Browsing articles tagged with " featured"

True North Strong and Free

Feb 13, 2010   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Culture, Reviews  //  No Comments

Yesterday was a good day to be a Canadian, but beyond that, it was a good day to be a Canadian artist. The level of artistry, skill, technical ability, and talent that went into the Opening Ceremony last night was amazing, and it made me proud to be a part of a community of artists that has the skill to pull that off. Beyond that, it was a great day for Calgary artists. The composer/music director, Dave Pierce; the assistant music director, Donovan Seidle; and the choreographer, Jean Grand-Maître, are all Calgary-based artists with huge international successes.

However, aside from the dampening of the day for the most obvious reason (and my heart just aches for the Georgian team and the Kumaritashvili family), there’s something that has been nagging at me for weeks. The more I hear of the controversy and ill-will surrounding the Games in Vancouver, the sadder it makes me. The Olympics in Calgary were such a great experience for the city — culturally, they put Calgary on the world stage, and the arts and culture (not to mention both amateur and professional sports) have flourished so much in the last 22 years due to the foundation laid by the Games — they seemed to draw the city together, not tear it apart. Read more >>

Best of all worlds

Jan 25, 2010   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Real Life  //  No Comments

One of the things that disappoints me most about Calgary is the lack of foresight in the city’s planning. It’s a city that has exploded in the past decade, and the foundation hadn’t been laid in the decades before to sustain such rapid growth. It’s still a city that’s scrambling for its infrastructure to catch up to the population growth, and while it’s growing well in many areas, there are many where the city is being held back by its own short-sightedness.

Imagine what it would be like today if city planners had believed, 40 or 80 or 100 years ago that Calgary has the potential to be a world-class city — to someday stand up against any great city in the world in its arts and culture, industry, nature, and people. Imagine what it would be like if, when it was a city of 100,000 people, city planners had dreamed — and planned — ahead to Calgary as a city of 5 million, instead of seeing it grow to a small city in the something-hundred-thousand range. Imagine how much further ahead we could be now if, instead of playing catchup with roads and transit and infrastructure, the city was able to allocate those resources differently. If Calgary had the resources to be a city friendly to a large population, rather than struggling to sustain it and finding ways to both grow and retroactively fit at the same time.

What would it look like now if the dreams had been bigger then?

I’m on the brink of several new adventures, both career-wise and otherwise, and I’m looking at the steps ahead and finding ways to dream big. As I’m stepping out into a career as a freelance producer and consultant, what does it mean to dream big — and more than just dream big, to plan big? To lay the foundation for whatever success I want to see come my way? To create a starting point that can lead to something big — or to something smaller?

If I plan for the best, the smaller result will always fit into the larger foundation. Being over-prepared for a more humble end point is never a bad thing, but anticipating something small can be disastrous when the opportunity for something bigger comes along. What a waste of time, money, energy, and potentially opportunity it is if I have to do the work to retrofit myself or my projects to sustain something grander than anything I’d originally dreamed.

So tell me. What does it mean for you to lay the foundation with an eye to the best possible outcome?

The Coffeehouse that serves no coffee

Jan 14, 2010   //   by Alida   //   Career, Creative Discontent, School  //  No Comments

By the time December 18 hit, I was pretty ready to be finished with school. I’ve loved it, but it’s been a long few years, made even longer by the fact that Colin and I were doing long-distance through the entire thing. No matter how ready I am to move on, though, there are always those things that are hard to leave behind. Things I wish I had a bit more time with.

Besides the obvious — friends, In-n-Out, my Starbucks employee discount, and the weather — it was hardest to leave behind the Coffeehouse Theater. I’d spent three semesters as resident producer, along with my good friend Michael, and if there’s one thing I wish I’d had more time to work on and leave my mark on, that was it. Read more >>

Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 2010   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Real Life, Television  //  No Comments

Happy New Year!

I’ll be back to posting regularly very soon; in the meantime, I hope you had a great Christmas and a chance to take some time to relax and reflect.

It’s 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day, and I’m finally heading to bed — Colin and I have our own little New Year’s Eve tradition of choosing a season of TV to marathon, and then parking ourselves on the couch all day to get through it all. Today (yesterday?) we started at 4 p.m. with the last four episodes of Chuck, season 1, and then moved on to season 1 of Dexter.

