Tuesday, 27 June 2017

6 Toronto Fringe Shows You Don't Want To Miss.


Alright Toronto, it's that time of year where you need to start planning your fringe shows and I've compiled a small list of shows that you NEED to check out! Of course, there are plenty of amazing shows out there that I haven't included so check out the Fringe website here for a list of all available shows.

Here are the top 6 shows I'm looking forward to seeing!

1. Shirley Gnome: Taking it up a notch

I saw this show when I was performing at the Adelaide Fringe Festival this past March and I may have peed my pants with laughter. I also may have laugh-spit on the stranger in front of me and blamed it on my friend...anyway.  If you enjoy the idea of a hilarious woman singing explicit and incredibly accurate songs about life, sex, and whatever else with a voice so stunning that it makes angels cry with joy then this show needs to be on your list.

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
This internationally acclaimed multi-award winner delivers smart, explicit, dark, uninhibited and silly songs about sex and human nature. Heralded as the 'queen troubadour of intelligent black comic sex balladry" (Edmonton Journal), this is her Toronto Fringe debut. She was recently signed to 604 Records, Canada's largest independent record label. You may have heard her on Dan Savage's wildly popular podcast The Savage Lovecast. See for yourself why she's sold out shows across North America, Australia, and the UK. Not for the prudish or faint of heart. Fans of Garfunkel and Oats and Tenacious D, get ready to be taken to the next level.★★★★★ 'The Voice of a Goddess' - Three Weeks, Edinburgh Fringe ★★★★ 'Hilarious' -CBC, Winnipeg Fringe★★★★★ 'One of the best musical comedians I've seen" - The Australia Times, Melbourne Int'l Comedy Festival

Venue
The Factory Theatre 

For dates and show times check out:

2. Butt Kapinsky By Deanna Fleyshe

I had the pleasure of seeing the show Butt Kapinsky in Adelaide and I was blown away. The incredibly talented Deanna Fleyshe leads audiences on an epic tale through the character of private eye Butt Kapinsky. I thought about giving some hints about what happened in this show but decided against it. It also changes every night. You'll have to read the description below or better yet, join me in seeing the show.

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
Think it's a solo show? Think again. A new kind of comedy when you think you've seen it all. Private eye Butt Kapinski invites you to co-star in a murder mystery, and it's a worldwide sensation! BEST COMEDY, Perth Fringeworld 2017. Comedy and Innovation Awards, Adelaide Fringe 2016 and 2017. BEST OF FEST: Edmonton, Calgary, Orlando, Hollywood. "★★★★ An absolute joy for the already perverted." "★★★★★ The kind of make-believe joy rarely encountered since childhood." "★★★★★ Calling this a one-woman show is like calling Wayne Gretsky a hockey player." ADULTS ONLY.

Venue:
St. Vladimir Theatre

For dates and show times check out:


3. Nasty 

This show has too many incredible artists not to be one to watch. And let's be honest, who can say no to some sweet feminist theatre? Not me! That's for sure! I can't wait to check out the reimagining of these badass women!

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
Bitch. Slut. Cock-tease. Skank. Dragon Lady. Cougar. Ball Buster. Chick. Shrew. Ice Queen. Nag. Hag. Jailbait. Whore. Harlot. Cunt. Tart. Gold Digger. Pussy. Bombshell. Diva. Man Hater. Bossy. Witch. Twat. Battleaxe. Nasty. Nasty. Nasty. 

Thirteen performers take on some of history’s most diabolical women. Sugar and spice, but not always nice, Nasty unleashes the vengeance, wrath, lust, power, violence, sex, and desire which has been bridled or condemned through the ages. 

Through sinuous choreographies and lush pastiches of voice and text, this chorus of devisers explores what lies at the core of these abominable women of history, myth, and legend. Their facts and fictions emerge to confront the lies and speak the truths denied to them by the men who wrote their stories. 

These women’s words will be raised by an ensemble of cantankerous hellraisers. Nasty is an immolation. A celebration. A declaration. An incantation. An instruction. A call to action. We are anonymous no longer. We are silent, obedient, ornamented, idolized, infantilized, used and abused no more. We. Are. Nasty. Are you? 

director: Rosanna Saracino
created by + starring: Uche Ama, Kit Boulter, Joella Crichton, Nickeshia Garrick, Annelise Hawrylak, Maighdlin Mahoney, Tea Nguyen, Nikolas Nikita, Denise Norman, Jordi O’Dael, Sofia Rodriguez, Heath V. Salazar, Shai Tannyan

Venue:
Annex Theatre

For dates and show times check out:

4.  Hands Down By Warren P. Sonoda

Now I don't know much about this show to be honest. But I do know the incredible Lauren Vanderbrook (as well as I recognize many of the other names in this show) so obviously, Hands Down makes my list. Check out more details below!

