MENU

Interviews
Category

904

Fowl Play – Interview and Review

Culture, Events, Interviews, Performance, Performance, Reviews, Showcase, Tech

September 20, 2017

Interactive theatre pieces are amazing. It gives people the chance to be creative and think outside of themselves to get to the final goal. Entertaining others while entertaining yourselves.

Interactive theatre is also hard to do. You have to account for a bunch of variables, those variables have a name, and that name is audiences.

Telling is a story that is compelling enough to entice your audience enough to participate but having a narrative that doesn’t NEED them to do the most important tasks is important. Making sure that what your actors do makes sense in the context of the narrative is paramount. Matchstick Productions did the important things and left room for you to play with the characters in their production of Fowl Play.

Photo Credit – Luke Redmond – Fowl Play

“Fowl Play: a Search for Odd Behaviour and Even Odder People,” is an interactive theatre performance that will be presented at the Anvil centre as a response to the New Westminster New Media Gallery’s current exhibition “Dominion.” Come join us with your smartphones and be on the lookout for some pesky birds in this one-of-a-kind scavenger hunt!

I was invited to participate on an audience level with this production by Judy Hamilton from TerraTap who we spoke to on the Living Myth Magazine Podcast about their app neartuit which was used as a method of quest messaging throughout the interactive art piece. Your quests are to help “The Birds” do things and interact with them on a personal level. The birds you will encounter are actors stylized to look like the birds they are imitating with anthropomorphized behaviours and styling.

All in all, I enjoyed myself, I appreciated the tandem play aspect of some of the tasks and authentic interactions with the rest of the tasks. I appreciated the improv aspect of the interactions too.

Photo Credit – Luke Redmond – Fowl Play – Flirting Peacock

If you are in New Westminster on September 20th and 21st and are near the Anvil Centre at 6:30PM stop by Fowl Play and play! The show is an hour long and definitely a joyful experience and best of all FREE! FREE PUBLIC INTERACTIVE THEATRE! SERIOUSLY! HOW CAN YOU NOT!

Photo Credit – Luke Redmond – Fowl Play – Graceful Swan

Below we have an interview with Matchstick Productions about the show and we will also include a link to our podcast where we talk about neartuit.

_____________________________________________________________________________

LM: Can you give a history of the project?
MP: The show started out as a response to the current exhibit at the New Media Gallery. This exhibit, titled Dominion, explores themes of human domination over nature. It also heavily incorporates birds, with its mainstay piece showing birds of paradise and hummingbirds in a dazzling zoetrope. We have integrated these themes into a game style show.

LM: How long did it take to have the performers ready? 
MP: We started seriously workshopping about 2 months ago, but only took its final form about a week and a half ago. A piece like this evolves constantly and we hope it can adapt to audience needs.
 
LM: Who did the costuming and the writing? 
 
MP: Costuming was a collaboration between Jess Redmond, Emily Matchette, and Zakk Harris. They included birdlike elements and colours into each costume. The writing was a team collaboration mostly but was headed by Isaac Caverzan.
 
LM: Can you tell us on how iBeacon/neartuit was integrated into the piece? 
 
MP: We used the iBeacon technology to help augment the information given to the audience. As they go through the show the neartuit app will help locate and also give additional information on the various birds. It is, however, not mandatory, and the show can be completely navigated using pen and paper!

Read article

493

Blood Countess at the Vancouver Fringe Festival – Review and Interview

Culture, Events, FRINGE!!, Interviews, Performance, Performance, Reviews, Showcase

September 13, 2017

Western culture is obsessed with gore and violence and torture. We love it in our media, we love it in our history and we love it in our folklore. I have a deep love of  Gothic literature from man made monsters to the romantic nobility that seduces women and then drains them of their blood and their mortal souls.

Vampires are the most popular mythical beings. They are more popular than fairies, unicorns, and leprechauns. There are good ones and there are bad ones. Misunderstood and completely feared.

The most famous vampire ever is and will always be Dracula, but if we were to root around into history you would find that Dracula was based on a Romanian nobleman Vlad the Impaler. The facts around his life are absolutely horrific, however, he didn’t drink blood and wasn’t a serial killer.

The second most famous “vampire” is a woman and her name is Erzebet (Elizabeth) Bathory, a pure blooded aristocrat from Hungary. Her family was the Kennedys of the time. Rich, educated, attractive and powerful. She married a well respected nobel who was also the head of the Hungarian Army and with that much power and responsibility one will always have a target on your back and that is where Blood Countess lives.

Written, directed and performed by Sharon Nowlan, this one woman show dives deep into the misogyny and misinformation surrounding “The Blood Countess” and the circumstances around her life of torment and eventual death.

It is gripping and intimate and visually striking. Employing minimal set but historic costumes and impressive poi and whip skills Nowlan will make you feel the betrayal and pain that one feels when you are centre of scandal and rumor.

It is not for everyone, you have to love history and you have love vampire to really get this show at its core. If you are thinking you are going to see torture porn at the Fringe you are going to be gravely mistaken. If you think that you are going to get Twilight or Interview With A Vampire, you should go to Netflix. This show is meant for us folks who are folk lore nerds.

You can see Blood Countess Friday September 15th at 8:40pm and Saturday September 16th at 4:15pm and tickets are available here.

_________________________________________________________________________

We were able to have a quick talk with Sharon about the project and her goals for Blood Countess and her future plans.

LM: Can you give us the history of the project?

SN: About 9 years ago I was working on a production of Dracula. At a party, the lead actor told me that I should play Elizabeth Bathory. I was unfamiliar with her, so I began looking into her story. Over the years I became more interested in the story, ordering every book I could find on the subject. Most portrayals of her supported the accepted legend: She was a prolific murderess, obsessed with her looks, who would kill young virgin girls in order to bathe in their blood.


