Interview with singer/songwriter Melanie Peterson

Kat Leonard:

Oh, sweet Melanie Peterson, how I love thee!

Please give her a listen and consider contributing to her crowdfunding campaign to make her new album. :) xo

Originally posted on life with more cowbell:

10626394_10152593681189952_5923693435605547050_oI met Toronto-based singer/songwriter Melanie Peterson about a year ago at Cameron House during She’s Listening II, a music event fundraiser for Ovarian Cancer Canada. Captured by her cheery yet melancholy sounds, I picked up a copy of her Unbreakable CD – she’s been aptly described as “Mary Poppins with a broken heart.” We’ve kept in touch on social media since then, and I learned that she’s recently launched an Indiegogo campaign for her sophomore album and released the very catchy, poppy single “Fallback Plan” (be sure to visit the campaign page to hear the song). I chatted with Peterson recently about the new record and the fundraising campaign:

LWMC: Hey, busy lady. You’ve been getting ready to record your second album. What’s it called, and what can you tell us about the inspiration and genesis of this new music?

MP: Truth be told, I’ve yet to hit…

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An Open Letter To All Of My Friends Who Take Selfies

Kat Leonard:

Yeah, long live the selfie! This is a great perspective on the importance of selfies by Anne Theriault! An excerpt:

[Selfies are a way of saying, “I love myself, and I will fight anyone who tries to change that fact.”

Selfies are not a question. They’re not asking “Do you think I’m pretty?”

Selfies are a statement: “I am here.”

I see you.

I love you.

You matter.

Your selfies are inspirational. That might sound corny, but it’s true. When I see you love yourself, it helps me love myself. I suspect the same is true for lots of other people who see your pictures.

So please keep taking selfies. Please fill my Facebook and Twitter feeds with your wonderful face. Every picture you post fills me with so much joy. I love seeing you.]

A note to Anne herself: Thank you for writing this. I value the selfie so much that I am doing a whole show aimed to encourage healthy body image and self esteem. I call it Myselfie! :) <3

http://katleonard.com/2015/04/09/new-project-announced-myselfie/

Originally posted on The Belle Jar:

Dear Friends Who Take Selfies,

I want you to know that I love it when you post pictures of yourself. I know selfies get a lot of bad press, but I think they’re rad. They give me a little window into your life, and you’d be amazed at how much I can get out of one little photo.

I love your pictures because I love seeing what you’re wearing – the outfits you build give me ideas about how to mix it up with my own wardrobe, and seeing you work your shit gives me courage to try clothing that I otherwise might have thought was too outlandish or revealing.

I love seeing how you do your hair and makeup. You look like a hot babe and I wish you would make YouTube tutorials explaining how you get your eyeliner just so. I want you to post pictures every time you change your…

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Rockin’ out with Supertash & guest Kat Leonard @ Breakdown EP launch party

Kat Leonard:

As always life is better with Cowbell! Cowbell was there at the Double Whammy birthday bash Myselfie premiere and Supertash Breakdown EP release and took notes!

And ALSO created one of the best birthday gifts EVER!

JOCK

Me loving my Jockstrap and Cowbell!

Originally posted on life with more cowbell:

unnamedIt was a super fantastic night of music, friends and celebration at 3030 Dundas West last night, with two reasons to party: Supertash launching her Breakdown EP and Kat Leonard’s birthday (with Leonard performing as the opening act)!

Leonard treated us to a sneak peek of her new solo show in progress My Selfie, a comedic, frank and thought-provoking piece on positive self/body image. More than just an ode to body parts, this is a singing, dancing, storytelling trip in and around the external self – and we are all so much more than the sum of those parts. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for future performances of My Selfie.

Supertash (aka Natasha Jolly) and band rocked our world with tunes from Breakdown, as well as some selections from her last record Before the World Ends. Featuring kick-ass vocals, outstanding musicianship and passionate lyrics –…

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New Show Announced: Show Offs!

