Marcus Youssef’s acceptance speech (Siminovitch Prize)

Marcus Youssef, who often collaborates, just won the Siminovitch Prize for 2017.

“Phew. Hello. Bonjour. That’s pretty much all the French I’m capable of speaking – West Coaster, sorry. First: there is no way for me, up here, to say what I’m about to say in a way that doesn’t sound pro forma or like a cliché, but: it easily could have been any one of the four of us. That’s just the truth.
My fellow nominees Evelyne de la Cheneliere, Hannah Moscovitch and Donna Michele St Bernard are brilliant, compassionate, incisive, radical and breathtakingly talented Canadian artists. At the nomination ceremony in Toronto a few weeks ago, each shared words that confirmed for me what their work had already led me to suspect: they are my compadres, my sisters, fellow-choosers of this very particular artistic activity, one that the extraordinary generosity of Elinore and Lou Siminovitch, of the National Arts Centre, of Kathy Siminovitch, Margo and the Siminovitch Family, and their many many admirers, partners and supporters has seen fit – for deep, personal reasons – to honour.  [Read more…]

VANCOUVER GREENROOM 10: Sore throat

Theatre is community. 

My throat is sore from cheering Vancouver theatre artists.

Veena Sood knows how to take a great picture. And she has just won a fresh award.

SORE THROAT

Geez, my throat hurts. The cheering for Vancouver theatre artists just doesn’t stop these days.

Marcus Youssef, who is nominated for the Simonivitch Prize, just won the Mayor’s Arts Award for theatre, and Conor Wylie got the nod as emerging theatre artist. Artistic director of Neworld Theatre, Youssef is also an actor and playwright, who wrote and performed Winners and Losers with Jamie Long. Actor and writer Wylie works with a number of cutting-edge companies including Hong Kong Exile. [Read more…]

VANCOUVER GREENROOM 9: Failure is essential

Vancouver Greenroom: theatre is community

Mike Bisbiglia stresses the importance of failure.

Mike Bisbiglia doles out tips on keeping it real. (photo: Robby Klein/Contour for Getty Images)

FAILURE IS ESSENTIAL

Comedian, actor, and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia offers some of the best artistic advice ever.

Highlights include, “Failure is essential. There’s no substitute for it. It’s not just encouraged but required.” And it’s probably the critic in me that makes me love this: “I’ve learned that harsh feedback, constructive feedback, even weird, random feedback, is all helpful, if you know the essence of what you’re trying to convey.”

Excellent! I will continue being weird and random. [Read more…]