Monthly Archives: November, 2014

Audition notice for “I Am Marguerite”

Hear ye thespians! Alumnae Theatre holding auditions! 🙂

The Alumnae Theatre Company's Blog

No, your eyes do not deceive you. It’s not yet the end of calendar year 2014, but the final production of our 2014/15 season is announcing auditions.

I Am Marguerite

By Shirley Barrie

Directed by Molly Thom

PERFORMANCE DATES:  April 10 – 25, 2015

I Am Marguerite imageI Am Margueriteis a tale of survival, a true but little-known story from Canadian history. In 1542, 19-year old Marguerite de Roberval chose love over duty, and for her sin was abandoned by her brother on the desolate uninhabited Isle of Demons off the north coast of Newfoundland. In the first terrible winter, she lost her lover, nurse and infant son. Somehow or other she managed to survive, alone, another year and a half. By the time of her rescue – where the play begins – she is half-mad and reduced to a state of barbarism, her world peopled by the phantoms…

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PEOPLE PROFILE: Songwriter Dayna Shereck!

Meet Dayna Shereck!


When I first met Dayna a couple years ago, I was captivated by the way her smile draws you near and her eyes assure you of her attention. She has an open heart, a spicy sense of humour and a penchant for adventure that all inform her warm way with words and melody. Dayna has been gracing the streets of Nashville as one of the finest. She was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition for 2012 and 2013 and put on the NSAI “Ones to watch” list. Isn’t she just a charm to watch? 😉

This is the lyric video to The Door, written by Dayna with Marcum Steward and vocalist Andrea Goodman. Enjoy!

dayna vid


Dayna answers…

What is your career?

I am songwriter, that I would say is my actual career. Though I also do some freelance writing, and some facilitating and I tend to gravitate towards anything driven by communication.

Greatest challenges and Rewards?

The greatest challenge in pursuing the road of a professional songwriter, is that there is no real road map on how to be successful, everyone gets there a different way. It’s not like you can graduate and then take your certificate to a publisher, it’s all abstract and magical, with lots of risk involved and not any guarantee. Though one of the greatest rewards for me, is the magic of writing a song, and knowing that anything is possible, that song could get cut this year and change someone’s life. There are so many things in life that just “are what they are”, but a great song, in the right hands, has the capacity to be so much more. In writing songs, I have found an outlet that helps me deal with day to day life, but most of all, the relationships that I have built with my various collaborators have been very special. They are all unique and wonderful in their own ways, and I have learned so much from them personally and professionally.

Advice to Others?

When I wrote my first song “Faultline”, I was so naive to the entire music business, that I operated, as if I had written the only song in the world, that everyone needed to hear. I remember running into a musician friend who said “no one makes money from music, do you know how many people are out there trying to make it” and I just closed my ears. Lets face it, there is a ton of competition. I was told recently that Nashville has between 60,000-80,000 songwriters in town at any given time, all pitching songs, writing, performing, those numbers are enough to send you right back on the plane home. So my advice would be focus on the personal belief you have in yourself, never stop believing in magic, because to get a song cut or placed, the stars definitely need to align. Enjoy the journey, the small successes along the road, and build genuine relationships with people, don’t be afraid to show who you are.

5 years ago did you expect to be where  you are today?

I never imagined 5 years ago that I would even be a songwriter. I had never played an instrument or even thought of writing a song. I was working for a not-for-profit organization, I was also trying to make a relationship work, which was causing me lots of emotional upheaval. I started hearing melodies in my head, and became very distracted by them. I had a good friend teach me a few chords on his guitar, and I must of written 10-12 songs almost immediately. Part of me believes the songs were almost gifted to me by a higher power because becoming a songwriter actually changed my life for the better at a time I needed it the most.

