Dear Diary: October 22, 2011

Saturday October 22, 2011

Dear Diary:

What a great day yesterday. At least, it ended great. The morning was another story: woke up with a head cold, very exhausted and still stressed from the work load. Dragged my butt around all morning trying to get my mojo root force going.

Ended up at Si Garber’s workshop on how to work with microphones: great workshop. After years on stage in front of a mic and the peanut gallery I finally learnt how to use a mic properly. In essence: keep the mic just below your chin at a vertical angle so the audience can see your face; have your mouth about one fist distance from the mic; and speak over the top of the mic. Simple things. Great results.

Then came home exhausted, took some Tylenol for my aching head, had a long hot shower, and headed to bed for a nap. Woke up refreshed and ready to roar.

Headed to the Ovaltine to meet Sarah Berman, a recent UBC journalism grad who often works for Megaphone. Had chicken. For my cold. Sarah and I talked about what is going on the neighbourhood and this year’s festival. What struck me is that this year there is a lot of great grassroots arts activity going on with local residents and non-arts organizations.

Then my big lift came: walked out of the Ovaltine and who should be coming down the street? The Carnegie Street Band playing soulful uplifting music. I joined the procession as they headed to Oppenheimer Park for the Oppenheimer Park Community Arts Show Opening Reception. They are doing such wonderful work there: great nutritious homemade food for the folks, local entertainment. Everyone was in a great mood. After the meal and entertainment The Carnegie Street Band struck up “And When the Saints Go Marching In”, and everyone in the crowd, as if following some collective memory cue, starting the procession across the park and down Hastings Street to the Gallery Gachet where the party continued. What a great way to end the day. A community together. Celebrating. Sharing good food. Sharing their art, their voice and their love for this extraordinary community. I am blessed to live and work here with these great people.


Dear Diary: October 20, 2011

Thursday October 20, 2011

Dear Diary:

Did you know you are my first Dear Diary? Sweet 60 and never wrote a diary.

Really looking forward to the festival when it starts next week. The wonderful festival team is working so hard now. Putting in long hours to make it all happen. This is the toughest time for everyone on the team as there is so much to do, so many details to attend to. (I made a couple of embarrassing errors in the program guide, which have been noted on the home page).

We just got the 48-page program guide out a few days ago and have been working hard now on distribution, production coordination, promotion, crew schedules, artist fee payment plans and a whole long list of to do’s. It is a ton of work. But so worth it. Thanks to our great community for supporting the festival!  Your very positive response to the program guide has been so encouraging, which really helps us get through our mountain of pre festival work.

Thrilled too that AHA Media is providing social media coverage of the festival. I will be able to see photos and videos of events I attended, and events I couldn’t make it to. The DTES is so fortunate to have AHA in our community.

Back to festival planning. See you soon.