Thursday, March 25, 2010

Answers (some of them)

What is your favourite movie of all time? And why?
Um, that's honestly such a hard question. I've got a couple. The Pianist would definitely be up there, just an incredible movie about survival, that really made me think about how fortunate I am and taught me a lot of lessons about gratitude. Moulin Rouge! is one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen, and all about L-O-V-E (lol). And of course, because I'm a fanatic about the musical RENT, the movie of the same name is one of my favourites too, and the core message is all about really living and living as if it's your last day alive. So those would be three of my favourite movies. But I have others, and I don't have only one.

If you had a billion dollars and hot chicks what would you do?
If you had a million dollars what would you spend it on?
If I had a billion dollars, I'd build a beautiful little theater, and then rent it out to small theatre companies. And I'd obviously give a lot of money away. I'll pass on the hot chicks. :)

Why do you like answering questions?
a) It's fun!
b) It makes me think about things I might not have before.
c) and it makes my blog more "interactive". Lol.

If you had a superpower what would it be?
I'd like to be able to fly invisibly.

If you could change ONE thing about people (in general) what would you change?
I wish people were more open-minded. We've made so many mistakes in the past by not being willing to revaluate our opinions. We'd be a lot better off if we would listen honestly to other people without prejudice.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Sondheim!

So, today (March 22), the greatest musical theatre composer that's ever lived, turns 80. Happy Birthday Stephen Sondheim! Sondheim's music is just so fascinating to me. His lyrics are so clever and inspired and his genius in being able to work character and emotion into music like no other musical theatre composer. Unlike other composers, he doesn't write the exact same style for every character, it differs depending on the specifics of the person. And his ability to combine lots and lots of separate melodies into rich, musical harmonies is just mindblowing to me. Just completely inspiring.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


So we did this a while ago, and one of my regular readers suggested that I do this again! So go ahead and post some questions for me in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them. Go ahead, put me on the spot!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is the movie this year that I've been most anticipating. It came out on March 5, and for the first time for me, I actually saw it in theatres the day it came opened. I had been excitedly watching each trailer, and each clip as soon as they came out, and as Tim Burton is one of my favourite filmmakers, I was getting pretty excited! It has a crazy awesome cast too- Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, and Johnny Depp to name a few. The film also stars Mia Wasikowska as Alice.

Overall, I loved it. Tim Burton's style of directing is so interesting. It's very artistic, stylized, quirky, and dark. Alice in Wonderland didn't disappoint. The acting especially is brilliant. Helena Bonham Carter was probably my favourite character, as the Red Queen. Johnny Depp's performance of the Mad Hatter is amazing, quirky, layered and subtle. Every cast member is strong, and all the supporting roles are interesting and memorable.

The biggest flaw, in my opinion is the script. Instead of following the story of the Louis Carroll's original Alice in Wonderland, Burton decided to make a sequel, set thirteen years after Alice's original trip to Wonderland. Its a great idea that could have been interesting and innovative, but unfortunately, I didn't find the plot or the script to be anything special. Without Tim Burton's directing, it could have easily been another predictable Disney movie. Personally, I don't think it's a masterpiece, but it's sure pretty good, and definitely worth seeing!

Henry V

So, tonight is the dress rehearsal of Henry V, we have our first preview night tomorrow night, and by Sunday night, it will all be over!

Overall, it’s been good and good experience for me (ooh, something to put on my resume!). But it’s been exhausting and quite a big time commitment. I have to say that I haven’t felt full energy for a while now, especially with a big lack of sleep from Scout camp this past weekend which I don’t thing I’ve fully recovered from. It feels like the show is finally all coming together now, and despite tech rehearsals being slow and boring for the actors, it is pretty exciting to have lights, sound and set. But we’ll see how the dress rehearsal goes tonight.

I was talking to one of my friends, Zach, who is also in the show about this strange drug that is theatre. I mean, I always get soo stressed about it, and say “I can’t wait till this is all over”, and you get so sleep-deprived and sanity-deprived, and you think it will never end and then when it does, you know what you do? You do it all over again! I seem to have this annoying habit of taking on more that I should really be able to handle, but then when I’m finally done all my projects, I just get bored and take on more. Why, Daniel, why? But yeah, it’ll be nice to have Henry V be all over, and then I can have some free time.

