I sat down tonight intending to have a go at some final punctuation for the year but I find:
Shall we blame the Mayan’s faulty interpreters? I wasn’t one of those who were waiting for the end —(I bet they’ll find a new date to panic over and keep Armedeggoning their wobbly bottoms off) but a wee something wouldn’t have gone amiss. A powerchord? A ‘tada.’ A comma?
Minutes ago my Remax calendar ended.
Perhaps the reason I’ve got nothing, is because of infinity, immortality, and the inevitable tomorrow. Still waiting for the deus ex machina? Waiting is so last year. (Snap!)
Oh. Poopot. Just dropped goat cheese on the floor.
Yes. So. My own mind, having deserted me, I turn to the wisdom of the directors I work with. Like all good vegetables-- urg-- actors, I attentively wrote down the tidbits they let slip this year: an embarrassment of bon mots--too many for one simple blaargh, but here is a cheese plate, a sampler of my heady diet. And why I am qualified to tell you how it is.
So please, do ask.
The verbal finery of 2012:
--You’re bagged, pooped, El Poopamundo. You only have one lung, and... go!
--“That’s what you call a gloss-over. Like when you’ve brushed you teeth for 5 minutes. You haven’t really brushed them, have you now?”
--“That’s not what the little engine said… What did the little engine say…?”
(Terry Klassen, director of just about everything)
And from James Corrigall, director of everything else:
--“Almost there. A bit more stank.”
--“Uh, go heavier on the licking. Puppy-style.”
--“I’m taking that photo of you out of my locker now.”
And my favorite of the year:
--“Alright folks, I think we’re reaching Macarena saturation”
(demonstration of real life application of this quote below by self and Maryke Hendrikse)
Me and my best buddy, Kev went to Las Vegas over the weekend to see a pal, the Cirque Du Soleil show “O” and the opening of their new piece ‘Zarkana’. Peeps who know me did double take when I said I was going to Vegas. Now I know why. I doubt that it’s news to anyone else, but what that place needs is a soak in the sheep dip, some herbal tea and by god, some proper shoes.
We stayed at the beautiful Bellagio hotel, the architectural stunner that houses ‘O’-- and that also
There are fermented feet on hills of burning tires in fishmarts that smell fresher than the inside of the Bellagio. Seems all the remaining smokers in the world meet in the casino there to try to make a blackened bacon of each other.
Someone told me once- and perhaps it’s naïve that I believed it, but the image stuck-- that in medieval days they’d build whole beautiful castles and when rooms were all filled with excrement they’d just mortar them up and move into another, until the place was full of poo and they had to build another. Now that I write it, it seems a bit unlikely. But that’s what came to mind. Get the mortar.
Oh Vegas. Oh dear oh dear. The shoes. Oh dear. Now, were I a chiropractor, I’d move there post hasty. Things that were sold as shoes were actually toothpicks and made their wearers look like spangly hors d'oeuvres.
But enough of the grimlies.
What did I like about Vegas? Some things were just amazing.
1. ‘O’. Is certainly the bogglingest thing I have ever seen. I asked Sandi Croft, who runs the show why no one went arse over teakettle. She laughed her pate off. Least of the dangers, I gather, amid the mad acts of self-defenestration. My favorite bit was the ‘lobster people’— Three bendy-bendy girls in red who did bendy-bendy things that made my eyeballs knock against the bridge of my nose. And the red army in garters. And the dive-off. Who can describe it all? It’s what bogglement is all about. Make you go Wazzah?!#$%^&* - Ahzzum!
2. ZarKana: the new Cirque show. Some crazy steampunky deal that would make Georges Méliès http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JDaOOw0MEE
yank off his own femurs and drum them against the lid of his casket with glee. I did have to laugh when I heard the performers in an interview talk about their narrative, because the narrative is not something that they share with the audience. Even the songs, sung with great passion, are glossollaliacal. As heartfelt as they, are they are lyrically the equivalent of Bladidahdidah. puttaputtaputta, Woggawoggawogga.