New Show Announced: Show Offs on the theme of Firsts!

showoff

May 5, 2015 at Red Sandcastle Theatre 8:00-9:30

This looks like a fun show, eh? I’ll be showing off my #1 hit! Learn the lyrics here and come sing along!

https://youtu.be/p9EIaJxBvAc

An erotic, moving & sharply funny piece of storytelling in Aromas

Originally posted on life with more cowbell:

Aromas 4 Andy Fraser in Aromas – photo by Tim Leyes

It was back to Alumnae Theatre last night, in the Studio this time for the world premiere of the Junes Company’s production of Aromas, written/directed by Andrew Faiz, and starring Andy Fraser. I saw this compelling one-person show when an earlier draft of the play was produced at Red Sandcastle Theatre in September 2014.

Aromas is a solo show that features an ensemble cast of characters, mainly Katalin and her alter-ego Chanel. Ice skater, dancer and party girl Katalin grows bored of her dream job performing with a Swan Lake touring company and stumbles upon the opportunity for a career change – and her working persona Chanel, a professional sex worker, is born.

Throughout her world travels and encounters with diverse people – some of whom have come from extremely harsh and horrific situations, including her Eastern European immigrant parents…

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An Open Letter to Lady Gaga: from my haus to yours

Kat Leonard:

Dear Lady Gaga… please take heed… :) xoxoxox

Originally posted on A new chapter of Lisa Anita Wegner's storytelling.:

Lisa Anita Wegner Lisa Anita Wegner

Dear Gaga,

My name is Lisa and I am a filmmaker, performance artist, curator, storyteller, light bender and space/time traveller. You inspire me tremendously, and I am writing to express my appreciation for what you have sparked in my work, beginning with Queen of the Parade, my first large-scale performance/fashion/video installation and the work that put me on the map as an artist. 

Rise and Fall of The Queen of Jupiter 2016 Rise and Fall of The Queen of Jupiter 2016

In 2008, I had hit hard times – I lost my film production company, all my savings, my heart and my mind. I collapsed getting to the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 and spent the next two years largely unable to function. In the Trauma Therapy Department of Women’s College Hospital, I found art therapy. I started a daily art-making practice that saved my life. I had gone offline and expressing myself in art and…

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Get Your Mic On! I’m interviewed at Fine Productions!

harr

Not every conversation Harrison Fine, Karl Machat and I have is appropriate for public consumption, but this one is.
We did this interview for Get Your Mic On, “the informative podcast hosted by you: recording artists and music industry leaders. Designed with an intention to educate, Get Your Mic On features a new guest co-host each episode.” This time it was me!

Who is Harrison Fine? Many wonderful things!
Personally, he is an upbeat and down-to-earth lover of life full of fun, a good friend always ready with a hug.

Professionally, he is a musician and sound engineer. Head to FineProductions.ca to find out more! This is what I hijacked from there…

[Toronto’s Harrison Fine of FINE Productions doesn’t just usher you into the studio and produce you. He wants to know what makes you tick and why you create the music you do. The award-winning producer, engineer, mixer and songwriter wants to get personal. A recording artist himself — presently readying a new electronic solo project under the alias Opus Eyes— Harrison is well-connected in the songwriter and indie music community, voted Best Producer in Toronto from NOW magazine. Within that world, he takes time to pick the right artists to produce, assessing their lyrics, arrangements and instrumentation. “I do a lot of pre-production,” he says. “If you don’t have good stuff to start, you can’t get good songs in the end.”]

Who is Karl Machat? Also many wonderful things!
Personally, he is a quiet quick-witted genius, a good friend always ready for a hug.
Professionally, he is a musician and mastering engineer. Find out more at Mister’s Mastering House. I stole this from there…

[With over twenty years professional industry experience including quality assurance and duplication, his credits are on hundreds of albums and singles released in Canada, United States, and abroad. A musician himself, he knows and understands both the technical and creative worlds, and gives an empathetic ear to a musician’s needs. An avid listener, with lots of patience, and just a plain passion for music, Karl has the knack for putting the artist and their music in just the right place.]

If you’re looking for original soundscaping or some engineering on your own original work, I highly recommend contacting these dudes. If you’re looking for some good company, I hope you meet these guys. If you’re looking to spend 25 minutes with the three of us but don’t feel like leaving your seat, plug in here and jib jab along with us! Harrison, Karl and Kat.

