We all have favourite characters on the hit series Lost.
Jack Shephard, the good-guy emotionally tortured surgeon, on a never-ending quest to save others.
The pragmatic and action oriented former Iraqi Republican Guard Sayid Jarrah, who is similarly emotionally distressed — but the source of his angst is his guilt over his past as a torturer for the Iraqi army.
Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, kind of a mix of Valley Boy “dude where’s my car” and a pragmatic Pollyanna, the lucky winner of a mega-lottery that brought him nothing but trouble.
Conman Jack “Sawyer” Ford, another baddie with a heart of gold.
Shannon Rutherford: A spoiled rich girl who grows into a mature and caring person on the island after her brother dies in an accident.
Heroin-addict and former rock star Charlie Pace.
The always young Richard Alpert, now a series regular.
And so on.
So which one do you think you most resemble? Remember, it’s not based on physical resemblance, but strictly character traits.
And what would your friends say?
One of my co-workers is a mix of Kate and Sun, with a dash of Jack and Hurley (dude). She’s always zigging, when you think she’s going to zag, and has a penchant for living dangerously.
Another co-worker, in my humble opinion, is a mix of Daniel Faraday and Jin with a blend of Sayid.
Which one are you?
*SPOILER ALERT* This blog may cleverly deduce the ending of this season’s Lost
First things first.
I am a recent devotee of ABC’s Lost, drawn into the definitely-different from mainstream television series by mysterious chatter of my co-workers (I’ll give them pseudonyms to protect their identities: Com Tollins and Beryl Crink).
Beryl: Com, did you watch last night’s episode?
Com: Yes, I think I’ve figured out what the black smoke monster is.
Com: Yes. (Dramatic pause) It’s a Genie.
Beryl: Oh. As in Barbara Eden in I Dream of Genie.
Com: No. the Persian version.
Com: It’s too complicated.
Beryl: You need to watch the season from start to finish. Don’t worry about it. Hey! On an unrelated note, I’m making chocolate chip muffins tonight. How about if I bring you one. You deserve a muffin.
Com: Anyway, I think . . .
And the confusing banter inevitably continued throughout the year, until finally, I decided I must experience the Lost phenomena.
Needless to say it’s been a confusing year for me: I mean, what the heck is the black smoke?
How come John died and then came back to life?
What is Richard?
And so on . . .
But after watching last night’s episode . . .
I think I’ve figured out this season’s ending.
Last night’s episode had John leading the Others to a meeting with the mysterious Jacob.
I think Jacob will turn out to be Richard.
And John will kill him.
Stay tuned to see if I’m right.
Check out this arts feature, printed in the May 7 Kourier-Standard: www.yourkanata.com.
Well written piece, really gives you a taste of what community theatre is all about.
By: Cheryl Brink
The curtain is lifted as Kanata Theatre offers a behind-the-scenes glance at what it took to put their current production, Scotland Road, on the stage.
IT’S TWO WEEKS before opening night, and all the actors except one can deliver their lines with no prompting.
But Stavros Sakiadis, who plays John, also has the most to memorize. He stumbles over a sentence several times, as director Dorothy Gardner yells the correct wording from a seat in the back of the Ron Maslin Playhouse.
Stavros laughs at his mistake, then takes a deep breath, returning to character. He says the line properly, and the rehearsal of Scotland Road continues.
After the 80-minute run-through, the cast gathers on stage for the director’s review of each scene.
Dorothy offers the actors both encouragement and criticism.
“Tim, don’t leave the stage so fast,” she says. “If you’re going to order a pizza, do it for after the show, not during.”
Tim Finnigan is playing Dr. Halbrech, originally a woman’s role. Dorothy received permission from the playwright to make the change so Tim could play the part.
“It adds more scope to everyone else,” she explains.
As she provides tips to improve the performance, she switches between calling the actors by their real names and their characters’ names.
Kristy Allen sways back and forth as she listens to the debriefing, her long costume skirt swishing against the wooden stage. The leading lady laughs as her stomach growls. The actors have been at the theatre for a couple of hours, after an already full day of work at their jobs.
Diane Côté’s daughter crawls into her lap, possibly tired from chasing Tim around the stage earlier. The 41-year-old plays Miss Kittle, and is the only one who has previously graced the Kanata Theatre stage.
The others are appearing in their first local production, though they all have plenty of acting experience on their resumes.
All of the actors and crew members are amateurs who work full-time jobs, but love the theatre enough to devote their evening hours to preparation and performances. The Kanata Theatre produces six plays each season, with every role filled by volunteers of diverse backgrounds.
Scotland Road, the final production of the theatre’s 40th season, is a story based on the sinking of the Titanic.
“I’m thrilled to be in this cast,” says Stavros, 27, who teaches drama at Holy Trinity Catholic High School. “We’ve all become really close friends.”
“I fall in love with my cast members,” says Dorothy of the productions she’s directed.
The camaraderie isn’t surprising considering all the time the group spends together.
Auditions for Scotland Road began in January, with rehearsals starting soon after for the 12-day production run.