Yet, when I focused my research on facts, and what could be proven with documentation, another portrayal emerged. She was educated and intelligent, spoke 5 languages (including the language of her peasants). A mother. A woman who managed a large amount of properties, worked in her community, started a school for young women, and supported war widows.

 

It was this contrast that kept compelling me to come back to the story.
Of course, it would have been quite easy (and fun!) to portray the legend in a bloody horror show. But it was after last year’s US election when I realized that I could not do that. I would not use a sensationalized story to portray this powerful and intelligent woman as a monster.

LM: What are your plans for the show in the future?

SN: That’s a tough questions to answer, at the end of a six city tour! It’s been challenging.
But, I think after I integrate my experiences of this summer, the Countess will rise again. I believe the subject matter, and the esthetic of the show, might appeal to a European audience. I would love to continue to tour it.

LM: Given that history is written by the winners do you think that women’s stories in history usually need to be retold later on in years to add context and nuance?

SN: I love the saying, “don’t believe everything that you think”. It’s so easy to except historical record as fact. But if you’ve ever been a subject of gossip, you know how quickly stories can get muddied. Women have not fared well in history. If we are to learn from it, it is worth re-examining.

The ‘facts’ behind the legend of Elizabeth Bathory–650 girls murdered, bathing in blood–didn’t come into documentation until 100 years after her death. But that is the story that many people prefer to stick to.
If you don’t find my interpretation plausible, you aren’t paying attention.

LM: Can you tell us if you learned any skills for the show or how you incorporated skills you had into the show?

SN: I have used whips and LED poi in most of my shows. When I saw that there was a new LED whip product, I immediately ordered it. I was excited to be able to integrate this very modern product into my 16th century world, in a way that I think is very effective.

LM: Do you have other projects that are in the works?

SN: Not at the moment. But I see as many Fringe shows as I can while I can. I am always inspired by the work of my fellow artists.

Read article

862

Fifty Shades Of Dave at The Vancouver Fringe Festival – Review and Interview

Books & Writing, Comedy, Culture, Events, FRINGE!!, Interviews, Performance, Performance, Reviews, Showcase

September 13, 2017

I am going to clue you into a loosely kept secret around here… I am an American. I was raised by NPR listening hippies. I watched Public Television a lot and I was brought up with the voice of Garrison Keillor lulling me into a peaceful amusement about the people and crazy antics of the fictional town of Lake Wobegon via the very popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion. There was even a movie about the radio show itself starring Keillor as the romantic interest of Meryl Streep, and Lindsay Lohan who was just starting to tip over the precipice of highly successful child star to a tragic train wreck of a young adult who used to be a child star.

Now, we had a family cherished Christmas album, even though we were Pagans who celebrated Yule, and on this CD was one story. This story was Polly Anderson’s Christmas Party and it was cooed to me annually by Stuart McLean and his beloved story telling experience The Vinyl Cafe.

So, now that there is context and nostalgia we shall begin to talk about Fifty Shades of Dave the delightful and sexy show written by Happysad Theatre‘s Nico Dicecco and Kyle Carpenter and performed by Nico Dicecco.

Dicecco, sounds so amazingly accurately like Stuart McLean that I would find myself closing my eyes and pretending that I was wrapped up in a blanket, sipping hot chocolate and smelling our Christmas Tree/Yule Bush… but then our host would say phrases like, “The ice cream is a metaphor FOR EATING PUSSY” or “Put your hands up and spread your legs… Officer Morley was naked” or “I came four times that night” and I was immediately snapped out of my warm, safe, innocent childhood to my lurid and sex positive adulthood and I sat at the edge of my seat falling in love with Dave and Morely’s very amazing and heartwarming adventure into spicing up their sex life.

I really could not love this show any more than I do and I really feel so much pleasant joy and amazing gratitude to have seen it.

Please go see it, you have two more chances Sat Sept 16 at 6:25pm and Sun Sept 17 at 3:00 pm. You can purchase tickets and your membership to the Fringe here.


We also got the chance to have a few words with Nico Dicecco who plays Stuart in the play and who is also a co-writer of this gem.

LM: Can you give us the history of the project?

ND: It started as a party trick that my co-writer Kyle Carpenter and I would do years and years ago to make friends laugh, just saying the dirtiest things we could think of in Stuart McLean’s voice. Eventually, we decided it would be funny to write a full story and record it as a podcast. As we were writing that, we discovered that the whole thing worked best if we pulled back on the really dirty humour and tried as hard as possible to capture what it would actually be like if Stuart McLean revealed the intricacies of Dave and Morley’s sex life. We managed to record one story, but then we decided that the project was strong enough to work as an hour long live theatre performance. We applied for a few fringes and got into Vancouver and started writing more stories to fill out our time. By January of this year, we had a full draft. Then, in February, Stuart McLean passed away. We were heartbroken. We took a bit of time to think about whether or not we still wanted to go ahead with the show. We reread the script, and it was chock full of love and admiration for The Vinyl Cafe, so we were confident that audiences would receive it as the tribute that it is.

LM: Can you tell us more about your love of either Vinyl Cafe or Fifty Shades of Grey or both?

ND: Hearing The Vinyl Cafe on the radio is the earliest memory I have of realizing how incredible storytelling can be. I was listening in the car and when we got home I refused to let my mom turn off the radio until the story finished. I was enraptured. Since then, I’ve been a fan of Stuart McLean, usually listening to his CDs on road trips. There’s a way that The Vinyl Cafe has of weaving itself into really great family memories.

As for Fifty Shades of Grey… I really don’t know much of anything about it. I read two pages once and didn’t care for the writing. We just liked the title.

LM: How long did it take you to get Stuart McLean’s voice down?

ND: I’ve been doing a Stuart McLean impression since at least 2008, but it kind of started out as more Jimmy Stewart than anything. We first started crafting material for this show in 2013, and that’s when I got more serious about perfecting the voice and the rhythm of his storytelling.

LM: What are your plans for the show in the future?

