Looking Up In Arts and Politics, Composing, 04/12/2015

Today, I want to leave philosophy and the more intense creative conceptual play aside. Today is just going to be a diary entry. Because things are finally starting to pick up in my career, and I want to share that with my readers.

Samantha would be on top.
I hope I don’t jinx it. 

Artistic news first. I’ve had a really good film development meeting to put together a passion project that I’ve been nursing for a year. When You Were My Friend the play was a box office bomb, I was pretty depressed.

It was a story that meant a lot to me, about social issues close to my heart – the stress and anxiety of life scraping by through underemployment, the hypocritical double standards that women face in our society. 

These issues have only become more important to me since I’ve moved to Toronto and experienced that economic wringer first-hand, with incredible intensity. And we only really got a reasonable house on our first and last nights of a nine-performance run.

I mean, I understand why. We were an independent production, a fresh script, and no big names. All the major principals were in different stages of the beginnings of their arts careers. It was a story whose particulars were very rooted in Toronto, but played in Hamilton. 

More than all that, the timing was just terrible. We were playing opposite a high-budget run of the patriotic classic Billy Bishop Goes to War at Theatre Aquarius, just down the street. Just two weeks before we both debuted, Nathan Cirillo died in the 2014 Parliament Hill shooting. 

His regiment was based on James Street North in Hamilton. His city-long funeral procession passed by my apartment building. The city convulsed in collective mourning. Love of Canada engulfed the city. My little story about two women sharing a shitty apartment never stood a chance.

So I finally met with Samantha, my lead actress, and we’re going to make a film version. Once I get something like a regular work schedule together, I’ll be able to sit down and knock out the treatments and the scripts that we need to get this financed. If everything comes together like Voltron, we’ll have this thing in the can by the end of next year.

Politics news next. I’m now Vice-President of the New Democrats’ Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding association. Technically, I’m two Vice-Presidents, for the federal and provincial party. This means I go to association meetings, come up with policy proposals, and network with local social movement activists around Toronto.

T-Knuckles, the volunteer coordinator for the Phil Trotter campaign this year, is the association President. He’s also my boss, as I’m taking on some duties with his business writing company at the start of next year. So we get to trade insults in two different professional contexts. 

Professional news. I’ve started some part-time consulting work on retainer, and part of my duties involves promoting a business called Hekaia. You’ll hear more from this on my social media in the next week or so. 

This is a business in Turkey, a factory that produces hand-made clothing and children’s toys. The factory is staffed entirely by Syrian refugee women, and it’s one of the few places in Turkey where otherwise marginalized refugees from the Third World War can earn a dignified living.

Learn more at the website at the link, and I’ll be talking a little more over the next while about the promotional event we’ve planned for next weekend.

And that’s all. Just a diary tonight. Sometime Sunday, my review of the Doctor Who season finale should be up.

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