I kinda love having my picture taken. Most actors don’t. For some reason I do. Even as a child, when my mom would take 10 min adjust the camera and we were all getting impatient, as soon as the camera goes up, my face lights up. I have fun pretending to be a superstar model, or imagine I’m getting interviewed for something fabulous. So here are the photographer’s favourites (Denise Grant)
So I’m trying to set up a home studio. This will be a long process of trial and error. The mic I thought was going to be great is not as great as I thought. Editing software is pretty good, but I keep forgetting how to do things! It would be so much nicer for someone to hire me to come into their studio… but I’ve waited years for that, so I’m gonna do it myself!
I”ll have to post some pics here of my trip to Israel. It’s on my list of things to do this week. First of course though I need to finish my taxes. Ugh. I tried to prep things before the trip, so it’s not so bad. It’s still annoying. There are always little things I’ve forgotten. I”m glad I don’t go to an accountant though. I’ve never had a good experience with one. All the same work, and then I have to fork over a tonne of money for someone else to put it in the computer. NO thanks. I’ll strain my brain a little. At least I have time to do these tasks this week. A work project got pushed back by 2 weeks, so hello free time! I can always find ways to fill that.
Next up … photos of my trip!
I’m transferring my old VHS tapes to digital. All performances that I have captured. Classes, student films, stage shows, vacation videos. It’s been a crazy trip to watch all of these. Who was I at these moments? Have I learned anything since then? Some tapes have held up better than others. Some make me cringe to watch. Some are forgotten treasures.
I”m also looking at my clothes, jewelry. I wore that? Where did those earrings go? I still wear my eyeliner the same way… is that good or bad?
Along with the nostalgia of this is some regret. I wish there was more. I wish I had done some more of my own projects so that I could build up my skills more. Guess that might be another project.
So I am branching out on my own here, making a ‘new’ website. Or at least trying to move things from another site to this one. I’ve moved about 25 times in the real world… a digital move should be less muscle strain…right?
Every song on my new album “Pickpockets and Loose Women” has a story behind it. All of these songs had a huge impact on my when I first heard them, and I promised one day I would record them all. So here, for your amusement are the stories behind the songs. Buy album now!
I Want to Be Evil;
The “newest” fascination for me. I first heard this in the movie Kinky Boots in 2005. I loved it. I mean, Eartha Kitt made it famous first, so what’s not to love? It took a long time for me to track down sheet music for it. It wasn’t until Kinky Boots the musical came around that I found it. Of course they don’t use the song in the musical… but it did spark interest in the original.
This is a song from a Canadian musical called “Girls in the Gang” written by John Roby and Raymond Storey. We did a production of it in theatre school and John Roby was our Music Director. Up until this point, I had always loved jazz music, but was strictly ‘classical’ in my singing. I didn’t know how to ‘belt’. I was amazed that I was cast in the show. I spent a great deal of time figuring out how to get something that sounded jazzy, belty and strong, and not blow out my voice. When I asked John Roby if I could do this song, he gave me his blessing (and the score arrangement) but said “I’ve had a lot of people ask me if they could record my music…but no one ever has.” It has taken me 10 years to get to it, but I’ve finally done it!
Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love?
This one is from the Marilyn Monroe/ Jane Russel movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. This reminds me of my days performing with my ‘little sister’ Elizabeth Griffin at the “Big Creek Boat Farm” when we were in theatre school. Marilyn may have gotten the attention, but Jane had all the best lines! Incidentally while researching album artwork, I discovered the orginal story was from a pulp novel… much like the style of my cover!
Slowly (Langsam, immer Langsam)
This song was from an album I bought when I worked as a DJ for Radio Herz, a German language radio station. Yup, I had a brief stint as a DJ. I played jazz and music theatre (no surprise there!) I found a store on Lakeshore that had imported CD’s and I came across the Kurt Edelhagen orchestra featuring Caterina Valente singing this song. I loved the way the slowed the recording down at the end letting it get all distorted and slow. With the help of my cousin Claudia in Germany we came up with a translation of the lyrics.
An Occasional Man
I had never heard of this one before. It’s from a film called “The Girl Rush”. It’s just so summery and fun, and the girl gets to be in charge for a change.
The Masochism Tango
My first year at Theatre School I went to a recital. I was not expecting the pretty girl on stage to pull out a whip and sing this! I needed to find out all I could about Tom Lehrer after that. I’ve had the chance to perform this a few times and it’s such fun to do!