ND: We’re booked to take it to the Montreal Fringe in May, and I’ll be applying to a ton of other festivals for the 2018 season.

LM: Do you have other projects that are in the works?

ND: I’ve had a lot of people come up to me after shows and comment that I look a fair bit like Justin Trudeau, so I’m starting to work on my impression of him, and Kyle Carpenter and I are brainstorming ideas for what kind of Trudeau show we might want to do.

LM: Have you thought about touring this to sex positivity conferences?

ND: I haven’t, but that’s a great idea! Our top priority, next to honouring the spirit of The Vinyl Cafe, was to offer a sex-positive portrait of Dave and Morley. We worked really hard to shape the stories so that they are celebrations of sexuality and human connection, even when Dave is causing calamity in the bedroom.

Read article

526

Culture, Interviews, Lifestyle, Opinion, Podcast, Tech, Why Aren't You Watching This?

September 6, 2017

Welcome to the third episode of Living Myth Magazine Podcast.

We are glad you are spending some time with us.

Your hosts Anne Honeycutt and Aaron Golden really appreciate you.

This episode features two interviews, a talk between Anne and Aaron about the current creative Zeitgeist and a piece of music created by wonderful creatives.

September is not only Fringe month but it is also a great time to reconnect with people and community and also celebrate the technology we use to do that.

So, this episode is all about how technology creatives help us learn about and build up our communities!

http://livingmythmedia.libsyn.com/living-myth-magazine-podcast-episode-3-september-2017

Interview 1:

NEARTUIT – HOW INTERACTIVE MAPS HELP CREATIVES CURATE AND EXPLORE ART with Judy Hamilton

Judy Hamilton of TerraTap and her Chief Technological Officer created Neartuit which is an interactive map system that automatically tells you cool things about a cool thing when you get close to the cool thing. They have been helping creatives and curators around the Greater Vancouver Area create interactive smart phone friendly content that allows the consumer to be informed and delighted.

Here are links to download the apps onto your tiny hand sized computers!

http://www.neartuit.com/app/

You can also see their work on display at The City Of New Westminster Museum & Archives  and at The New Media Gallery

Interview 2:

PLAYPALS THE FIRST APP YOU CAN USE TO TABLETOP GAME WITH EVERYONE with Arik Sternbeg

Jalyn Euteneier of our 0D20 property interviews Arik Stenberg about PlayPals and the importance of building community through gaming. When this interview was recorded in July the app was a few weeks old, but now it is September and it is doing AMAZING!

Here are links to download the apps onto your tiny hand sized computers

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.play_pals

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/playpals-discover-local-tabletop-game-events/id1207049719?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 

Then…

Anne and Aaron talk about Sarahah and how Anne and Avens O’Brien have used it to become better people and/or interact with fans.

As promised we have set up one for the magazine and podcast network. https://livingmythmag.sarahah.com/

The end music for this month was suggested to us by the Vancouver Chipmusic Society and it is called Half Steppin’ and it is by virt, Freaky DNA and Norrin Radd

 

And there we have it, thanks so much for spending time with us!

Do you like what you heard? Do you want us to celebrate your creativity creatively? Drop us a line at podcasts@livingmythmedia.com and Anne will totally get back to you 😀

 

Read article

413

Fringe Interview – Scientist Turned Comedian, Tim Lee

Comedy, Culture, Events, FRINGE!!, Interviews, Performance, Showcase, Tech, Why Aren't You Watching This?

September 6, 2017

As part of our Vancouver Fringe Festival coverage we would like to introduce you to Tim Lee – Scientist Turned Comedian. We sat down with Tim and asked him questions! Here is the results! With pictures and diagrams.

“You know how Larry the Cable Guy’s act pretty much consists of him yelling “Git ‘er done!” every five minutes or so? Scientist-turned-comic Tim Lee’s material is the diametric opposite. Lee, who got his PhD before realizing where his true talents lay, blends science talk (complete with PowerPoint presentations) with comedy. The hilarious result is like what would happen if you crossed your high-school chem teacher with George Carlin”
– The Boston Phoenix”

LM: Can you give a brief but interesting history of Scientist Turned Comedian?

TL: When I was in grad school I used to throw gag slides into my talks. I find that a little humor relaxes the mind. When I started comedy I was performing regularly at a bar in Palo Alto that had a PowerPoint setup so I brought back some of those gag slides and put them into my standup act. The audience loved it!

LM: Why did you choose to perform in Vancouver?
TL: I’ve heard Vancouver has a wonderful performing arts scene. I want to experience it myself.

LM: Do you have a favourite scientist?
TL: I named my children after Edison and Faraday. The reason I like them so much, besides their influential body of work, is that they are both self educated. Edison was a child laborer who was beaten so hard at his job that he lost his hearing. He only went to school for three months. Faraday also had little formal education. It was their curiosity that drove them to greatness. I’m inspired because they were both were driven by the joy of discovery. It drives me to keep discovering and I hope it will inspire my kids as well.

LM: Do you have a favourite science fiction character?
TL: I hate to say it but it’s probably James T Kirk. I find him both humorous and oddly inspiring. Only someone as clueless as William Shatner could have taken writing that went right over his head and turned it into a classic role.

LM: What are your top 4 road trip songs?

TL:

Road to Nowhere – Talking Heads
Take it Easy – Eagles
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Sympathy for the Devil – Rolling Stones

LM: If you were early to get to your plane and you had 20$ what would you spend it on?
TL: Iced tea and smokehouse almonds.

The show is from September 7th – 17th, 2017 and you can buy tickets here!  The show will be at the False Creek community Centre on Granville Island.

Read article

524

Vancouver Chipmusic Society – Making “Toys” Sound Good

Concert, Culture, Events, Interviews, Music, Performance, Showcase

August 24, 2017

We recently made contact with the Vancouver Chipmusic Society to talk about their organization and the culture around chip music. 


