Monthly Archives: June, 2012

TORONTO FRINGE IS UPON US!

A Depper Kind Of Love, Fringe 2011
Photo by Corbin Smith

Ah, Fringe!!! The Toronto Fringe Festival is an annual festival for which companies are chosen by lottery to produce a show. Touted as the fringe of the theatre community, it is considered by many to be an arena to create and play and learn and dance at the Fringe Tent. It is a fun-filled community of adventure and edification for all involved– participants, volunteers and audience alike. It’s like being away at a camp ripe with fun and games, friendship and love, beer and festival food. The adventure is extended and amplified if you’re involved in the national and/or international Fringe Festival circuit which includes Edmonton, Regina, Vancouver, Ottawa, London… on and on… and then you’ve got outside Canada too… USA, UK, Downunder… There are some who are able to eke out a living doing these festivals. What a thrill it could be! For info on Canadian Fringes you can start here: canadianfringefestivals

I was chosen by lottery last year for Toronto Fringe 2011. Amazing! The first time I had submitted and I was chosen. As fellow Fringers know, that’s rare. Many would-be participants are still entering year after year and waiting for their moment to Fringe. Of course, one can always participate in Fringe by being brought onboard by a company who was chosen, or by volunteering, but it’s a whole new Fringe-game when you’re the production company.

I feel my being chosen happened for a reason—for all the trials, tribulations and triumphs, it caused me to stretch and discipline myself as an artist, writer, songwriter, singer, dancer and producer. In a personal artistic time of wavering between acting and singing, between being comical and respectable, I discovered I am at my best when I allow all that I am to bond together. With encouragement and input from my beloved friends and band mates Gene Abella and Eden Letrondo, the one-woman show A Depper Kind Of Love was born. I hunkered down and within 6 months had written and recorded 10 original songs, produced and released my debut CD, A Depper Kind Of Love, and written a 52-minute one-woman show with a 52-minute video to accompany it. But more than that, I was able to discover what great capacity and possibility I have as an artist if I allow myself to let it flow and spillover instead of trying to compartmentalize my talents and skills. It truly is amazing and I will never return to the old. Director Christopher Sawchyn, SM Skye Regan and TP Rod Pizarro came onboard and helped bring Depper Love to life and stage and also made Fringe 2011 the best Fringe I’d ever experienced despite its challenges. The copious time spent with them creating, planning, laughing and dining are some of the most electric and joyful of my life. Incidentally, Skye and Rod are seen on this year’s Fringe homepage in the picture of the great poster sprint of Fringe 2011. It was a mad rush to poster the Fringe Tent poster wall. It was utter madness. My injured hamstring twitches at the thought of it. The “Fringe-ury” that keeps on giving!

You can read more about my journey in my guest blog for the Songwriters Association of Canada.www.ItAllStartsWithASong.com But enough about me.
It’s time to celebrate Toronto Fringe 2012!

TICKET GIVEAWAY!
I have two pairs of tickets to give away for Thick and Thin Productions’ show Life in the Raw. I so admire the people of Thick And Thin. They are theatre veterans talented in all aspects of theatre and music from writing, performance and production. I just know it’s going to be a great show, and I think you should go! Comment below or message me to enter the giveaway for the July 5/July 7 shows!

What is Life In The Raw?
Theatre director Barbara Larose working with playwright and composer Rick Jones has created a series of dramatic scenes punctuated with musical “arias”, monologues set to music. A cast of 5 portrays the poor but proud Whitaker family struggling to survive in 1930s Montreal. “So many life lessons handed down, but also great stories that had us in laughter and tears,” explains Larose. www.thickandthintheatreproductions.com

Where is Life In The Raw?
George Ignatieff Theatre-15 Devonshire Place
South of Varsity Arena near St. George subway

When Is Life In The Raw?
The full schedule is in the poster above, but the ticket giveaways are for Thursday July 5 at 10:30pm and Sat July 7 at 12:30pm
*leave a comment here or message me for your chance to win!*

Other shows to see:

One Night– By Brandon Pitts and Angela Brown- 32-year-old Penny has had enough of being a virgin and all the labels and baggage that comes with it.
The Shape Of Things– Neil Labute’s unblinking stare into the blood, guts and gristle of modern relationships.
Then He Wakes Up– by Matthew Sarookanian-Today Felix needs something to change.
Transit Diaries-by Meesha Albano- Love and relationships are explored on the seats of the TTC as each character faces choices to be made while in transition.
Fake News Fan Girl-by Sharilyn Johnson-Absolutely true story of one woman’s descent into fandom, and suddenly getting closer to her idols than she ever intended (or wanted).
*I saw this show when Depper Love was part of the Love & Obsession Festival last year. It is really, really, really good! I watched it twice.
Piecing Together Pauline -By Chris Coculuzzi and Roxanne Deans, a historical drama about 19th century opera singer Pauline Garcia Viardot.

