Monthly Archives: February 2012

And the award for best experience goes to…

I’ve never been a follower of the Oscars. Or the Grammys. Or the Junos. Or the Tonys (and I probably should be for those…). But tonight that may have changed.

Ever since I really got interested in theatre, I’ve been a tad resentful towards movies. Although, now that I think about it, maybe not so much towards film itself, because I really do love watching movies, but towards the multi-billion dollar corporation and the fact that because film is so popular, theatre seems to have fallen a bit by the wayside. But, you know what? I think maybe watching the Academy Awards tonight may have taught me a few things.

And here I go, tearing up as I write. Damn it. Before I went over to my friend’s house to watch the awards, I told my Dad, “I just really like looking at the dresses the women are wearing,” to which he replied, “That’s usually what women like about the Academy Awards.” Well, though I did enjoy checking out the glitz and glamour all the ladies had to offer (although, J Lo, I swear I saw nipple… not good), I have to say my favourite part was listening to the reasons of why those at the awards love the movies, and I found that many of those reasons ring true when I think about why I love theatre. The magic. The ability to create something so powerful and real that you feel like you’re right where the action is. The overwhelming energy of all the people sitting in the theatre with you, whether active participants or passive observers. The undeniable sense of truth. My God, am I ever blubbering; I really hope no one walks into my room right now to see it…

It’s just amazing the power of art like this, whether film or live theatre. Truly. I really can’t put it into words because the only way to really understand is to experience it, and I think you know what I’m talking about; I doubt there are many that I know that haven’t been touched by a good film and I just wish that people would give live theatre enough of a chance to be touched there too.

Man, I so want to be a part of that. I think that’s the thing that gets me the most after watching the Oscars: by listening to the artists talk about their love of film, I was reminded of why I love live theatre and why I ever wanted to be an actor. And then I went to school so I could do just that and I chickened out. Why? Because I saw the others in the program and I never felt good enough. I never felt ready. True, I learned a great many things in my degree that opened my eyes to the possibilities of live theatre, to many new areas of interest, but I also learned fear, which is interesting because I thought that it was the other way around.

But here I sit, using kleenex after kleenex and the choice seems clear. I am a firm believer that when something makes you cry, it’s the right choice. Why? Hell if I know. But I do know that I love theatre and if I actually gave myself the chance then I could do well. Yes, it’s so scary because it is not an easy life. You have to put your heart and soul into the craft and be strong enough to deal with criticism and rejection over and over and over again. But if you make it, then that’s the best feeling in the world.

I’ve got to do it. I don’t know when, but someday the time will come and I will find a way. This post must be a testament to that.

In the mean time, box office duties call.

Joyanne 😀



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Truth and Dare

I’m going to try and be really honest here…

I have a really hard time believing that I’m worth a lot. Because I make mistakes and don’t do things perfectly, I feel like I’m not worthy to receive good things. I feel like I need to suffer.

Why is that? If someone were to tell me this about themselves, I’d automatically tell them that’s crazy, that of course they’re worthy to receive good things and be loved. When I’m thinking about myself, however, somehow I can’t quite believe that’s true. Isn’t that always the case, that we see the good in everyone else but ourselves?

I think this must have all started when I was a kid. I was bullied a lot in elementary school, called ugly, fat (by the time I reached puberty age), and made to feel like nobody liked me. I think part of it might have had to do with the fact that my mom taught my grade 1 class. Actually, if I think about it, I don’t really remember being bullied in kindergarten… huh. But I know for a fact that the kids in my class called me ugly or crybaby when I was in grade 1. Wow… I always thought that maybe my mom being our teacher had something to do with it all, but I don’t think I ever really gave the option serious thought. Or, at least, I never thought about the difference between kindergarten and grade 1. But there definitely is a difference…

As soon as I say that I was bullied in school, I think about people I’ve met that have said, “Oh yeah, but everyone gets bullied a bit,” which then makes me feel like my situation really wasn’t out of the ordinary and if other people could grow up and move past what had happened in childhood, then so could I, and so should I. But here I sit, thinking I’m worth very little, and the bullying really is my only link.

It sucks that something that happened so long ago should still have an effect on me today. Seriously. If someone tells me I’m pretty or gives me some other compliment, though I do say thank you, I secretly don’t get it. It’s so hard to start believing there’s good in you when growing up all you heard from your peers was that you weren’t good at all, weren’t pretty, weren’t cool, weren’t strong.

So, here I sit. And I struggle. But I’m finally taking the initiative to get better. I’m sick of feeling like shit about myself. I’m sick of feeling like I’m not worth anything. I’m sick of always working so hard to try and get people to like me. Can’t I just be myself? Isn’t that what we hear from our parents or teachers growing up, “Just be yourself”? Because if people don’t like you for who you are, then they’re not worth having your life.