LM: Can you give us a history of the Vancouver Chipmusic Society?

VCMS: For the last few years, I (Bryan) had been going to and occasionally performing at chiptune shows and festivals around the world in key cities that had developed a critical mass of chiptune enthusiasts – but I would usually return home to Vancouver lamenting that no such scene existed here.

I had since then been quietly keeping tabs on the few local chiptune artists and enthusiasts I did stumble across, in the hopes of starting a local scene when the time was right.  It wasn’t until Spring of 2016 that I decided there were enough interested people to warrant putting together a team and organizing a Vancouver-based chip show.

We ended up having the first installment of our chiptune concert series (dubbed “OVERFLOW”) on September 2016.  We had another edition of the show in March of this year, and of course, our third show is happening next Wednesday. The response has been pretty great, and just by virtue of the show existing we were surprised to see some talented local chiptune musicians being drawn out of the woodwork – artists that we otherwise wouldn’t even have known about!  So we’re very humbled to see the beginnings of this kind of community take shape, simply because we decided to take matters into our own hands.

LMM: Is there a community mandate?

VCMS: Our goal is basically to be true to the chip music art form and culture as it exists today – many of our organizers have been to chip shows elsewhere around the world and we want to preserve the feel of those shows while putting our own unique spin on it.  We feel that central to these events is the celebration of the independent/DIY aesthetic, as well as a certain streak of counter-culturalism – the use of these obsolete machines to make fresh and original music is in some ways a statement about freeing oneself from the latest economic/technological trends.

We also feel like this is music that anybody can enjoy, regardless of whether they know anything about video games or not.  So we try not to present our events as gaming-themed, although such associations are unavoidable – it’s really more about appreciating the purity of sounds that don’t sound like any classic human-made instrument and could be enjoyed in their own context, free from the computer/video game connections.

At a more abstract level, these events about celebrating how skillful leverage of heavy restrictions can lead to some really compelling forms of art.  You’ll see this in the masterfully-done pixel art for some of the games we’re showcasing, as well as much of the live music, much of which is made using sound chips capable of only 3 or 4 sounds/tones at a time.

LMM: How many members do you have currently?

VCMS:  We’re not actually structured like a club with memberships or anything like that – our organizational structure consists of about 5 or so members, mostly fellow artists, that have offered to help with all the logistical stuff needed to put on events like shows and workshops.  We also have a few enthusiastic friends who have been great with volunteering at our events, but beyond that, that’s about it.

In terms of show turn out, we’ve averaged about 60 attendees, which is actually quite decent for a chip show!

LMM: How did you get into Chip music?

VCMS:  When I was younger, I would spend lots of time collecting and listening to executable computer music (.MOD files) that I would find online.  These types of music files contained all the song data and instrument sounds – it blew my mind to be able to SEE the music on the screen instead of just listening to it.  Much of this music was actually some of the first chip music that existed.

In about 2007 or so I discovered that there were communities around the world that still enjoyed listening to and writing this sort of music, even to the point of organizing shows and festivals.  Many of those artists were using Game Boys and other hardware to write and perform their music, and when I looked more closely at how it worked, I realized that it was actually pretty easy to learn.  I’ve since been writing chip music under the pseudonym “bryface“.

LMM: If someone wanted to get into Chip music as an artist what would you need?

VCMS: Most of the relevant software is either free or insanely affordable.  Famitracker (which you can use to write hardware-accurate NES music) is freeware.  Little Sound DJ, which can run on a real Nintendo Game Boy via special flash cartridges, costs only ~$2 for a license – but you can run it on a software-emulated version of a Game Boy.  If you’re not interested in achieving dogged hardware accuracy, there are many audio plugins that emulate the basic sound chip waveforms which you can load up on typical Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software, for use either by themselves or to be incorporated with other software instruments.

LMM: Who are your current “Chip” favorite artists?

VCMS:  It’s a pretty varied and extensive list so I couldn’t possibly name them all.  But I would wholeheartedly recommend xyce, cTrix, HarleyLikesMusic, RoccoW, Fearofdark, Saitone, and chibi-tech among a zillion others – I would say that represents a pretty meaty cross-section of many chip-related sub genres including demoscene, acid, funk, pop, IDM and electro.

One interesting detail about the above artists that I’ve met or shared the stage with the vast majority of them in person in the last couple of years, at the various chip shows and festivals that have happened around the world.  That hopefully helps to illustrate how surprisingly close-knit this global scene is, even though many of us live on completely different continents.

LMM: And finally who is your favorite non “Chip” artist?

VCMS: Oof, that’s a really hard question to answer, again because my musical tastes are as eclectic and transient as they come!  But just recently I went with a friend of mine to a Jacob Collier one-man live performance – if you’ve ever seen his viral videos where he layers dozens of takes of his vocals over top of instrumental layers that he also himself performs right from his room, then you’ll have an idea of his staggering musical talent.  If anybody deserves more attention diverted their way for their talent and hard work, it’s that kid.



You can check out some great Chip artists at the Vancouver Chipmusic Society‘s event Overflow #002: Mega Ran + Sammus, Together We Are Robots & MORE which will be at The Fox Cabaret on August 30th, 2017 from 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM tickets are $15 online/early bird and $20 at the door. The event is 19+. You can get tickets here!

Read article

616

Living Myth Magazine Podcast – Episode 2 – August 2017

Culture, Interviews, Podcast

August 7, 2017

Welcome to the second episode of Living Myth Magazine Podcast.

We are glad you are spending some time with us.

Your hosts Anne Honeycutt and Aaron Golden really appreciate you.

This episode features two interviews, a short story and a piece of music created by wonderful creatives.

August is Pride Month in Vancouver, unlike most of the world that does it Pride events in July. Anne and Aaron are proudly not straight and not cis and well, happily “queerdos”

So, this episode is a celebration of all of the great LGBTIA+ creatives in Vancouver!

http://livingmythmedia.libsyn.com/living-myth-magazine-podcast-episode-2-august-2017

Interview 1:

STORYTELLING WITH DRAG QUEENS!

