Fringe Show – Set Painting

It’s all coming together and it’s feeling like a really good show. Funny. Touching. Moving.

Moving into the final stretch – I’m at the dining room table after a 3 hour rehearsal, working on the program.

Wanda is painting our set chairs a lovely set of pink.

Maggie is sleeping – as usual. Here’s a photo, live at the scene:

This is the chairs beforehand.

Spinsters on the Radio!

This week, Wanda Carroll and I got interviewed on the radio for our Fringe show “How to Become a Spinster.”

(link coming soon!)

The show is The More, The Merrier – a great radio program about the arts, hosted by the talented Donna G!
Along with 9 other companies participating in the Toronto Fringe Festival , the show featured show information, samples and interviews.

The Toronto Fringe launches July 3rd.



Transit Tales – shooting a promo for the mobile application

This weekend, I directed a short commercial for a mobile application called Transit Tales.  The application was developed by the RTA School of Bite – a joint project between Ryerson University and Bite TV – to explore using comedy to create new, transmedia ideas.

The script was developed to show off the mobile application’s many features. After directing the voice over and collecting the graphics – designed by Paul Marhue –  the final piece was to shoot the scenes on the streetcar. We had to shoot hand-held, as we were not allowed a tripod on the streetcar. The shots concerned Kelly a bit.  A moving vehicle with a shoulder mounted camera – two sets of movement to deal with while getting the shots I wanted.  Kelly did a great job compensating for the streetcar’s rocking and the movement of the actors – capturing some great performances. It was a beautiful thing.

After reviewing the edit yesterday, it was exactly what I envisioned. Exactly. We got amazing shots, including our fake “transit poster” in action that I stuck up in the luckily empty poster spot. I didn’t want to be putting it up over an existing one, but wahoo, there was an empty spot just for us.   Putting the shoot together was a pure joy and being connected to talented people humbles and inspires me.

Thanks to the TTC, the Capitol coffee shop on Queen West, the RTA School of Bite and the amazing group of folks that made this happen.

Transit Tales Filming

The video was completed with permission from the Toronto Transit Commission. This is 6 am! Taken with my iPhone.

Written and Directed by: Diana Galligan
Script Development: Lana Maclin, Mike Kolberg
Camera: Kelly Milligan
Actors: Aaron Lobb, Danya Buonastella
Voice Talent: Mike Kolberg
Audio Technician: Kevin Konarzewski
Editor: Justin Black
Graphics: Paul Marhue

Coffee shop – Capitol Coffee on Queen West in Parkdale

Dear Internet

There’s a lady outside my office window. Not to worry, I’m on the ground floor. Anyway, she’s on her phone, set to speakerphone, yelling about a delivery that didn’t happen “after 5, as she had requested.” She’s waving her arms like the customer service person can see her and pacing back and forth making sour puss faces.

She says that if it doesn’t come tomorrow, “there will be consequences.” Not sure what they are, as she didn’t elaborate. Personally, I prefer threats that are concise, so I fully understand my options. Not sure how the person on the other end of the phone feels, but that is my preference for the record. In case you need to threaten me, Internet.

There are huge, aviator sunglasses on her face. Her green linen outfit looks stunning in the sunlight.  She is multitasking, as she is also smoking. It is the smoking area, so that’s okay, too.

Also, her phone is in a pocket in her wallet. So it looks like she’s yelling into her wallet, like the money or credit cards are the problem. It’s a lovely pink leather wallet.

I would have missed her completely but she was yelling so loud, that I heard her through the double panes of glass.  That is impressive. I hope she gets her delivery, or causes some “consequences” for someone, if that is her preference. Judging by the number of times she said it, I think it is.

Just thought you should know, Internet. Thanks for listening.

Dear Internet

When you see ads for courses in “flipping real estate” or “making money from the stock market,” do you think business is bad so they’re turning to teaching?

I sure do.  Because why aren’t you just making money flipping real estate or investing in stocks if it’s so lucrative?

Dear Internet: Studies don’t “prove” a point and it’s not their job

This week, I’ve read some online arguments about some topic or another, which stated “Well, I read a study.”

Let’s be honest, you have an opinion and the study matches.  I love opinions, whether they’re mine or not. They’re great things. More power to you, I say. You’re completely entitled to your opinions. Why drag a study into it?

Anyone with a few bucks and some time on their hands could conduct a study. Lobby groups, universities, marketing departments. They don’t really prove anything, and anyone who does studies can tell you that they create more questions than they answer. I could do one from my window – citing that 26.25% of my neighbors go outside on their front decks in the warm weather at 6 pm. Does that prove that decks are better than backyards?

Opinions are important. Maybe it’s the new pressure to “prove it” brought to us by the internet and its oodles of data. Perhaps, the study is the response to being attacked in the past and feeling foolish.

All I’m saying is, it really doesn’t matter if things are proven “true” by some study. Have an opinion, be loud and proud!