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

A big question, but a good one. [Why, thank you, Dayna! ;p] I want to bring a song into the world that will be remembered, that someone at home will rely on when they want to feel better. I want to make music every day. I have a great group of songwriters that I collaborate with now, and I want to continue that process. In 5 years I would love to be in a position where I can write for tv and larger film projects as well, and have ongoing work all the time. I am also making my own small EPK to come out in 2015. I wouldn’t consider myself a performer but would like to work on getting more of my songs into film, and creating my own sound might help with that.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

That I am a true romantic, I put a lot into my relationships and a high value on the people in my life. I’m an only child, and was raised by mother, who is a painter, and come from a family of creatives. I wish I could say I am a complete flower child but the truth is I worry about the future a lot, I guess what gets me through is knowing in my heart that this is the path I’m supposed to be on.

What makes you laugh?

Irony. There is nothing more comical than real life. Sometimes I laugh to myself, that a city girl from Toronto, ended up in Nashville, Tennessee. Life is full of twists and turns, and just when you think you know what’s going to happen, life can change.

What is your favourite quote?

“When words fail, music speaks” -Hans Christian Andersen


Want more Dayna? I know you do. Visit and get your fill!


Wishing everybuddy an inspired and musical day!
Love Kat 🙂

New Show Announced: Baby, It’s Warm Inside!

Sunday Dec 7th-Smiling Budda,
961 College St. Toronto 7pm $5

It’s only a few times a year I get to toast Santa’s Sack within season! Come see Arlene Paculan join me on this festive tune! 🙂 xo




For one evening, 8 artists will be teaming up to kick off the Christmas season with cocktails & carols 🙂 AND all for a great cause: NEDIC (The National Eating Disorder Information Centre)! So please come out and show your support!

Each artist will be putting their own personal style into your favorite Christmas songs and also playing some of their own original Christmas songs 🙂

Admission: $5 at the door (all goes to NEDIC)

So come out to ‘The Smiling Buddha Bar’ on Sunday, December 7th @ 7pm! It’s a great opportunity to:

#1. Enjoy some live music!
#2. Get into the Christmas spirit!
#3. Do something good for charity!

Hope to see you there!!! =)

The Willows
Georgian Bay
Arlene Paculan & Kat Leonard Music
Chris Rouse
Candice Sand
Brian Corbett
Julia Bentley
Jessica Speziale

Sure hope to see you there!

🙂 xo

Your life could be a write-off – Expert advice from a rock’n’roll accountant

The art of taxes!

Songwriters Association of Canada

Creative Commons licensed image by 401(K) 2012. Creative Commons licensed image by 401(K) 2012.

By Jae Gold

In the songwriting business, “reasonable expectation of profit” can be significantly different from other businesses. The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) admits that there’s often a longer ramp-up period before a songwriter starts making a profit. That’s why it’s important for artists to work with an accountant who knows the business.

An experienced entertainment accountant knows how to ensure that your losses are allowed by the CRA year after year until you make a profit, or until you stop trying. But let’s hope you keep trying! Jae Gold ( has worked with many of the songwriters you hear on radio, and graciously offers his expertise by answering questions posed by S.A.C. members.

What are the most common mistakes made by artists when filing taxes? Missing filing deadlines; under-reporting income; not claiming allowable expenses; claiming expenses that are too personal in nature to…

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Meet Candice Sand!

Ah…. Candice Sand… Professionally she is a remarkable Pop/R&B recording artist and songwriter described as a blend of Nastasha Bedingfield and Alicia Keys. Personally she is a bright light of strength and fun, and I find great inspired comfort in her friendship. Her newest single Go On featuring JRDN is currently dancing on the radio and TV airwaves and you should check it out!

candice jrd
Another one of my fave Candice Sand tunes is I Got This. I am in particular love with the lyric video because I feel like the text is interpretively dancing to the beat of the lyrics.
candice lyrics

Candice Answers:

