An Event You Should be Attending: Dancing Bodies Solos & Duets

I’m so happy to have made it to a few Port City Dance Academy and Rondos Dance Theatre performances over the past few years. They are truly inspiring and so so beautiful to watch.

Georgia, members of Rondos Dance Theatre along with Tara Butler, Syreeta Hector, Karen Galbraith, Natayu Mildenberger & Kleis Rondos-Duchesne present “the contemporary dance event of the summer”.

Dancing Bodies Solos & Duets happens August 14th & 15th at 7:00p.m. at the Black Box Theatre at 187 Saint Johmes Street. Tickets are general admission, 15$ each.

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An Event You Should Be Attending + Interview with Stuart Buckley from Sharktooth Records

In January I was approached by Weird Canada to put on a distro launch party. Weird Canada was given some money from FACTOR to start up a distribution network for Canadian independent artists and I got to pick the bands that would play the show.

I asked my good friend and local music snob Chuck Teed about new bands I should hear to consider asking to play the show. When he pointed me in the direction of Stegosaurus I was JAZZED.

Stuart Buckley (who happens to be a singer in Stegosaurus) also has a tape/digital label called Sharktooth Records. They’re hosting all ages shows starting TONIGHT and you should go. Or you should tell your kids about it.

Enjoy!

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Tell me about yourself and what you do

Hey Barb! First and foremost I’m a guy. I was born and raised in Rothesay, NB, but don’t hold it against me. I don’t do much of anything other than stuff that’s related to music. I play in a band, record bands and go see bands play. I LOVE LIVIN IN THE PORT CITY!

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Tell me about Sharktooth Records!

Sharktooth Records is a tape/digital label that I started with a couple pals about a year ago. We started it as a fun thing to waste our money on but it’s really changed a lot recently. It’s just me chuggin away now, and the mentality has totally shifted. We have real goals now and we do stuff! On tap for the rest of the year we’ve got a couple releases from some Saint John bands, and we’ve also opened up an all-ages venue, but more on that later……

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You are new to the local music scene

How did you start a band? What made you want to start a band?

I’ve always loved playing in bands! It’s been a really fun way to make friends and collaborate and create stuff to keep me sane. I started Stegosaurus last summer with my good pals Seth O’Neill and Colin Ratchford. It just sort of happened, I guess, and it’s evolved to whatever it is now (post-punk????). Colin ended up moving to Alberta so we’ve got Right Shitty’s Pat “Boomer” Bonner killin’ it on the drums now. It’s just a really good time.

Oh! And we are going on a little tour of NB with Cellarghost at the end of August!

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Tell me about your new series of all ages shows!

Does Saint John have an all ages scene?

I’m really excited about this. Myself and a group of other bands (Right Shitty, Cellarghost and Learning) were all looking for a place to practice and record about a month ago and we ended up finding this old paint shop. It’s a pretty big spot so we thought we would have all-ages shows there whenever we could.

The all-ages scene in Saint John has had it’s ups and downs since I was a lil’ 14 year old kid, but it’s definitely on it’s way back up. There were places like The Gothic Arches and Hard Stone Cafe and the TRC, but as those places closed down or slowed down, not a whole lot came to fill the void for quite a while. We had the Shop for a little while, but that got closed down. The Saint John Arts Centre has been putting on stuff recently with Hard Times in the Maritimes which is very cool, but there isn’t a really viable spot that bands can book coming thru town on the regular, which is what we are hoping to do!

Our first show is tonight at 7 with Learning, Cellarghost and Little You Little Me and it’s gonna be super fun. Oh! And It’s 5 bucks at the door!

Who are your favourite local bands?

Oh man. Here we go!

Learning is wicked. Crazy good songwriting, really good potential.

Cellarghost is too good for their own good and, for that matter, all of our good. Carter writes the most incredible songs and I can’t wait for everyone to hear the album.

Right Shitty is such a killer time. Steve has my favourite voice in Saint John for sure. His yells/screams are so gutteral. Gives me the chills.

Wooden Wives are just fantastic! Great group of guys that I really look up to, Jud especially. They really are the cornerstone of the scene!

I could go on and on but I’ll round out my top five with Little You Little Me. They have the tightest live show I’ve seen in Saint John and they definitely have the mettle to get where they are going.