Oh wait, actually I’m just getting started on another Shakespeare project. But that’s a story for another blog post….

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Scriabin Prelude no. 9, op. 11

Hi everybody, I just wanted to post this little video that I recorded yesterday.

I wanted to record it and post it because  I think the music is just remarkable. It''s Scriabin's Prelude no. 9 from his Opus 11. I haven't been practising this piece long, so I hope you can get a sense of the music from my mediocre playing and video quality. What I love about this piece is that it's so rich, musically. It's only one page long, but he packs so many notes, and thick harmonies into it. Each prelude is like a perfectly formed package. And they're so intelligently composed! I mean each one has a beginning, middle and end, and every note is important. They're just brilliant! So I hope you enjoy this quick little video. Oh and by the way, if you want to hear this prelude played by a master- Here is a video of of the great Russian pianist Vladimir Horowitz playing it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oh and by the way....

Oh and by the way, I am not wearing a dress as Katherine in Henry V. Honestly, that's what everybody asks me, but seriously? It's hardly like dresses are the only thing that women wear. If you're a woman, look down at what you're wearing. Are you wearing a dress? I didn't think so. You're probably wearing pants.

Catching up

Hello everyone!

I haven't posted for a while, so I expect that this post will be quite a long one. I apologize.
At the moment, I am sitting in Second Cup drinking an Italian Soda. It's an absolutely beautiful day outside so I decided to walk over to Second Cup (it took me sixteen minutes). The sun is shining, there isn't a cloud in the sky and it's about +3 (which means that I can wear a spring/summer/fall jacket instead of a parka!). It's wonderful to take a break from everything and just enjoy the beautiful day.

My long hiatus from blogging can be blamed on many things. Mainly, I've been quite busy with Henry V I've had rehearsals almost everyday, and to be honest, I'm now cramming to get my lines into my head. Did I mention that my parts got changed? Instead of playing Alice (the maid to the Katherine), I am now playing Katherine, the princess of France. The guy playing Katherine had to drop out because of a family wedding in the middle of our performance run. So I took on that part along with the other two little parts I've got (Messenger and Grandpre).
We're 10 days away from preview night, and so the atmosphere at rehearsals has changed. Everybody is a lot more alert, focused and quickly hurrying to learn lines. The fight choreography is really coming together, but frighteningly, it seems that my choreography is kind of getting abandoned. We haven't ran it since learning the choreography. Eep! And the girl who is my "fight partner" is currently sick. So I've had to fight with a fake opponent. I know it'll all come together though. The whole thought of acting in a real theatre with real lights and a real technician and a green room and tech rehearsals and everything is still so exciting to me!

My graduation recital is all over and it went swimmingly! It actually went better than I could possibly have imagined! The piano that I was able to play on was this incredible Steinway. If you're not an musician, you might think this sounds crazy, but there are some instruments that you just connect with. It's crazy and sounds weird but honestly, when you touch the right instrument, it's just amazing. It feels completely natural and almost feels like you don't have to do much, like the instrument can feel what you want and respond. It's pretty crazy and I was fortunate enough make a connection like that with this piano. So it was a pretty amazing experience and I felt right at home playing. Thanks for all the support everyone and thanks to those of you who were able to come out!

I should probably write about something other than the arts so people think that I actually do something other than music and theatre. Ha! I actually finally finished that math textbook I was working through (Saxon Algebra 1/2). Ah, finally. It felt good to get it over with and now I can move on. And I got a good mark on the final exam too!

To change subject completely, I was reading The Screwtape Letters (by C.S. Lewis) this morning and I found a quote that I thought was really interesting. (It's in Letter XXI if you're curious to look it up).

Lewis says:
"Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury. And the sense of injury depends on the feeling that legitimate claim has been denied."
I thought this was a really interesting quote because I can really see the truth in it. We get angry about things because we think we have the right to something "better". We have this idea of what we think we should get out of life and get angry when we don't get exactly what we think we need. Maybe if we took a step back and appreciated what we were given, we would be happier. Hmmm.

Anyway, I think I'll wrap this post up now, so thanks for reading! By the way, I'm still planning on posting Part 3 of my last post. It will just be delayed, as I haven't written it yet. Lol.