Wednesday, November 20, 2019

SOLD OUT!

11/11/2019 - 11/17/2019

Blood was spilled.
We were ready.
Kate and Dana and I worked on this for a good long while.
They gave it the same respect and attention I did.
We crafted this into a piece of art and we we were ready to share it.
We were completely sold out online long before opening night and I even had to scalp a few tickets to my own show as a broker between those who couldn't make it last minute and those still hoping for tickets.  I still haven't fully processed the show.
I don't think I'm allowing myself to digest it until we're through the 2nd one.
I was in a strange and brand new state before, during, after and even now.
I distracted myself away from my feelings after the show by putting the focus on the old friends, new friends and family who were all there.  I just wanted to make sure everyone knew how much I appreciated them being there; it really did mean a lot to me.
The response was incredible!
Many wonderful people have told me many wonderful things about the show.
It moved people;
it worked.
 I shared my fears and nervousness around the show with Maggie in the weeks leading up to it.
She told me that nobody could deny you as long as you were telling the truth.
She said your show could be boring or brash but as long as you were being truthful and honest you would gain people's respect at the very least.
This put me at ease because I couldn't get more honest than Blood.
Kate directed me to bring Harold forward and focus on him.
Incantation.
My people come from the Black Irish Gypsy stock and I've learned a few tricks along the way.
This show is very special to me and my Brother.
Tomorrow is sold out again in online sales before the day.
The only spot we didn't give out is Harold's.
...

On Monday we had a rehearsal for Blood.
On Tuesday I was in training for work.
On Wednesday we had our last rehearsal for Blood.
On Thursday we did Blood!
On Friday I was in training for work.
On Saturday I was home with my girls.
On Sunday I was home with my girls.

SOLD OUT!


Sunday, November 10, 2019

ONE LOVE

11/04/2019 - 11/10/2019


This will be my last entry for Blood before opening night.
We sold out in online pre-sales!
(we hope to do the same for the 2nd show)
I've received some very touching messages through the course of building this show.
People sending support, commenting on the blog, sending regrets for distance preventing them from making it out and people surprising me by rallying the troops and ultimately selling out the first show.  This show is for you.


This process has been an experience like no other. 
The writing and editing was painful, infuriating, deeply satisfying and cathartic.
I've found some much needed closure and managed a lot of my grief through the creation of this story (the 2nd time around).
Moving into preparation for the performance of the show allowed me to put down the hurtful truth and begin to look at it as material to perform.  I've been able to separate myself from the subject matter enough to focus on the script as an actor.
It's been extremely convenient that I lived the subject matter and the material is all from my real life, so I can own it, but be removed from it somehow. 

Dana (lost at sea) Puddicombe
worked very hard digging into my story with me to draw out the narrative for the show.
She's going to miss the performances but I know she's rooting for us.  I'm so lucky to have her in my corner, in a word; she's the best.

Kate Fenton picked up where Dana left off and went through the script with a fine tooth comb
(many times).
Kate is just as awesome as Dana!
She taught me to focus on intention and coached me with the acting and staging and mood of the whole show.  I truly believe we have something very special here. 
I'll never be able to thank these two beautiful woman enough for all they've done for me. 

When I started this journey, Onan said he'd do anything he could to help out along the way.
He is a man of his word, always has been, one of the best friends Me and my Brother ever knew.
Onan helped design posters and video projections and is filming the show both nights.
(etc, etc, etc...)
I wanted his style on the look of the show and he gave it. 

Kayla Dobilas and Danielle Blancher are busy-ass professionals!
They're also my friends who took the time to give me professional make-up prosthetics and photography.  Without them I never would've been able to make the show look so great.

My Mom and Sisters and my Wife are my guests of honour for Blood.
I hope they can find an ounce of the healing from watching the show that I've discovered in its' creation.

My Brother left this mortal coil over 2 years ago.
Losing him changed a lot of lives forever.
He lives in our hearts and minds where we keep him close.
Now he'll live in this show, my homage, testimony and tribute to him,
forever.
(He was always so extra)

This has not been easy, but all of you have made it worth it.
So many of you who mean so much to me have told me how proud you are of me and I just wanted to let you know that I'm proud of myself too.

ONE LOVE

On Monday I had an office visit as a part of my training for my new job.
It was weird.
(new?)
On Tuesday I was in training.
(To say I was in training is purely a filler entry;
I've been in training every day from 8:30 - 4:30 from Monday to Friday going cross-eyed staring at a computer screen for the past 3 weeks!)
On Wednesday I was lucky enough to be invited to guest on my friends' show Max Justice!
It was great to get out of my head and escape for a bit.
On Thursday I had a rehearsal with Kate.
Kate is a fantastic director and I'm proud to be able to call her my friend.
On Friday I drove to Montreal with Brad and met up with Mig & Amelia and we played a Pepperoni Pizza Cats set in the Montreal Improv Festival.  After that I met up with a bunch of The Bad Dog Featured Players and we played a set too!
My dear old friend Star came to both shows, let us crash at her place and made us an amazing breakfast before we hit the road for home.
On Saturday I took Adeline to her friend's birthday party.
On Sunday I tied up any and all loose ends for Blood.

ONE LOVE


Sunday, November 3, 2019

MYTHICAL CREATURES

10/28/2019 - 11/03/2019

When we were kids, Harold and I spent a very rare occasion on vacation with our Dad.
We were driving through the Rocky Mountains on our way to Jasper Park Alberta for I guess camping?  Our Dad had a Jeep and he had the roof and door off, we thought that was cool.
Harold shit his pants in the back seat. 
He was like 2!
Our Dad sent me to clean him up.
I was like 6!
I brought him to the washroom at a rest stop and cleaned him up.
When we walked out of the washroom we saw Bigfoot!
I shit you not.
Nobody ever believes this story but it's true!
I don't lie, I speak the truth.
We could smell the funky stank first and when we looked up, he was standing just inside the tree line.
He was just looking at us looking at him.
That's it.
That's the whole story.
We saw Bigfoot.
What kind of Dad sends his 6 year old to clean up his 2 year old?
What a prick.

On Monday I was back in training LATE 10 minutes!
On Tuesday I was back in training LATE 20 minutes!
After training I rehearsed Blood with Kate. 
I had a Pizza Cats gig but had to cancel last minute.
On Wednesday we celebrated Adeline's actual birthday;
6 years old!
On Thursday it was Halloween!
We were The League of Mythical Creatures.
The League of Mythical Creatures
-Adeline = a Magical Fire Breathing Dagon
-Violet = A Mysterious Liger
-Kenny = The Elusive Jackalope
-Joe = The Alpha & Omega Notorious G.O.D.
The weather was crap but we made it around the block and 'the kids' got a lot of candy!

A LOT of people gave out plain chips this year?!
Later, we left the kids with Kenny's Dad (Ken) and went to see Joker again!
We enjoyed the film, uninterrupted and would see it again.  
Jaoquin Phoenix for the Oscar!
On Friday it was my birthday!
After training I had steak dinner and cheesecake at home with my girls!
I got my traditional hand made cards and had a lovely time with my family.
I'm very lucky.
On Saturday we ran our tech rehearsal for Blood at the theatre.
It was exciting and kind of emotional to realize how close the show is now.
On Sunday I cleaned my office and drank some wine.

MYTHICAL CREATURES



BUDDIES

10/21/2019 - 10/27/2019


“The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t”

On Monday it was my good buddy's birthday!  I invited him out for a drink but he was 4 days on the wagon.  I haven't seen him a long time and I miss him.  Kate and I rehearsed Blood in the amenities room at her condo.  After that Pepperoni Pizza Cats rehearsed for the first time in a long time (every time we rehearse it's the first time in a long time) at Laura's condo.  I know a lot of people who live in condos.  That's Toronto for ya!
On Tuesday Kate and I rehearsed Blood again.  Kate's only living in her condo temporarily until her condo is ready.
On Wednesday it was another good buddy's birthday!  I texted him. 
I started 3.5 weeks of training for my new job!
On Thursday I trained.
On Friday I trained.
On Saturday we had Adeline's birthday party at the house!  Crafts, games, pizza and cake; good times!  Maggie was over for the party and staying the night.  She was kind enough to sit with kids while Kenny and I snuck out to see JOKER!
The guy sitting beside me answered SIX different phone calls, threw popcorn at my shoe and heckled the screen the entire movie.
I wanted to kill him.
On Sunday I filmed a sketch about cannibals with another buddy!
It looks like I have a lot of buddies!
(I do not.)

BUDDIES


EXPOSURE

10/14/2019 - 10/20/2019

One time I watched Harold main-line a hundred lot of liquid LSD-25!
Before the needle came out of his arm he said two words:
"The snakes".
He then hopped on top of of my wall unit in one movement and perched up there cooing and periodically nuzzling his beak into his wing like a pigeon for a full hour.
We were unable to solicit a human response from him and all we could do was look on in complete horror. 
After his hour long roost, he "flew" out the window!
I ran outside to catch him but he was gone without a trace like he disappeared into thin air. 
Nobody seen him for days; we looked everywhere.
3 days later, a friend of mine came over and told me he'd seen my Brother up at the Dominion centre and I had better get over there immediately.
I ran all the way there!
I found him standing outside the grocery store hunched over in a hand knitted shall.  His face was contorted into a strange mask.  He didn't seem to recognize me as I approached him.
I grabbed him by the shoulders and forced him to look into my eyes and he finally acknowledged me.
Only he spoke to me in a strange voice; it was that of an elderly Italian woman!
"Joey!  You need a coat, you gonna getta cold, you gonna die of exposure"!
I was stunned, I didn't know what to do.
I tried to entertain his new persona and spoke softly and respectfully.
I tried to convince 'her' to come home with me.
'She' ran away through the parking lot and disappeared again!
3 more days later Harold shows up at my door eating a soft serve vanilla ice cream cone.
It was like he didn't miss a beat.
I asked him if he was ok and if he remembered any of it.
He smiled and said
"Snakes, man".

On Monday I had my first official rehearsal with Blood Director Kate Fenton and it was awesome!  She is SO great, it really got me excited about the performance part of the show.
Then I went to Dynamo's place and he designed the Blood show poster with me from Kayla & Danielle's make-up and photography the day before and it was awesome!  
I'm very happy with how it turned out.
On Tuesday I brought the Jeep to the mechanic and got a bunch of nece$$ary work done on it.
Then I released the Blood poster, it got a great response!
On Wednesday I played with Pepperoni Pizza Cats in our monthly show at The Social Capital Theatre.
Then I crashed at Maggie's so I could be in to work on time on Thursday. 
On Thursday I was in to work on time.
On Friday I took the day off work to take Kenny to the doctor.
Then we drank a bottle of red wine and watched Peaky Fucking Blinders!
On Saturday I did my very last shift at work! 
On Sunday I spent the whole day with my girls.
(and rehearsed BLOOD like crazy!)

EXPOSURE



Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Blood
Written & performed by
Joe Amero
Directed by Kate Fenton
Dramaturgy by
Dana Puddicombe
November 14th & 21st -8pm
at
Bad Dog Theatre Company
(Photography by
Danielle Blancher
Make-up by Kayla Dobilas
Poster by DYNAMO)

"FRIENDS"

10/07/2019 - 10/13/2019


One beautiful summer day I was cleaning up panhandling at Queen & John!  We called that spot 'the pillars' becase, well, there were pillars there.  I was in a great mood, with my pocket full of cash and a small fortune in change.  Hal and I were going to see a huge punk show later that night at the Big Bop and D.R.I. was supposed to be there!  All of a sudden there's some street kid standing in front of me (blocking my customers) telling me I was in his spot and I had to leave.  This was ridiculous to me because there was not one person in the entire city that had the seniority to bounce me from this spot, or any other.  It really took a turn for the hilarious when the kid told me if I didn't leave, he was going to go get his "friends" Hal & Twitch, and they would kick the shit out of me!
Something told me it was a fair bet to call his bluff.
I told him I wasn't afraid of Hal & Twitch and that he could go get them if he wanted to.
He stormed off up the street headed west towards Spadina, where I knew Hal was panning up his share of capital for the evenings' upcoming festivities.
Soon enough, the kid was back with Hal (my Brother) in tow. 
Hal was already laughing about how all of this was about to go down. 
We let the kid explain to me (Twitch) how this was Hal (my Brother) and he was gonna kick the shit out of me for not giving him the spot.
I can still see the look on his face when Hal turned to him and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck.
Hal told the kid to go to Yonge Street and not come back.  Hal also noted that the kid should not go aroundd telling people Hal & Twitch were gonna beat the shit out of them because we were nice guys.  Then he threw the kid half way down the sidewalk and we laughed at him until long after he was out of sight.
Then we ate some acid!
We were just starting to trip when, none other than David Schwimmer, Ross from t.v's FRIENDS comes walking by.  Hal asked him for some change and he politely said sorry.  Hal jumps up and reminds Mr. Schwimmer that we're supposed to be "friends" and insists that Ross kick him down a couple of bucks.  Good old Dave is shitting his pants now with this crazy street kid following him down the street and he starts to hurry up.  Hal kept pace and the next thing I knew, Hal is chasing behind David Schwimmer at full speed screaming about how friends are supposed to help each other out as the horrified actor runs for his life!

I was dying!

I laughed for a long time until I realized a long time had passed.
I hoped David Schwimmer was ok.
Then I hear a faint scream in the distance getting louder as it quickly approached.
It was Hal (of course) and he was riding a Dickie-Dee ice cream cart at full speed down the sidewalk!
He was screaming his head off like an insane siren as he barreled down the sidewalk sending pedestrians flying out of the way in fear for their lives.
For a split second I noticed that he was holding a paper cup filled with dry ice from the ice cream and it was cart smoking like a mad scientists' potion.
 Then he slammed the cart straight into the pillar.
Hal flew through the explosion of popsicles and drumsticks and crashed hard against the pillar and then into a screaming pile of pain on the ground.
I put him in a Beck Taxi, tipped the driver well to make sure he got to Toronto Western Hospital, and I went to the show.

He fractured his arm in 4 places and had to wear a traction cast for 3 months.
D.R.I. didn't make it across the boarder.


   On Monday Dana headed out to tour the world doing improv on a cruise ship!
I had the day off and spent it recovering from the 24 Hour Improv Marathon at Bad Dog 
and making adjustments to the Blood script from her final notes.
I made plans with Danielle Blancher & Kayla Dobilas for our Blood promo photo shoot!
On Tuesday I went back to work.
On Wednesday I met with Kate to schedule our remaining time into rehearsals!
On Thursday I played my last show (Triptych) with The Featured Players at
Bad Dog Theatre Company.
(it was anti-climactic) 
On Friday I worked on Blood tech scripts and some promo.
On Saturday I went to work.
On Sunday I met with Kayla Dobilas and Danielle Blanchard and did a photo shoot for Blood!

"FRIENDS"


SOLD OUT! 11/11/2019 - 11/17/2019 Blood was spilled. We were ready. Kate and Dana and I worked on this for a good long while. They g...