Have you ever had an experience that unlocked a creative surge in you? How many experiences like that have you had? I’ve been blessed to have had many– sometimes it’s in the form of an individual kindred connection I make with someone else, sometimes it’s discovering new technology, sometimes it’s something I stumble upon by my own mistake, and sometimes it’s in the form of tools gained in direction from a teacher. I’ve been blessed with having the open mind and heart of a student and also blessed by the existence in my life of brilliant and generous teachers– not all teachers have been this way, but those who have gifted me make up for those who didn’t. Tracey Erin Smith is one such guru. She founded the SoulO Theatre Company. I’ve known the name of the company and workshop series for years but it wasn’t until I was sitting in the Master Class intensive this past May staring at the cover page of the workbook that it dawned on me with a jolt: Oh! Soul- O Theatre, like soul theatre! Ahhhh!” said I. “Whoa,” said the rest of the group. I may not be the brightest bulb on the tree but I do twinkle and flash.
I encourage you to find out more about Soulo Theatre, and if you’ve ever contemplated exploring something like this, DO IT DO IT DO IT!
For more information, please visit the website at www.Soulo.ca @TraceyErinSmith @SOULOFest
From the official website:
“SoulOTheatre is an innovative, interactive program designed to help people create, write, direct and star – in their own One-Person Show by transforming raw material from their lives into creative personal story telling performances. Smith’s process turns personal experience into compelling and entertaining theatre, with no prior acting experience necessary.
Participants take part in writing and theatre exercises to explore their lives, gaining insight into their trials and triumphs, as well as the wisdom they have earned; and share a ten-minute performance with an audience of friends and family at the end of the course.”
During the Master Class intensive I made new friends while I explored own bits of my life, fragments of memories that turned into stories. I discovered just how much my life has been molded by my two greatest influences: Madonna and The Smurfs. I have yet to do a show entirely of covers of songs from The Smurfs All Star, but it’s agonna happen, oh yes it is! Here is my homage to Papa Don’t Preach.
Here is my piece that came out of the Master Class intensive: Kat & The Smurfs All Star Show— still a favourite album of mine.
For more photos from the 2015 SoulOTheatre Festival, please see SoulO General Manager and magician James Alan’s album at his website Reality Based Magic and while you’re at it, check out the rest of his magical stuff. It really is magic because he’s a magician, eh!
Don’t forget I’m doing an hour-long version of Myselfie for Roof’s Off on Saturday July 4th where I plan to regale you with inspired and humorous storytelling, song and dance with my body bits! More on that here!
Wishing you a glorious day! See you soon!
I’ve been dieting since I was 8 years old when an innocent remark became a lifelong obsession. After years being the sturdiest kid of my peers, I wondered just how much bigger I was gonna get. So at 8 years old I ask my mom, “Mommy, how big am I gonna get?” She innocuously explains that I will reach my final size by the time I’m 12. Of course, she means that my skeleton will have stopped growing by then and my basic body type set. But at 8 years old I take this explanation to mean that whatever I looked like at the age of 12 would be what I would look like FOREVER. With a slight sense of panic, my 8-year-old self suddenly knew that I had just four years to get myself into shipshape perfection. Well, four years seemed so far away– a whole half of my life at the time– that I kept putting it off until Monday, a putting-off process that I continued leading up to my 12-year mark and well past for decades later. And to this day— well, it’s not Monday yet, is it?
I read once that 1% of what we are is visible and touchable and the remaining 99% of us is a lot of something else. That’s a lot of us that has nothing to do with what we look like. And if we think about all the changes our physical body goes through, it’s ridiculous to identify ourselves with the mere 1% of our being that is so transient. Am I a teetering toddler? A blond virgin? A witty old lady to be? It doesn’t matter what vehicle we travel in. What matters is the destination and journey. But the vehicle is valuable nonetheless and we need to take care of it and be grateful for it because it’s what allows us to navigate the world, to affect the world and to be affected by it. In a way of acknowledging and giving thanks to my current vehicle, the 1% I get to ride around in every day on this leg of my journey, I have created a snapshot of me that I share, a one-self show celebrating my body and the experiences it has endured and enjoyed. I call it Myselfie.
With heartfelt and humorous storytelling, song and dance, Myselfie is my mission to create a meaningful spectacle that will engage, entertain and empower people of all ages but particularly teens and preteens toward healthy body image, self-esteem and self-expression. I believe that if we can all nurture love and levity within ourselves we will be able to do it for others in an infectious and sustainable way.
I have been collaborating and workshopping Myselfie over the past couple of months for live audiences onstage and in high school classroom setting and am thrilled with what has evolved through exploration and thoughtful generous feedback from wise and lovely folk. I thank you all, you know who you are. Maybe you’re one of you reading this right now! Special thanks to Harrison Fine, Karl Machat, Heather Hill and Deanna Wilkins for allowing Myselfie to breathe life in their space. Special thanks to Tracey Erin Smith and Soulotheatre for turning the disco lights on and starting the dance; to Chris Veldhoven, Lori Murphy, Brian Finch, Domini Anderson and Eleni Theodoulou for playing and loving. I KNOW! 😉 (Another blog coming soon about my mind-blowing experience with Soulotheatre.)
Photography by James Alan
I am pleased as pie— mmmm pie— to be presenting a full version of Myselfie on Saturday July 4th in conjunction with Helene Richard’s one-woman show Dysfunctional French Woman for Roof’s Off! Speaking of pie, this double whammy happens right at Cafe Chez Helene at 1437 Kingston Road (at Warden) in Toronto. Doors open at 7pm, I perform at 8pm, and Helene performs at 9pm. Admission is $30 at the door and you can save $10 buying in advance. Please join! We would love to have you with us!
ROOF’S OFF! Myselfie and Dysfunctional French Woman
JULY 4th 2015 Doors 7pm, Show 8pm
Cafe Chez Helene at 1437 Kingston Road (at Warden)
Tix $30 at Door, $20 in advance through PayPal link on Facebook Event or contact us!
Hope to see yourselfie there!
Love and such, Kat xoxoxo