Review: “Breaking Through”

I’ve done several shows with Sarasvati Productions and have seen many more. I love the diversity of voices expressed in this company and that every piece challenges you to think, planting a seed about the subject matter. I never know how entertaining or educational the piece will be with any theatre until it’s finished. Going into this, I wonder if the title means to break through stereotypes about mental illness, about an individual breaking through to come out onto the other side of “sanity”, for their surrounding circle of friends and family to break through and communicate with the individual? 

Breaking Through is an hour and a half long play about a diverse group of people struggling with their mental health, finding their way to surviving every single day as they do so. Not focusing on a particular illness but commenting on how mental illness itself is being perceived. The show could’ve focused on schizophrenia, on gender dysphasia, on body issues, but they all suffer the same misconceptions and even bigotry from those dealing with it or those dismissive of it. It’s also about the people in their lives struggling along with them and the stress they go through supporting the people they love. Performed by several local actors doubling up with multiple characters, the performances were loosely based on true stories as told by people going through their own mental health issues. 

The thing I liked about the show was that I could see some familiar people in my life displayed upon the stage. I also saw the struggles their support systems went through. Most people imagine what a schizophrenic person is like based on TV and movies, but seeing Harry Nelken‘s  lovable portrayal made you to want to get to know him. Elena Anciro‘s character made us sympathize with her; Dorothy Carroll‘s character made us wish we could fix her problems with a pat answer, yet knowing it goes far deeper than that; Richie Diggs‘s character or rather characters were all personable, as patients and as sympathetic caregivers; Marsha Knight‘s characters were also struggling with their own problems while supporting the people they loved, which is a hard task; Spenser Payne‘s reality show character was a more preferred version of the Kardashians and more relatable; and Josh Ranville‘s character challenged everyone’s perception of what’s crazy versus what drives a person crazy while dealing with your mental health: who are the contributors of our mental illness and how do we struggle with it on a daily basis?

You’ll leave the theatre questioning not only your own mental health but thinking about all those other people from your past you didn’t understand, the ones who lashed out at you because you weren’t sensitive enough, that one person who offered compassion clumsily, that other person who thanked you for the advice so you’d leave them alone with their struggles or that one person who thanked you for making their day. 

The show runs from May 23 to 28, 2017 at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film (at the University of Winnipeg). 

I’m also looking forward to more plays written by Hope McIntyre and Cairn Moore in the near future! 

https://vimeo.com/24715531

I've always loved the words in this video because I realized that persistence had pulled me through my desire to be an actor. I've met so many artists who've quit because they didn't believe their talent was good enough and thought they had to be spectacular right now. This is for all the frustrated artist who will be great someday.

Lovesick’s Red Carpet Event. 

I was invited to celebrate National Canada Film Day for the red carpet premiere of Lovesick. Many of the cast members were there, along with the fabulous crew. I had no idea how immense the gala was! Seeing everyone dressed up, seeing photographers, news crew and bloggers documenting the event was like being at the Oscars. If I never attend an award show as a nominee or presenter, this’ll be the closest I get to it. There’s a video by Telefilm Canada doing a live feed of Kyle Irving and Tyson Caron talking about the film before bringing out the talent. Although I had a minor role, I was able to walk onstage with the main actors (having breezed in still wearing my coat). I hope that my next independent/Hollywood film gets the same treatment as this. ‘Twas quite a rush!

Between Harry and Dennis

Between Harry and Dennis

Beside Ivy Châtelain and Andrew Schmidt

Beside Ivy Châtelain and Andrew Schmidt

Jeff, Darlene and I

Jeff, Darlene and I

Posing with Jared Keeso

Posing with Jared Keeso

Director/Writer Tyson Caron

Director/Writer Tyson Caron

Producer Kyle Irving

Producer Kyle Irving

Shelley Kern

Shelley Kern

A kiss on the cheek by Jacob Tierney

A kiss on the cheek by Jacob Tierney

Marjorie Roden

Marjorie Roden

Drinks with Jeff Stone and Brent Holtzman

Drinks with Jeff Stone and Brent Holtzman

Partiers at the Red Carpet Gala

Partiers at the Red Carpet Gala

My Day on Nomis

Finishing

Posing with David Raymond

Prepping for

Make up chair moment

Prepping for

Make up by April Panglinan

Librarian in

I’m a librarian


I would’ve loved to have posted photos of myself with Sir Ben Kingsley & Henry Cavill, but they were already off to their trailers. I shook SBK’s hand and he thanked me, but my brief moment is still there. The make up and hair people were delightful, the writer/director, David Raymond was a lovely person and the day was swift. Hopefully someday I’ll have a larger scene on screen with these actors or others when that day comes. Nomis is slated to premiere sometime next year. 

I’ll say this about the two leads: I felt like I was in the presence of a king and Hercules. When I think about it, I was on set with Superman and Gandhi! They were both gentlemen. 

Nomis 

I look forward to my speaking role in Nomis this month, working alongside Sir Ben Kingsley again (I shared a scene with him in 2007’s You Kill Me)! I’ll also be sharing a scene with both Sir Ben and Henry Cavill

I’m anticipating the viewing of Tempus Tormentum:

  1. Article: Welcome to the insane world of tempus tormentum
  2. Wicked Channel: Movie review of Tempus Tormentum
  3. Podcast Garden:


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  4. Interview: Search My Trash

      Working with Amanda Kindzierski 

      I’ve participated in a short film this weekend, with the talented Amanda Kindzierski again. It’s always a pleasure working with someone who’s got it together. The film, currently titled Ghost Hunters, was created as part of the Aboriginal Film Collective. The collective will have a screening around March 25th, but if I’m wrong, then at least in and around the next month. It’s too bad I didn’t take any photos or live video feed, but hopefully the actual film will speak for itself. 

      I also had the pleasure of working with Actor/comedian Ryan Ash again, since working with him on the 48 Hour Film Competition last year. 

      More info to come.