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Thanks Stuart!

Check out his band:

And check out more from Sharktooth Records here.

Show details:

@ 669 Loch Lomond Road
Doors at 7:00 pm
$5 cover
ALL AGES

Facebook Event

An Event You Should be Attending: Sweet Sassy Molassy + a Giveaway

Sweet Sassy Molassy is happening on the Market Square Boardwalk this coming weekend – August 8 & 9.

The five boardwalk restaurants (Lemongrass, Grannan’s, Saint John Ale House, Ryan Duffy’s and Cougars) will all feature a menu item made with molasses as well as a drink.

Crosbys Sweet Sassy Molassy 4x6 PRINT

Crosby’s Molasses is a staple in my baking. I’m so excited to see how the boardwalk restaurants incorporate it into a menu dish! (He’s hoping for some GINGERBREAD).

Do you think you’d like to attend? (you should)

Crosby’s is making it easier! Enter below for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to any restaurant on the boardwalk + a copy of Crosby’s newest cookbook.

This is a quick giveaway – you have today and tomorrow to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks, Crosby’s!

Interview with: Shane Ogden

Since having my eyes opened to the very large (and funny!) comedy scene in Saint John – I haven’t been able to escape the advertisements for show after show, weekend after weekend of comedy.

I met Shane at a new material night at Happinez Wine Bar a few months ago. He told me about his regular comedy series, Shane Ogden Presents and naturally, I wanted to share with you.

The next Shane Ogden Presents… show is August 14th in Saint John at 3 Miles’ Function Junction and features Comedy Legend Mike Macdonald. Tickets are $20 and $5 off of every ticket goes to the RCMP Foundation.  I think my favourite thing about SOP is how personal it is – you can text (506) 608-3677 for FREE ticket delivery anywhere in the Saint John area by a real human! You don’t even need to leave your couch!

Enjoy!

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Hi Shane! Tell me about yourself and what you do.

I’m a father, comedian, and electrician.  I assume you are asking about comedy.. I’m 38 and I’m still learning who I am.  I’m certainly not who I thought I was going to be… I’m sure I’ll be a couple of more things before I die. 

How did you get started in comedy? Do you remember your first “bit”?

I was in a couple of plays in High School, when I graduated I went to Calgary, where I continued to act in community plays and a travelling Dinner Theatre Group.  After one of these plays our cast party was at a comedy club, and I decided I had to try stand up.  It looked like a lot of fun.  I’m understating that, I was in an obsessive trance.  I knew I was going to do it for the rest of my life.   My first “routine” was about air travel… I am to embarrassed to even repeat it, lol.  I will say I wasn’t good right away… for every good bit I’ve had I’ve made 10 peoples’ ears bleed with failed attempts.  I have gone through a lot of different phases and have taken several different approaches to stand up.  I’m currently in my favourite  headspace which is a clinically depressed terrible parent with O.C.D.  Seems like the more problems you have the funnier it is to people.   Human beings are really awful, terrible creatures, lol. 

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James Mullinger performing at Shane Ogden Presents!

Comedy in Saint John is not new – but it seems like it’s gone through some sort of rebirth or new identity.

Enlighten me on Comedy in SJ.

Comedy in Saint John has been infrequent, often big stars blow through town, which does not breed healthy well rounded experiences for audiences.  If you go see an open mic it SHOULD be people who are new, or comedians with experience trying new things.  If you go see a draw (TV or movie star/established comedian), you’ll see a great show, but chances are you’ll pay a higher ticket price.  Neither of those experiences, big names or open mics, are lasting, organic experiences that resonate with the community.  The reason comedy is experiencing a rebirth in Saint John is because of three cornerstones of love and enthusiasm.  Five years ago I started performing regular shows in Saint John.  When I started running out of material I hired my favourite comedians, opened for them and called it “Shane Ogden Presents…”

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Tell me about Shane Ogden Presents!

