I decided to make a COVIDeo (is that a term yet?) The Police wrote a great song… I just tweaked it a bit to reflect the current times.
I just got back from a truncated vacation to Florida. The trip was supposed to replace our plans to go to Vietnam to visit friends. That was cancelled because the Coronavirus was just getting started in that end of the world. Re booking to Florida to visit the in-laws seemed like a safe choice. We were even going to have a side trip to Aruba, to make up for that destination being cancelled on a previous trip. Now, it seems like Aruba will never happen. That’s twice we’ve had to cancel going there!
Needless to say, now that Covid-19 is a full on pandemic, all travel is cancelled and staying home is the thing to do. After spending the last 5 days of vacation in Florida mostly in isolation, it’s funny how fast one gets used to the new normal. It kind of reminded me of life on the farm as a teen during the summer. There was nothing much to do but chores and reading, and watching tv. By the time we got to the airport, I was actually hyper aware of how close people were to me. It was odd to see so many people sitting so close together!
Now that I’m home there is lots to do. I will be working on my home recording studio to get ready for new online work! I already have one audiobook to record as a profit-share, and signed up with a company to do more! This isolation thing might actually turn out well for me to get into more voice work like I always wanted to!
The audiobook has been released! My little home studio project is a success! Now that I know I can do this from home, I will be looking for more projects. Ideally getting paid for these jobs is the goal.
I do have a second book lined up (more on that later)
So far, I will say that Book #2 is a fiction-based-during-real-world-events, and for adults. I want to make sure I have a range of books to my credit.
It’s a nice way to start the decade.
So… after a lot longer than I intended…my very first audiobook is recorded and proofed! Next step is to turn it over to a sound engineer to master it so that it can be posted to ACX for sale!
This is the leap and faith portion. So far, most of this has been a solo enterprise that hasn’t cost me anything but time. Proofing was done by the brilliant author J.S Veter (my dear friend) and my darling hubby who is frighteningly detail-oriented, and therefor a great proof-listener and tech support.
I’m going to use Fivver for this project to keep the budget low as it is a labour of love.
Once that gets back to me…it’s off for ACX approval. Stay tuned!
Welcome to my project! I’m creating an audiobook from my good friend JS Veter’s book SIX. It’s such a lovely story about a dog who finds adventure and family. It’s a perfect fit for some of the crazy voices in my head and my love of telling stories. I’ve recorded several chapters, but it occurs to me that I should start getting some feedback. That’s where you come in!
Please give the chapter a listen, and answer the poll questions. The project is still underway and there will need to be editing and mastering yet to come.
It’s always a treat to be asked to sing with the Tom Reynold’s Trio. They just finished a month long set of Sundays at the Rex. I got to sing from my album “Pickpockets and Loose Women”. Hopefully there will be other collaborations to come in the future!
Stage Door News
Toronto: Glass Hammer Productions presents Andrew Batten’s “The Sad Blisters” April 12-27
Friday, March 29, 2019
Serial monogamist Joanne is getting married – AGAIN.
AND she wants her sisters to wear their bridesmaid dresses from her previous weddings.
AND Aunt Sara’s been getting free samples from the bar. What could possibly go wrong?
The Sad Blisters is loosely based on the family dynamic of the playwright’s wife, Debbie Batten, who has four siblings. One of her sisters, like Joanne in The Sad Blisters, was married three times to men with the same first name.
“The Sad Blisters masterfully balances comedy and drama, with wonderfully nuanced characters and a keen understanding of the female voice. Andrew was heavily involved in the casting of the play, the selection of the creative team and in choosing the music. These women are funny, flawed and full of courage and heart. You’ll be delighted emotionally by the performances of a stellar cast and you’ll also be intellectually stimulated by (both subtle and overt) references to the work of Anton Chekhov.” – Victoria Shepherd, Director
Andrew Batten was a former playwright in residence at the Blyth Theatre. He described himself more recently as a “reformed lawyer and recovering teacher”. His previously produced plays include The Accelerated Theory of Hotness, Romeo and Rosaline, The House of the Rising Sun, Even As Also I Am Known, Jellied Salad and Or Not To Be. Batten was also an accomplished actor, and in the last 12 years appeared in numerous productions for Toronto groups such as Alumnae Theatre Company (Hedda Gabler, Sylvia, A Woman of No Importance), Amicus Productions (Les Liaisons Dangereuses), and Village Players (Tainted Justice). Andrew was fond of saying that “people listen when you tell them your stories”.
Glass Hammer Productions is very proud to present the world premiere of
The Sad Blisters, which we lovingly dedicate to Andrew.
Written by Andrew BattenDirected by Victoria Shepherd.
Featuring Bonnie Gray, Andrea Lyons, Anne McDougall, Cate McKim, Esther Thibault.
Producers: Andrew Batten, Debbie Batten, Tina McCulloch
Stage Manager/Lighting Design: Liz Currie
Assistant Stage Manager/Fight Captain: Jamie Fairfoull
Set Design: Alexis Chubb
Sound Design/Music: John Stuart Campbell
Fight Direction: Ryan Armstrong
Poster Design: Vic Finucci
VENUE: The Commons Space, 587a College St. (west of Bathurst), Toronto.
Venue is on 2nd floor and is not wheelchair accessible.
SHOWTIMES: April 12 – 27, 2019.
Performances are Thu/Fri/Sat at 8pm; matinees Sat & Sun at 2pm.
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 80 mins. There is no intermission.
TICKETS: $20 regular; $15 student/senior/Arts Worker.
Cash only at door (reserve seats at firstname.lastname@example.org),
or purchase online at Brown Paper Tickets: sadblisters.brownpapertickets.com
FACEBOOK EVENT: www.facebook.com
When I was a kid, my mom was a leader at “Pioneer Girls” (sort of like Girl Guides, but with a biblical focus). My sister and I, of course, were enrolled. My mom was the leader for the youngest group. One year there was a presentation evening. Parents and all the other age ranges came to watch scenes prepared by each group. For my mom’s group, they were doing a shadow play of the story of Jesus bringing a young girl back from the dead (Mark 5:21-43) My mother asked me to read the story while the younger kids acted it out behind a screen. She said I was such a good reader, she wanted me to tell the story.
Little did I realize that I would spend much of my career doing exactly the same thing! They say a lot of people discover their career choices by what they chose to do for play as a child. That is certainly true for me. I love to tell stories.
2018 gave me the chance to take part in some great script reading sessions. Cut Outs at the Assembly Theatre where I was part of the script “Mommy’s wine fest”; Radio Project X where I got to do a bunch of accents (Swedish villian; Russian space station commander to name a couple); and a few you can check out online through Wildsound
2019 looks like it might be another year of reading fantastic stories and scripts! More to come on that later!
I don’t get much in the way of movie work, but I have to say a Christmas movie is certainly a good way to go if you are going to get one! I did this sweet MOW in 2010 and it keeps coming back! Now you can buy it as a digital download from Amazon:
My current movie is Jigsaw. I am probably only in about 2 min of the film, which I may never be able to confirm as I don’t think I could watch the full horror movie. Gives me nightmares. It was a fun shoot though! Everyone was really nice and upbeat. I guess they try and make the work environment positive so you can feel good about dying? Luckily my nephew managed to catch a screen shot of my big moment. I got to buy my wardrobe too…so I can relieve the joys of my tragic death any time I want. Working in movies has lots of perks!
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)