Friday, July 31, 2009

Dress Code Stuff

[Insert Press Release and reh photos from Dress Code]

Upcoming Shows

At the Ennotville Library:
Commedia! - A Comedy
A scripted revival of a scenario from this hilarious Italian genre
July 23rd—August 8th
Vaudeville - A Variety Show
Join us for this throw-back to the show-stopping comedians of yesteryear!
August 13th—August 29th


At the Belwood Hall:
5 Women Wearing the Same Dress
*A comedy by Alan Ball, Directed by Stacey Ingham
July 30th, 31st, August 1st
Dress Code
A new play by Eric Goudie, Directed by Becky Branton
August 20th, 21st and 22nd

All shows , dates and venues subject to change.
*Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

5 Women Wearing the Same Dress Returns




Just a quick reminder that our held-over production of 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress re-opens tonight for 3 shows only at the Belwood Hall. If you missed the chance to see this great show the first time around don’t make the same mistake again!

Call 519-780-7593 for tickets, or get them at the door.

Upcoming Shows

At the Ennotville Library:
Commedia! - A Comedy
A scripted revival of a scenario from this hilarious Italian genre
July 23rd—August 8th
Vaudeville - A Variety Show
Join us for this throw-back to the show-stopping comedians of yesteryear!
August 13th—August 29th


At the Belwood Hall:
5 Women Wearing the Same Dress
*A comedy by Alan Ball, Directed by Stacey Ingham
July 30th, 31st, August 1st
Dress Code
A new play by Eric Goudie, Directed by Becky Branton
August 20th, 21st and 22nd

All shows , dates and venues subject to change.
*Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Commedia Continues

Tomorrow night at the Ennotville Library I’ll be launching into week two of Commedia, my solo version of a classic scenario from the Commedia Dell’Arte. Please come and see it. I’d love to actually see if I can perform this play, and there’s only one thing that I need in order to do that – you!

Upcoming Shows

At the Ennotville Library:
Commedia! - A Comedy
A scripted revival of a scenario from this hilarious Italian genre
July 23rd—August 8th
Vaudeville - A Variety Show
Join us for this throw-back to the show-stopping comedians of yesteryear!
August 13th—August 29th


At the Belwood Hall:
5 Women Wearing the Same Dress
*A comedy by Alan Ball, Directed by Stacey Ingham
July 30th, 31st, August 1st
Dress Code
A new play by Eric Goudie, Directed by Becky Branton
August 20th, 21st and 22nd

All shows , dates and venues subject to change.
*Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Call for actors

We are still in desperate need of people for our upcoming productions!

Between summer, the economy and a whole host of mysterious factors it seems that people are shying away from getting involved like never before.

Help us stop the bleeding! This is your chance to shine! At Grinder Productions it never matters whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a fresh-faced rookie – all are welcome. But there’s never been a better time than now to get involved in a show with us, as there are many, many parts that must be played.

It won’t always be this good – take advantage of this excellent chance to show us what you’re made of.

Interested? Call 519-780-7593 or e-mail grinder@grinderproductions.org.

Upcoming Shows

At the Ennotville Library:
Commedia! - A Comedy
A scripted revival of a scenario from this hilarious Italian genre
July 23rd—August 8th
Vaudeville - A Variety Show
Join us for this throw-back to the show-stopping comedians of yesteryear!
August 13th—August 29th


At the Belwood Hall:
5 Women Wearing the Same Dress
*A comedy by Alan Ball, Directed by Stacey Ingham
July 30th, 31st, August 1st
Dress Code
A new play by Eric Goudie, Directed by Becky Branton
August 20th, 21st and 22nd

All shows , dates and venues subject to change.
*Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Monday, July 27, 2009

August Newsletter now available

The August Newsletter is now available – a bit early, but chock-full of important information on upcoming shows. Check it out right here!

Upcoming Shows

At the Ennotville Library:
Commedia! - A Comedy
A scripted revival of a scenario from this hilarious Italian genre
July 23rd—August 8th
Vaudeville - A Variety Show
Join us for this throw-back to the show-stopping comedians of yesteryear!
August 13th—August 29th


At the Belwood Hall:
5 Women Wearing the Same Dress
*A comedy by Alan Ball, Directed by Stacey Ingham
July 30th, 31st, August 1st
Dress Code
A new play by Eric Goudie, Directed by Becky Branton
August 20th, 21st and 22nd

All shows , dates and venues subject to change.
*Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Actor Prepares – Commedia!