This series is regularly sold out and is not a money maker for me, it’s about high quality entertainment at affordable prices.  My regular shows are just ten dollars, and feature comedians who are not household names, but have amazing comedic abilities.  I make only enough to generously pay the performers, no agency fees, no middle men, just production costs, equipment rental, and laughter.  I also hire local comedians and give them opportunities to be part of a professional show.    Even before me there was also Lloyd Ravn, who has taken a brake to care for his family.  He put on loads of regular shows at great expense and definitely made a huge impact.   Then there is the pure magic of James Mullinger, whose enthusiasm is matched only by his tremendous comedic talent.  He is currently setting up shows all over New Brunswick, and is making great things happen.  Between Lloyd, James and myself we’re the reason there are regular, professional stand up comedy shows in Saint John… and all of NB.  

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Recommend 10 stand-ups I need to hear right now

Mike Macdonald, Derrick Edwards, Mike Wilmot, Tom Stade, Pete Zedlacher, Brett Martin, Debra Digiovanni, Mark Little, Sean Lecomber, and Paul Myrehaug.  All amazing under appreciated Canadian artists, all among the best period.  If I were to put a dream team Canadian Olympic Stand Up Comedy Team, that’d be it.  There are so many great talents, and Canada has the best Comedians in the world and because I love stand up so much I feel it’s my mission to make sure people know their names.

What’s a typical day like for you / what is your dream day?

I don’t know how typical my days are… but generally I wake up waaaay to early to go to a job far away from my home… the day is usually broken up and peppered with thoughts of missing my family, a new bit I’m working on, or how I’m going to pay for the next “Shane Ogden Presents…” Show.  My dream day would be sleeping all day, waking only to play with my kids, write for an hour on a shaded balcony, perform at a regular open mic, see all my friends, and then I can’t tell you how my day would end except to say it would involve illegal substances, my wife and things she won’t even do on my birthday.

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What’s next?

Next I will focus on loving my family and friends, writing and performing stand up, and making “Shane Ogden Presents…” the best it can be by providing quality entertainment at affordable prices.

The next “Shane Ogden Presents…” show is August 14th in Saint John at 3 Miles’ Function Junction and features Comedy Legend Mike Macdonald.  Tickets are $20 and $5 off of every ticket goes to the RCMP Foundation.  Text (506) 608-3677 for FREE ticket delivery anywhere in the Saint John area.

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See you there!

A place you should be staying: Chipman Hill Suites (Guest Post)

A few months ago I was approached by Susan Fullerton to stay a night, with her compliments, at the Chipman Hill Suites – a getaway within my own City. Rather than have a sleepover, wake up and head back to my own home, I approached my friends Candice and Jason (who were currently planning a trip home for a week) to take Susan up on her offer.

Read below for a review of Candice and Jason’s Chipman Hill Suites experience!

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When Barb approached me about staying at Chipman Hill Suites for part of a recent visit to Saint John, I immediately accepted. Having previously lived in the city’s uptown, it made perfect sense to stay in one of Saint John’s charming, older properties instead of opting for a local chain hotel. Not surprisingly, we were very happy with our decision!

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My fiance Jason and I spent two nights at 71 Sydney St., which is a stone’s throw away from where our former apartment is located. The non-traditional check-in worked well for us (there’s no front desk, so you pick up your keys by entering the building with a security code provided to you several days before you arrive), and we absolutely loved the historic details found inside. The main floor is outfitted with several sitting areas, and while we didn’t make much use of the space, it was neat to see inside the circular sun room we’d walked by many times (visible from the corner of Sydney and Princess streets.)

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The suite was equipped with a kitchenette, small dining table, two televisions, a king-sized bed and the kinds of small, beautiful details you usually find in well-maintained, older Saint John buildings, including wood carvings and stained-glass windows. The large window in the bedroom made it very bright in the room in the morning, even with the shutters closed, but with a busy schedule each day, we didn’t mind this wake up call.

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We were lucky to have our stay fall on two beautiful, summer days. The first night, we walked through King’s Square down to the boardwalk just before the sun set, and Jason and I both commented on how similar it felt to when we lived in the city, and how nice the feeling was. We were also able to invite several friends over to visit us at the suite, which was wonderful.

I’d highly recommend any Saint John visitors to consider Chipman Hill Suites during their stay! The rates are extremely reasonable, given that wifi, parking and laundry was also available (at 71 Sydney St.) The experience is sure to give former Saint John residents a taste of home, and new visitors a glimpse into life in the city.

