An update!

May 2, 2010

Well, I’m officially finished Journalism at Holland College. Two internships completed successfully. Graduation is slated for May 21st.

I made an update to my résumé on this blog, as I’m now working for Apple as a technical support advisor. I’m in training for three weeks before I get to don the headset.

A bunch more of my articles and reviews have been published at TalentEgg‘s LAUNCH. Choose from any of the links below to check them out.

(Published in the January 27th, 2010 edition of the Sackville Tribune-Post.)

As a kid, local indie musician Julie Doiron was on the field hockey team and the softball team and the high school soccer team.

“I used to play squash, but that’s not really a team sport,” she said. “It’s more of an individual game.”

Doiron also considers swimming a very big part of her life.

“I want to swim across the Northumberland Strait. I know that’s been done, and I would love to try it.”

Doiron said she’d also like to do the Sackville triathlon within the next two years.

“I love playing sports, but I don’t do it that much,” she said. “But I would like to start. As I get older, I guess I’m realizing that it’s actually pretty fun.”

The Sackville native has been chosen to represent New Brunswick at the Vancouver Winter Olympics next month.

Doiron, currently on tour, said being able to perform at the Olympics is a great opportunity.

“It’s going to be super cool.”

She will be performing at least three or four shows, she added.

“I’m (also) doing a Neil Young tribute night.”

Doiron said she hopes to score some tickets for a sporting event while she is there.

“I guess it would be fun to see anything – but I’d really like to see a hockey game.”

Among the list of other New Brunswick performers going to Vancouver are David Myles, DJ Bones, Edith Butler, Grand Theft Bus, Jessica Rhaye, Matt Anderson, Measha Brueggergosman, Ode A l’Acadie, Radio Radio, Ryan LeBlanc, Samantha Robichaud and The Olympic Symphonium.

I interviewed Christmas Rocks! actress Catherine O’Brien as a part of my internship at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown. The interview was featured in the December 2009 issue of The Buzz:

* * * * *

Christmas Rocks!: Catherine O’Brien becomes Mrs. Claus

Charlottetown actress Catherine O’Brien will be playing Mrs. Claus and several other characters in the Confederation Centre’s new production, Christmas Rocks!

O’Brien has appeared in many Charlottetown Festival shows such as Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™, The British Invasion, Canada Rocks! and Disco Cirque.

All cast members will be playing several characters during the course of the show, O’Brien said, adding that she loves writer/director Wade Lynch’s style and is looking forward to working with him again. “He loves to play and explore. He’s very easygoing, but he knows what he wants and goes after it.”

O’Brien has worked with several members of the cast before, including Joey Kitson, Shawna van Omme, Andrew McAllister and Stephanie Cadman, and is excited to work with those she hasn’t, like Frank MacKay and Lisa Lennox. “I’ve heard Frank, and he’s got a gorgeous voice.”

Audience members can expect classic Christmas songs like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and the 1958 rockabilly tune “Run, Run Rudolph.” “All the girls are singing Make It Christmas Day by Jann Arden,” O’Brien said. “I like hearing new artists do different versions of some of the older songs. I do like this Jann Arden tune. It’s her song and it’s quite beautiful.”

O’Brien expects the show to be nothing less than stellar. Many of the songs included in the production are group pieces, she said. “They’re really utilizing the voices. There are a lot of really strong singers in this show. They’re putting a lot of good music in.”

“Knowing the people that are involved, it’s going to be great. It’s going to be great fun for us to do and I think it’s going to be great fun for the audience,” she said. “We throw in some rock music, there’s some great dancing, there’s some comedy. It’s all very uplifting and fun. There’s some beautiful music. There’s something for everyone.”

christmasrocksMy interview article with Christmas Rocks! writer, director and actor Wade Lynch made it into November issue of The Buzz. It was done through my internship at the Confederation Centre. And for your viewing pleasure…

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Christmas Rocks!: Wade Lynch and Don Fraser write a new version

Wade Lynch grew up around musical theatre. “I got bit by the bug very early on,” Lynch said. “I recall being cast as Joseph in the Christmas pageant in Grade 1. You’d be hard pressed to get me offstage since.” Lynch, who serves as The Charlottetown Festival’s associate artistic director, is co-writing Christmas Rocks! with the Festival’s musical director, Donald Fraser. He also co-wrote Canada Rocks! and Canada Rocks Christmas.