In keeping with this summer’s themes of abandonment and unfulfilled obligations I’m now pleased to invite you to the original monodrama entitled Commedia, opening this Thursday at the Ennotville Library, and running until August 8th.

After the few people who had committed to this project decided to drop out I was faced with a conundrum – how could I produce a show without any actors? More importantly, how could I maintain what little momentum that I had going this season in Ennotville, and stave off a financial disaster that would almost certainly force the company into insolvency?

Well I did what I often do whenever I’m faced with a seemingly impossible situation – I went for a long, long walk.

When I see the open road roll out before me like a an empty draughtsman’s table I begin to see the totality of whatever it is I’m dealing with. Away from the phone, the e-mails, and the resources on my hard drive I begin to see the problem as it exists in my mind, as opposed to anyone else’s. The opinions and advice of others, though almost always well-intentioned, often takes on undo importance unless I can see how each and every bit of minutiae that forms my problem relates to every other.

My walk to solve this problem took a few hours – I was even beginning to wonder if it was going to take a few walks – but finally I found the answer: the monodrama.

For this production, I will be playing all the parts myself, telling the story using ten different characters, instantly switching between them (and perhaps one, neutral narrator-figure). For any of you who may be familiar with Dan Needles Wingfield plays, this is a similar format (though I don’t dare claim to be the next Rod Beattie).

The format itself isn’t new at all, in fact. Mediaeval bards were constantly adding characterization to their stories, so perhaps I’m more of a storyteller than I am an actor, in the end.

What I’m asking of you is simple – come and see the play.

But more than even your presence, what I’m really interested in are your thoughts. If you can’t come, leave me a comment, or drop me a line sometime. What motivates you to come to a show? What motivates you to be in a show?

I’m on a journey this summer – that much is for sure. Things are changing quickly, and it’s in this time of economic uncertainty that the new Grinder is being formed. I guess what I’m really asking you is this – what’s it going to take for you to be a part of it?

Monday, July 20, 2009

HELD OVER – 5 Women Coming Back to Belwood!

They’re coming ba-a-ack…..!

5 Women Wearing the Same Dress, the hit comedy by Alan Ball that took the Belwood Summer Theatre by storm is coming back. Grinder Productions has secured the play for a limited three-show engagement July 30th, 31st and August 1st at the Belwood Lions Hall.

5 Women has played to rave reviews the world over, and last weekend’s production was no exception. From the raw, powerful emotions of each of the characters came joke after gut-busting joke. The play’s universal themes of love, faith and the need to reach out struck a chord with so many people that Grinder’s Creative and Executive Director Eric Goudie felt he had no choice but to bring the show back.

“Pink! Pink! Pink!” yells Goudie enthusiastically. “I don’t know what it is about this show – maybe it’s the girls, maybe it’s the guy, or maybe it’s the dresses, but something about this show has gotten through to a lot of people. We’ve faced a lot of difficulties this season, so I’m very thankful to Stacey and her team for putting together such a stellar production.”

Director Stacey Ingham sums up the meaning and the message behind 5 Women like this: “This show for women who understand, and men who want to,” she says.

Please be advised that this show does contain some coarse language and mature humour that may not be suitable for younger audiences.


5 Women Wearing the Same Dress re-opens on Thursday, July 30th at 8pm at the Belwood Hall, with subsequent performances Friday July 31st at 8pm and Saturday, August 1st at 2pm. Tickets are $15 each, and are available by calling 519-780-7593, or at the door.


Friday, July 17, 2009

A new addition to our Summer Season

Because of the confusion surround when the kids go back to school this September I've decided that summer will last for one more week.

On September 3rd, 4th and 5th at the Ennotville Library we'll be presenting a one-week run of a very special pair of shows. They are called Hitchin' at the Junction, and The Heart of Eden.

These are two shows that I have been wanting to bring to the stage for a long, long time in full-blown productions. Heart of Eden has had a few tentative starts as a staged reading (and I've made a few tweaks to it along the way) but fate has conspired against us whenever we have wanted to bring these shows forward.

Now the time is right to do them. I think you'll really enjoy these two little shows. Hitchin' at the Junction is a "gay-nineties" melodrama-type show, with lots of cheering on the hero and booing the villain. The Heart of Eden is a heart-warming romantic musical comedy.

Both of these shows are part of a larger project here at Grinder, a project that I've spoken a bit about before, called Hopeless Romantics. These plays will be a part of that new division of our company, and will be available for touring to weddings and other special events, to provide live, light theatrical entertainments to anyone who wants to book them.