3

Kat Leonard, Harrison Fine, magic spell, Karl Machat

Enjoy your day, everybuddy, from us 3!
:)

New Project Announced: Myselfie!

Myselfie: A snapshot to share.

melong

I recently did a meditative exercise whereby one mindfully describes their own body parts in a grateful manner. As I was exploring, it came to me that this is my next show. It is is still a work in progress but I aim to create a piece of work that will inspire positive self-love and self-esteem. My goal is to create a meaningful spectacle of word, body part selfie images, song and dance that I can tour with in order to engage and empower, especially within the preteen and teenage group. I may have to mind the cheekiness– though I’m of the belief that a fresh amount of cheek is honest and healthy. I welcome you to join me in this journey and provide feedback as I work this show.

Upcoming dates I will be previewing and workshopping Myselfie bits:

April 30 at Habits Gastropub as part of the WonderFest Comedy and Storytelling series.

wonder

May 3– that’s my birthday! at 3030 Dundas West as part of the Super Tash CD Release bash!

CD BDAY Party Poster JPG

May 30 at Hirut in Toronto…
More deets, dates and dots to come!

And I encourage you to partake in this exercise of going through your body parts in a mindful way. Don’t forget your innards! Here is an example of how I tackled the exercise, in the form of an excerpt from Myselfie.

I feel superbly blessed and I am taking this time to give thanks for what I’ve been given. Behold… Myselfie.

Dear, all everything beating and breathing in the universe, thanks for giving me head. And face. And other great bits. Thank you for my soft silky hair, for being so enticing to others that I benefit from frequent petting. …

Smile, thank you for being there for me and others. You have lightened and heightened a good many mood. They say you light up a room when you arrive, and I know this to be true because whenever I walk into a room with you, everyone within is illuminated–and all the jubilant light reflects back at me. Thank you for the readiness and ease with which you come out to play. You are a weapon for good and I brandish you gladly. Get it? Gladly? …

Feet. I like your shape. I love your toes. I love how they cascade down in size but for the second one that reaches out beyond the crowd. I love that you signify traits that so many of us strive to be in tune with and hope to be courageous enough to act upon… to stand out from the masses even if it means wrecking the visual of the status quo, to reach and grow beyond our own backyard, to be anchored to others yet free on our own. All these things are so important and hold me up, just like you, my sweet feet. You allow me to hold my poise as I run wild and dance with no restraint, as I walk in stride with friends side by side, as I follow those I admire and blaze a path for others… Dear feet, thank you for bringing us to this spot right here right now and thank you for taking us to our next adventure– which is always only a few steps away. 

Thank you, my dear body, for the collective chaos and cacophony and clownery you are. I explode with passion both joyful and painful from the inside out and know that I am alive and moving forward. You and me are in this together. There is no you without me or me without you. Together we are myselfie. 

_______

Do it! Do the exercise! It’s fun! And while you’re at it, drop a selfie!

selfie

People Profile: Annalisa Falco!

Meet Annalisa Falco: Early Childhood Educator! 
anna
A delightfully sweet and funny lady, a nurturer and empowered; be still my beating heart!
What is your career?
• I am an Registered Early Childhood Educator.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career?

• The greatest challenges I face in my career are keeping my emotions under control. Working with children can be very rewarding, however, it challenges me to be more patient, compassionate and understanding.
• I would say the greatest reward is developing deep and meaningful relationships with my students. It’s a really nice feeling when some of my kindergarten students accidentally call me mom. It shows how they view me as an important figure in their lives, and it’s so nice they see me as their teacher and caregiver.

What is your advice to others embarking on similar career?

• The best advice I could give to someone who is embarking on a career in education is to be confident in your values and teaching skills. I remember my first year in my classroom I was very intimidated by the whole school atmosphere. Working alongside with another teacher I was very nervous about speaking in front of the whole class and it was very overwhelming for me.
• I believe to be a good educator you have to have patience, compassion and understanding. These values will help make your career and personal life more enriched with love and care. Being a RECE, has made me a better person and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today? Why or why not?

