An excerpt from my life
Portrait of an artist by another artist
Hard to believe that a group of Bostonians came to Halifax to help the people there after the Canadian military crashed a boat in the harbour of the Eastern City killing thousands. They came to rebuild the city in the middle of a World War. They so happened to use a very distinct stone and so was born, the great neighbourhood of “The Hydrostones”. These giant, more robust and magestic cinder blocks stuck out, they were stones plucked from the ocean in this one time of great need. A tragedy built a neighbourhood, in the face of destitution some good does often come and the place I was born was therefore in some ways a rallying cry, I like to think. We all attach a wanton mystique to our place of birth. Some of us love to lament it: I was born in Hell’s Kitchen… I was born where the coldest winds in the world converge….others celebrate it: I was born where Morrissey wrote “Panic”, I was born with the Grizzlies… for me personally: I was born in the Hydrostones of Halifax in 1981 and I cherish those days of Cheerio-Box-Blocker-Gloves Street Hockey more than anything.
Yes I am a Haligonian, native to a city that is part of the same land mass that is Africa. Fitting that my father was born in Tunisia. Perhaps it was a deep-seeded tribalism they both felt for each other that inevitably drew them(my parents) together. Two lovers from the same chunk of earth. Separated millions of years ago. I am thankful their love led to my birth, which was a momentous day in and of itself, it was the day Ronald Reagan was shot. Funny that I associate importance to that. As a political statement. I mean, I would never wish any harm upon anyone outside of jest, however I do have a theory that what went down in the 1980s between Thatcher-Mulroney-Reagan truly dismantled the final threads of decency holding Western American Civilized Capitalism together. It’s been a winner-gasps for breath-takes-all downfall since that moment, if you ask me. And now the death throes of it are spiralling out of control… So I wonder if sometimes my mother pushed me into that assassination attempt. She was shooting me out, as an act of rebellion against toxic capitalism.
I digress for legal reasons, it was tragic. My younger brother was born the day Ben Johnson had his gold medal taken away so I guess disappointment is a leitmotif of my mother’s births.
The funniest thing of all about this anecdote is perhaps I have not mentioned the most important aspect of my birth at all: I am a twin. Yet my parents didn’t know this the day I was born, even when they held the 5 pound globule that I was in their hands, they still did not know that I was a twin.
“There is still a heartbeat inside of you,” said the Nova Scotian Nurse to my mother.
“There’s another one,” added the doctor.
It was a moment of doubling down no one in our time can really comprehend. Technology allows us to understand how many babies we will give birth to when we give birth. I suppose this is similar in some ways to the “I didn’t know I was pregnant!” anecdote that has been glorified on television. Ultrasounds were an upper class frivolty that at the time my mother and father could not afford and so the two heart beats must have sounded like one to the stethoscope of my mother’s doctor.
After exchanging a series of looks I’m sure that would make the office cringe, the staff at St Joseph’s General Hosptial must have nodded off the anomoly of it, and went back in to fish out my sister. My older brother, only two years old at the time, was not able to adapt so quickly however. He was totally flabbergasted. His instinct kicked in and he was compelled to run up and down the hallways grabbing any stranger he could at the Halifax General Hospital to explain to them the pressing news:
“There are two!”
And so, I was never born. We were. Elise and I.
Une critique de ma dernière pièce dans la série DéPFLIES. →
Preview of “Le Dernier Brigadier” in MIDNIGHT POUTINE →
“The Only Bar” review in the Charlebois Post →
Review of Assassin’s Creed Origins Narrative →
People I love
Theatre Sainte-Catherine, is my de facto home. Mark Louch called me fifteen years ago and said "You wanna run a theatre". Now we're on our second one. Home to a veritable improv school, random shows, legendary comedians, and good times cafes, beers, shots and long nights. www.theatrestecatherine.com
Erin Hall and Deirdre Trudeau, of Le Nouveau International, Montreal Sketch Comedy Festival and in LIfe in general.
Danny Belair, genius director, comedyman, taught me a ton and continues to. Check out his work on this site but on his own youtube channel "Belair Directs" and his regular show The Sketch Republic.
Tout le Crew de LES LUNDIS D'IMPRO. Mathieu, Maite, Odrey, Reda... vous êtes les meilleurs.
The Fringe Festivals have always been a nesting ground. A place for anarchy and theatre. They all rule.
Eric Amber for selling us Theatre Sainte-Catherine and the honor of inheriting an improv community.
Peter Stevens for being a genius and relentlessly creating.
Soulmate: Lise Vigneault
Header (video of me running): Oleg Jiliba
Group Theatre shot: (Ogoki Nights) Jean-Mikael Seminaro
Depflies Poster, Various Photos: Danny Belair
Virgin Mario Poster: Wiktoria Swiecicka
CAFe CAFe poster: Rebecca
Me on Coffin: Al Lafrance
Lady in Waters: (Lise Vigneault) Danny Belair
Painting of the Artist: (Mad Poet) Joe Andrew McLean
About Header Photo: David Bradford (with Lise Vigneault)
“The Chair”, play poster: Rosie Hylier & Brandon Hart
“ATM the Musical”, play poster: Megan Fitzgerald
“Betsy” poster: Jerome Plumer
Other Various Photos: Erin Hall
Book me for collaborations, shows, screamings, I have been hired by schools, theatres, companies and all manners of insanity, love working on exciting projects that deliver.