Here I am at the end of November saying, “Huh?!? Where did all the time go?”
Last week I taught a workshop on How to Write a 10 Minute Play. As an experiment, every activity in the workshop lasted exactly ten minutes (and yes, I used my timer on my iPhone 5 to ensure exactly ten minutes). The students did a 10 minute warm-up, I gave a 10 minute intro,the 24 of them pitched their play ideas 10 times to 10 directors (60 seconds each), followed by a 10 minute writing session of their opening scene, 10 minutes to rehearse, 10 minutes of performances, and finally 10 minutes of debriefing after each activity. The point was to feel how short and how long 10 minutes can be. As expected some of these 10 minute segments were far too short, and others were painfully long.
It’s been almost 10 months since I retired. Since then I trekked through jungles and cloud forests, rappelled down waterfalls, and drank beer while sitting in hot springs in Costa Rica. I dog-sat three chihuahuas in San Francisco, made friends with tattooed ex-cons at the Delancy Street Project, and did a Thelma and Louise road trip around the rest of the state of California. Our textbook entitled Rattling the Stage, was published. I attended four days of intense workshops at Directors Lab North. I joined a company of transmedia story-tellers via The Mission Business and performed with them in an extended five month theatrical adventure including at the Toronto Fringe, Nuit Blanche and the Evergreen Brickworks. I was a caretaker-turned-chief-of-a-militia in an end-of-the world-apocalyptic-pandemic-with-interactive-audience-and-online-followers scenario. That was fun. I wrote a play. I met at a speed-dating match up with new playwrights in order to direct a show for the New Ideas Festival next March. I got my website (www.janetkish.ca) set up. I started this blog. I designed and now have my very own business cards and I guess my own freelance business as an independent artist. I am writing a curriculum support document for our book that will be finished by the next few week (hallelujah for that!) I got my NEXUS card and drove to Buffalo just to have lunch. I adjudicated a Canadian play festival and have agreed to adjudicate for Sears Drama Festival in early 2013. I started teaching master class workshops. I joined Eclat-Arts to be a guest artist next July. I began privately coaching young actors who plan to audition for post-secondary theatre schools. I’ve reconnected with many former students who are all grown up, long lost friends and relatives who I hadn’t seen in years. I’m taking pottery classes and went to a firing range with real live zombie hunters to learn how to shoot guns. Huzzah! I’ve applied for multiple opportunities to participate in theatre festivals and labs across North America and have begun to receive my “Thank you, but no thank you letters.” I went to a wedding of the daughter of a good friend of I’ve known since she was a baby and watched proudly as her mother and her father walked her down the aisle. Last week, I attended a memorial of another friend who died unexpectedly and far too young.
I’m alive. I’m living. Time is precious.