So speak not to me of 'narrative.' There are, however, recurring themes that weave the performance together which are a lot of fun. It’s more of a five-dimensional painting (with electrodes that occasionally whip out and poke your unused bits of brain) than a story. What do you say to a girl who willfully balances upside down with one hand on the head of man who himself balances on a wobbly free-standing step-ladder on top of a grand piano? I'll tell you what you want
to say. You want to say: Young Lady, come down here before someone gets a toe in the eye, and go to your room at once. B
ut what you do say is: Don't mind me. I'll sit in the dark and sweat chickens. You just focus.
And then you sweat chickens.
There's a snake lady with an outstanding voice who just “gives ‘er’ as we Canucks say. No idea what she’s singin’, but by gum, she does awesome noise. I was imagining the English lyrics as she belted wildly:
I’ve got a boulder in my nose! There's biscuits and gravy in my hose! The audience is full of surf and turf, I can’t wait until we close
! -- Like I said. They could be singing anything.
A 'seer' who draws the whole show in sand, and the two main clowns stole the show for me, as well as a liquid man in white. rolling about on a white circle. His bit was an elegant lily of a thing after all the Busy-busy Wow.
Loved the pants off this show. It repeats on one. In a good way
3. If you go way up the road there are red rocks and you can climb them. I wanted to eat the dirt. It’s very pretty.
4. Cactus gardens
5. A horse named Rosie and her pals. A dog named Bella.
6. You can get chicken noodle soup for breakfast.
7. The cab drivers
8. Anime Vegas…
Kevin and I stopped in at Anime Vegas for tea with Tara Strong and 400 of our closest friends. That was a highlight. The best of Vegas was in that room, and if you were there, I apologize if I hit you with a cookie. We were treated to a rendition of 'Gangnam style' of unsurpassed gigglery, and lots of hugs. Tara was up to her shenanigans again.
Gotta love that awesome chick. No really. You gotta, or she'll thump you. -Lates.
It's bucketing rain here in the old soak. I'm covered in cats and waiting for the first soggy costume full of child.
I hadn't time for much decoration. I had to repurpose an enormous ceramic duck that was given me by my best friend some years ago. I snuck the ceramic fruit he gave me to the Sally Anne, apple by apple over the course of several months, but it'd be hard to cover up the duck's absence. It's a big duck.
A big ceramic duck.
I wrote: "Beware the duck" on it. It's a little joke. It's a 'lame duck'. 'Cause it's so lame. Get it? Ya with me?
I know, I know.
Right. Well, here's a little ode to the season:
A while ago I had a dream about fellow actor, Brian Drummond. I've done stacks of shows with him, so it's no surprise to see him out in the ethers, but this time, he was with his youngest, Ashlynn. She showed me one of her hands and her fourth finger had all these tendrils instead of the usual digit. Like the lines that hang out of some jellyfish, but lit-up neon red. I turned to Brian and said:
"Dude, your kid is an alien."
And Brian went: "DON'T CALL MY KID AN ALIEN!"
And I said, "What's the big? I'm an alien, and I got news for, you so are you."
And Brian went "DON'T CALL ME AN ALIEN!"
Then his head sextupled in size and turned blue and his eyes went bright yellow and close together...
A week later his youngest joined us on the cast of Martha Speaks... Did she betray any characteristics from her home planet? You be the judge:
Something is fungal in Denmark
Fans may have lost their pudding.
Sometime in the last two weeks the letters I received from cartoon viewers took a sharp turn. They jumped off the purple cliffs like lemmings and into the valley of purple where they have set up purple rondavels. Consider this message from afar: ('…' denotes small edited bits for brevity.)
Salutations from neither Romania nor Switzerland… Hello … whoever reads this I am a big fan… So, yeah... (BULK OF LETTER)
Yours faithfully, An Australian Fan P.S. (Attached is not actually my face, but the face of the late Kim Jong-il… apologies for any confusion.)