Christmas Rocks!, which opens at the Confederation Centre of the Arts on November 25, is a holiday show with a little something for everyone, Lynch said. “Every age, every idea and every religion. It’s a show that celebrates winter, not just the Christian aspects of it. It’s about celebrating family and life in wintertime.”

Christmas Rocks! will include lots of recognizable holiday tunes—but audiences shouldn’t expect the traditional Christmas show. “What I’m doing for the comedy element is a little bit different,” Lynch explained. “The subtitle for the show is A Winterland Who’s Who and that’s a play on words on the old CBC nature spots, a Hinterland Who’s Who.”

Christmas Rocks! features characters you don’t necessarily think about at Christmas time, Lynch said. “Like the neglected Christmas tree. Like the New Year’s resolution. The class clown at Christmas. And my favourite, the Christmas turkey. These are all voices you’re going to meet and hear from on stage at the Confederation Centre.”

Lynch is also one of the actors in the show. He said directing and acting in a show can be difficult at times. “Thankfully, I have a good stage manager to rein me in.” Objectivity can become an issue when directing a show you’ve also written. ‘It’s like ‘Oh my God, who wrote this?’” Lynch said.

Being a director and the man in charge definitely has its perks. “It’s the power!” he said, laughing. “It’s really the ability to oversee a project, have a particular vision for a project and be able to see it come through on stage. There’s nothing more thrilling.”

The prep work for Christmas Rocks! has been particularly enjoyable, Lynch said. “It’s my responsibility to maintain the audience we had for Canada Rocks! and Canada Rocks Christmas!, but to deliver a brand new show that’s going to satisfy them, because people are going to have preconceived ideas of what the show is going to be.” He wants to ensure the audience sees nothing they’ve seen before. “I’m trying to outwit our audience and that’s a great challenge.”

Lynch also directed The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom and has appeared in Shear Madness, Eight to the Bar, 18 Wheels, Stones In His Pockets, among others. This past season was Lynch’s fourteenth with The Charlottetown Festival and his fourth as associate director. He was also in over 1,300 performances of A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline.

A long time ago (and in a galaxy far, far away), I did an interview with Alina Simone (check out her MySpace) for a website I once had called Jill Pushed Jack (now closed). The article was recently picked up by Dollymixture, a new online magazine for cool, alternative chicks. You can check out my article on page 18 of the premier issue.

I’ve also recently done two guest posts as a part of my myUsearch internship. The links for those are below.

East Coast Overture

July 1, 2009

After months of research, work and preparation, my East Coast music website is finally finished. I’m so relieved to finally have it up and done. But I hope to add new reviews, articles, interviews and links at least once a week from now on.

If you or someone you know would be interested in helping out with the project, please leave a comment with your contact info.

You can check out the site at the address below. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, feel free to email me.