If you're getting married soon, or you know someone who is, please let them know about these two little shows. Who knows, it might be just what they are looking for to make their special day unique.

Here's to making the summer last as long as we can.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

5 Women Wearing the Same Dress opens Tonight!

It's finally here!

5 Women has been the most talked about show this season in Belwood, and I can't think of a better way to get our season there rolling. Director Stacey Ingham and her cast have put together a wonderful show for you, and it's only running for three days, so please make sure you get out to see this one before it's gone.

Call 519-780-7593 for tickets, or get them online at www.grinderproductions.org. You can take your chances at the door at well, but hopefully not for too much longer!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Commedia!

Just a quick note today to let you know we're just one week away from Commedia, the third show in our Ennotville Summer Theatre season. I'm really looking forward to this one - it will never be the same show twice!

Call 519-780-7593 for tickets, or get them online at www.grinderproductions.org.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dress Code

The third and final show in our Belwood Summer Theatre season is a Grinder Productions world premiere.

Dress Code is a play set in a totalitarian future, where all forms of personal expression through fashion have been banned, and everyone is forced to wear the same generic, government-approved clothing. A few teenagers form an underground resistance to the Draconian dress laws staging fashion shows in secret, learning from each other about the clothing of days gone by, and guessing at what uses these strange garments might have had to the people of the early 21st century. Hanging over their every movement is the threat that The Fashion Police, the armed gangs of thugs who brutally enforce the Dress Code, will come barging through the door and arrest them at any minute.

If George Orwell had a sense of humour, this is the play he would write. It's light-hearted and, at least by today's standards, incredibly innocent, but it carries some important messages about tolerance, diversity, and the importance of self-expression. If nothing else, there's plenty to laugh at.

The play marks the directorial debut of Becky Branton, last seen as the Co-Director for Dulcitus, the first play in our Ennotville season. Branton is no stranger to the Belwood stage herself, having last appeared in our first-ever play in Belwood, the smash hit The Melville Boys. She brings ample experience both inside and outside Grinder, as well as her unique ability to find humour in almost any situation, so I'm looking forward to seeing what she will come up with in rehearsals.

Dress Code runs August 20th to 22nd at the Belwood Hall. Please call 519-780-7593 for tickets, or get them online at www.grinderproductions.org.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Our Girls

The second show in our "Dress-up" Season at the Belwood Summer Theatre is a bit of an enigma. I've avoided talking about it too much as we're having issues with the royalties people getting back to me (for some reason they aren't picking up e-mails sent to multiple different addresses - now I'm playing long-distance phone tag), but here's the synopsis from the website, just to give you a hint about what this play holds in store:

The Lovejoys have named their sons "Jesse," "Francis" and "Vivian," because Mildred's Aunt Jessie doesn't like boys. Aunt Jessie lives in England, so it has been easy to deceive her. She must never know that the "girls" who are to inherit her money are boys—very real boys. They "scrap" with Chester Wattles, are accused by Mrs. Wattles of breaking her windows, and act as other boys do. Each will receive $5,000 on his sixteenth birthday, and more when he comes of age. Vivian is nearly sixteen, and Father plans to borrow part of the $5,000 to expand his business. Then the blow falls! Aunt Jessie has decided to pay a visit and bestow on her eldest "niece" in person the $5,000. What can be done? The boys must be girls—during Aunt Jessie's visit. The boys are won over, dressed as girls and carefully rehearsed. Aunt Jessie arrives and finds Mildred's "daughters" strange creatures indeed. All is well, however, until Vivian decides to put on his own clothes to see Phyllis, his girl, whom he has had to neglect. Aunt Jessie sees him slipping out—Vivian, her niece, in shirt, pants, and cap, and cropped hair! The truth is out and it looks as though all is lost. But...

Our Girls is a hilarious farce that opens on July 30th and runs to August 1st. at the Belwood Hall. Get your tickets online or by calling 519-780-7593.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Lazy Days of Summer?

Finally Friday.

After what has seemed like a long, perilous and exhausting week we are finally rolling over into the weekend schedule. Both the world's greatest wife and I are feeling the pinch - she was so tired that she staggered out the door this morning with tears in her eyes - and they're making her work so late tonight she may not even be back in time for the 8pm curtain. By the sole virtue of her predicament, I look like I'm doing a little better (consumed though I am with the guilt and sadness of being unable to alleviate her suffering), but I find myself barely able to keep up with the day - I can only think a few seconds ahead, and it's hard to form any sort of coherent thoughts for an extended period of time. My morning cup of java is certainly helping, but I think it will be about 5pm before I roll out of bed on Sunday - if I decide to get up at all.

