife Sarolta Dobi for quite some time. In addition to be friends of Simon’s, Ross and Sarolta together are Pink Monkey Studios, and have been doing my headshots (and those of many actors in this town) for quite a few years.

Ross has an interesting process for his work: it starts with a photograph, then he adds some paint, and finally, a thick, shiny topcoat.

Click here to see Ross at work.

In addition to his pieces in the Twitter/Art + Social Media show, Ross will be showing at the Fourth Wall Gallery at Presentation House Theatre from March 25 to April 10.

Ross’ Blog
Ross’ Facebook

Robi Smith

Robi has been to a couple of my and Simon’s Social Media workshops.

"I Am Afraid"

"I Have Secrets"

Here’s her artist statement about the pieces she is showing:

I use social media to share my work with collectors, fans, and all those anonymous people who find me through Google searches. I post to Facebook regularly, update my blog each week, and send out a monthly e-newsletter to close to 400 subscribers. Each communication asks me to reveal myself in different ways and, while I’m always truthful, I do edit myself. I don’t share details about my family life. I talk about what I’m creating and feedback I’ve received, but not how I spend my time every day or my worries. I don’t talk about my fears. I still have secrets. I have a private life I don’t expose to the world.

Robi’s Website
Robi’s Blog


I’m very excited to annouce that Kris Krug (Twitter: @KK) and I will be hosting a workshop/panel discussion called Social Media for Visual Artists on Tuesday, April 13 at 4pm at the Diane Farris Gallery. The workshop is free, and all are welcome. Come on by! I’ll also have copies of my book for sale.

Preview the exhibition here.

add to : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook


What happens when Social Media and Visual Arts collide? February 10, 2010

Twitter/Art + Social Media, that’s what.

From April 1- May 1, 2010, the Diane Farris Gallery will be presenting an exhibition called Twitter/Art + Social Media, an exhibition of work by artists who use social media for the inspiration, production or presentation of their work. How cool is this??

From the Diane Farris blog:

Since 1984, Diane Farris Gallery has been known for finding and establishing new talent. In the year 2010, the gallery recognizes the strong role played by social media in the production and/or promotion of artwork. We are particularly interested in how social media is affecting the practice of artists who use it to share feedback on their artwork, to promote their artwork, to organize shows or to produce artwork collaboratively.

Social media may include websites, blogging, instant messenger, rss feeds, social bookmarking, Facebook, Blogger, Flickr, MySpace, deviantART, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Skype and podcasts. Artwork may include painting, drawing, photography, printmaking and three-dimensional work as well as computer-based art, video and performance formats.

Submissions are currently open, but only until Feb 24. Click here for submission guidlelines.

(with special thanks to Lili De Carvalho)

UPDATE, FEB 19: Submission deadline date has been extended to March 5.

add to : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook


An even stickier situation November 4, 2009

Filed under: Ethics,Local Shows — Rebecca Coleman @ 7:59 am

Last month, I wrote a post on an interesting ethical dilemma that I found myself in. One of my clients, Down Stage Right Productions, was producing Evil Dead: The Musical in Vancouver. It was the first time EDTM had been done here, and they were doing it over Hallowe’en. Basically, this job should have been a cakewalk–it had everything going for it–timing, newness, and built-in fan base.

Except. As you know, another company, based out of Calgary, was also able to get the rights, and put their show up (which opened one week before ours) at the Vogue. They have a huge advertising budget–one which we could not compete against.

So, I wrote a post about this. I’d never had this experience before, and I thought it might be interesting to discuss with the theatre community at large. I had no idea it would be such a popular post. It’s gotten almost 500 hits, and garnered 25 comments. It’s likely one of my all-time top posts.

But I have to be honest with you. I didn’t allow every comment. On October 10, I got a comment from Kevin McKendrick, the director of the Vogue’s production. And I chose not to post it.

This is why:

  1. There was one part of his comment which I found inflammatory. Let me be clear: he was not slagging anyone, I just felt that if I published his comment, Mark (the director of the DSR show) would feel obliged to respond to it, and then Kevin would probably respond to that, and there would be a “he-said-he-said” argument happening in the comments section of my blog. As much as I love stats, I love peace more, so I didn’t feel comfortable putting that up.
  2. I am being paid by Down Stage Right Productions to be their publicist. I try, for the most part, to keep direct references to my work out of my blog. If a situation with a company I’m working with comes up, and I can reference it by re framing it as a business thing, I will. But I don’t actively advertise shows that I am working on on my blog. It’s not its place.
    The tone of Kevin’s comment that he wanted to publish on my blog was very PR-oriented. And as the person responsible for the PR of the other production, I didn’t want to post his comments. My loyalty was to DSR.

Here’s my question to you: did I do the right thing?

As bloggers, I don’t think we are held to the same editorial standards as newspapers. Blogs are, by their very definition, personal. They’re told from the first person, and I don’t think you can ever be fully unbiased. I don’t even believe newspapers can be fully unbiased, but at least bloggers are more transparent about it.

So, I’m being transparent. And I’d like to know your thoughts.

add to : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook