Half Full Of It

2005 Toronto Fringe Festival - Tarragon Theatre Extra Space, Toronto, ON


George opens with "Sometimes A Cigar", imploring the audience to slow down and "experience" life.




"We keep ourselves constantly busy. Busy waiting. Waiting for the next moment of instant gratification, only to wonder, 'what now'"



Alan talks to his agent, Steve ... "Look, I appreciate the work you've thrown my way ... but I didn't want to be a writer so that I could write Ad copy and contract horror films, you know?"



Interrupted by a cell phone call from his ex-wife, Susan ... "I'd love to see Billy, it's just that Thursday is ... well, nothing ... I'll work it out ... Tell Billy I can't wait to see him, OK?"


Back to Steve ... "Look, I really do want to say something ... Well I don't know exactly what! That's the problem! If I did, I wouldn't be hauling my ass into that wanna be advertising firm every day hoping to instill some artistic values into their cheap, lowest common denominator marketing!"


Stewart, Alan's boss, addresses his marketing team ... "Now we have a good shot at GM's 2.8 Billion dollar budget, folks. Because, they've been going to New York for too long! It's time to show them that Hollywood is the real 'Heartbeat of America'"


"On the other hand is Victoria's Secret ... their advertising uses models that need to use glue sticks to hold on a size 1 panty, and squeeze their breasts into a size 32B bra, after they've been surgically enhanced to a D cup."



Alan calls Steve after he gets an idea from listening to Stewart ... "Well, Stewart made a really good point in that ... "It's all in the name" ... So you know that treatment I've been trying to get you to read? ... Well, I realized that the thing I was trying to spoof was actually only successful because of it's name, you know ... so I've got a new name for mine ... "Sex in the Country"! "



Alan has been dragging Steve to his "Anger Junkies Anonymous" meetings. Steve has to stand up and address the group.



"When Alan asked me to come here with him last month, I looked at him and said "Are you f'n crazy? Do I look like a junkie to you? Do I look like an angry person to you?" And he said, "Well, yeah". ..


"I was talking to this guy over break and he was telling me about this new band, Why Not Kill, and this song of theirs called 'Distance Yourself' ... (micics power chords) "You better distance yourself from me ... Cause I'm not living in reality ... "



"So what's the problem? You all stand up and announce that you're Anger Junkies like there's something inherently wrong with you. This stuff's all pretend, right? No one in here is actually running over people in the street, are they?"



Alan reads at his afternoon "appointment" ... "Well, now I think I'm hitting that stage. That obsessive stage where I can't seem to stop thinking about you. Practically all day long, I'm wondering what you're doing - if you're thinking about me - if you enjoyed our last meeting."



Checking a voice message afterwards from Susan (voiceover by Tara DiLorenzo) ... a harsh reality.



Alan goes to the Art Museum and receives a lesson from Arthur ... " Well, they create it for themselves, that's my opinion. It's like there's something they need to see or hear, but can't express it any other way. The real artists, though, they're the ones that have enough courage to share it - put it out here - so that we might all get something from it as well."



"Every time I'm here. It might appear to be the same, but ... the When has changed ... I have changed. I don't know if that means that the art is 'living', or evolving ... Hell, what is life? The ability to do that? Change, evolve? Just exist?"



Alan leaves the museum ...




Discovering the audience, Alan recalls his life since ... "That day I left the museum, I walked by a bookstore that had a poster in the window that said "Art is whatever makes you proud to be human". It's a quote from Amiri Baraka, a poet. Now, I'd been searching for a definition of what I considered to be Art for a long time. The best definition I had come up with was that Art was a "reflection of society". A mirror. A looking glass. But commenting on something that you're not really participating in - just makes you a journalist.


Behind the scenes


The set - Designed and built by Debra Dyer-Welsh, who also called the show from the booth, tweaked lights nightly, and served as Production Manager and too many other roles!

Incredible visual impact and portable! (transported in my back seat!)




Deb was even on the phone while running around Toronto!




The set might have been "portable", but being one of 10 shows each day, it needed struck and set for each performance in 15 minutes! Alexis (left) and Monica (right) took to the challenge!



And rested backstage during the show! (well twice in the audience was enough)


They got some lighting lessons in the booth as well!




With Director John S. Kuhn (left), Cate Blair-Wilhelm and Deb!

It's always about collaboration - and John brought the final elements to this project - bringing out the various characters and themes - and creating a consistent flow from beginning to end. Thanks John!

All Roads Head North!

In between cigars ... I practiced my lines!