Candie Tanaka of the International Centre of Arts and Technology along with local Drag Queens Oliv XKarmella Barr and Amy Grindhouse and our HBIC Anne talk about the phenomenon that is making audiences in Vancouver laugh, cry, and learn about diversity.

Based on NYC’s Famous Drag Queen Story Hour at the Brooklyn Public Library and San Francisco libraries but with a NorthWest Coast flavour! Vancouver’s version of Storytelling with Drag Queens provides 2 different events for all to enjoy. They have monthly adult readings at Cafe Deux Soliel and also offer kid’s shows.

Their next live show will be September 30th. Storytelling with Drag Queens for Kids! will be at the Canadian Memorial United Church and Centre For Peace.

* Content warning – Drag queens have potty mouths, but you should know that already 😉

Our short story this month is Clone Me Baby One More Time! By a frequent contributor to Living Myth Magazine and a proud queer trans woman Holy McCrae and read by another out and proud bisexual woman and local voice actress Callyn Dorval.

Interview 2:

TRANS REPRESENTATION IN THE MEDIA AND THE AMAZING STORY OF “THE SWITCH” THE WORLDS FIRST TRANS SITCOM with Amy Fox.

Anne sat down with the creator of The Switch which will be going on sale August 15th. Amy Fox about the show, how creatives can plan for the future of their projects and also how to create the representation one craves in a world where people don’t see who they are in the media they consume.

The Switch Website: http://www.welovetheswitch.com/

Trembling Void Productions Website:  https://www.tremblingvoid.com/

The end music for this month is called Bend by Honeybird & the Monas. Anne met Honeybird at the Bisexual Visibility Cabaret that was in the early part of July. Honeybird is a multi-talented musician along with being an outspoken Bisexuality advocate.

And there we have it, thanks so much for spending time with us!

Do you like what you heard? Do you want us to celebrate your creativity creatively? Drop us a line at podcasts@livingmythmedia.com and Anne will totally get back to you 😀

Read article

591

Preview: The 24 Carrot Show! Fou Fou Ha! Featuring FOU YORK!

Burlesque, Comedy, Culture, Events, Interviews, Performance, Showcase

July 24, 2017

Fou Fou Ha! is an ensemble of animated character performers who thrill audiences with over the top shows filled with Circus antics, jaw-dropping dance numbers to high-energy music and audience interactive playfulness. The Fous are a family of enticing, colourful, sexy performers, each owning a unique character that celebrates individuality and unabashed human expression.

Loved by many wherever they go, FFH inspires audiences to celebrate, dance, let out their inner Fool and be comfortable with their shadow. Divine trixters, sexy activators, captivating performers, out of the ordinary show. This is theater at it’s best, and the Fous make sure you have a good time watching and engaging with us.

We had a chance to talk to Maya Lane creator of Fou Fou Ha about the troupe and their upcoming shows on July 28th and 29th at The Rio in Vancouver:

LM: Can you give us a brief but fascinating history of how Fou Fou Ha! came to be.

ML: It began when I was studying dance in Holland and the Cirque culture in Europe became very inspiring and influenced me a lot. When I came back to The States I had the chance to go to Burning Man and those two experiences combined with my love of the club kid aesthetics from the ‘90’s led me to create Fou Fou Ha. The clowning aspect grew organically from there.

LM: How did you get involved with The Rio?

ML: We were introduced to Corrine of the Rio by Jasper Patterson and  Jamie Dewolf who is a well known performer in San Francisco who happens to do the annual Game of Thrones Live show, Corinne from the Rio came to see our show last year in SF and invited us to bring it to the Rio. This meeting made it so that we could do a yearly show at The Rio.

LM: Do you feel yourself to be a burlesque troupe that happens to clown… or a clown group that happens to also do burlesque?

ML: We didn’t start as either. We are a dance company who likes theatrics. But eventually, the aesthetic went to clowning and satire. Burlesque performance was also added later on as well. So, as a pure tracing of the genealogy of the show, we are clown troupe first.

LM: How many are in the troupe that is performing in the Vancouver show?

ML: 10 from San Fran and 4 from New York

And now.. not so serious questions we used to get to know people…What are your top 4 road trip songs?

LM: What are your top 4 road trip songs?

ML: My road trip songs are

  1. Alaska Thunderfuck – This Is My Hair
  2. Balkan Beat Box – Habibi Min Zaman
  3. Edith Piaf  – Padam Padam
  4. Tricky – We Don’t Die

LM: Victor/Victoria or Cabaret? Cabaret

ML: Cabaret… gotta love Fosse!

LM: If you were early to get to your plane and you had 20$ what would you spend it on?

ML: A dry martini and an Italian Vogue

For a peek of what Fou Fou Ha! Is about please feast your eyes on the video below! Tickets and show information is here!

 

 

 

Read article

1765

Preview : Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret

Culture, Events, Interviews, Showcase

July 5, 2017

We recently interviewed Katie Sly of Too Queer: A Visibility Cabaret which will be at The Fox Cabaret on Friday, July 7

LMM: Can you give us a brief but fascinating history of how Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret came to be?

KS: Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret is an arts-based community engagement project I created in Toronto in 2014, in response to an absence of community events organized for and about bisexuality and pansexuality. Back in 2014, I knew only a handful of other bi/pan folks. On a message thread with the small group of bisexuals, I did know, we were sharing and complaining about perceptions of bisexuality. On that thread a friend of mine mentioned that someone should throw a performance event about bisexuality– and I immediately realized I had the requisite amount of know-how, rage, and connections, to actually make that happen. I contacted my friends William Ellis and Jordan Tannahill, who were running a storefront, independent performance venue called Videofag, told them I had no budget but a lot of passion to curate a performance night celebrating bisexuality and pansexuality, and luckily for what would become the Too Queer cabaret series, William and Jordan understood the bi and pan community’s need, and donated us their space. 