Yes he did send me a picture of Kim Jong Il. Which is something I'd been doing without. So that was considerate and clearly not the act of a Romanian.
Then came this scribe:
Dear Miss Tabitha, or whomsoever holds the Sacred Sceptre
I fear I shall have to send this message through many levels of the ethereal plane, to a place where… the alphabet hiccups. I tried hooking my computer up to a small windmill… You may be shocked to hear that various miniature equines you've brought to life have transcended their 2D boundaries and escaped. We do attempt to recapture them by leaving out iced tea and guava… We come down in the morning to find all the good whiskey gone… unsettling... Yours with respect … and possibly toast - A
It's as if the viewers finally have the measure of me! I'm delighted, but not sure what has happened to cause the viral lavender. Consider this poodle hailing from 'ponies with problems:'
As a fan of your rather vibrant voice work for the marshmallow pony on that one show about Technicolor equines I have to tell you that I admire your ambition… -a Dutch fan.
I can't imagine what 'problems' could beset someone who so fearlessly adjectivized a marshmallow. There should be an award.
Then came this nugget:
Dear fungi enthusiast,
As a practitioner of the way of the jib, I would just like to wish you a hello and how do you do. Your pursuits in the equine rounda-ma-roo have certainly been quite audible! In the best of waves, of course of course.
All the best, D.
What is this jib? This hibbly jibbly? This jaberhoosian wiggyflip?
A poignant letter next:
Just wanted to say, you are a great VA and why is the rum gone?
There was rum?
Quoi le champignon???
Dear average Fungus,
I write…on a dial up connection hooked up to a rock from some south pacific Island, so i'll probably lose reception… I need some wisdom. What is the love of your life? What is the life that you love? And what is some hibbly jibbly you can go without?... Some hibbly jibbly ide rather not … is Peruvian Funk Punk. Normally I can listen to any kind of music, but… cant stand the mountainous energy the genre gives off. --Some young hooligan
Average Fungus, hunh? Well, okay. I can go with that. And I know the Hooligan's are questions of universal value, so I'll tell you what I think I told it. The hibbly I can do without is when you have to cut your friends nose ring off of your mum's afghan with pliers. Universal dilemma, right?
'YODA JUJU.' I'm Irish and I've never used this term.
So good to clear the air.
Even more on the spore theme from this funny gent name of Alex L :
…Ps. I wonder if there is a Tabitha Street in Germany... Perhaps I should take a package containing mushrooms and enjoy the confusion I might cause…
Well. Feel free to enjoy my confusion. I am.
I ask you. What has befallen the public pudding?
That's the sound of the wind blowing on the prairies of my website...
I'd update it but... mmmm... mmggh... jjjdjkl... llj;jh
No. I haven't moved to Zanzibar. There has been no plastic surgery to make me look like Donald Trump(although thank-you Graveyard Bean, for that suggestion) I do continue to work lots at my profession, and it isn't, as one might easily surmise, being a Sooper-spy. What I do rather,(nutshell) is make silly noises. Still, sorry, but recently, yes, I'm prone to go shifty-eyed when asked direct questions. Innocent things like: "Hey Tabs, What are you up to?" I can't help it. Instant rat face. Or, I turn into a wee grey cloud and try to slip down a ventilator shaft.
I might first point left and yell: "YETI!"
Does the fate of the western world hang on my silly noises? Are they somehow encoded? Will they do anything to your DNA? Hm. One wonders. I've signed(or have I???) piles of papers saying basically SHHHHH!-- in some sort of proto Robo/Grey/Pleiaedian hybrid pre-invasionese. So if I don't answer questions about these admittedly portentous funny noises I make, and I say things like mmm...mmm....mmmn-- or other combinations of letters with no vowels, it's NOT because of The Great Vowel Famine.
You may or may not have heard this from me...
I'm not unequivocally admitting that I am myself. It's possible, of course.
