The Prairie Perspective #2 — Wander

Dear friends,

It’s been only been a week and already I’m a year older! For real though, I was fortunate enough to spend my birthday (last Thursday) here, in Halifax. And amazingly enough, they were blocking the scenes I’m not in that day! So, I was able to start my birthday with yoga and an acting class with the wonderful Steven Bourque (Puck in my cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and finish it with a fantastic masterclass run by the amazing Nina Scott-Stoddard (one of the directors for Dream, and mastermind behind this program!) In the masterclass I saw some of the most open and genuine singing from some of my colleagues. And let me tell you, it’s a hard thing to get up and sing in front of 70 musical peers… that’s what I love about it here though. The openness, support and honesty from the participants and faculty. I would say it was a pretty splendid beginning and end to a birthday.

For the in-between time, I sought out seafood (of course) with new friends! What came about was some trusty Halifax fish ‘n chips and after some wandering down to the harbor, the Tall Ships Festival! There sure are some tall ships there. Coming from a place where the largest body of water can be swam across in half an hour, there was a little confusion on my end of the “tall-ships-comprehension,” if you will. Allow me to let you in on my first thoughts…

“So, these are really big ships…ok, not for fishing…not army ships…oooh! Captain Jack Sparrow!!”
All this leading me to think that they were clearly all pirate ships. This matter was soon cleared up with the help of some East Coast friends. Ah yes, trading and leisure. OF course.

It was spectacular.

One thing I love about singing in this program, if you can’t tell already, is this city. Because the weather has been so great lately, it’s been hard to force myself into the practice room…all musicians know this feeling. Being a singer has its perks and I decided I would learn some new music, review some stagings and refresh some tricky Britten rhythms at the Public Gardens. Seriously, tell me straight out if you are not inspired by these surroundings.

We had yesterday off, and it’s a good thing, too. Because we all needed to recover from the busy week, let the all the blocking soak in and meet each other in a relaxed setting! (That’s what Saturday nights are for, right?!) Sunday I found my way to Point Pleasant Park, and for lack of a better description, it was pointedly pleasant. There was something prepossessing about it. Perhaps it was the forests and paths that wound through it. Or maybe the fact that one moment you could be in the middle of an Ent-like woodland (reminding me of the setting of Dream) and the next you were on Blackrock Beach. We spent most of our time on this beach, bathing like sea-lions on the hot rocks and let the sound of the harbor waves rolling onto the shore soothe our sleepy eyes and ears to sweet slumber.

Ah, “yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away,” and today we are back to real life: stagecraft and singing…but I know anyone here will tell you that we wouldn’t have it any other way!

-Chels
P.s. I would like to apologize for spelling the Beatles wrong in my last post. SO embarrassing.

 

 

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