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
HANDS DOWN - TORONTO FRINGE FESTIVAL 2017! - From the director of Trailer Park Boys, This Hour has 22 Minutes & Odd Squad comes a new, twisted comedy about ambition, endurance and finding out what really matters... after holding onto a car for 100 hours.

Featuring:
Xaxier deGUZMAN
Matthew Isen
Jane Luk
Colin Petierre
Jen Pogue
Christian Potenza
Lauren Vanderbrook

Venue
Factory Theatre-MainSpace


5. Weak Sauce By Sam Mullins

The first time I saw Sam Mullins perform was at The Next Stage Festival  a couple years ago with his show "The Untitled Sam Mullins Project" and I was so impressed by how heartfelt, talented, and sweet he was as a performer.  This man has a gift for captivating audiences with his incredible storytelling skills. Therefore, Mr. Mullins made my top 6!

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
After an unfortunate (some would say ‘cursed’) run at the Toronto Fringe in 2013 that included not being in the program (due to being a late addition), and losing a performance (due to the great flood of 2013), Sam Mullins (This American Life, The Moth) is THRILLED to be finally bringing back his Canadian-Comedy-Award-Winning show “Weaksauce” for another kick at the Toronto Fringe can.

Weaksauce is the story of the summer Sam turned 16 — and it was a real summer of firsts: First time away from home, first summer job, first love, first love triangle, first sexual experience, first fist fight with a primate... y’know. Regular becoming-a-man type stuff.

Venue:
Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse

For dates and show times check out:

6. Recall By Eliza Clark

Last but not least, I'm excited for Recall. This production has a killer team both on and off-stage and I, for one, can't wait to check it out. Check it out below!

SHOW DESCRIPTION
Recall takes us to a grim, sci-fi world in which crimes might be prevented before they occur. Lucy makes people uncomfortable. There's something about her eyes. There's something about the way her mother's boyfriends keep disappearing. And there's something about the government agents on her trail. Radically imaginative and achingly plain, this contemporary thriller explores our need to feel connected, understood, and loved. No matter the damage, no matter the cost.

For dates and show times check out:

That's all from me, folks! HAPPY FRINGING!!!!

Be sure to never miss a blog post by subscribing to Laurel Brady's blog here

Want to see more of my work, check out my short film "Billable Hours" Here!
Tickets here: https://fringetoronto.com/festivals/fringe/event/weaksauce

Monday, 12 June 2017

How to Turn Yourself Into A BADASS.

Hello Beautiful,

Feeling less than your incredible self?

Well, my darling, I'm here to remind you that you are a badass motherf*cker who deserves to be happy and to get what she/he wants.

Why?

Because you are you. There is only one of you on this planet. And DAMN, aren't we lucky to have you around because you're simply incredible.

You see the thing you must realize is that you already are a badass. Without this list!

Whaaaaaaaaaat?

Yes, I guess this would be a very short to-do list if this info could be so easily accepted. And for some of you, that's all it takes. A confirmation that you are great.

For the rest of you who need a little extra TLC, I am here to share with you some tips on how to be a badass.

These are the skills that helped me go from a super self-conscious person to the truly badass lady I am today.

1) Live your Truth.

You have things to say and people around you need to hear it. DO YOU HEAR ME? If you want to make an impact in this world, you've got to honest. And that means in every way. So stop the lying, the excuses, the half-truths and be honest. You want something, make it known. You fucked up? Apologize. You really want to chase your dreams but everyone around is saying it'll never happen, you're too old, it's hard. Well they can fuck right off. Live YOUR truth and no one elses.

The point is live your life as truthfully as possible. If nothing else, it feels good.

2) Stand up for yourself.

This can be very hard for many of us. Can all my co-dependent people give me a "Hey!"? But the reality is until you learn to stand up for yourself and be your own advocate, people will treat you like a doormat. So if you find yourself in a situation where someone is treating you like a piece of garbage, you need to learn to turn to them with full confidence and tell them to "Fuck right off." Trust me, when you say this to someone who deserves it, this phrase flows off your tongue like honey.

