Category Archives: Projects

Working With Anxiety Part 1: Mistakes

Disclaimer: I am not a professional counselor nor have I studied mental health issues. This blog is based on my own personal experience with anxiety. It is entirely subjective. If you happen to share my experience, that’s great! But please do not take this as objective advice.

Hallo all! Over the last few months I have been kept incredibly busy helping to do the narrative design for an large scale escape room on a train…

A moving train…

An escape room…

On a moving…train…

tenor

Needless to say, when the opportunity first came up Errol immediately pushed himself onto the project and I followed suit. We both love the mystery and romance of trains. The idea of being able to design an adventure on one was too good to pass up. Read the rest of this entry

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Sidekicks Episode 4

Episode 4 is here! And we finally start to get conversations that are not entirely antagonistic.

We’ve been getting great feedback so far! You guys have been awesome! Continue to share and like if you can :D.

Night at the Speakeasy Post Mortem

Well, after four months of planning, practicing and stressing September 19th came and our speakeasy event finally happened! And it didn’t crash and burn! Quite the opposite! It was a rousing success!

Two weeks later, my brain is somewhat recovered from the insanity of it all. It seemed like a good time to finally get some thoughts down on the evening. My previous blog post dealt with the actual creative process of writing for an interactive medium. This post will deal more with how the actual event turned out. Read the rest of this entry

A foray into Interactive Story and Escape Games

Over the last year and a bit Errol and I have had a new obsession: Escape Games. Twelve year old Manda has become insanely jealous of adult Manda for getting the opportunity to physically experience adventure games (let’s face it, that’s what they are). We simply can’t stop going to them and with Toronto being one of the meccas of the escape world, there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of new ones popping up. We enjoy them so much we even started a blog reviewing them.

Well one event led to another and before we knew it, we suddenly found ourselves helping to plan our own escape event. A live, large scale, one night only escape event called A Night At the Speakeasy happening this Saturday, September 19th at the Gates (66 Gerrard St E.). Look! You can see the website here! Read the rest of this entry

My Neighbour Errol- Comfort

Okay, so this is a bit of a lie. It’s not reaaaaaallly a My Neighbour Errol. But it does involve a conversation with Errol  AND it’s about the play I wrote with him so I’m putting it under this category. Because it’s my blog and I can do what I want!

Ahem…anyway, so this week our play opens. It’s called Sidekicks and Secret Identities, a collection of three plays about superheroes performed in one evening. Errol and I ended up doing a theatrical adaptation of our webseries.

Our poster design is AWESOME

Our poster design is AWESOME

Opening weeks…are not my friends…they are in fact the worst thing for a naturally nervous person to have to endure. This experience has been especially odd in that basically my job for the show was done two months ago, and I have no clue how things are looking so far although I do know that I like the cast and that anyone who can handle Errol’s dialogue deserves a medal.

At any rate…we’re opening. I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment, but with my personal pride comes all of the worst case scenarios that could possibly happen in a play, up to and including the audience throwing rotten eggs.

Or eggs with spiders! that would be TERRIFYING!

Or eggs with spiders! that would be TERRIFYING!

Errol has now dealt with my nerves for every one of our projects. The worst was perhaps NaNoMusical, where I was certain we would be banned from the internet by angry NaNo fans everywhere. It wasn’t until he told me to log into a chatroom and see the reactions that I was convinced otherwise.

Comforting words and empathy are not really Errol’s thing to begin with. They are even less so when he has a creative partner who has the same panic attack every time a big project is about to launch. And so these are the comforting words he offered this morning upon learning of my anxiety:

Errol: Think about it this way. If you’re right, and the show does fail, I don’t get to be smug about it.

Me: Hooray?

Errol: But if you’re wrong, then I’ll be smug.

Me: …I really don’t know how to feel about this.

Errol: But if it fails, you get to be right! And I’ll be sad I can’t be smug.

Me: So no matter what happens, I’m still going to feel bad and guilty at the end of it.

Errol: (happily) Yup! Have a good day at work!

And then he made this face

And then he made this face

But yes…regardless of the “Errol is a smug jerk” story…we have a play this week. If you are in the Toronto area, you should come check it out. You can also check out a blog I wrote for Monkeyman Productions about some of the process here. If you would like to see Errol’s smug face firsthand, I would highly suggest coming out. Wish us luck!

My Neighbour Errol: Kari

I have this friend named Kari.

Seen here in comic form!

Seen here in comic form!

I met Kari through Errol. Much like myself, it was a bit of a shock to be the subject of such enthusiasm from a complete stranger. And also much like myself, she was suddenly sucked into the vortex of Errol’s friendship. Read the rest of this entry

CheezWhiz

This week I open a show with Screaming Monkeys, a theatre company that focuses on providing a theatrical outlet to the marginalized communities of Toronto. I’ve been working off and on with them for about six years now, and wouldn’t you know it, this year is their 10th anniversary! To celebrate they’re performing a sort of clips show of favourite scenes and skits they’ve done over the past ten years.

Here is our poster! Wheee!

Here is our poster! Wheee!

I am reprising a couple of my past roles. I am nervous. Read the rest of this entry

Simian Showcase Post-Show Report

On Saturday the Bride of Simian Showcase closed. It couldn’t have gone better (well, other than a couple of minor hitches along the way but the sort that come along with every theatre show). I was there for every performance and never once got sick of it. The audiences were fantastic, the plays were solid, and Errol ate a microphone. For serious.

But by now...I'm sure you're not all that surprised.

But by now…I’m sure you’re not all that surprised.

I have to say, it was a different and weird and wonderful experience watching my play being performed. I haven’t been writing long, but up until now everything I have written has always been performed by myself in some capacity. This time though, after spending time crafting the characters, hearing them in my head, and imagining the look of the play, I was handing off my script to a group of people to make their own. Read the rest of this entry

Sidekicks: Flex Girl Trailer and Grant Applications

Hallo Bloggosphere! I need your help! First, here is a video! And below that is an explanation of the video!

So as I’ve said in previous blog posts, I’ve been pretty busy lately. One of the reasons for the busy times is that I’ve been working on a new webseries with Errol for WeTangent. Read the rest of this entry

Manda Tries a Caramel Apple

For my thirtieth (ugh) birthday one of my friends gave me a caramel apple. I have never had a caramel apple before. Normal people would just eat it. I am not normal people, so I made a video.

I am oddly proud of this video. Mostly because well…I made it. I set up the camera, I shot it, I picked out the music and I edited it all myself. And I did it all in an evening! Now THAT is incredible, at least to me, she who usually takes six hours to shoot a one minute video.

It is weird though, because really it’s not all that impressive. I mean, I’ve come a long way since my Windows Movie Maker days (for those of you who have not experienced Windows Movie Maker,  you lead a blessed life). But I have friends who can do fancy things like colour correction and animation and SPECIAL EFFECTS!

And yet I look at my video, with its hasty editing, crappy sound, and those two little bars at the top and bottom that I forgot were there but that I know drives Errol mad, and I think “LOOK AT THAT! I MADE THAT! IT’S AMAZING!”

It’s almost like having a kid. You see other people’s kids. You might think they’re pretty neat. But then you have your own and there is nothing better in the world. It doesn’t matter to me that other people’s video children are amazing athletes and getting science awards and my video child is in the corner eating glue, I made that video child! And then I’m like that annoying parent who keeps showing people photos of their children and talk about how amazing they are.

And it made ME laugh. Which is a feat. Oh, I laugh quite easily, but not always at myself.

So enjoy! Because I also got caramel in my hair and my suffering has to count for something.