I arrived in North Bay in the late afternoon on Friday, my brother's 40th birthday. I gave him his card in which I started I couldn't tease him about his age because it was too close to my own, so I'd tease our other brother instead ;)
His gift was some pink elephant popcorn I happened upon in my travels because we agreed to not spend much on each other. He presented me with a box. Inside was a Rainbow Bright lunch pail. Inside of that was a Super Nintendo game. He and his girlfriend had found these things while cleaning up and thought of me because I loved Rainbow Bright as a child.
Also inside was my ticket for Big Fish. I paid my brother for the ticket as if he was a drug dealer because our parent's poodle likes eating dollar bills.
The next day I went for a run and found a friend from high school theatre. There was a Pokemon raid and I stuck around for it while catching up.
Later, my brothers and I gathered with our cousins for beers and BBQ before I went off to the play.
As I waited for the show to start, I marveled at how it was once me on that stage performing near summer's end. While reading the program, I discovered one of the founders had passed away. There's a scholarship fund in her name I hope to be able to contribute to in the future. I almost cried when reading the list of winners for The Jeff Mandaglio Award. A friend who is no longer here had won it the first year I was in TOROS. A friend whose autopsy photos I saw while working at the local police station many years after having him direct a play involving women in a concentration camp for which I was the stage manager.
Some of the actors were vastly more believable than others, though nearly all sang very well. I wondered if people noticed the same things when it was our group up there. It felt like we were better, but I wonder if that is just bias from seeing everyone I knew work hard nightly and grow from audition to finale. My friend gave a soul rending performance of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar that I won't ever forget. Even when I listen to Broadway performances, they just don't measure up.
It's strange to step outside and watch something you were once part of.
School will have me watching others perform pieces I've written. I'll be exploring one of the few areas of theatre I haven't been involved with before. I'm excited about it, but it'll be fascinating to see how actors interpret my writing.
We capped off the weekend with a family dinner.
As to the other events that happened this weekend, all I can say is that seeds of hate grow fields of hate. I want nothing to do with either side.
Time to pack up and head back to Ottawa.
Guid cheerio the nou,
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