We’re all hanging out on a big rock that’s hurtling through space. Anything could be true. It’s the exchange of ideas I’m most interested in – not who is right. That’s downright dull.

Why Facebook fails me

There were a lot of changes trying to “monetize” Facebook that came out since the IPO. Selling shares to people means you have to show that you are doing things to make money. I get it, it’s fine. Just try not to suck while doing it.

Facebook, I’m sorry, you have been my friend, ally and helpful network but you are starting to super-suck. This is a recent list of why. And I’m saying this as a friend. Someone who does care that you stick around and have a decent  go of it.

First grievance – stop trying to get me to buy things for friends on their birthdays. It’s tacky. If they are friends I see, I will buy them a gift if I’m going to their birthday party. And they would do the same for me. I had to give kudos to a friend for ignoring your very tacky request. She felt guilty. Maybe you think a guilty buck is still buck. But go easy on it – maybe just offer it to my friends who are in a different city that I converse with. Not everyone. That’s dumb.

Secondly, stop showing crappy ads. You need money and I want you to have some. With a billion people on the network, you can’t get some primo ads – things I might have heard of? I know – it’s self serve ad inventory. I have used it myself. But come on! The odd ads with weird pictures and stranger ad copy is costing you your reputation. Trust me on this one.

Thirdly, when creating events that I invite my friends to –  removing the ability to message all my guests at events and parties is stupid. Plus, thanks for not warning me. That’s like the phone company removing my ability to make a phone call. WTF, dudes? I’m perhaps more ticked since  I was having a party and planned to remind the guests closer to the date. Many said yes three weeks ago. I couldn’t do that, because you’ve removed the “message all guests” function. You could have left me the option to AT LEAST message the people that said they were coming. This isn’t about security or privacy (see final point below). But no.  The only thing you have now is your “promoted” ads. I get you need to make money. I’m supposed to put an ad on the side column for my friends to see. Sorry, but they mostly ignore them, and they will not realize it’s my event!

Finally, thanks for giving all my personal information to the American government. I hope they enjoyed my pithy posts about my dog, my personal opinions on my friends’ causes and the many “in” jokes. Please have them call me if they have any questions or need further explanation. Hope you are making some cash from that at least.

Generally, stop taking away all the things that people want and replacing them with attempts at making money. The value is there – in our connections to each other. No one wants you to go away.

Just stop taking away the functions that people use. You have stats on this, right?


Beauty and Your Job

I have certainly been one to worry about being pretty enough, thin enough and confident enough. It affects me sometimes. But mostly in the area of romance and dating. But wait, there’s a whole new way it should affect me, apparently.

It’s been irking me since seeing one of the Dove ads. This is the one with the sketch artist. A woman at the end, while realizing she’s more beautiful than she thinks, says “[Beauty] impacts the choices and friends we make, the jobs we apply for…”

Hold the fort, people! The jobs? I have never thought I needed to beautiful for a job. Okay, a model, perhaps. But an engineer? I would create this bridge but then I looked in the mirror…and I just can’t do it!

Or, my lack of beauty will make me a bad surgeon? For crying out loud, they wear masks! This is part of the problem they are trying to solve, here. Or is it? Should I really believe that my looks are being judged by my friends?

Plus, if this is true, someone should have a chat with a lot of people! There are  CEOs, professors, neurosurgeons, journalists, politicians….working away and they are far too ugly for their jobs! They’re ugging it up and they don’t even know it. Someone needs to tell them. Anyone up for the task?

A good day for Maggie

Maggie, my most excellent dog, had a wonderful pre-birthday celebration with my family. In her usual fashion, she stared down anyone who was eating. Her version of begging is actually silent. She’s all eyes. The eyes of hope and alertness. She sits quietly. And waits. For she knows, patience is rewarded.

I have a big immediate family, so along with my parents, four sisters, my friend Wanda, one sister’s fiancé, my other sister’s husband  and a six year old niece – there was much food and merriment. And, as with any family gathering, food will fall. And Maggie is there. No broom or vacuum required. She is there to help out. It’s only fair.

Today, she got a bone – that was on purpose. We don’t drop bones on the ground in my family. But after that, the beautiful accidents started.

First, cheese fell.  Then, popcorn. Two cheese slices were the currency of the six year old teaching her new tricks. I’m sure she found some other things that I didn’t see fall. She was content.

Now, she’s sleeping and snoring. The gurgling in her stomach is noisy. Loud, burbly digestion sounds in between the snores of her sleeping. The sound of a dog who has eaten a lot of people food – and not health options either. The snacky people food.

It was a birthday party, after all. Not known for the healthy options. Perhaps my stomach will start gurgling, too. So far nothing, but the night is young.

The palatial home of Maggie Magoo.
The palatial home of Maggie Magoo.
Maggie's excellent bed
Maggie’s excellent sleepquarters

Directing, joking and such.