Friday, November 27, 2009

It's Friday

It's Friday. I'm not very coherent by Fridays anymore - these 5:20am starts give my night owl brain a headache. So I'm trying to push things a little harder Monday to Thursday so that I can relax a little on Fridays, at least in the afternoon. I still won't be able to give up working completely - this is no mini-vacation - but if I play my cards right maybe I won't be caught trying to complete my hardest tasks on my weakest day.

With that, it's Friday, and I've got way too much work to do. See you on Monday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Grinder and Friends

Grinder and Friends opens one week from today. Get your tickets by clicking on the "Buy Tickets: link in the sidebar.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ah, Creativity

One of the nice things about not having a lot of shows on the go right means that I have more time for focus on writing. Not as much as I'd like, of course, but for the first time in months I'm finally starting to feel like a writer again.

My process is improving. I've abandoned the keyboard and returned to pen and paper for the buil of my creative work (though I still type most non-fiction work directly). It may be difficult for some people who think I'm quite immersed in modern technology to believe that I write with a ball-point pen and paper, but for me it seems that it's only when I put pen to paper that brain and hand work in harmony.

I have to admit that my wrist is a little sore, as often happens when I've been away from writing for a while, and I'm flipping back and forth between messy printing and messy cursive writing. All the same it feels like I've come home as a writer, and that after much searching I've once again found the conduit for excorsising my litany of thoughts, notions, horrors, demons and days of reckoning.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New additions to the 2010 Summer Season at the Ennotville Library

I'm working on a few new opportunities to engage our members in 2010, to get more of the people who audition for us involved in more shows with us more often.

Next summer we'll be adding three new series of programs to our Ennotville Season. The first will be a series of Children's shows, ten one-act plays for young audiences, using our younger members whenever possible. These plays will run on Saturday mornings throughout the summer.

The second will also be an addition to our Saturday line-up with some short plays and musical entertainments, starting every day at noon. The lunch-time series will be a chance for our members to showcase some of their more specialized skills and talents.

Finally, for selected weekends only we'll be offering an "after hours" series, with shows starting at 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights. These shows will feature language and content we wouldn't normally be able to bring you in our mainstage shows.

So as you can see there's a lot that we have coming up. Preparations continue on what promises to be our most exciting season ever!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Fog

The thoughts are difficult this morning - I'm on my second cup and I'm still search of this week's posts.
I do have lots to tell you about the preparations for our upcoming season, but at this point in the process what needs to be done more interal than external, so there's only so much of interest that I can tell you right now.

I should (and perhaps I will) give you some links to my recent articles on Helium, as I've put up a lot of good stuff there recently. Click on the link in the sidebar to go to my About Me page on the site.

The Fergus Grand Theatre users collaborative meets again this week, so there could be some more good news on that front as well.

No shortage of things happening, yet my creative juices abandon me. I guess I'll just have to meddle on through as best I can - check in tomorrow to see how we do.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I don't begrudge...

In case you haven't heard there's an awful lot of theatre going on in Centre Wellington at the moment. The Elora Community Theatre, The Main Street Players, Climing Vine Productions and the Not So Grand all have shows coming up this fall, and the Vision Theatre's annual Agatha Christie play is going into rehearsals.

And those are just the shows that I know about - there's probably a lot more.

And yes, Grinder is conspicuously absent from the party. Sadly this is a necessary part of our revival, a retreat to the Ennotville Library, by far our most forgiving, most reliable venue and audience. With the economic situation being what it was there was just no way we could have afforded the Grand this fall, or taken a chance on more shows beneath the dancing elephants at the Elora Centre for the Arts (as we lovingingly refer to the ballet classes full of four-year-olds that practice in the room above us during our rehearsals and shows).

But in a way we are there, at least in spirit. Much of the talent featured in these shows first hit the stage with Grinder. We introduced many of the movers and shakers at these companies to each other, and we planted more than a few seeds about the possibility of "making a go of it" and producing a show outside the mainstream established companies. We blazed a lot trails.

I got my invitation to the party on Facebook the other day, but I replied with just a "maybe." I don't begrudge anyone their success, but I don't know that this is a party Grinder Productions should be going to. Perhaps they've all moved on. Perhaps we've moved on. Perhaps it's not the party going on now that we should be worried about missing.

See some theatre at the Grand this fall, and support our local arts scene, and be sure to take some time to visit the Ennotville Library for Grinder and Friends. But if you miss these don't despair - the plans for the next round of parties are already well under way, and I can assure you of our attendance at those.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We've got Gift Certificates!