In 2014 when all of this started, I felt completely disconnected from a bisexual community and wondered if one even existed. At the same time, I encountered biphobia in my day-to-day life and in designated queer spaces, where I often saw that the B in LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) was only welcome if it was silent. So in curating the first Too Queer event, I only expected a handful of people to show up. What happened instead was that the performance space was so packed, it was standing-room only about an hour before performances even began. I was shocked by just how many bisexuals, pansexuals, and our allies had been waiting for an event like this– had been waiting for a space where we felt welcome. There were people standing 4-deep outside the windows of Videofag’s storefront, trying to see the performances. For the first time in my life, I saw how large our community actually is. Immediately after that first event, the bi and pan community I had just discovered asked me, “When’s the next one?” 

That’s how this bi visibility cabaret series was born.

Since 2014, Too Queer has held four widely-attended multimedia performance events in Toronto, showcasing photography, illustration, storytelling, dance, burlesque, spoken word poetry, and music, among other artistic disciplines. In 2016 Too Queer held a day of free-to-the-public arts workshops, all led by artists who identify as bi or pan, working around the question, “How do we make bisexual art?” That day of workshops was followed a week later by another hugely successful performance event at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (the world’s oldest and largest queer theatre). In the words of Buddies’ Artistic Director Evelyn Parry, “There’s no project like Too Queer in Toronto. It’s time to expand the definition of what we think of as queer.” 

Now, with Too Queer’s first Vancouver event coming up this Friday, July 7 at 8 pm at the Fox Cabaret, Too Queer is the first and only bi-coastal (pun intended) bi and pan performance series. 

LMM: What are your goals with this event?

KS: Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret has three goals: combat biphobia, create a safe container in which bi and pan culture can develop and evolve, and serve as a cultural focal point around which bisexual folks, pansexual folks, and our allies can meet each other and form friendships, relationships, and community.

Biphobia, a form of discrimination distinct from homophobia and transphobia, takes many different forms. For example, a frequent form of discrimination bisexual people face is the assertion that bisexuality (physical, sexual, and/or emotional attraction to people of the same gender and of other genders) simply doesn’t exist, and is either an expression of confusion over sexual orientation or greed. Another form biphobia takes is the stigma that bisexuals spread HIV to the straight community. Biphobia also manifests in violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bisexual women experience a significantly higher rate of being stalked, attacked, or sexually assaulted by an intimate partner than women of other sexual orientations.

The denial of the existence of bisexuality manifests in the media through an absence of portrayals of bisexual characters and narratives, which in turn enforces the belief that bisexual people don’t exist. Through art, Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret attempts to combat biphobia by increasing the visibility of bisexuality, pansexuality, and polysexuality, and by creating an opportunity for art that addresses the bi spectrum to develop.

LMM: Can you give us a rundown of the artist you are working with and why they are in the show?

KS: Vancouver’s first instalment of Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret has a tremendously diverse line-up. We have, from Vancouver:

Video art about what it means to wear a Cochlear implant and thus, be a human cyborg, from bad ass deaf Asian warrior Jessica Leung.

Poet and virtual reality investigator Doctor Ray is looking at the intersection of art and technology, bringing us an art piece he will (literally) attempt to control with his mind.

Ruthe Ordare, Manda Stroyer, and Shane Sable of Virago Nation will be performing with us. Virago Nation is an all-Indigenous collective of burlesque performers on a mission to reclaim Indigenous sexuality from the toxic effects of colonization.

Keyboard virtuoso and avant-garde muse, bi pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa will be performing compositions by a bi composer, and in so doing explore an awareness of global bi+ culture.

Dominique Wakeland, Alexa Fraser, and Matt Winter of Devil’s Threesome, a devised theatre performance ensemble emerging out of Simon Fraser University, will be sharing a hilarious and strangely sexy performance examining objects of desire.

From Toronto:

Queer and trans solo multi-instrumentalist Rory Jade Grey will be sharing their storytelling musical work on guitar and loop pedal. Rory has been a fan-favourite of Too Queer in Toronto.

We’ll be projecting visual art by Caitlynn Fairbarns. For our show on July 7, Caitlynn has taken stills from film and TV, of queer and bi characters, and has used paint to edit out their surroundings, so that the focus is brought to these queer and bi characters, whose identities are so often erased.

And last but certainly not least, joining us from across the border:

Los Angeles’s multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and LGBTQ activist Monique “Honeybird” Mizrahi will be performing. Honeybird has toured Europe, and her previous performance bookings have included Obama’s White House. Honeybird was part of the Obama administration’s summit on health and policy issues related to bisexuality. (The Obama administration is the only government in the world that has held such a summit). This will be Honeybird’s first time performing in Vancouver, and Honeybird’s music often explores themes of bisexuality. She is an important international advocate for our community, and will not only share her music but her stories as a bi activist.

The artists I’ve programmed for this event, I’ve selected because they are extraordinarily talented and daring artists who either self-identity on the bi+ spectrum or their work addresses themes relevant to the bi+ community. 

LMM: Do you have a mission statement or commitment to the community that you would like to share?

KS: Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret is an arts-based community engagement project, which has been making and holding space for art addressing bisexuality, pansexuality, and polysexuality since 2014. For the purposes of this project, bisexuality, pansexuality, and/or polysexuality are sexual orientations that describe attraction to persons of more than one gender. 

Too Queer stands in solidarity with trans communities, and believes that, to paraphrase bi poet and activist Lani Ka’ahumanu: bi folk, pan folk, genderqueer folk, trans folk, and non-binary folk– we are the sex and gender border bandits, and we need to have each other’s back. 

Too Queer gives the middle finger to viewing gender and attraction as an either-or. Every washroom at Too Queer is open to everyone.