(We have a thing for death on New Year’s Eve, apparently — the last two years have been seasons one and two, respectively, of Dead Like Me, and we also have Pushing Daisies, which we didn’t get to tonight, but which we’ll be watching in the next couple of days.)

But today, it was 16 episodes in 16 hours, almost to the minute — including food and bathroom breaks.

Sounds like a pretty perfect New Year’s Eve to me.

Take the Name

Nov 25, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Career, Creative Discontent, Faith, School, Theatre  //  No Comments

I can’t think of that ninth commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” without my mind jumping to “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain.” Two separate commandments, but they go hand in hand, to me.

More than just an admonition against swearing, particularly blasphemous utterances, that third commandment is a reminder that, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, we literally take the name. Whether it’s identifying as God’s Chosen People or as Christians, something about our very identity invokes God’s presence. Read more >>

Through the wardrobe

Nov 20, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Reviews, Theatre  //  No Comments

Last week, I went to see PCPA’s production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was a decent production — technically very good, relatively strong acting overall — and while there were things that I nitpicked about it and directing choices that I would have made differently, I really did enjoy the show.

I’ve talked before about adaptations and maintaining the integrity of the work, and there are certain movies or adaptations that I won’t see because I enjoyed the original too much to risk being disappointed by an adaptation that falls short. If the story is misinterpreted or characters don’t look the way I think they should or the overarching themes are viewed differently than I’ve always seen them (not to mention the disturbing propensity for adaptations to change the endings of the original work), it can turn the experience of a beloved story into a bittersweet (perhaps more bitter than sweet) shadow of what it should be.

I realized last weekend, though, that while that may be my immediate reaction to many adaptations, it’s actually the middle ground for me. On the one side, there are adaptations where I have little or no attachment to the original. Most comic book movies, for instance. I have virtually no attachment to the generative works, and while I fully recognize that I am experiencing the work on a very limited level, I’m enjoying it on its own merits and I am happily ensconced in my ignorance of the work. Read more >>

Dinner and a movie

Oct 20, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, School, Theatre, Weekly Round-up  //  No Comments

Ah, this was the kind of weekend that makes my heart sing.

I saw the West Coast premiere of Eclipsed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre on Friday night. Saturday, I saw Medea at UCLA Live — two very intense, very brilliant nights of theatre. Which, of course, meant that I needed a comedic break, so Sunday, I saw Whip It. Read more >>

Gray

Sep 30, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Faith, Ministry, Real Life  //  2 Comments

Colin and I live in a strange gray area when it comes to our relationship. Really, it boils down to the fact that we’re not “normal” according to anyone’s standards. Some people wonder why we’re not married yet, after 2 1/2 years; others wonder why we’re not at least living together, after 2 1/2 years.

We’re not single. Our decisions are made together, and in all of those ways, we think like a married couple, even though we’re not yet. We’re completely financially interdependent, and have been for most of our relationship (our first major purchase together was a car at 5 months). We’ve known since 6 weeks into our relationship that we were going to get married, and our major life decisions since then have all been made jointly, including everything to do with my schooling.

And yet, we’re not married, either (in fact, we’re not even engaged, since we don’t like the idea of being engaged indefinitely, so we’re waiting for the ring until we know we can set the date). We don’t pretend to be, and we don’t try to get around it or “play house” with our lives. We believe in not having sex before marriage, and we’re waiting until we’re married to build a household and a home together. The “gray area” in which we live is a different kind of gray than the morally ambiguous gray areas of couples who are living together or sleeping together before marriage. We’re in a gray area that still falls into obedience to God’s call on our lives and his plan for marriage. We use the label “betrothed,” but that doesn’t even begin to cover the nuances within a one-word description.

There are people who have a difficult time understanding this sometimes. We’ve had many conversations trying to explain this state of being together but not married; not married but also not single; and in all of it, not being disobedient to God’s will.

I think that sometimes there’s that same sort of confusion as it relates to the arts within the church — or work done by Christians outside of a specifically “church” setting. Either the work is “Christian” or it’s not. Either the artist is proclaiming the Gospel (clearly and without ambiguity), or he’s not. People sometimes have a hard time understanding — and accepting — the fact that not all work that glorifies God is specifically about the cross or the manger. Read more >>

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