• Five years ago, I really didn’t expect to be where I am today. For a long time, I battled with depression and I was always confused about my life journey. But it came a point where I was like, “Okay I cannot live like this anymore!” So I started to take long walks, exercise, eat healthier, and go to therapy. But the one thing that really turned my life around was when I started my own gratitude journal. I wrote in it every day and my life progressively improved in all areas of my life. I learned to count my blessings instead of my hardships.

Where will you be in 5 years?

• I’m going back to school this year to get my degree in Early Childhood Education and then I’m planning to go to teacher’s college to get my master’s in education. So in five years I hope to be done school.
• Another goal of mine is to start my own non-profit organization to help empower and educate people about self-acceptance and living a fulfilling life. Within these 5 years I hope to inspire change and to have started a movement to enrich people’s lives through art, music and motivational speaking.

What would you say to your 8-year-old self?

• I would tell my 8-year-old self that she is beautiful and that she is worthy of love and belonging. I would tell her that life is not a race it’s a journey. And most importantly I would tell her to leave the past in the past. To let go of the pain and sorrow, because the only gift we have in life is the present. I would tell her that hope and faith is what will get you through the most challenging times and to surround yourself with people that love and accept you for you who are.

What would you say to your 80-year-old self?

• I would tell my 80-year-old self, “Congratulations, you made it this far, and you don’t look a day over 40!” I would praise her for all the good things she’s done in her life.

How lucky are you and why?

• I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! I’ve been blessed with a very supportive and loving family. I have faithful and caring friends. And I’m extra lucky because last year I fell in love with my soul mate and every day is a dream come true because I am loved by my family and friends.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

• I think what I noticed over the years is how people are surprised by my thoughtfulness and generosity. I’m the type of person that surprises people with love letters and small gifts. Also, when people first meet me their surprised by my sense of humour and outgoing personality because at first I’m quite shy and quiet.

What makes you laugh?

• I love to laugh! I try to find humour in everything! I find joy in making silly jokes or random comments. I come from a long history of funny family and friends too. My boyfriend makes me laugh the most because our sense of humour is exactly the same so we’re constantly cracking jokes when we’re together. We probably have a million inside jokes; we’re pretty much that crazy couple at the party!

What is fun for you?

• I have the most fun when I’m spending time with my family, my friends and my dog. Going out for dinners, long conversations, and my job can be very fun because kids really do say the funniest things. I especially love to pretend play with my students, to hear their laughter and see the smile on their faces when I make them laugh is truly priceless.

What makes you question humanity?

• I think it is so interesting how technology has enriched but also handicapped our society and culture. I think it’s sad how disconnected we are sometimes when it comes to the internet and cell phones. For example, I was at the mall in the food court and there was a father and daughter sitting in front of each other at a table and instead of talking to each other they were both on their iPads.

What is your favourite quote?

• I love quotes so it’s really hard to choose just one but one of my favourite quotes is this one that my boyfriend sent to me:

“Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness, yet become something beautiful.”

Anything inspiring you’d like to point our attention to?

Here’s a link to the United Way of Peel. Right now I’m volunteering with them as part of their Young Leader’s Council. I find United Way of Peel inspiring because they help support people in the community through various sectors such as empowering the youth, and helping the less fortunate. http://www.unitedwaypeel.org

Other inspiring organizations I really like are: virgietovar.com. She’s a very highly educated activist and amazing woman. She believes in losing hate not weight.

Reesee Zigazaga is another amazing woman who created Abuse Survival Stories it’s another great non-profit organization that works to give a voice to people that suffer from abuse, a platform to share their stories and freedom from the pain of their past. http://www.abusesurvivalstories.com

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I hope you enjoyed learning about Annalisa as much as I did! Wishing everybuddy an inspired and empowering day! Let’s all make the most of our interactions with ourselves and others. What if we had everything today that we were grateful for yesterday? I think that’s a wonderful way to live. Dare to live! Dare to love! :)

Do You Love Your Body?

aaaablog

 

The illustrious Adrianna Prosser had me as a guest blogger for Everything But The Cat!
I talk about loving your body inside and out, touching on nutrition, mental health and Johnny Depp. How could I not?  Enjoy! :)

 

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