It’s a long process, but even on opening night their job won’t be done.
Kristy says the script won’t allow a completely finished product, and the cast expects everyone to leave the theatre with a different interpretation of what they saw on stage.
“It’s quite a different attempt than Kanata Theatre has ever done before,” says Dorothy. “The audience is going to have to work a little.”
But she is confident it will be worth it.
When she first read Scotland Road – the name of the hallway connecting first class to steerage on the Titanic – she loved it. She gave the script to Wendy Wagner, who was also captivated by the story and signed on as assistant director.
Both are devoted to the production’s success; during rehearsals, Dorothy eats, sleeps and breathes the play.
Well, minus the sleep.
The director says she catches only a couple of hours of shut-eye the night before rehearsals and shows, so she often schedules practices for several evenings in a row so she can relax the rest of the week. Her brain simply doesn’t take a break.
She gets ideas at midnight, reads reviews at 5 a.m. and is constantly going over the play in her mind.
The actors also find inspiration at inconvenient times.
“Sometimes I’m just in the shower and the light bulb goes on,” says Stavros.
Kristy woke up late one night and suddenly realized a key component of her character.
“An actor’s life is never boring,” says the 27-year-old.
Kristy grew up in Kanata, taking drama and dance classes as a child before going to Vancouver for acting school. She appeared in some short films on the west coast before returning to Ottawa. She is now a dance teacher and has performed in a few musicals with Orpheus Theatre, but wanted a new acting challenge when she heard about Scotland Road. After three auditions, she was finally told she landed the role of the Woman.
The actress says she works hard to connect with each role she is given, even if it means being vulnerable and discovering more about herself.
“I like being able to go on an emotional journey I might not get to in life,” she says. “It’s like therapy, except you don’t have to pay for it.”
Diane says the support from fellow actors and the director is crucial as they get comfortable in a new character’s personality.
“You get to be who you’re not,” she says. “It’s like being a kid all over again.”
Diane, an office administrator and mother of three, says she tends to get bossy roles: she has played royalty, Mother Wolf in the Jungle Book musical and is now cast as a senior for the second time. She jokes that her goal is to keep auditioning until she gets a part in her own age demographic.
Tim, the tallest and youngest member of the cast at age 23, has a long list of accomplishments. He owns Finnigan Productions with his brother, and together they have written, composed, starred in, produced and directed four films. Tim works at a Lee Valley warehouse when he’s not making movies.
“I love the performance arts,” he says.
OPENING NIGHT IS TWO DAYS away, and everyone involved in Scotland Road is bustling around the theatre before dress rehearsal.
The director’s husband, Paul Gardner, constructed the set a couple of weeks earlier, and the simple platform and a couple of chairs are now on stage. Paul has worked on much more elaborate sets; he has helped build most of the walls, floors, doors and other set pieces that line the theatre workshop walls.
“I’ve always loved building stuff and making it look good,” he says. “The stuff you put a lot into, you keep.”
Scotland Road has a meager set, as lights, projections and sound will be used to create atmosphere instead.
Above the auditorium, the makeup and costume room is bustling with activity.
Under the bright lights, Stavros draws himself a bum chin and beauty mark, as Tim has his makeup done in the chair beside him. Kristy’s long red hair fills hot curlers and Diane is transformed from a middle-aged soccer mom to a wheelchair-bound senior citizen.
Dorothy bursts in, calling for the cast’s attention. There’s a minor change in the final scene; the actors take it in stride.
The director stays to chat with other crew members, raving over the latest script she has fallen in love with.
It’s about half an hour until dress rehearsal show time when Stavros runs a lint brush over his suit for the third time as Tim and Kristy go over some of their lines.
Though the actors banter back and forth as they prepare for the spotlight, they are also quieter, more focused on their performance.
Stavros says he enjoys the stage because there are no do-overs.
“It’s live: you have the audience there and you’re telling the story,” says Stavros. “You’re bringing them in and . . . being vulnerable.
“You got one shot, and one shot only.”
Dorothy also loves when the lights go up on the final product, but for a different reason.
“Then my job is done,” she says.
IT’S TIME. Almost all of the 360 seats in the theatre are filled on opening night. The wall at the back of the stage lights up with an animation of a dark sea and sky full of stars. It’s the work of Kanata Theatre president Rob Fairbairn, who spent roughly 40 hours putting the projection together.
The audience is hushed as the image of an iceberg appears, drawing closer and growing larger. Then the theatre goes dark; the cast takes their places.
“Hotter,” Stavros, as John, says. Kristy is sitting in a white chair, absent-mindedly brushing her now-curly hair.
“It’s 72 degrees in here,” retorts Tim, as Dr. Halbrech.
“Hotter. I want her to melt,” replies Stavros, referring to the currently anonymous woman.
Scotland Road has begun.
In the next hour and a half, everyone’s identity is challenged and one of them ends up dead. As John tries to prove that Kristy’s character – supposedly a survivor from the Titanic – is a fake, Halbrech and the woman break down his facade to reveal he isn’t all he says either.