Okay, so if I’m being honest with myself about who I am, here goes nothing:

1. I love making random noises

2. I sometimes speak gibberish

3. I am a picky eater

4. I like church

5. I am afraid of love

6. I have been single my entire life

7. I am afraid of death

8. Loud bodily functions makes me laugh

9. It takes very little to make me cry

10. I sleep with a stuffed cat my Baba gave me when I was 4

11. I have no idea where I’m going in life and that scares the shit out of me

12. I still live at home

13. I feel lonely a lot of the time

14. I’m not a fan of the way alcohol makes me feel

15. I don’t believe in sex before marriage

16. I don’t know where I stand on gay rights

17. I don’t agree with abortion or the harvesting of stem cells (but you can get stem cells from umbilical cords)

18. I love playing with power tools

19. I am a people-pleaser

20. I am a perfectionist

21. I mime

22. I think academia is pretentious

23. I love to sing

24. I love being the centre of attention

25. I hate being naked

26. I don’t take risks

But maybe putting all this out there is a risk.

Joyanne 🙂




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So, I Like Church… How About You?

I never thought I’d be one to say that I actually enjoy going to church. Seriously, I remember specifically saying in grade six that I would not be the one to take my future children to church because I found it to be extremely boring.

Well, I was only 11 and I’ve grown up a bit since (not much, but some) and I believe it is a necessity. Now, I’ve had this conversation with a few people about whether or not it’s important to go to church and many times I hear that it isn’t necessary, that the church is a corrupt organization that has lost the true roots of what being a Christian is. I don’t discount this view because I do think there are a lot of things within the church that need to be improved or clarified. But if we say the church is corrupt, we need to know what we mean by the word ‘church.’

I think many people consider ‘church’ to be either A) the building in which people go to worship on Sunday, nothing more. Just a building; or B) a group of pious figureheads that tell the rest of us what to do.  Well,  maybe when I was a kid, I had the “A” view (I’m not getting into the “B” view today). Church was something to do once a week on Sunday. Now, though, I believe church to be much more than that. Church is all of us; it’s community, it’s relationships with those around us that share the same beliefs, and those that don’t. It’s the way we interact with our environment, the stories we share, the experiences we have. It’s all around us. It’s all-consuming. It’s a lifestyle. And, boy, is it tough.

I never realized how hard it is to believe in something, especially something that isn’t popular. But the more I delve into this world of faith, of religion, whatever you want to call it, the more I struggle, the more frustrated I get, the more excited I am about the possibilities. As a result, I’ve been doing a lot of searching and learning, trying to understand more about my faith, putting myself in situations where I can learn as much as I can (without going to the nunnery, as Shakespeare would have it). And here is what I’ve learned so far:

It is important to cultivate your own way of connecting with God. I don’t think I ever really had a personal relationship with Jesus, and I’m still struggling with this concept, but I’m trying to open myself up and listen to what He might be saying. I’ve heard many times from countless speakers that we are very quick to ask for guidance and help, but rarely do we listen to the answer that might be just around the corner. Probably we’re mostly afraid that we actually will hear some booming voice and that it will say exactly what we don’t want to hear. Recently, however, I’ve tried to allow myself to be honest with God and so have taken to just shouting at Him in my car when something’s really bugging me. It usually sounds like, ” Seriously? What the f*** was that?! Are you kidding me, God?!” Yup… and after a bit of shouting, I usually quiet down and some sort of answer comes from the depths of my soul, usually something I don’t want to face but know to be true. It’s really hard to explain. Maybe if you’ve ever taken drama you’d have some semblance of what I’m talking about. My point is, I feel like the personal relationship may be growing. It’s not true love yet, but I’m liking where this is going, for the most part anyway.

Now, here is the really important part: while I do think that having a personal relationship with God is important, and while I do believe church is all around us, I do still think that “going to church”, as in the building, to go to celebrate, worship, whatever you want to call it, is still an important part of spirituality. This is where several of my peers disagree with me, but I’ll explain why I think this way now and I’ll use a story to illustrate.

I was sitting in church today and I was feeling agitated from yesterday’s events, but after a while the music kind of soothed the aches I was feeling and I randomly asked myself the question, “Why is going to church (the building) on Sunday important” and all of a sudden I had my answer: because it’s always there. No matter what happens during my week, whatever challenges I may face, however different each day is, I can come to church on Sunday and just be there for that hour or so and be healed. And I think why this is so powerful is because it isn’t just me that’s there (or so I hope); there are many people inside the building, all contributing to the celebration, whether by actively participating or just sitting quietly. All those bodies contribute to this overall energy that is palpable and moving. It’s the same kind of thing that happens in a theatre or at a sports arena. No matter whether you’re quietly watching a play or screaming your head off at your team to win the game, the energy is still there. It’s what makes the event.

That’s why going to church is necessary. Not only do we need to have a personal relationship with God, but we need to be able to share in that faith community, in that energy at liturgy or mass because church is energy. Just like the live event is better than the one on TV, so we want to grasp the live connection through other people’s energies when we go to church.

I think I’m done for now.


Joyanne 😀


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Happy V-day (AKA I really want to smack Chaucer in the back of the head for starting this whole thing up)

Ah, to be single on St. Valentine’s Day. All the hoopla of the day is enough to make one feel lonely if one’s single, and I definitely felt that today. I don’t think it helped that I didn’t work today and therefore was almost by myself the entire day (not including my parents, which doesn’t count).