If you see a black helicopter hover overhead and fuzzy characters start to rappel out of it, dear friends, with love, you are on your own. - Tpot.
As this season buttons a drab grey coat over it's last blinding red and green sweater with shortbread inlays, I have a confession.
I love colour. Even the ticky tacky stuff. This is Vancouver. She rains. She rains. She rains. i'm pretty stoked that the days aren't getting any shorter. Colour good. Dark 'toopid.
On Wikipedia,(until someone finds this) it lists me as an actress and an artist. It’s one of many the facts on that page that isn’t true in the sense of being actually so in the third dimension. I do however maintain a glorious fantasy life in which I am not only a master painter, but also half-way to alchemist. I make my own brilliant pigments out of various pongy muds, saps, and rare(but conveniently local and otherwise pestilential,) bugs. My fingernails maintain a righteous dye- scurf, my clothes are always gaily a-splat. As I said-- all in my mind. Not an artist. I do, however, paint. Horribly! Horribly! Horribly! WOO-HOO! So. Much. Fun.
So here we are at the fundament of December 2011, and I want to really thank the actually capable and fabulous artists who have sent me fan art, and also art unrelated to cartoons -- a delight to my raggedy soul. Really, it just makes me so happy. I truly believe that all the good things in life happen while you are puttering. Below are some of my @ Xmas colour piles. I hope this may inspire some happy fools to muck about free from from prissy old Mr. Perfection-pants and his box of doo-like-me-disinfectant life-wipes. And I also hope those of you who wrote to me full of kind words for my talent, will recognize your own, and take it for walkies daily and give it a biscuit and massive moodjie-moodjie-moodjie from me.
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A few years ago on Halloween,(also a full moon) I went to a Con not as an actor, but as a writer. Still, somehow, I ended up doing an ‘Acting for TV’ panel.
I’ve been on camera, but mostly I gravitate to a fishtank and a mic. Too, I think being unseen brings out the best in people. They're not confused by illusions of body or sartorial splendor. I don't want my overwhelming physical attributes knocking out anyones speech centers.(It could happen!) The talkback button causes one to refine feed-back. Sure, if I had a nickel for all the times director Terry Klassen has leaned on the talkback and said: “That was just weird. Can you do it better?”
Succinct. Elegant. Actionable.
Anyway, on this panel, everyone but me and Maryke Hendrikse worked in live-action, and that was what the audience wanted to talk about. Let’s face it. That’s where the glamour is. The on-camera actors talked how hard 'the craft' was, the process and depth of it all. And one very good, well-respected, (other adjectives) actress made pointed remarks about this breed actors with 'attitude" who aren’t really good soldiers and just think they can stroll in and be all jokey. So of course, I made a joke. Of course I did. Oh. Dear. Escalation. I was one of those actors. Now herself kept referencing us and talking about slovenly acting habits and people who can't stand authority and how they don't belong in the business. And... I started to blow toony gaskets. Voices were building in my throat. I was on the verge of doing her right back to her.
"No,' monologued the great arty beacon to other performers-- 'you can't just wear a bandaid on the bridge of your glasses, and be a 'nerd,' for example-- you have to have an inner life. What makes this person tick."
My inner life at the time:
What if I stick this pencil in my eye?
SHE: " Hawhawhaw, thank you. Yes mine too. Yes that was one of my favorite characters I've done. ...funny you should ask that. Yes, I find a touchstone for me is shoes. When I put on the footwear I really know who the character is..."
BLAARGGH. I released a stream of silly voices and accents like a completely crazy baby whose Count Chokula has been purloined. Now normally I'm not reactive, I don't feel the need to top the floorshow and I'm a girl who gets on great with other girls. Who stole my body? I just remember the wide-eyed expression on Maryke's face. Hoo-mummy.
What made me want to jump up and down on this actress head with an anvil marked "ACME" ? Still a mystery. Maybe I was the victim of microwave mind-control. Maybe in a past life she stole my tube-top. Whatever. It was so bad, so inexplicable, that all I can do is laugh at myself. Time to drop the pencil. Maybe I shouldn't call her a 'great arty beacon to other performers."