Regardless of one’s sexual orientation, everyone is welcome to attend Too Queer. Too Queer is a space where you can be who you are, and be loved as you are.

LMM: Do you have any more events planned in the future? 

KS: In September 2017, there is a weekend-long Bi Arts Festival being organized by, among others, my colleague, bi activist Catherine Jones. Catherine and I are looking at putting together an edition of Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret for the Bi Arts Festival in Toronto in September. https://www.facebook.com/biartsfestivalTO/

LMM: Name a famous bi/pan performer that you would love to have as a guest performer in the show.

KS: It’s a real thrill to have an international artist like Honeybird joining us. Honeybird is an artist I’ve been trying involve in the Too Queer project for a year now.

Next on my list of artists to have work with Too Queer is a music act called Witch Prophet, who I almost managed to snag for this first Too Queer event here in Vancouver, before Witch Prophet got booked for a gig in Tokyo. So my chase of Witch Prophet continues.

One day, I’d love to have columnist and speaker Eliel Cruz be part of a Too Queer event. Eliel is one most vocal bisexual activists I can think of, and his work has been published in the Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, GQ, and Rolling Stone, to name a few media heavy-hitters.

And then, I’d like to have Anna Paquin perform at Too Queer. 

Read article

818

Kurtis Wiebe on Rat Queens

Books & Writing, Culture, Interviews, Showcase

June 19, 2017

Kurtis Wiebe, writer of Rat Queens and Bounty and a host of other comics that we love, recently took the time to sit down and chat about his return to that title, his love of role playing games, the future of the Queens, and some of his other projects. It’s the sort of conversation that we’re delighted to be able to share, and so…

 

LMM: Hey, Kurtis, thanks for taking the time to do this with us. You’re back writing Rat Queens, one of the first – and, in our opinion, one of the best – dungeons and dragons inspired comics to feature anything other than male leads. Where did the original concept come from?

Kurtis Wiebe: Rat Queens was born out of the idea of taking fantasy in a direction I’d never seen before. I’d never come across a fantasy series, comic or fiction in general, that featured four female protagonists. I wanted to create a world where gender really didn’t matter when it came to career pursuits. So often when a woman is a warrior in these sorts of stories there’s always someone making a point of it. “You can’t do that, you’re a woman.” And then the story is about them proving that they can. I think it’s a fun concept that it’s just a universally accepted fact that a job is a job, no one questions the gender equation.

And I think it’s pretty obvious that there’s a huge element of roleplaying game nostalgia mixed in for good measure.

 

LMM: You had initially intended to kickstart the series. What was it like getting picked up by Jim Valentino before the funding went live? What was your reaction?

Kurtis Wiebe: I think it’s sort of telling in a lot of ways. I never expected ANYONE to read Rat Queens. It was a series in a genre that traditionally was a tough sell in the comic market. It didn’t even cross my mind to pitch to Shadowline until Riley Rossmo read over the pitch and said I should at least try to talk to Jim Valentino about it.

Jim responded within a few hours and greenlit it. I think Jim saw more in the series than I did at that point and took a chance. I was pretty surprised, honestly.

 

LMM: What brought you back after your hiatus?

Kurtis Wiebe: Owen Gieni. I’d been talking to him for years about working on something together. We’ve known each other long before we both ended up in Vancouver a few years ago. (Though I’m no longer there, myself.) Owen and I met up and started hanging out in Saskatoon, Canada roughly seven years ago. We played RPG’s together, jammed on story ideas and spent a few nights around a campfire having drinks. Real classic small town Saskatchewan stuff.

I’d always hoped that Owen would come onto Rat Queens for a one shot at the very least, and I’d reached out to him about coming onto the series when  Stjepan was unable to continue working on it. It didn’t work out then due to scheduling conflicts, but I’m so glad he agreed to join me for the relaunch.

You have to understand that Owen brought an energy to the series that reignited the spark for me. I had fell out of love with the series for a lot of reasons but I am absolutely loving working on it again. The best part is the level of collaboration we have. We will break story together, scene by scene. Joke by joke. This new take on Rat Queens is a real blending of our combined humor and storytelling.

 

LMM: You’ve got an interesting cast of characters to develop stories with. Who’s your favorite, and why?

Kurtis Wiebe: Tough decision. I think Betty has become the most natural for me. I know her inside and out and her ability to love anyone, despite everything, is an aspect of her personality that is a real joy to write.

 

LMM: Speaking of that cast of characters… everyone is a lot deeper than they look at first glance. Where’d you draw on the gender issues that confront Violet, where do you see her brother’s involvement in her life going, and is the rest of her family going to get involved?

Kurtis Wiebe: For Violet, it was more about family expectation. Tradition for the sake of it. Never questioning the history that came before. And the reasons her father gave her were never enough. She needed to be heard and her father, and Barrie to a certain extent, weren’t able to do so. So Violet set out to create her own traditions that were personal to her.

Barrie is already part of the new relaunch, and it’s evident he still doesn’t understand her choices. We will be dealing with that in upcoming issues and more with her family later on.

 

LMM: Violet takes care of her Queens and the Queens look like the biggest gang of heroes in Palisade – how do the people of Palisade feel about that, and how comfortable is Violet with playing politics? Will the various nobles try to use Violet and the nobles for their own ends?

Kurtis Wiebe: I doubt Violet sees herself as a hero, that would be more of a Hannah thing. But the people of Palisade are much more accepting of the Queens after they saved the town from a potentially devastating attack in Volume 2. We’ll get into that more in the series as well.

 

LMM: By the same token, you have a similar but different issue playing out with the half-orc, Braga. What was it like getting to explore her backstory, and what’s it like having her officially join the Queens?

Kurtis Wiebe: I love the one shots for that reason. We have an opportunity to tell smaller stories that reveal the history of our side characters in the series. As far as Braga, she’s always been a fun character to write. Her backstory is sad in a lot of ways, but fits in with the overall idea of found family. She never fit in with her own orcish people because of their backward violent traditions. There’s some similarities to Violet’s backstory, but Braga left to see a bigger, more beautiful world.