And all this in the middle of July. This should be a time to relax a little, spend some time with friends and family, and not have to worry as much about work. If things had gone the way I'd envisioned them this summer at Grinder perhaps that would have been the case, or at the very least we'd have been closer to it. Alas, so much for the best-laid plans.

Once again I speak of change, the change we need to make in our outlook, that fundamental re-alignment, so that instead of playing catch-up we're always ahead of the game. Though I'm too tired this morning to feel much like thinking I force myself to look to the future, to see the results of that change, and press on towards the things that must be done to get us there.

I can't do much about the trials of world's greatest wife's job - she's in the one industry that actually benefits from an economic downturn, and her company is the victim of its own remarkable success. But I can do better at Grinder. I can at least make that a pleasant experience for her, and for me - in fact it should never be anything less.

At the end of the day, even at the end of a beautiful summer's day, it's far more desireable and far more healthy to work so you can live, rather than live so you can work.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Thursday Morning Headache

Well, I've made it to Thursday - almost.

Woke up with a pounding headache this morning - undoubtedly due to sleep deprivation and stress, even though yesterday's very productive meetings have proved to significantly decrease, not increase, the stressful items on my plate. Nevertheless, it's still too early for the Advil to kick in, so I'm just struggling through it as best I can.

Tomorrow will, with any luck, be the last of my "real-time" early morning posts. Next week I'll hopefully have these written ahead of time, and I can speak in more eloquent terms about our new marketing staff, updates from the rehearsals of our various and sundry shows, the opening of 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress, and a very special announcement about what's coming to the stage in the not-too-distant future here at Grinder Productions.

So I hope you'll forgive this week's foggy musings - I'm really not at my best in the mornings.

Now I think I might go and lay down for a while.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Belwood Experience

This morning's grogginess is all about Belwood, and our first show of the Belwood Season opening next week, Alan Ball's 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress.

Our performance weeks in Belwood are unlike any other in the company. Situated in one of the farthest reaches of Centre Wellington, Belwood is a bit "out of the way" for both actors and audiences, and we have to work especially hard to make sure that our out-of-town patrons make it to the show on time. Even for many locals, making the "trek" out to Belwood is something of an event. It's all enough to make for just a hint of the exotic in the air.

And visiting Belwood isn't just about coming to a play. When we're out there it's too far to go home for supper, so we quite often wind up at the Belwood Super Snax or the Highland Pines in between shows and rehearsals. We'll go for ice cream at the general store and the go and watch the teenagers diving off the bridge, the boaters racing up the lake and all the other sites and sounds of a tourist mecca plying it's trade in the all-too-brief Canadian summer.

It's actually kind of amazing that we get to be a small part of that, and it's actually quite the rush to drive into town with a truck full of scenery, pass over the bridge, and see, just at the corner of Queen and Broadway, the Belwood Lions sign, emblazoned with the words "Belwood Summer Theatre present..." and the name of our show.

We didn't ask the Lions to do this, thankful as we are that they have. This is just the sort of warm welcome any visitor to Belwood is likely to receive.

So come on out and see 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress, Thursday July 16th to Saturday July18th at the Belwood Hall. And while you're there please take a little time to enjoy the Belwood Experience - trust me, it's well worth the journey.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Question for you

The real-time posts continue this morning, as it's 6:47am and I've already been up for over an hour.

It's a very good thing I'm very much in love with my wife. If there were ever any doubts about my faithfulness, I should think getting up at 5:30am after a 25 years of being a night owl should lay them to rest.

I have all the respect in the world for people who are productive at this hour of the morning. I am not one of those people, nor am I likely ever to be. My body clock is so hard-wired to be at the top of my game for an 8pm curtain that these past eight months have comes as shock treatments to my system.

So with that caveat, I launch into my musings for today. This time I'm going to need your help.

I'd like to take greater advantage of the woefully under-utilized comments feature here on blogger, and get some of your opinions on the casting conundrum that seems to perpetually plague our company.

If you were in my position, what would you do to "get people to do" as the world's greatest wife calls it? I'm talking about the process of gathering actors, offering them parts, getting them to accept, and then getting them to commit to the entire process of rehearsals and performances.

As simple as that may sound in theory, it's proving to be almost fatally difficult in practice - we just lost another actor this morning, who hadn't bothered to check the dates of the performance before committing to the show.

Why?

