Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

I was back in Calgary this weekend, and while there I saw “Famous Puppet Death Scenes,” a play written and performed by my old high school friend Judd Palmer and the rest of the Old Trout troupe of puppeteers.

The first time I saw the show was nearly a year ago, at the Vancouver Push Festival.  THis time, it was playing at the Grand as part of Theater Junction.  The Grand has really changed since I saw it last; as a theater, it’s now terrific.

There’s a snazzy, black leather furniture, shared European bathroom, oversized glasses of Chardonnay restaurant / bar which is just past the lobby.  Many of the people there weren’t even there to go to the performance; I just loved the mixed use of the space.  If a show’s not to your liking, maybe the dessert menu will be.

The show itself, though, was tremendously to my liking.  It was definitely more polished, more expressive, more honed since I’d seen it last.  I have actually often wondered if actors, having done a show for a year or more, wouldn’t find a tendency to slip into rote repetition.

But in fact, I was looking at it all wrong.  Presume you love your job.  Presume you get a chance to practice it over and over.  Presume that “the audience,” liking your performance enough to let you do it for a year, gives you positive encouragement and praise every time you do well.  What actor, then, WOULDN’T improve every night, and give the best performance possible, richer and more detailed?

(Side note: Looking at reviews for “Famous Puppet Death Scenes,” I was showing these two Google Ads juxtaposed.  Hilarious!)

The weekend in general was a busy one.  I spent Saturday hunting with my Mom for a new commercial space for her Kumon Math and Reading Center.  Her most recent landlord (she’s had three in the 13 years she’s been in her current place) has decided, for reasons unelucidated, to kick my Mom out by not renewing her lease come April 30.

We saw three places, the lat of the three being definitely the far and away favorite, so now I just have my fingers crossed that she’ll be able to land it.

I brought my Wii along with me to Calgary, and I’ll bet it’s logged about 12 hours of play in the past three days.  I should get a commission.  No, I’m serious.  I’m certain that at least 2, maybe 3 Wiis will get bought in the next month.

Virginia played me in tennis, and it was the toughest, and closest, game I’ve played yet.  I’m not going to say who won.  I just want a rematch.  That’s all I’m saying.

Breakfast on Sunday at Nellie’s was delicious, but differed form the regular (or “prime”) Vancouver Sunday breakfast in three important aspects.

1) The food is about twice as expensive.
2) The Place is full with a waiting line; this discourages dawdling.
3) There were WOMENFOLK there.  It was actually a nice change.

I did, I think, cause a little segregation, but it wasn’t all my fault.  You can’t really expect the guys not to talk about the Super Bowl on this particular Sunday.  And when women’s conversation turns to wedding dresses, as this one did, even the most dedicated guy isn’t going to be able to follow along for too long.

What else.  Oh, I met my sister’s boyfriend, Aaron.  He could, quite frankly, crush me with a single blow.  The boy’s BIG.  But friendly.  Nice sense of humor. A little too quiet for my liking, but that could have been because he was coming down with a cold.

We had dinner Sunday night prepared by Virginia, made from all sorts of delicious items gathered from the farmer’s market across Crowchild from my Mom’s place.  It was a nice little market, though the food fair was horrid.  Truly, truly horrid. Perogies glistening with a fine sheen of grease, shanghai noodles that sat heavy with oil, and tired looking bratwurst sandwiches.

We did, however, get the most delicious dips (spinach curry, feta and jalepeno, smoked salmon) from a little booth run by some Edmonton women calling themselves the “Dip-sie Chicks.” If you get the chance, pick some of this stuff up!

OK, my flights here.  Bye!

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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