If you have any Fringe 2012 suggestions, please share! I’m in the preliminaries of my schedule! Let’s get out there and enjoy supporting theatre! Ya! At Fringe, there is more than just something for everyone! Maybe I’ll catch you at the Fringe Tent!

For a list of plays and venues and more info on how to get the best out of Toronto Fringe: www.fringetoronto.com

Happy Fringing, everybuddy!

Love Kat

www.KatLeonard.com

PS If you’re looking for still shots of your Fringe show, I know a Fringe fan photographer who will do it for a mucho reasonable price!

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Captivated And Reaching For Sunlight

Music normally captivates me in three ways:

1) The sound: the melody and ambience of simple tones or intricate chords dancing together in a magical arrangement

2) The lyrics: the words, specific or all-encompassing, that articulate, commiserate and motivate

3) The voice: The unquantifiable features of a singer’s tone and expression that speak to me irrationally and profoundly

Lily C captivates me in all three categories on Reaching For Sunlight.  This is Lily C’s debut English album and it is described as, “a collection of songs that reflect her journey to stay hopeful despite challenging circumstances.”

Reaching For Sunlight is joyful and beguiling pop music woven from sonic layers that lull and enliven.  It has rousing pep, addictive rhythms and penetrating depth.

The lyrics are enlightening, empowering and everlasting.  It may not be fair to extract lyrics from their song bed, but many of these are so powerful on their own that I had to list some of my favourites.

“…in my hurricane of grief can you show me how to breathe…”

“…just when you think that you’re gonna die, that’s when you realize you’re made to fly…”

“…I’m reaching for sunlight like city flowers do…”

Lily’s voice is like hard candy: sweet and solid.  It’s like whiskey licorice.

While listening to I Am A Bee, I swore I was soaring on the breeze with butterflies until someone walked in the room and I realized it was just me bouncing in my office chair.

Come Back To My Love affects me most intensely.  My heart is struck in all three categories– sound, lyric and voice.  The lilting piano notes lure me in off the top, and Lily’s supple and raw vocalizing clinches the enchantment.  Every time.  I could listen to her vocalization after the bridge on repeat forever.  It’s like she’s singing in my ear, whispering, speaking directly to me while I lay on a couch crumpled in defeat.  She’s the wee Fairy of Trust lulling me to the belief that everything will be ok; her metaphoric arms first cradling and comforting me before picking me up, dusting me off, and guiding me to stand again on my own with more strength than I had before.  If I were to do a cover of a Lily C song, it would be this one!

Listening to Lily C’s music is like starting your day off with a good breakfast: being nourished with your favourite cereal fortified with familiarity and optimism and sweet wee Lily bits that beam up at you through the milk, coaxing you to have a glorious day no matter what comes your way.  I think Reaching For Sunlight is a masterwork and I recommend you check it out! www.lilyc.com.  Lily also has a pretty inspiring blog: Take A Deep Breath.

I look up to Lily and look forward to more music from her.
I also look forward to sharing the lineup with her at the upcoming Wonder Women V event August 8, 2012 at 7:30 at Celebration Square in Mississauga.  But more about that later…

…until then, may the music always play!

Love Kat
www.KatLeonard.com

Off My Grid

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For the past 10 days I’ve been on a travelling vacation, off the grid of my world and my own personal routine of chaos, away from the bed that knows me, loved ones that hug me, Tim Hortons and pizza delivery, away from internet and cellphone service and from my daily general busyness. I am in foreign lands where I must be on guard, find a bathroom, and utilize my fetal knowledge of foreign language to request beer and thank someone very much.

I was sad to be missing out on some events while away. What else was I going to miss? Would I miss out on an important piece of mail? Some witty Facebook updates? With the average lifespan of a social network page being a mere 3 hours long, certain aspects of online action would surely be rushing past my attention even more than usual! Would my grid implode without me? Am I being overdramatic? Is over dramatic redundant? Am I redundant? Am I getting carried away with rhetorical questions? That was rhetorical. Sorry.

If I’m missing something by being off my grid, I’m also gaining something from stepping away from it for awhile. It’s refreshed me. It’s given me some time to slow down and caused me to be introspective. It’s been nice to be an observer of other lives and leave most decisions to my traveling companions. At the height of my deliberations has been pastry choice. It’s not as easy as it may seem, though. Some chocolates are creamier than others and some are quite bitter! It’s been peaceful and strangely liberating to float along without a restrictive agenda, open to suggestion and adventure and another pastry with beer.

As I return to the grid of my world I feel fresh and optimistic. I anticipate more frequent stints off the grid and I intend to allow more flexibility in the grid itself to allow sustainable peace and spontaneity.