As my time at the Citadel Theatre comes to a close, I am becoming reflective and retrospective of the great people I have had the chance to meet and work with. This cast of incredibly talented people made me fall in love with my career that I can easily take for granted.
I am lucky to be able to have the job that I have. I am a dancer and make my living doing such. I get to perform on stage and dance in front of an audience every night. I have the best job ever; and yet, I take that for granted sometimes.
Its not an easy job. There are long rehearsal days that last 10 hours full of non-stop dance routines and singing rehearsals. There are two show days where you are at the theatre for 8 hours and giving 110% for 6 of them to give the best show you can. But the payoff at the end is to hear how much everyone enjoyed the show. The smiles, the applause. Its overwhelming and totally keeps your grounded.
“We … will not endure these waves of dying friends, without a cry.” That is just one line from a poem called “Cry ” written by Michael Lynch, a poet and AIDS activist. Michael set up the first community based AIDS Group in Toronto (ACT).
Today while in Toronto, I stopped by Cawthra Park on Church Street. The memorial was born in the mind of Michael Lynch. Prior to 1993, temporary versions were set up on Pride Day. The present day Memorial is the result of a design competition in 1990, with the
Memorial being opened in 1993. It is a series of concrete pillars carrying stainless steel plaques engraved with the names and dates of the deceased. Among the more than 2700 names are those of Michael Lynch himself as well as Alex Wilson, who designed the landscaping around the memorial.
Set aside a meandering pathway with shrubbery the Memorial plaques are lit at night from below each pillar.
Today, I stopped and read the poem written by Michael Lynch and read the names & dates of those who died from AIDS. Men. Woman.Teenagers. I recall when AIDS was first given the name. People called it the “gay disease” or terms much worse. I still hear some people say that. I wish they could go to Cawthra Park and read the names and dates. I wonder if that would change their minds. Some, not all most likely.
The night is almost coming to an end, you spotted each other from across the room, you introduced yourself, you flirted, and you feel confident you’ll end up taking that hot guy with the tight abs and sexy smile home. You have every right to feel good about yourself; you’ve been working out hard too and you’ve been eating your five servings of organic fruits and vegetables a day. On top of all that you’ve been trying to save the world by being Green. You are AMAZING! Unfortunately there is no holiday for a true hero so here are few Green tips you can apply to your next hook-up:
Buy Local – The night is not quite over yet and you still have time to take your hot guy to the bar for one last drink. Order a couple of beers from a local brewery. This will not only earn you some extra Green points but it will most likely seal the deal as well.
It seems that with globalization and multimedia reaching all parts of the world, that there would be far more ethnic diversity in the mainstream media, instead we still find that popular culture in the western world, despite a massive wave of immigration from Africa, Asia and South America, is still widely dominated by what is referred to as the “White face” of beauty.
The National Film Board of Canada, produced a series of short documentaries based on the theme of Racism in the Workplace. The film that I saw was called the Colour of Beauty, Racism in the Fashion industry, and focused around the battle of an already established and successful model Renee Thompson, in striving to become the next top face in the industry.
It amazes me how much can change in a day, let alone a year. Change happens every single minute of every single hour of every single day and we don’t even realize it until we take a step back and review it detail by detail. Physical, mental and emotional change happens not only in ourselves, but the people we love, know a little and even the strangers we just pass by on the street.
Weight. Height. Age. Those are the most lethal of all the physical changes. It’s a constant bombardment of thoughts when you hear any of those words. Women of skelator looks are said to be the most beautiful and men of hulk-esque body structure are valued as prized possessions. Both genders are working their asses off to change into that EXACT category of being; to make that change. As quickly as you get there though, you can be swept into “THE DARK SIDE” once again and be the exact opposite of it. Pounds can always be gained and always be lost, it’s a forever changing thing. Height and age are a little more complex, you can’t reverse any of them, but they are always going to be a factor in what makes you…YOU. They can develop certain attitudes/personas (little man syndrome/giant douche-bag all-stars) and define people with such terms as “cougars” or “sharks”. It also pretty much narrows down the field for what career path you’ll most likely be taking (height) and what part of your career life you should be in/salary earning (age).
When I first started working out my cardio workouts used to be pretty long – an hour on average. I took the “more is better” approach. For the last ten years or so I’ve been doing what’s commonly referred to as high-intensity interval training, which is a “less is more” approach to cardio training. And I’ve found it to be the most effective & efficient way to burn the most calories and stay lean, particularly if lean doesn’t come naturally to you. I’ll share with you what’s involved – and why it works, if you care. :)
High-intensity interval training is cardio that involves alternating segments of high intensity training (where you push pretty much as hard as you can), followed by a recovery period, typically of the same amount of time. The only kind of cardio I do is outdoor running and it’s the kind I recommend for this type of training (I’ll run on a treadmill only if it’s snowing). I start my run with a slow jog for 5 minutes (my warm up). When I hit the 5 minute mark, I start the timer on my watch – I have it set to beep every 30 seconds. I basically sprint flat out for 30 seconds, and then take 30 seconds to recover, usually jogging at a slow pace. You can walk if necessary, but it’s important to keep moving; when do you a sprint your body compensates by sending more blood to your legs, and if you suddenly stop moving your legs, the blood pools there. Once I’ve completed 10 intervals I cool down for 5 minutes by jogging at a slow pace.
At least once in our lifetime, maybe even two or eight times for the really unlucky ones, you’re going to have to be on both the giving and receiving end of the “I think we should be friends” spiel. There are, of course, several variations and methods of delivering the bad news, but the one part that never changes is, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
I was recently dating this guy. We seemed to be hitting it off somewhat, but yet at some point a wall came up and things got awkward. He called me at work …..AT WORK….. one night to tell me that we were getting too close and he wasn’t looking for anything serious and that we “should just be friends”. He said it in a really rude manner and was very short on the phone. So of course the flaming red hair on my head combusted, and I retorted that I have enough friends, thank you, and hung up the phone. I get home from work a few days later, played out the usual routine of a glass of wine and stalking on facebook, and BAM there it is right in my face. The douche bags’ head line is “in a relationship” with a cute warm fuzzy feeling picture of him and his new girl. I managed to restrain myself and rise above by not writing the most spiteful nastiest message I could think of. I am an adult after all. So instead I guzzled the most delicious bottle of Santa Margerita Pinot Grigio that night and “slept” very well thank you.
So just out of curiosity, I recently asked my cousin’s husband over casual dinner, what all this hubbub was about. Why be so rude about it? He claims that this guy is self conscious because he knows he did something wrong and its his way of defending himself. Interesting. So he does have a conscience.
When one thinks of bulimia, most people associate the female gender with this disorder. Of course, bulimia is not gender specific. But, given the nature of this disorder and that gay men tend to be more concerned with self-image and appearance than the typical straight guy, they are more likely to be susceptible to it.
1998 was a year of great change in my life. I had been living in Canada for 5 years, and had never lived anywhere other than with my parents and brothers. That year, my parents decided that they were going to move back to South Africa. I was in the middle of my degree, and decided that I should stay and finish it. Both my brothers went back with my parents. I moved into an apartment by myself and was alone for the first time. I don’t really remember specifically what the trigger was: it was probably a combination of factors. But, I became obsessed with my body and what I ate.