I'm open to suggestions as to why we seem to have such difficulty with getting commitments out of actors here at Grinder, and why our actors can renege on their commitments with such ease and diregard for everyone else involved in the production (and the company).

I want to know what you think we're doing wrong, but I also want to know how you think we can fix it.

The world's greatest mother-in-law likes to quote someone who called into 570 News Radio host Jeff Allan one day, with the simple question "What the hell is wrong with people?" which is, in a way, I guess what I'm asking here.

What the hell is wrong with people? What the hell is wrong with me?

I welcome your thoughts, comments, suggestions.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My Helium Profile... in case you wanted to know

Eric Goudie is a freelance writer and theatrical entrepreneur enjoying a rich, diverse and fulfilling career as a creative person in the arts.

As a teenager, Eric had a poem published by the Poetry Institute of Canada, and was a recipient of the Dorothy Shoemaker Literary Award for Fiction. He wrote, produced and directed his first play, "To Be a Friend" while still in high school and participated for two years in the Lions Club Effective Speaking Contest, each time advancing to the pronvicial finals in his age category.

After earning his undergraduate degree in English and Drama from the University of Guelph Eric started Grinder Productions, realizing his dream of running his own theatre company. His first play was an original production called Seeing Red, or the story of Little Red Riding Hood your Mother didn't tell you, which was subsequently published as part of the Canadian Amateur Playwrights Catalogue through Questex Consulting Ltd.

Since then Eric has gone on to write many more full-length and one-act plays, almost exclusively for production with his own company, though theatres from across Canada and the United States have read and expressed interest in his works. He has also published a how-to manual for Production Managers entitled "Tech Theatre 101," which is available for purchase (along with many of his plays) at his online storefront at lulu.com.

Besides writing plays Eric is also active on Grinder's Grumblings, his company's blog, where he serves up daily information about what's going on at Grinder, as well as more general thoughts on the evolving state of theatrical practice in Canada and around the world.

Eric's newest literary pursuit is writing for Helium, where he has amassed a large and diverse portfolio of articles on subjects ranging from performing Shakespeare to tips for preventing mailbox vandalism. He is an editor for the site, as well as the Channel Steward for Theatre and Drama, and enjoys the opportunity to collaborate with his fellow writers to constantly improve the quality and quantity of writing that can be found on Helium.

Besides writing, Eric volunteers his time and expertise as a technician at the Fergus Grand Theatre, performing regular annual maintenance on the equipment and serving as a consultant on the purchase of new lighting, sound and staging gear for the building. He has also volunteered with Guelph Little Theatre, Galt Little Theatre, the Owen Sound Summerfolk Festival and many, many others.

Eric has worked professionally as a Stage Manager, Assistant Stage Manager, Set Designer, Lighting Designer, Production Manager and Technician, and has been involved in projects with some of the best and brightest in Canadian Theatre, including Norm Foster, Brian MacKay and Doug Beattie, as well as recording artists La Toya Lesmond, The McCarrel Sisters and Juno Award winner Carlos Morgan.

Eric lives in a 150-year-old log cabin on a farm just north of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, with two cats and Julie, the love of his life.


Click here for my complete "About Me" page, where you'll find links to all of my articles.

New Week, Fresh Start

It's a real-time blog post this morning - no carefully pre-written articles today, just me and my groggy, caffeine-slurping self at 7:04am on a Monday morning.

I have to admit, last week was a bit of a wash-out. I wouldn't go so far as to call it the worst week in the history of the company, but it came pretty darn close. Suffice to say it wasn't pretty, and I was in a pretty foul mood by Saturday night, and it's been only thanks to a week of TLC from the world's greatest wife that I have been able to drag myself out of bed this morning and get back to the grindstone.

So by virtue of last week being so bad, this week almost certainly must be better. If nothing else I feel a bit better about it already, and that has to help the entire process along. But with any luck this will be the week that a multitude of smaller projects that have been on the go for some time will finally coalesce into some larger results - results that will both make my job easier and increase our chances of making it out of this summer season in a sound financial position.

I've spoken of change a few times on this blog recently (perhaps a few too many times - I'm starting to hear echos of Obama). It's very hard to embrace change, and even harder to embrace change without letting go of your dreams - a fine balance that I think is essential, for if I simply wanted to change things at this company we'd switch to a steady diet of low-rent musicals and English Farce, which might put bums in seats, but certainly wouldn't fulfill the creative vision that forms the narrative of Grinder Productions.

Another day, another dollar.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Last Fail

I'm seething with rage this morning.

