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263

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.

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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.

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598

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.

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306

Review – Scientist Turned Comedian at Vancouver Fringe Festival

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

September 11, 2017

 

Above is a brilliant example of what Tim Lee does. He shows you the hard data of things. The hard science of why your spouse steals the covers at night. The hard data on how we go from sober to “Scottish” when drinking and mad to Scottish when faced with the geopolitical climate of North America. In other words, this show is funny and informative.

Tim is an engaging comic and thoughtful commentator on the world around us blending observations with Demitri Martin style delivery with George Carlin frankness but with actual science!

You can read more about Tim and his point of view in our interview here.

His upcoming fringe show times are:

Mon 9/11 8:15PM
Thur 9/14 6:40PM
Sat 9/16 5:25 PM
Sun 9/17 2:45 PM

and you can get tickets here!

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348

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 😀

 

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318

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.

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649

The Vancouver Fringe Presents: Charlie Ross – One Man Star Wars Trilogy

Uncategorized

February 18, 2015

There is a reason why all three of Charlie Ross’ shows at this year’s “The Fringe Presents” sold out… and that is because Charlie Ross is awesome.

(more…)

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1311

Herm and Gertie – Vancouver Fringe Festival 2014

Reviews

September 11, 2014

Sept-CITY-Fringe-Herm-and-GertieOne of the most unique experiences I had at the Vancouver Fringe this year was certainly Brain Apple Theatre’s Herm and Gertie, a post-apocalyptic re-telling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

Herm and Gertie is different than most theatre experiences because it is staged at Granville Island’s Sculpture Grove at the Ron Basford Park. The action happens all around the audience members as the actors use the surrounding terrain. But it doesn’t end there. Audience members even walk in the main characters’ shoes as for a portion of the show, they are blindfolded and led in a line while hanging on to a rope. During that time, the story continues, experienced purely by ear. Being a public venue, it was a little difficult to keep into a story that is supposed to be taking place in a desolate, unpopulated future when the bustle of Granville Island is happening around you, but this is weighted more to the show’s opening which was still in daylight. As the show moves to a more secluded area and it got later in the night this became much less of an issue. (more…)

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838

Late-Night Double Feature – Vancouver Fringe Festival 2014

Reviews

September 8, 2014

For a decade, Spectral Theatre Society haunted stages across Vancouver with genre tales ranging from horror, fantasy and science fiction. Now after a brief hiatus, Spectral has returned to the scene at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival with a greatest hits package of shorts. They have relaunched with their classic summer tradition, the Late-Night Double Feature: two spooky one-act plays, much like a grindhouse drive-in double feature crossed with The Twilight Zone. And this run’s two-for-one is a pair of Spectral’s most beloved stories. (more…)

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1410

Orange Is The New Blank – Vancouver Fringe Festival 2014

Reviews

September 8, 2014

From the minds of the comedy duo Virginia Jack comes this wholly improvised tale of women in prison. Or tales, rather, as each night the audiences will be getting an entirely different show. Each of the prisoners in Orange Is The New Blank get a quick piece of inspiration suggested by the crowd, be it an emotion, an object, a favorite book and then a title for that night’s “episode”. At that point, the cast dive in and tell a full-length story about the ladies behind bars. (more…)

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