3) Set Goals

Are you unhappy with an area of your life? Then you need to set yourself a goal. It doesn't have to be a 5-year plan (frankly that's a bit much for even me) but you do need to have an idea of where you want to go. Or even what you want. Otherwise how can you aim for what you want? And then break it down into manageable action steps. If you need help, I highly recommend the wonderful Marie Forleo and her advice on getting shit done. This lady is incredible.

4) Let go of plans.

But didn't you JUST say make goals? Yes, I did. But life is full of contradictions and nuisance. Sometimes in life, things do not work out in the way that we plan. We lose the job, we break-up with our partner, a loved-one passes away and priorities change. And that's okay. In fact, it's human. So if you're in a stage where some major life change/trauma is happening, maybe ask yourself what you need right now? Is a rigid schedule going to help you. Or is letting yourself get lost exactly what you need? Manage your expectations with some self-compassion.

5) Listen to your instincts.

OH HONEY.  Oh baby. Oh my love. Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you not to talk to strangers? My parents told me that if you get a weird feeling from someone, trust it. And as basic as this advice is, I've found this advice quite useful. I have knowingly walked into situations where my gut was screaming "RUN!!!" only to ignore that and I have quickly proven it correct. Your body can sense truths. I'm not saying it's 100% accurate but frankly I'd rather listen to my instincts and apologize, then not.

6) DO IT BEFORE YOU'RE READY.

Any success or accomplishment I've had so far in life is when I've jumped in. I haven't been "ready" or even "trained" for 90% of the opportunities I've got. But I was strong-willed enough to say "yes" even when my brain was screaming, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" This has been a key game-changer in my life. Even when I was a little kid and terrified of something, I came to a realization that if something scared me badly enough, it was most likely something I needed to do...or it was a clown (I had a strange hatred of clowns as a child).

Do it. Whatever it is. It's scary. It's hard. You may fail. But really "failing" only can truly happen if you don't try. So just do it. It's something you can tell your grandchildren about. Or your dogs or cats. Woohoo.

7) STAY LOVING

You've been hurt? Life knocked you down? So-and-so did that terrible thing to you. Absolutely! You are allowed to feel pain. You are allowed to be bitter and hurt and feel your feelings. Feel those feels, my love.  Processing is healthy. But please, for the love of all that is holy, don't let it poision you. I've met those bitter, bitter people. You probably have too. The kind of person where you don't even want to sit near because similar to the dementor in Harry Potter, they are sucking up all the happiness in the room. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BECOME THAT PERSON. How? How do you ask? Stay conscious of your thoughts. What makes you happy? What brings you joy? Who are the people who light you up and make you feel like the golden goddess that you are? THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE YOU NEED TO BE AROUND.*

*I am not suggesting that unhappy people are bad because we have no idea what someone else is dealing with.

8) You are in charge of who your surround yourself with.

This can be tricky for all of us. There are places in life where perhaps you need to deal with difficult people such as work and on the subway, etc. And so you're going to have to manage dealing with other people in those times. But in your personal life, you are queen and master. The thrown is yours, so who do you want in your Queendom? This can change as we all change and grow. But not everyone deserves to be there. The choice is yours, my queen.

9) FORGIVE.

Let's not pretend that forgiving is easy. If you're anything like me, you imagine situations where you seek out your revenge. Anvils, cars, cans of rotting tuna, are turned over and over in your brain.

But eventually holding on to those grudges and past hurts becomes exhausting. It doesn't mean you forget the wrong-doings. It just means that you are free of holding onto it! Free of the burden of carrying that huge lump of hate or malice. This takes time. But boy, is it worth it.

10) You are incredible just as you are.

You may not believe this right now but if there is anything from this list you need to stick into your head, it's this. You're great. Sure, you're human with human things that you need to work on (as we ALL have areas where we need to work on) but you're enough. You're special. You are incredible just as you are. Even if you did nothing else with your life, I bet you have tons of people whose life you've made better. Think of all the wonderful things that these people would say about you. Your laugh brings joy to the room, you're so thoughtful, and you're a total BABE.

I'll even bet, whether you know it or not, there are people out there who love and adore you. How incredible are you! WOWZA!

So when you're feeling less than the badass chick or dude that you are, just remind yourself how fucking cool you are.

I hope this helped. If it didn't help, I hope it made you laugh.

As always, thanks for reading.

X.O

LB.











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