Tag Archives: Seattle

Sunday morning in Red Hill

Red Hill, Brisbane.10 am Sunday 10th June 2012

How very strange, sitting on the back deck with 3 layers of warm tops, good socks and loose comfy trousers, with nothing better to do but drink coffee and talk to you.

Yes, it is winter in Brisbane, which anyone living in Scotland would find a very acceptable format for summer.  It’s cloudy today, and quite breezy, which is probably why the birds are later than usual.  In summer, the maggies sing around 8 am, followed by the crows, but here they are in full voice at 10 am. I’m certainly not complaining.

Of course, I have other things to do. I don’t think, though, that they are more urgent than sitting here with the birds and Perch the cat, enjoying the cool air round my fingers and an excellent coffee.

Perch catching some rays on the deck.

I will start learning my script for Nanaimo later on today, pay for my upcoming week of training with Ira, and post a blog on Being in Voice about the workshop I’m proposing next month.  Nothing too demanding – my to do list.  Hopefully, the workshop will be Extremely Demanding.  I’m pretty excited about the possibility of working with people who crave Extremely Demanding.

You may have guessed – if you don’t know already – that I have now formally handed down (submitted) my thesis.  Done.  Like a dinner.  I have informal acknowledgement that the submissions office has received it, but I’m still awaiting formal acknowledgement that everything is in order. The actual submission process turned out to be incredibly complicated, fraught with error potential, and took about 10 days to get everything sorted.  hmmmm.

So anyway, here I am, virtually post thesis, at least for a few months till the examiners send it back with whatever objections, revisions, suggestions they may have.  So I am enjoying the remarkable sensation of hiatus, and allowing lots and lots of ideas to potter around in my head for what mischief I can get up to next. My supervisor likes some of my ideas for writing projects, so that’s encouraging.

I’ve listed my itinerary below, so you can skip it if you’ve already heard it. In brief, as I’ve said before, I’ll be away from 26 July to 8 September. If there’s any chance we could meet up someone along the route, please let me know! Maybe by the time I get back, I’ll have figured out what I’m going to be when I grow up.  I’ve applied for a couple of jobs.  One thing is sure, it includes a trip to UK and France in 2013. And to anywhere else that gets me outta Brisbane. Out of Brisbane. Hmmm. Maybe that’s the title of a film.

OK my friends, tha-tha-that’s all folks – for now.

 

 

Here’s the plan to date:

I’m house-sitting in Red Hill with Perch the Cat till 13 July.

Next week, more clown training with Ira, who has just returned from Europe and 3 months touring (performing) with Slava’s Snow Show. I’m very exciting about working with him again.

2-6 July – ADSA conference, here in Brisbane. I’m leading a voice workshop

14 – 26 July – house-sitting in Toowoomba for Willie and Elvira.  I shared a dungeon basement flat in Sauchiehall St, Glasgow with Willie 17 years ago!

14 and 15 July – workshop “Shakespeare’s Archetypes” IF I get 6 participants.  I still need to find a venue, has to be special because I want to work from 9.30 am to 9 pm, total immersion, food included. Details HERE.

26 July – fly off to Seattle to see my beautiful Iain, Jessie, Owen, Natalie and Annie the Dog.

2 August – to Washington DC to take part in panel presentation on Presence at ATHE conference.

5-9 August, VASTA conference, also Washington DC. I’m presenting a short paper on training teachers to care for young children’s voices – i.e. encourage them to play with sound for longer, and safely.

10 August, get together with Adele and Lauren in Moorestown, then back to Seattle.

16 – 23 August – to Nanaimo Fringetastic Festival with Across The Pond, to perform “Man Catches Fish.

23 August – back to Seattle

6 September – back to Brissie.

Downhill All The Way

I see it’s nearly a year since my last post. Maybe I should make a habit of this, annual postings!

SO, where am I? In Brisbane. Still house-sitting, thanks to some lovely house-owners who are kind enough to let their animals keep me company while they travel.  What am I? Still a student, part time PhD candidate, and still a freelance voice and acting coach. A little bit less of the former, a little bit more of the latter.