After the lights dim for the final time, the cast celebrate a successful show in the backstage rehearsal room with pizza, cake and beer. There were a few stumbles, but no disasters.
“We each had a moment where we messed up but we covered for each other,” says Kristy, adding that a preview for family and Kanata Theatre members the previous night helped. “It got all the jitters out,” she says.
The actors say they feed off the audience, discovering new things about the play each night depending on their spectators’ laughter and other reactions.
“Every show is different,” says Stavros.
Kristy says the crowd was great for opening night, responding to most of the jokes and even some unintentional comedy. After the show, she hears people in the lobby both praise the production yet wonder at its meaning.
It was the expected reaction; in response, the theatre members decide to hold a question and answer session after the play for the last week of the production.
Dorothy says it’s a Kanata Theatre first to make the cast and crew available to the audience, but she says there were quite a few curious people at the first session.
“The predominant question was: ‘What was this play about?’” she says. Her response is that there isn’t a satisfactory answer – everyone should leave with a different explanation.
“The play is simply to get the audience thinking,” she says. “It sits with you for a long time after, that’s what it’s supposed to do.”
Scotland Road runs until May 9 and finishes off Kanata Theatre’s 40th season.
Diane says there’s a sense of loss after a play like this ends, after forming lasting friendships with everyone involved. The adrenaline rush is over.
But all the hard work memorizing lines, rehearsing until late into the night, and doing other prep work is all worth it. All four cast members plan to continue participating in community theatre, as well as pursue film, television and script-writing opportunities.
“I can’t see myself doing anything else,” says Stavros about acting. “I do it because I love it.”
A recent phenomena has started popping up in blogs.
Celebrity postings for no particular reason.
In keeping with this trend I present you with Scarlett Johanssen.
Rather than attempting to write a blog tenuously associated with the starlet, I’ll end my blog here.
Or, I could discuss the film Gone with the Wind, which featured a character also named Scarlett.
Scarlett: “Where shall I go? What shall I do?””Where shall I go? What shall I do?”
Rhett Butler: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
You go guy!
Sorry, that’s all I have for now.
I’ve missed the past two episodes of the show Lost — so it might seem a strange topic for me to blog on, but bear with me.
I am still trying to figure out 99 per cent of the show — I understand the basics: a) that the characters are lost on an island (for some strange reason after they are rescued they do everything in their power to return to said island) and b) the island is not what it seems.
1) What is the black smoke?
2) Why do so many of the characters love living on the island?
3) Who’s the strange dude who never ages?
4) What is the black smoke — spirit of the island? An extraterrestrial from Planet X with the power to turn itself into a gaseous substance? A spiritual being?
5) What does the island want with the Oceanic Six?
6) If another group lands on the island, what do you call them? The other-others?
7) Does Jack’s father inhabit the island?
If you have answers to any of these questions, please post a comment.
At the end of the series, the commenter with the most accurate guesses will win a no-prize.
It looks like Habs goaltender Carey Price is on the verge of doing another Patrick Roy.
After his team fell behind during the fourth game against the Boston Bruins – on its way to an ignominious 0 for 4 exit in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs – Price raised his arms in a strange salute to the jeering fans at the Bell Centre.
A move eerily familiar to the devotees of the rouge et blanc, similar to what Roy did in 1995, when fans mockingly cheered a routine save during an awful game for the Hall of Famer goaltender.
Or wave goodbye?
Price declined an interview at the end of the game.
But Montreal GM Bob Gainey came to his player’s defence calling out the fans for their “rude” behaviour.
“I suppose he could have kept his cool and not gestured toward crowd,” Gainey said to media following the game. “But on the other hand, when you’re being bullied, basically, if you don’t stand up for yourself, who is going to?”
He compared the situation to that of Darryl Sydor – when Gainey was GM of the Dallas Stars, he was able to nab the defenceman from L.A., after fans basically booed him out of town.
Fans better watch out, unless they want to chase Montreal’s franchise goaltender out of town.
“The rude, obnoxious, (expletive) in L.A. booed him out of there. We picked him up and for the next five years our power play in Dallas was pretty happy that they had booed him out of there,” Gainey told the media. “So the people here should watch what they do, because our competitors down the road might just be waiting until we boo a guy out of town, and then we’ll have to play against him all the time.”
See story: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=276093, and commentary: http://theryancokeexperience.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/bob-gainey-has-got-to-go/.
But is it already too late?
Price has taken a rough ride in Montreal this season – taking a step back from a pretty good first full season last year.
Sure, he hasn’t posted good numbers this year, but neither have most of his teammates, who looked like they gave up mid-season.
Unlike that plucky team, the Ottawa Senators, who roared to a thrilling finish of the season, after self-destructing during the first half, and falling out of playoff contention.
But they have heart.
Habs fans better watch out what they wish for.
Carey Price is a franchise goaltender, a rare commodity in the NHL – if they don’t want him, there are 29 other teams interested.
Ottawa Senator goaltender Carey Price?
Hmmm . . .
No, we’re not talking about winning a Stanley Cup or breaking a record for most wins, lowest goals against average or shutouts.