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Thanks so much, Candice! Come back soon <3

Take a minute and join the Chipman Hill Suites newsletter – by clicking here.

They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

… Now for the fun part!

Do you need a getaway? Do you need a home away from home for a night?

Tell us your story in the comments to be entered to win a complimentary night at the Chipman Hill Suites!

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Product Review: Triumph

As you know, from time to time I’m approached by companies to try out products. Normally, I pass those opportunities along to you guys – but this time I couldn’t resist. I was approached by Triumph to have an over-the-phone bra fitting and to be sent a sample of their product.

When they originally contacted me I was in full #30before30 swing. I was going to the gym 4-5 times per week and was noticing that my current bra wasn’t cutting it. (read – skipping, push-ups and burpees were a v-neck t-shirt disaster/peep show).

BRA FACTS:

Apparently 64% of women are wearing the wrong size (and almost 30% of them do this knowingly). This isn’t shocking to me. I was. And I was. It’s REALLY hard to resist a $5 La Senza deal.

I was sized over the telephone by a sweetheart in Toronto. It was easier than I thought… one measurement, two measurements, sized. I was wearing a size WAY OFF from what she suggested I should be wearing. (See fact above).

At the end of the call it was decided that she would send me a sized sports bra (a thing I didn’t know existed). I was surprised when my bra arrived that she had also send along the Amourette bra and panty set. #winning

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They fit me like. a. glove. It was INCREDIBLE. I was instantly more confident and most of my shirts fit me better than they did before.

Here are some signs you’re wearing the wrong size:

– Your straps are digging into your shoulder.
– Your straps are falling off your shoulder.
– Your underwire is sticking out.
– You’re “spilling out” – you know what I’m talking about.
– The center of your bra (between the two cups) does not rest perfectly on your skin.
– The band keeps moving up in the back – or – the strap is causing an ugly bulge.

You can be sized almost anywhere – even over the telephone. Feel free to contact an expert Triumph Bra Stylist at bra.fittings.ca@triumph.com.

Full disclosure – of course these bras were sent with their compliments. Since receiving them, I have purchased 2 additional Triumph bras (available locally at Sears and Lillianne) because I seriously love them that much. 

Interview with: Lucas Hicks from SappyFest

Guys. I can’t even handle my excitement.

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SappyFest 9 is just around the corner. On August 1st everyone will gather on Bridge Street in Sackville for another full weekend of your favourite music.

The Constantines, Rae Spoon, Cousins, Mike Feuerstack, Julie Doiron … It’s old home week.

I interviewed Lucas Hicks, the new Creative Director at SappyFest. Check it out!

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Hey Lucas! Tell me about yourself and what you do

I’m an original Sackville local. I’ve been here for my whole 20 years.
I help co-founders and ex-festival directors, Paul Henderson and Jon Claytor, run a pub in town called Thunder & Lightning.
I’m also organizing myself to start a booking agency here on the East Coast.

This past year was rough, tell me about it.

It was rough, but we pulled through thanks to our dear supporters.
After last year’s festival there was a deficit of about 15k. Paul and Jon came up with the idea to create a coffee table book highlighting the last eight years of the festival. They both had decided it was going to be their last festival before it happened but stuck around to raise the money and create the book, SappyForever. It’s a tremendous piece of work. We pre-sold over 250 copies and set out on a tour from Halifax to Toronto to throw shows and deliver the books. It was a huge success and meant a lot to all of us. It helped strengthen the organization. Paul and Jon both still play a really important role and there’s a bigger and better board of directors.

What is your relationship with SappyFest?

What are some of your favourite memories of the festival?

I found out about the festival 6 years ago when I was in middle school. Shotgun Jimmie came to play a few songs for my class and told us all about the festival. I emailed Paul, the director at the time, and insisted that I get involved somehow. It’s always primarily been a 19+ event due to liquor laws in New Brunswick, but they created a great youth volunteer position that allowed me to help out and still get cultured. I stuck pretty close to him after that, he’s taught me a lot.

The SappyFest lineup this year is like a family reunion.

What should I be looking forward to?

I’m really excited to have all the classic Sappy artists together: Michael Feuerstack (ex-Snailhouse), Julie Doiron, Shotgun & Jaybird. It’s going to be really special.
There’s also some amazing bands that are pretty fresh and haven’t played the festival yet like Ought, Freelove Fenner, and Dusted. It’s a great mix.