I’ll explain. I have now completed a full draft of my thesis. It is sitting with my two very busy supervisors, waiting for them to read it and return it to me with their comments, and suggestions for refinements. Hopefully refinements. Hopefully they won’t want major rewrites. I’m now pulling together all of the ancillary material I can muster to put into the appendices, such as feedback from colleagues and audiences who attended the various work-in-progress presentations of the performance project, The Fall of June Bloom (or What You Will). Then there are all the diary type notes I made along the way, since the project became officially part of my PhD.  I’ve been pretty slack in that area, but as I’ve been trawling through every external hard drive I’ve saved files onto over the past 4 years I’ve managed to find 23 pages worth of ramblings, some of it quite revealing.

So if any of you have any final thoughts in response to your encounter with June Bloom, and would like them included in the final document, now is the time to send them in to me.  Final submission – when I have to hand it down – no later than the end of June.

My teaching practice is bubbling along quite nicely.  I must be doing something right with the website, because I am now getting one or two calls a week from potential students who find me just by searching on the net.  I’m working more with non-actors at the moment, people from different walks of life who want to develop their voices and presentation skills. What fun!

When I arrived back in Oz last year, after a fabulous trip to  Phoenix, Haworth NJ, New York and Seattle, I vowed not to leave the country until the thesis was completed. Well, one way or another, it will be completed by the end of June, so I’m setting off again late July, back to Seattle to see Iain, Jessie, Owen, Natalie and Annie.  There will be a dash across country to the east coast for a conference or two and hopefully catch up with the NJ mob, then back again for more Seattle family fun.

Back in Brisbane in early September, I guess I’ll have to decide what I want to be when I grow up.  I seem to have discovered yet another string to my bow – composer! having tinkered, on and off, as long as I can remember, with song writing. There have been occasional forays into arranging, and then of course there was the Music Major as part of my BA. I keep forgetting about that.  Anyway…

To explain the photo up at the top.  I’m wearing one of the costumes for the Performers For Peace group, for which I have been commissioned to compose original music for their latest street theatre performance.  It’s been an absolute blast, tagging along as the group (from the Womens International League for Peace and Freedom, Brisbane chapter) debated and discussed, improvised and devised – under the most excellent facilitation of Anna Yen – the words that they wanted to sing.  I then went into seclusion to set it all to music. It’s just 5 minutes long, but we’ve managed to turn out a miniature agit-prop epic. Opening night is at the end of April, at the WILPF Annual Awards cocktail party.

Of course, I am not without ideas for stuff to get stuck into when September arrives. I’m pretty excited about a range of possibilities for getting more and more people of all ages, from very small children to senior, involved in voice work and play. Shakespeare will also feature in future plans, be prepared to be surprised on a street corner or in a car park near you.

Oh, and there’s a trip to Paris to run a voice workshop, that’s in early planning stages. It would be awfully nice to get a whole tour happening around that, early in 2013. Think about it! It could happen in your part of the world too. I’ve been riding high for some time now, and I’m heading down into the valleys to continue the journey.

OK, enough already. Until next time…

 

 

 

Trials and Tribulations of Updating Forever

Sorry to be away for a while, lots going on, and nothing, at the same time.

First, where was I?  Isn’t it an interesting phenomenon, that the more tired one gets, the fewer brain cells are available to retain a single thought.  Or is that that one requires more brain cells to create and retain a single thought?

Never mind. The point is, WordPress decided to offer its latest update, to 3.1.1, and as soon as I installed it, I couldn’t login again.  I’ve managed to get back with the help of the good folk at IXWebhosting. I’m back to 3.1, and very reluctant to upgrade again, until IXWebhosting and WordPress find a way to talk to each other kindly.

Enough with the whinging. We made it back across the continent from Newark to Seattle last Monday.  The kids and I had a couple of days worth of adventuring together, with trips on the No 55 bus to Downtown Seattle, and the monorail and hence to the Seattle Centre, and the Experience Music Project.

I’ve put this video up on YouTube, but private. I’m not happy about putting the kids on view for all and sundry to see. So you can watch it here. I’m pretty confident this blog doesn’t get a whole lot of traffic outside of friends and family.

You’ll see Owen and Iain playing baseball at the Grodstein’s house in Haworth, New Jersey, while Natalie provides the musical entertainment. There was a short trip to Moorestown, New Jersey, to play with cousin Natey, then back to Haworth where Iain is demonstrating his skills as an aircraft engineer, as he and Owen test out his invention. Over in Seattle, Owen and Natalie explored some of the instruments on the 3rd floor at Experience Music Project , at the Seattle Center, a wonderful place for kids and music lovers of all age.