But I suppose I can’t really wallow in self-pity because I’ve created my singlehood. Don’t you hate it when you’re the cause of your own misfortune? I think that’s the worst kind of pain, self-inflicted pain. Great thoughts for V-day, but I just need to get this out. When someone else is the cause of something unpleasant, at least you can think, “Well, at least it’s not my fault.” When you are the cause of your own problem it is your fault and we, as humans, always look to shift the blame to others because we (hopefully) tend to like ourselves.

Now, I realize being single is not a great misfortune like being without food or shelter – and as soon as I put it that way, I feel bad for wallowing… gotta love Catholic guilt.

But you know what? I’m going to wallow and really feel it so that maybe I actually get off my ass and do something about these things I’m feeling. It’s time to stop being afraid of the unknown and embrace the excitement it brings instead. Will I actually do it? Well… I kind of am in the middle of a bet, so I better stay true because the other person really has a big challenge ahead of him and I know he’ll pull through.

I also saw a quote that says, “A life lived in fear is half-lived.” Shudder. I better get off my ass then and face the beast then.

As soon as this cold goes away.

Old habits die hard? Yup.

Joyanne 😀


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Why Do Plans Change?! So We Can Finally Commit.


I really hate this word. Why? Because commitment to me means that I’m stuck with something, regardless of how I’m feeling about it, except the fact that it’s an obligation I must keep because I promised I would. It means that I can’t change my mind and back out quietly. It means I have no more say in what I want to do.

Holy shit. I just realized that this is exactly what happens when we commit to Christ. Also when we get married.

It’s a scary thought not to be able to have control over my life, and I am a person that needs to be sure of things. I love plans. My whole life has been a big, convoluted plan, full of schedules, endless ‘to do’ lists, and things I ‘need’ to get done in order to get where I want to be in life.

HA. This is so funny to me now because if I look at where I am now in relation to where I wanted to be, I am nowhere near it. In fact, I find that after years of planning and doing things the ‘right’ way, I know absolutely nothing! I don’t know what I want, I don’t know where I’m going, and therefore, I don’t know which path to take. I don’t even know what paths there are.

The thing is that I finally am somewhat getting used to not knowing where I’m going or what I’m doing. When I first graduated from university, I was a total wreck. I was freaking out because for the first time in my life I had no plan. I didn’t have a job (full time or for the summer) and I wasn’t going to go back to school. All I had was a piece of paper saying that I spent the past 4 years learning about something that I’m not even sure I will actually pursue anymore. That’s the biggest shock that’s come out of university: once I was finished, I had less of a clue of what I wanted to do because I enjoyed all aspects of theatre (and still do) and didn’t particularly feel a tug to specialize in one area or another.

Ah, the beauty of realizing you know nothing. Yes, it scared the living daylights out of me. But it’s getting better and I’m learning to embrace the unknown because only in the unknown are there possibilities. In the unknown I am free to explore and discover what really makes me happy according to me, not to some fancy paper I got from a university.

I think we all feel that we owe something to what we went to school for and that’s fine, as long as it still makes us happy. Don’t get me wrong. I love my degree and all the things I learned about theatre. Most importantly, however, I think I learned a great deal about myself: my strengths, my limitations, my successes and failures.

Wow, this all seems like a lot of fluff, but I don’t care; I’m just writing what comes to mind.

I think the bottom line of all this is that I need to realize that I keep changing and my plans will change accordingly, and THAT’S OKAY. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Many of my profs said in university, “Nothing is precious; if it doesn’t fit, get rid of it.” They were talking about papers or projects, but now I realize this to be bigger than that. Plans are great; they’re what keep you dreaming toward the future and help motivate you to get where you want to go. At the same time, though, don’t be grieved when something else comes up and your plans change. Don’t be afraid that you’ll regret not doing something that seemed really important at one point because chances are that the new thing you are about to do is a better fit right now and will actually lead to closer to where you want to truly be. AKA, Joyanne, stop worrying that you won’t get to live in England; something better might be coming your way. And just because it doesn’t happen now, doesn’t mean it still can’t happen. The Lord will provide…

There’s no such thing as ruining your life (as per Sophie Kinsella in The Undomestic Goddess. Good book; read it). As long as you have hope, your life is not ruined. Only when you give up have you ruined your life.

So, I started with commitment and look where that got me. How do I tie in commitment to all that I have said…

As wonderful as going with the flow is, at some point you need to make a decision and stick with it. Why? Because that’s where the true test of faith lies, not in running away, but staying put and working through the problems that come up. Like in marriage.

Yeah… knowing that doesn’t make me feel any better about commitment. I guess I’ve got a lot of unplanning to do before I get there.

This makes no sense. I don’t care.


P.s. Maybe this is happening because of the full moon. Yes, it does have power over us.


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Holy Smokes!

It has officially been more than a month since I started this blog! Woohoo! I wanted to write something on the 30th in commemoration of this momentous occasion, but I was super busy that day, so here I am 3 days later. Oh well.

I really don’t have much to say, just that I can’t believe it’s already February. January just flew by and I barely registered the whirlwind it created.

And I think that’s it. Shortest post ever.


Joyanne 😀

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