HTTP://EASTCOAST-OVERTURE.COM

BIBLE HILL – Canada’s oldest bluegrass festival will be moving to the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition grounds in Bible Hill this summer.
The Nova Scotia Bluegrass and Oldtime Music Festival, held in East Stewiacke since 2005, will call the Agridome home July 24 to 26.
About 700 to 1,000 people usually attend the 37-year-old event but organizers are hoping for at least 1,500 spectators this year.
Charlie MacKenzie, chairman of the music festival and head event organizer, cited weather and changing demographics for the change in venue.
“The site wasn’t working for us so we had to look at something different,” he said. “The weather last year played havoc.”
Aside from the weather, the East Stewiacke venue was a beautiful spot, MacKenzie added.
“You had the river flowing next to you, that sort of thing. But if it rains, the crowd stays away.”
The Agridome will allow for an outdoor experience but bluegrass fans will be protected from the elements.
“Regardless of the weather, they’ll be under a nice translucent roof,” MacKenzie said. “We’re going to have artificial turf on the floor.”
The venues in the past have had weather protection for the crowd, usually a solid or tent roof. But rain and wind still dampened the festival events.
“Our demographics (aging fan base) are changing,” MacKenzie added with a chuckle. “And they don’t want to sit in the rain.”
Dan Fraser, the president of the Downeast Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Society, said they have wanted to move the festival for a number of years and Truro/Bible Hill seemed like a prime location.
“We have more camping sites with power and water in Truro,” Fraser said. “Other than that, I don’t think there’s going to be a whole lot of changes.”
Altering the festival’s venue will make for a better experience for everyone attending, Fraser explained.
“We feel it’ll be considerably bigger in Truro.”
Lloyd MacPhee, the owner of the East Stewiacke property where the festival was held for the past four years, said the event might be better off in its new location.
“We run our festivals different than they do. Some of the stuff they do – people don’t like the way they run the festival.”
Stewiacke mayor Dereck Rhoddy wasn’t aware of the event’s relocation until being notified by the Truro Daily News.
“I’m just a little bit disappointed,” said Rhoddy. “It’ll mean a loss to the economy in our area for that weekend. I’m really disappointed that they made that decision.
“We don’t really have a lot of attractions in Stewiacke. Opportunities like this are definitely a great impact.”
The exhibition grounds in Bible Hill will also host the annual Dutch Mason Blues Festival Aug. 7 to 9.
More information on the Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Festival can be found at downeastgrass.com.

(This story was published in the April 1, 2009 issue of the Truro Daily News.)

Well, I start my 4-week internship at Truro Daily News (Truro, Nova Scotia) tomorrow. I’m a little nervous but I’m excited about what I’ll be able to learn, the people I’ll get to meet and the stories I’ll get to do.

My music website (officially named East Coast Overture) has a home now at http://eastcoast-overture.com. It also has a blog where I’m going to document the progress I’m making on the site (or lack thereof). Also, it gives me a place to blab about music. And that’s always fun.

So, if any East Coast music fans from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI or Newfoundland are reading this and want to write some stuff or help out with the website in some way, let me know and we’ll arrange something.

A column I wrote for this week’s issue of The Surveyor (due out this Thursday!) was also featured as a guest post at Tudor Stuff, a lovely Tudor history blog. Click here to read King Henry… The Great?.

I recently said I had too much on my plate and shouldn’t accept any more offers to write for any more sites, especially ones that didn’t pay. But here I am again. I’ve agreed to contribute to a Halifax arts website (currently under construction- I’ll add the link later), music articles mostly, I guess. Which is good, because that’s what I want to write.

Also, I’ve been contacted by a new college site called Dorms 101 about writing pop culture articles. I’m pretty excited about this because they said they like my witty style of writing- it happens to be my favorite style to write in. So, that’s always good. With the school year coming to an end, I’ll have more time to write for these various publications now.

I think I’ll also start working on my big music website project this summer too. Maybe put the site together, get some interviews done, articles written, albums reviewed, links posted, etc. I’m a little a-feared of the idea of re-learning some HTML stuff but I’ll likely end up redesigning the site again after I’ve taken Interactive Multimedia, here at Holland College (after Journalism, that is). But I still want it to look nice before then. I’m just really excited about it!

Oh. Almost forgot. My clip-folio is on it’s way to being put together. Good for me!

Two articles in The Buzz!

January 3, 2009

I was assigned an article for monthly Charlottetown arts newspaper The Buzz: do an interview with Rawlins Cross lead singer Joey Kitson in honour of the recently released compilation album and band reunion. After some phone tag and a very brief interview, I submitted my second article. It was published in the music section and you can see the finished product online here: Rawlins Cross reunion: Folk rock band reunites in support of Anthology album.

I submitted a second article after an email interview with Canadian comedy legend Jeremy Hotz. To my surprise, it was published in this month’s issue as well! Hurrah! You can check it out online here: What a Miserable Tour: Comedian Jeremy Hotz to appear at Confed’ Centre.