It was a natural fit to bring her into the fold of the Queens. It’s definitely a different dynamic, and it takes some getting used to for sure. But I’m glad we made that decision.

 

LMM: Hannah has dealt with a host of abuses in the past. Has she laid her demons to rest, so to speak, or are they going to come back to haunt her going forward?

Kurtis Wiebe: Hannah’s story is a very big part of our relaunch. I’ve said before that everything that happened in the series before matters and the relaunch is going to be a little jarring at first. I can’t say much more without giving a lot away. But, rest assured, Hannah’s history and her decisions are very much still echoing through the story.

 

LMM: Hannah’s infernal heritage has caused her a lot of grief and turned people against her not because of who but because of what she is. Do you see who she’s become as a self-fulfilling prophecy given the way she’s been treated?

Kurtis Wiebe: It can go that way. Or maybe it has. Or maybe it will. Or maybe it hasn’t. Secrets.

 

LMM: Dee’s religious background is interesting – an atheist cleric who has seen the face of her god is kind of amazing. Where did the idea of her faith come from, and are we going to see it explored further?

Kurtis Wiebe: Dee’s religious background is a fundamental part of her character and we can’t tell her story without some part of that playing a role. A lot of her experiences are based on my own. I came from a Christian family and later on became an atheist. Through her story, I’m telling my own. Even working out some of the struggles I’ve had because of it.

And Dee’s vision of her god will definitely play a large role in stories to come. For now, Dee is preparing for a career change which will be more apparent in our second arc.

 

LMM: How does Betty live on nothing but alcohol, drugs, and candy?

Kurtis Wiebe: Smidgen resilience to pleasure overload.

 

LMM: You’ve used Rat Queens as a means of poking fun at fantasy tropes while exploring modern issues of privilege, gender and sexual identity, and politics. A handful of comics have tried to echo what you built – how do you plan on keeping Rat Queens ahead of the pack?

Kurtis Wiebe: I don’t really see it as a competition. Rat Queens mirrors the community of people in my life and that’s where I draw my inspiration from. I plan to continue to be inspired by that community and try as best as I can to replicate those relationships in the world of Rat Queens.

 

LMM: Rat Queens betrays a love and knowledge of pen’n’paper role playing. Do a favorite system? What games do you play? Do you have a favorite character you’ve played in the past?

Kurtis Wiebe: I love RPGs. I play anything and everything. I think certain systems are good for specific genres or types of players. Want to introduce complete newbs to RPGs? D&D 5th edition. Want to run a deeply character driven but hilarious short story? Fiasco. It all depends on the mood and the group, in my opinion.

And, to be honest, I haven’t actually played a character in about twelve years. I exclusively run games. That’s my jam.

 

LMM: What are the future plans for Rat Queens? You’ve done some crossovers with Vox Machina from Critical Role – a live D&D show played by voice actors – and done some work for the video gaming industry in the past; any chance for a Rat Queens video game? Toys? Board games? Maybe an actual D&D expansion?

Kurtis Wiebe: Well, it hasn’t been announced yet but I’m working with Wizards of the Coast on a Rat Queens adventure supplement for D&D 5th edition. I’d love to make an RQ board game, something like a dungeon crawler miniature combat game with a huge splash of humor.

 

LMM: In the first issue of the new series, the Queens end up fighting a Giant Canadian Goose. The normal-sized ones are terrible enough, but… are there stats for the Giant Canadian Goose? For reasons of I need to inflict that on my players.

Kurtis Wiebe: No stats yet. And you can thank Owen Gieni for that one. In the script I simply said: Insert flying monster of some kind. The rest is all Owen.

 

LMM: There’s been a host of other projects that you’ve been working on, all tying into the same themes that Rat Queens draws so much from – titles like Grim Leaper and Debris coming to mind. Is there any chance we might see more of them?

Kurtis Wiebe: I’m focusing all my comic energy into Rat Queens right now. It is my number one priority and my goal is to ensure we continue to come out with fun, hilarious and adventurous stories that are also hitting their schedule. Fun fact. When issue 3 came out last month, it was the first time in the series history that we had 3 issues in a row that came out on time. That’s the goal. Consistency in schedule and quality.

 

LMM: You’ve also flirted with horror comics, as seen with Green Wake. Where did the idea come from, how did you develop it?

Kurtis Wiebe: I wrote Green Wake while going through a divorce. It was the one place I could channel all those raw emotions and transform it into something that made sense of at least some of the pain. But it was entirely a creation of both Riley and me. It was an equal partnership in both storytelling and worldbuilding and I’m super proud of it.

 

LMM: While Rat Queens was on hiatus, you started working on the sci-fi series Bounty. What was that like, jumping from one genre to the next?

Kurtis Wiebe: I wanted to do a series for a younger audience that built on the themes I’d created in Rat Queens. I’ve received so many messages about wanting a Rat Queens style story that women could share with the girls in their lives that wasn’t R rated. And Bounty came out of that. Genre jumping wasn’t a huge difficulty, I have written in sci-fi settings before and narratively it was a world that was right in my wheelhouse.
It was a lot of fun to work on. Mindy Lee is an amazing artist. Her design sense is some of the best I’ve seen in comics and it was a real honor to work with her. It was one of those things where Bounty wouldn’t have worked under anyone else’s sensibilities.

 

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Kurtis. If you’d like to chat with Kurtis you can do so on the twitters by clicking here or his personal page by clicking here. He’s good people. He also sometimes hangs out at Big Pete’s Comics and Collectables, where you can also buy Rat Queens and his other works. They’re also on Amazon, and you can find a helpful listing of his comics by clicking here. Thanks again to Kurtis, thank you for reading, and we’ll have more goodies for you as they crop up. 

Read article