Orange Colored Sky
The Muppet Show was a big favourite of mine. In 1980 Linda Carter was the guest start and sang Orange Colored Sky. Muppets in superhero costumes were thrown at her, things exploded. It was glorious.
Fast forward a couple decades and I finally came across sheet music for this gem. What luck! I feel like it coincided with meeting my darling hubby, whose favourite colour just happens to be Orange. Let’s say that’s how it happened. This one is for him.
Why Don’t You Do Right?
Who Framed Roger Rabbit came out in 1988. When Jessica Rabbit stuck her leg out from the curtain and sang this song, I knew I needed to find this song. I’ve sung it many times since then, but this recording definitely is the closest I’ve come to having a real Jessica Rabbit moment!
Minnie The Moocher
I used to spend a fair bit of time at the Reservoir Lounge listening to some great jazz. I’m not sure who was playing this song, but I loved the audience participation. And it’s a Betty Boop cartoon too!
Swinging On A Star
Well, this is the last track on the album and possibly one of the oddest ‘first hearings’ of a song. I was completely distracted by this song the first time I heard it. It was quirky and funny. I heard it in bits and pieces, sung by my about-to-be-ex-boyfriend. He explained why we could no longer be together (because I was too good for him) and then he’d sing a bit of this song while I tried to understand what his problem was. It was certainly a memory that stuck with me.
It’s a fun song to sing… especially when you aren’t breaking up with someone during it.
I have a secret.
In June, I recorded an album of 10 songs!
This was a project I wanted to do in 2006. I actually recorded my album, Songs for our Father as a test run for this album. Alas, it was not meant to be though, as my producer had to drop out due to health reasons.
I decided to shelve the project and used the money I had saved for it to go to Egypt… which was amazing.
Now, almost 10 years later, I find myself with some unexpected funds and no pressing needs to be met. What should I do with extra cash?
Hello recording studio!
I didn’t tell many people about it, because I was feeling a bit shy and expecting the bottom to fall out again. Also, secrets can be fun, so why give away a good one?
I loved being in the studio. If I could be in studio full time singing, or doing other voice work, it would be heaven.
We recorded at Number 9 studio in Toronto with Bernie at the controls. Everything went so well! It was a dream come true.
There is still some editing and a couple back up vocals to add (to be sung by my darling hubby Gord Thibault), but I think I’ve got something here!
I’ll let you know when it’s all done.
June 20, 2016. A rare full moon summer Solstice. The energy in the ballroom of the Campbell House is electric as 45 artists gather for the first readthrough of the 2016 summer production of Hogtown. I am filled with gratitude that I get to be a part of this amazing experience!
If you saw the show in January, you’re gonna want to book your tickets now, and come back, storylines have been expanded, new characters have been added – who knew Prohibition could be this exciting! And speaking of which, for the summer run the Speakeasy will be operating as a, well, you know, Speakeasy. (But since I (Tara) am playing Mary O’Grady Hunt, chairwoman of the WCTU, the less I know about the shenanigans going on down in the Speakeasy the better!)
For more information, to sponsor us, or to reserve your tickets, go to http://www.hogtownexperience.com.
I’m very excited for Hogtown to return to Toronto! The creative team has been rewritting the script and rehearsals are due to start very soon. There are a lot of great new changes coming.
I am a swing for the show, covering the roles of Mary O’Grady, June-Mable (Temperance women) and Marilyn Foster (the mayor’s wife). Tara Baxendale is also back for more Temperance lady action as Mary O’Grady.
Come see how the show has changed! Or if you haven’t seen the show yet, come see what all the fuss is about.
Previews: July 6-13 / $39
Opening Night: July 14 / $75
Regular Performances: July 15-August 28th / $45
Groups of 15 or more save 20%
Contact The Campbell House at 416-597-0227 x2 to book your group!
Tuesday – Saturday evenings @ 7:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday matinees @ 2:00 pm
The door opens 1/2 hour before the performance begins.
A cash bar will be available.
Campbell House Museum
(at Osgoode Subway Station)
160 Queen Street West
Toronto M5H 3H3
Please note: This is an ambulatory production which takes place on many levels of a historic building. Audience members will be required to climb stairs.
Parking available on University Ave. after 6pm
There are paid parking lots nearby: under City Hall; under the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts; and just north on St. Patrick Street.
One of the best parts about being an actor is all the random life lessons you learn. For example, tonight I learned you should always check the bathroom for make-up removal cloths BEFORE you practice drawing infinity circles on your forehead.
I also learned that drawing a symmetrical infinity symbol on my forehead is even harder than plucking your eyebrows and having them come out even.