If someone is new to SappyFest

What should they know going in? How can you ever really prepare?

Don’t prepare too much. It’s an amazing environment and an even better community.

What is a typical day like for you?

I’m in the office by 9 responding to emails and making sure all the day to day stuff is running smoothly. I take care of the programming, production, and artist relations so there’s always something to do.

and what’s your dream day like?

Listening to all the Pavement records in order and strolling downtown for ice cream, which basically happens weekly. I’m pretty lucky.

What’s next?

Things have been really busy with the festival just a month away. Planning for next year pretty much starts immediately after So it stays busy but is much less stressful. I’ll hopefully be able to focus my time into starting the booking agency up.

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Thanks, Lucas!

Weekend passes for SappyFest are on sale here. They’re still looking for volunteers and billets – find more info on that by clicking either word.

Here’s the SappyFest schedule:

(you should click it so you can actually read it)

I’ll see you there.

An event you should be attending: Photo workshops with Allie Beckwith

I met Allie back in 2012 when I invited her on a whim to take part in #SaintJohnCut3. I loved her photographs from the shoot and since then have been in awe of her fast and awesome success.

In just a few short years (while finishing up her studies) she has shot at New York Fashion Week, been published on the Italian Vogue website and has shot for the blog And I Was Like.

Next week Allie is holding a photo workshop where she’ll have everything laid out for you – the venue, the model, the backdrop and the assistance. You show up with your camera and she’ll guide you through the process of a fashion shoot. The next night you’ll gather at UNBSJ and she’ll critique your portfolio and your shots from the night before.

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I asked Allie about an instance when she was able to have one on one time with a photographer and how that benefited her and her photography career….

A few months ago I had an 1h long phone call with Fashion Photographer, Chris Nicholls. He is a photographer based in Toronto and works a lot with FLARE Magazine. He has photographed Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry & Lorde and so many more. He really gave me a lot of confidence in my shooting. He told me his story of how his career evolved over the years and the steps he had to take to get where he is today. He was really encouraging and told me that I was already ahead of where he was at 20 years old, so that really gave me perspective to where I stand and gave me a lot of valuable advice moving forward. 

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I was also able to chat with Allie about what kind of advice she’ll be giving when looking through your existing portfolios, whether you’re a model or a photographer…

When reviewing a model’s portfolio I look for how many shoots they have under their belt, if they are experienced, if they have diversity, if there are photos without makeup so I can see if they have potential to what I’d like to turn them into, if they can hold some looks better than others, etc. 
The advice I would give to models is to show as much range as possible, I like working with a model that is really confident in all the situations I face her with, and also be creative with posing, it excites photographers like me reviewing a models book when she has unique posing. 
While when reviewing a photographer’s portfolio I am looking at lighting, concept, location, retouching, post processing, the image as a whole, not so much the models features.
For photographers, I would say stick with one theme, if it’s fashion keep it fashion, if it’s weddings, keep it weddings. It’s tough reviewing a portfolio that has fine art, to new born, to event photography, to sports, etc. You want to show your strongest field. 

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For more info on the workshops click here.

As of June 27th there are only 2 spots left – so don’t delay!

xo,

B

A contest you should be entering: Brunswick Square’s Summer Style Contest

I like to consider myself a pretty knowledgeable person. I might not be able to tell you who sings a certain song or who the main character is in a movie… but ask me who designed a certain dress or pair of sunglasses and I’m ON IT.

Brunswick Square is holding a contest that, I’m sure, was made for me.

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Use your fashion sense and guess which Brunswick Square store styled each outfit currently on display on the 3rd level, next to Baubles.

I stopped by yesterday to check out the scene and snapped a few photos…

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Do you think you know? I have my guesses.

Drop by Brunswick Square and fill out a ballot. You could win… wait for it… a $500 shopping spree. That could buy a lot of summer style.

xo

P.S.

Follow Brunswick Square on Twitter and Facebook below:


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Interview with: Scott Thomas + an event you should be attending

It took me so long to finally get my act together and attend an Improve show at the Saint John Theatre Company, hosted by the Improvisation Corporation. It was REALLY FUNNY.