Give the gift of theatre this holiday season!

Once again Grinder Productions is pleased to offer Gift Certificates for sale from now until December 24th. Gift Certificates for a pair of tickets to any show in the Grinder season are just $24, a savings of $6 off of regular-priced tickets. Good for any show or any venue in the 2010 season.

And for the true theatre lover on your list why not get The Grinder Card? $100 will get eleven admissions to any show in any venue at any time – a savings of over $5 per person per show!

E-mail us at or call 519-780-7593 to place your order!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Talent Call

Do you have a band? A magic routine? Some trick-performing dogs perhaps?

I'm looking for people who are interested in showcasing their talents in a series of lunchtime shows on Saturdays this summer at the Ennotville Library. I'm hoping we can do some short plays in that space as well, but I'd also like to give our members a chance to show the world their unique abilities.

Have you been looking for the chance to let everyone know how talented you are? This could be the opportunity for you! E-mail me at and let's talk.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stand by, Mackenzie

This story will be published in 12 installments in the Grinder Productions newsletter in 2010, as well as here on the blog:

Mackenzie Kern is a skinny 18 year-old with a Grade 12 education, a book keeper mother and a lay preacher father. At the end of her last year of high school her best and only friend Bethany moves to the city with her boyfriend, leaving Mackenzie all alone in her whistlestop hometown of Sheridan's Falls.

Bored, broke and completely unsure of where to take her life next Mackenzie gets a call from the Technical Director of the summer stock theatre troupe that has moved into the Lion's Hall for the summer. He's heard that Mackenzie helped out with the community theatre's production of The Grapes of Wrath last winter - would she like to come and be a part of the crew for a professional show?

Thinking she's just been given a job offer Mackenzie readily accepts, but soon realizes that she's just a volunteer, and that these "professionals" aren't nearly as adept at putting on plays as she thought they'd be.

But on the day before she plans to go to the TD and tell him she's outta there something happens that will make this one summer that Mackenzie will never forget....

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Rebuilding Continues

Another Monday morning, another batch of unexpected optimism.

The world's greatest wife is heading out on a road trip this morning, so we actually got to sleep in a little bit. She's gone overnight Wednesday-Thursday so I don't know what I'll do to fill in the hours then, but for now it's actually light out while I'm writing this, so I guess that's helping me get this week off to a good start.

Lots planned for this week, including a major component for the 2010 newsletter (more on that tomorrow) and the first step in a comprehensive clean-up and re-organization of the rehearsal hall. I also hope to make major strides in my writing this week, and finally get back up to where I'd like to be at Helium.

But my biggest goal this week will be fleshing out the 2010 season. Once thought to be largely complete a number of new opportunities have recently come to mind that have me searching for suitable programming once again. These new opportunities have come about through revelation, not outside factors, so it's important that I sit on these ideas for a time until I'm sure I'm not just thinking crazy (as people would argue I've been known to do).

So yes, we're rebuilding. Rebuilding the structure of a company, rebuilding the way we do things and rebuilding the way we see ourselves.

Construction continues... put on your hard hats.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grinder and Friends

Grinder and Friends at the Ennotville Library

Grinder Productions is pleased to present Grinder and Friends, a holiday variety show for the whole family December 3rd, 4th and 5th at the Ennotville Library.

After a long spring, summer and fall Grinder Productions will close its 2009 season with a show filled with music, laughter and plenty of Christmas cheer.

“I’ve wanted to do a show like this for a long time,” says Eric Goudie, Grinder Productions Creative and Executive Director. “Variety shows are a lot of fun, both for the actors and the audience, because you never know what’s going to happen next.”

The show consists of about a dozen members of the company performing in a variety of acts, including singing, dancing and story-telling. Two short plays will also be on the bill – August Strindberg’s “The Stronger” and an adaptation of O. Henry’s classic Christmas story “The Gifts of the Magi.” Rumour has it that there will even be an appearance by a jolly old fat man in a red suit!

The company will also be selling Gift Certificates at the show (and right up to December 24th) for performances in its 2010 season. Gift Certificates for a pair of tickets to any show in the Grinder season are just $24, a savings of $6 off of regular-priced tickets.

The show runs December 3rd, 4th and 5th at 8pm at the Ennotville Library, with an additional 2pm Saturday matinee. Call 519-780-7593 for tickets or purchase them online at

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Directors Wanted

Do you have what it takes to be a director? Have you directed other shows with other companies in the past and are looking for a new challenge? Do you want a unique opportunity to be a part of something amazing and help take Grinder Productions to new heights?
If so, I want to hear from you. E-mail and let's talk about you directing a play for us in the 2010 season.