What is your career?
I am a recording artist, singer, and songwriter.
What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career? 
I think what can be a challenge is the fact that a life as a musician is about endless growth and learning. What you can do with, and learn, in terms of music is so endless. I think that you really have to love music if you want to make a career out of it for that reason. You have to enjoy learning and expanding because really that is what you are doing most of the time. If you are focused on only a superficial end goal, I think that’s when this can be a challenge. You don’t enjoy the process and the art itself.
Greatest rewards? there are so many. Traveling, being on stage, connecting with new people, receiving messages from people all over the world that have heard your music and have connected with it. There are so many things that are rewards.
Advice to others embarking on similar career?
Do it for the “right reasons”. For the love of music and your own creative expression. Don’t change who you are to fit into a trend, be authentically you. Enjoy the process. I think those are the big three things for me.
In the past 5 years, what have been your greatest triumphs? Moments of joy?
Again, so many things. I’m really so blessed. Writing and recording my new album ‘Against Concrete Walls’. Having the opportunity to perform for the amazing producer David Foster, prime minster Harper, and the Mulroney family at the David Foster Miracle Gala. Being able to tour Canada. Having my music video “Go On” supported by MuchMusic and MuchFact. Being able to record with Choclair and JRDN. Sooooo many things. I sometimes think I must have a four leaf clover in my back pocket.
In the next 5 years, what will be your greatest triumphs? Where do you see yourself?
Well let’s see… I make goals and I plot road maps of what I’m planning to do, but I try to stay flexible. I like to call it “surrendering to the unknown”, meaning I’m open to following the path as it unfolds and see where it takes me. I’m going to be writing another album starting in 2015, I’ll keep promoting “Against Concrete Walls”, and keep working to be the best singer and songwriter I can be. I see myself still in the music industry writing and performing. I have ideas of what that will look like then, but I try to keep that to myself. It’s my own little secret I like to keep 😉
What does being an artist mean to you? 
It means expressing yourself, but to me it’s mostly an expression of life and emotion… experience. Connecting people to a feeling through music. Relating to each other. Helping people escape or give them whatever they need to feel. Freedom, love, loss, or appreciation. That’s what I’ve gotten from the artists/songwriters I’ve been influenced by and I only want to do the same for others.
What would you say to your 8-year-old self? 
I would tell her to enjoy her imagination. To let her mind play and dream.
What would you say to your 80-year-old self?
I would probably want to ask her questions! haha I think I have a good grounding of what is truly important in life, but I would be interested to get advice from her. What pearls of wisdom would she be able to share with me that might ease my mind or help me move through life.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m completely sentimental. I love reflecting. Counting my blessings. I appreciate the people around me so much that if I think about it long enough, I’ll likely get a little misty eyed.
What is your favourite quote?
“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain
Candice takes plenty of inspiration from other artists, including Emily Sande.
Candice has said: This song took on a new meaning for me when I read the description she wrote on the youtube video: Emily Sande: Clown
candice emily
For more Candice Sand, please try to catch her live and visit her online…
Candice Sand Music
BUY the debut EP Candice Sand: #AgainstConcreteWalls now on iTunes! 
Thank you for your attention, everybuddy!
Wishing you a most glorious of daze!
🙂 xo love Kat


Artist Removes One Letter from Famous Movie Titles and Illustrates the Results

I love this kind of brilliance!
Well-thunk! 🙂


Writer and illustrator Austin Light recently shared a funny series of sketches from his notebook that reimagines movie titles with one letter removed. The idea started on reddit where users were asked to, “Pick a movie, remove one letter, give a brief description“.

As a daily art project, Light took the concept one step further, drawing a scene from the imaginary film. He also penned a brief synopsis for each. You can see the entire album on Imgur. For more from Austin, check him out at the links below.

Website | Twitter | Online store

1. Obocop

The story of how a police officer works through his PTSD and adjusts to his new robotic implants with the help of the sexy soothing sound of his oboe

movie titles with one letter missing illustrated by austin light (1)

Website | Twitter | Online store

2. Rave

One red-haired Scottish girl. One dance floor…

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