I think I was nervous at first to attend because I’m not into the “make fun of the audience” style of comedy. This wasn’t like that! They ask for volunteers to tell a story from their day or week and they add to it. It’s funny.

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This Friday is the “Season Finale” featuring my friends, Bad People, as their musical guest.

I think you should add this to your calendar. I’ll see you there.

In the meantime, enjoy this interview with Scott Thomas, funny guy and great actor!

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Hi Scott, tell me about yourself and what you do?

I’m a dad and an academic advisor at UNBSj and also a local theatre devotee. Ive been heavily involved in theatre performance and production for over 20 years now and my journeys on the stage have taken me to all sorts of places – but eventually back to my home town. Ive been working with the SJ Theatre Co for 10 years now and have operated my own improvisational comedy group (Improv Corp) for about 8 years.

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How did you get started in theatre?

Probably doing skits around campfires at summer camp – its a tough environment – a set with live fire and an audience more interested in making out than laughing. High School theatre at St Macs really gave me the bug and just enough success to develop an ego. Later after giving up theatre forever after Bob Doherty didn’t cast me in his production of Little Shop of Horrors, I rediscovered theatre while at university. Those early theatre days in Halifax stripped the ego away and had me working as background set painter, tech crew, chorus, writer and whatever other parts I could scrape together. Over time I managed to find my way to working with some very talented and sensible people who gave me an excellent grounding in theatre performance and production. Over time opportunities came to work around the maritimes including a very fun 2 year stint with TNB.

How did you get started in Theatre in Saint John?

I arrived back in SJ like most people – unexpectedly – and began to seek out local theatre. I was initially going to avoid the SJ Theatre Co as I hadn’t heard very good things – but when they put out a call to do Guys and Dolls (my favourite musical of all time) I had to jump at the opportunity. Bob Doherty was the director and this time he did cast me in the leading role. Working with the company has been a great experience ever since.

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When did Comedy enter the picture… specifically improv?

I have always been a comedy junkie. Growing up it was Monty Python, SCTV, Abbott and Costello, the Marx Bros, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Bob Newhart – you named it, I wanted to listen to it. But it was at the Halifax Fringe festival in the summer of 1992 that I saw the format I really wanted to take on. A group by the name of Scriptwrecked featuring local Halifax celebs Jamie Bradley and the late Bill Forbes did an entire show of improvised comedy. It was brilliant. I took every workshop and training session I could find, but it wasn’t until the early 2000’s when I was settled down and had a group of like minded people around me who were equally interested in performing improv comedy. They had previously tried the format with a local group called the Comedy Knights and we relaunched the group under my direction and called ourselves Improvisation Corporation. We’ve been going for close to a decade now and have evolved through differing formats, locations and cast members – but somehow we march on.

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Tell me about Cheese Monkey Box Pirate?

How did that get started?

CMBP is our monthly improv show at the BMO Theatre on Princess St. While rehearsing for our live shows, we would often have to shout out random words to one another as inspiration. As improvisors know, there are some words and names that just keep coming back again and again no mater how random you think things are – for example – it is very common for people to use the name JOHNSON in shows. “Mr. Johnson I have your review here….” For us, the words CHEESE, MONKEY, BOX or PIRATE kept coming up again and again. So we said we would just get it out of the way by naming the show those words. Its our current series name – but that too could change – past shows have been called Potato Salad, Funzai, Comedy Night in SJ and The Maple Leaf Queens Comedy Buffet – who knows what it will be next year?

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What can an audience member expect at a CMBP show?

We do scenic long form improv based on tales told to us by our guest stars – usually a local celeb or musician. Once we have their story we used it like a shopping list an explore the ideas and characters in a variety of short improvised scenes. Sometimes they are connected other times not – you never know. What an audience can expect is the unexpected – which is often a funny take on relatable situations. Its a fun night – we have a bar, its a cabaret party atmosphere and it’s free to get in the doors – all we ask is that you “Pay what you can” when we put out out bucket of truth. Al of our CMBP proceeds support the SJ Theatre company and we’ve already had success with helping them get new chairs and tech equipment for our current space the BMO Theatre.

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Thanks, Scott!

See you Friday!

Facebook event (( here ))

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