I also have been doing TYA shows for many, many years. I did Dib and Dob and The Journey Home for my first time last year. I most recently did the TYA The Snow Queen at the Sudbury Theatre Centre. The day before I started rehearsals for this run, I closed a show that I co-wrote and co-starred in called Release the Stars: The Ballad of Randy and Evi Quaid at the Next Stage Festival. So I closed the show, went to sleep, woke up and came here.
The immediacy of the response. If you’re doing it well, there is not a lot of ambiguity. You know you’re doing a good show because the response of the audience is immediate, proactive, and positive. And when it’s done well, you can do it endlessly. We did Dib & Dob for 10 weeks last year, and it was a show that I personally, might have physically tired of – but emotionally, I never tired of it.
Before I started rehearsals on Monday, I was like, “Oh, Dib & Dob… I did it for 10 weeks in 2013. I know these guys. Piece of cake – clock in, clock out.” And every minute of this week has been a challenge for me in the best possible sense because we have been looking at every single moment of the show with fresh eyes. I’ve done re-mounts before, but I have never sort of had that experience in rehearsal where every moment is being challenged, and every moment the bar is constantly being raised… Colin and I are sort of breaking the mould that we established last year.
Andrew has this way of getting exactly what he needs out of you, and making you think that you did it all by yourself. Which I think is his gift as a director. It’s the softest, most gentle touch. He’s totally in control, but he makes you think that you did all the work.
See everything and read everything and talk to as many people as you can. The more theatre you go to the better you’ll understand an audition, they better you’ll understand a breakdown, the better you’ll be able to dissect a scene or a play. Just go. And don’t be afraid to make a phone call or write an email or to talk to somebody. Everybody who I have wanted to reach out to in the city has been responsive. The really cool thing about being in Toronto is that everybody is accessible. People who you don’t think would be [accessible], will return a phone call or an email or meet you for an interview or a coffee. The wonderful and weird thing about the city is that everybody is sort of reachable and on the same level.
I think I may be 80-85% Dib; there is a small Dob contingent.