I've just lost another actor. One who had already committed. One who was in it for the long haul. One I was starting to trust.

One who would have stayed if there had been more actors around him, more people who had said "Yes - I want to be in this play too."

Can I blame the guy? Well maybe, maybe not, but I won't.

I'm not mad at him. I'm mad at myself.

I'm filled with hatred for the way in which I can't seem convince people to do something that they already love to do. If I could torture myself, coerce my being into forcing out of me whatever this defect in me is I would do it, no matter what the pain.

But I've been through that pain. I've searched deep within myself, and I have found many answers, just not the one for this particular problem.

I'm tempted to lash out, to simply throw my hands up and scream "What is wrong with you people!" but I know that isn't the answer. After all, who constitutes "you people" in the first place? The question I should be screaming is "What is wrong with me!"

We have a new marketing and casting person now here at Grinder. You're likely to be hearing from him in the next couple of weeks. His job will be two-fold. First and foremost, he's here to sell tickets, and execute promotional campaigns that put bums in seats. Secondly, it will be his job to fill the casting needs of each particular show, whether I'm directing it or someone else is. This could include inviting people to auditions, or putting interested actors in touch with directors who are looking for a particular sort of person for a particular sort of show.

I hope Ricky will provide some relief for the two biggest problems we currently face, getting patrons out to the show and, as the world's greatest wife calls it "getting people to do." I hope that he will be able to address these two shortcomings, and finally clear the way for us to make some real progress here at Grinder (which in every other creative and operational respect is more than ready to move forward).

The Birth of Merlin is a wonderful play. I adore the premise, the plot (convoluted as it may be) and the cast of wonderful characters. But it's also The Last Fail. It's the last play that will be fatally wounded by casting issues. It's the last play that I will contact over 40 people for, only to be met with everything from polite "no thank-you's" to deafening silences. It's the last play that will suffer from my shortcomings.

It will be the Last Fail for one of two possible reasons. Either things will turn around and get better, or they won't, and I'll be forced to walk away.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned change on this blog. I did not choose change for the sake of change, or even change to take advantage of new opportunities. I was forced to change my outlook on Grinder because I've recently changed my outlook on life.

Grinder always has been and always will be my passion, but now it must move over and make room in my life for my one true love. She deserves more than I could ever hope to give her, and far more than I ever could provide from my activities with Grinder (my earnings from which have rarely even been enough to provide for my own meager needs).

And while the world's greatest wife is perfectly capable and willing to provide for herself, our burden is now a shared one, and I don't believe that cooking a few meals, removing a few spiders and renovating the basement amounts to pulling my share of the weight in our relationship.

Perhaps it would be enough, were it not for the emotional duress that casting issues at Grinder put the both of us under. I, perhaps, deserve to lay awake at night worrying about getting a show cast. She does not.

It would destroy my soul to walk away, to give up everything I've worked so hard for, to forget the almost 15 years of blood, sweat and tears I've now invested in the theatre industry, and go get a menial job in a fast-food restaurant somewhere.

Even working as a part-time burger slut would be enough to break my spirit and snuff out my creative fire, so even if I had the time I wouldn't be able to do the sort of work that keeps me going. I would be a broken, unhappy man, and would likely return to the self-loathing, inferiority, fear and social alienation that dominated my teenage years.

I've fought long and hard to break free from my younger self, and since I've met Jules I've felt happier and more at peace than at any other time in my life. I don't want to go back to who I was, not just because I would hate it, but because it would have an affect on her too, and our life together would be filled with much less happiness and adventure than it is now.

But it still would be better than what's in the past. Giving up Grinder would destroy my soul. But I'll do it before I let it destroy my marriage.

So to you, gentle reader, I hope you understand why The Birth of Merlin is The Last Fail, and the necessity of bringing change to our company. If you're on the membership list, you may be contacted sometime soon, and asked quite simply "How would you like to be involved at Grinder Productions?"

Don't mis-understand me, I'm not giving up just yet: think of this as the "Hail Mary" play in football - time is running down, we're out of time-outs, and still well out of our kicker's field-goal range - our only hope is to empty out the back field, send every receiver deep, and hope someone can get into an open lane to catch a 30 yard pass before the quarterback gets clobbered.

Hut!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Birth of Merlin Opens tonight!


We need an audience. Check this out - it's a great piece of reader's theatre - something you won't get to experience very often.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day...

... I'm spending it with the wife!

More witticisms coming tommorrow - I'm sure of it.

Grinder