So now I'm on a health kick

The world's greatest wife and I went swimming the past Sunday. I'm walking for about 90 minutes every weekday morning now. Lunch has become what used to pass for a 9pm snack and our suppers are looking more and more like culinary homages to portion control. Somehow, I'm on a health kick.
It's not at the prodding of the world's greatest wife, oddly enough - she's from the fill-em-up-until-they-explode school of farm-table cuisine, so while she eats very sensibly herself she does sometimes worry that my plate isn't exactly heaping (or that when it is, I can't clean it).
Sadly, as per every other health kick I've ever been on, this improved diet and exercise is having a negligible impact on both physique and energy levels - no "Biggest Loser" dramatic results for me. My only hope is that these incremental changes will, over time, make a quantifiable difference.
Pass the soy burgers (not! - I'm going healthy, not crazy).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

On a Monday

Another week begins and with it comes a flurry (0f new activity, that is). Here at the homestead we're busy getting ready for winter: putting up the bird feeder, putting away the lawn furniture and roto-tilling the garden one last time. the world's greatest wife tells me her citified co-workers marvel at her stories of country living - driving over snow-covered roads and feeding the chickens and other mundane minutiae that she and I take for granted.
On the Grinder front two important projects are under way. The first one, obviously, is Grinder and Frinds, out holiday variety show. Rehearsals for the short play "The Gifts of the Magi" that will be a key part of the show are now going on, and this week much of the promotional aspects of the show will begin in earnest.
The other big thing I'm working on are the preparations for our 2010 season. I' ve pretty much got the summer shows picked out and now I'm solidifying our plans for the fall, when I home we'll be able to continue doing shows in multiple venues. I've decided to include more original plays in our programming from now on, so I'm also spending a lot o more time writing the material that you'll see on stage next summer.
Se here we go again for another week of more-or-less controlled chaos. With any luck it's going to be a good one.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Follow me on Twitter

Yes, you too can be one of my tweeps!

You can find me under the handle grinderpro


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Whole Lotto Helium

Here's a ton of links to my Helium Articles on Theatre - there's something here for everyone - enjoy!

Articles on Acting:

How to Create an Acting Resume

Steps to Success in Acting

How to Become a Broadway Actor

Is show business in your child’s future?

Are Great Actors born Talented?

Articles on Shakespeare:

How to Study Shakespeare

The Importance of Excellent Diction when Performing Shakespeare

Designing Sets for Shakespeare’s Productions

Sexuality in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

The Performance History of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Effects of Shortening the plays of Shakespeare

Theatre in Shakespeare’s Time

Articles on Community/School Theatre:

Theatre: Supporting your local arts scene

Getting Involved in Community Theatre

Why Theatres should join Community Organizations

Key ways for teachers to Direct successful plays

Why it is Important to Introduce Children to Live Theatre

Articles on Theatrical History, Literature and Criticism:

Exploring Medieval Drama

The Best Elizabethan Plays and Playwrights

An Overview of the major characters in A Streetcar Named Desire

Theatre in the 1990’s

Commentary: What do Theatre Critics Actually Do?

Environmental Theatre

Post-modern Theatre

Thoughts on the Proscenium Theatre

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grinder and Friends is here!

Click on the title of this post and get your tickets now!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fresh Starts

I'm on a brand-new internet connection this morning!

Thanks to the world's greatest wife needing a telecommuting option for the snowy days in the winter I'm working this morning on a new something-or-other stick that's much, much faster than dial-up. I have to be careful now not to go over our montly data amounts (or else it starts costing us more money) but the freedom to work anywhere (no phone line to hook up) and the luxury of actually being able to do things online without waiting all day has put me in a pretty good mood (oh yeah, and the extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning didn't hurt either).

Newsletter will be out tomorrow, for those of you who may be wondering. This week I'm also working on updating the website - going to take another stab at the photo gallery (again, much easier without the dial-up) so if there's anyone out there who's got some pictures from a past Grinder Productions show and doesn't mind sharing them I would love to include them this time around - though I expect the gallery will be a perpetual work-in-progress, and we just don't have pictures available from every single show we've ever done.

I've got a busy week coming up, but I'm feeling pretty good about it. We're in a rebuilding phase here at Grinder, and I think that if I stay smart about it this week could go a long way towards making our future success a reality.

Here's to a fresh start on a Monday morning.