I'll cut that line tomorrow.
My own inadequacies notwithstanding, on-camera is acting not that hard. It’s not coal mining or sewing in a sweat-shop. Sure, take classes, get crafty, but when it comes down to it, it's walking and talking. Most have it mastered by 5 years old. Say your lines, try not to crash into the lights.
It does help to be a bit brazen.
They give you sprawling meals and treat you as if you can do more than merely imitate the way real humans do things. They treat you like you invented flowers.
Now toons, see, don't work from the inside out. It ‘s not viable. The tooner that has his nose up his petunia looking for the science usually sounds like he's over-working. Who wants to hear the gears? You want that superficial marker. The vocal equiv. of tape on glasses. Yes, tooning’s a serious job. You have to read the script, arrive on time and know how to spell your name. For the contract. Then you’re a fly on skates, Jeeves. Skim that pond. Look! Down in the gluey brown depths! Could those be people down there be stuck in their own seriosity?
Tooning is serious work you do lightly. A good rule for a lot of life. Let's face it, shoe salesmen lose their nut over 'the new heel for fall.' You can get bent out of shape over anything. Like an incident four years old, Tabitha...
Yeah. Anyway, so... like... don't.. do like me.
I EAT MY WORDS. NUMMY.
Last week I did an episode of live-action show ‘Supernatural.’ After my makeup was airbrushed on, (graffiti-face!) I moved to the hair station. I was first in the trailer. Then came Dmitri Chepovetsky, (Sweetie actor-boo I know from theatre days,) and shortly the two stars, Jensen and Jarod-- and bugger me, but the two “J” names shorted my only working brain circuit.
They were both extremely funny, Jared kibitzing with the A.D. “You’re fired! Go Fire yourself!” Jensen had the chair next to me. He had his sides in hand. He was very open, had this inclusive capable elder-brother vibe, taking care of everyone and keeping things on track. A supernaturally supportive vibe, you might say, (lol am) but I didn’t try to yank on his attention beyond greeting. They have to learn loads of lines daily. I had my few lines and I still managed to salad some. J Name and J. Name had woolly suits on under hot lights all day. Not a boo-boo.
12 hours plus per day, the makeup lady said. Three months off to remember how to be human. Then she laughed a long time through gritted teeth. This is their seventh season.
The camera man said, "You caught us at a good time. We're good on Monday."
Another crew member piped in, "Not so much Tuesday."
"Thursday there's despair."/ "Yeah, dude, Thursday. Grim"
"Good again on Friday."/"Yuh. Or not."
Supernatural is a fun show, but the show I'd give my liver to see was behind the scenes. That crew, fluid and familial, irreverent, bored, engaged, expert and stuffed to the gunwales with personality under pressure. Quel show! As the French say. If I had cameras in my eyes I'd plug ‘em into my computrid to show you. Although… Gross images… eyes jammed into ports. Eww. Eye-juice. Erase.
The thing that makes me laugh every time I work on camera is how unglamorous it is. You sit in your little cubicle in a giant bare trailer that smells of loo disinfectant, you’ve been waiting hours, you smell like a wet bag of mice, you can’t lie down because you’ll put a dent in your hairspray sculpture. When you get to set, you’re an object that all the expensive, important pieces revolve around, the lights, the camera, ladies with brushes. Someone sticks a wire up your skirt and tapes it to your bra.
You’re a lump of monkey.
Then it’s ACTION and you waddle in and say those words exactly as they are on the page even if the way things are realized makes the exact wording daft and wooden. You try to find the floormarks without looking. Oh, and don't say anything compromising with a wire up your frock.
Okay, so maybe on camera acting is a little hard.
In the name of relief, here’s a moment of tooning no amount of study could prep you for...
I could have written this yesterday. A yawning chunk of time became available after my 1001 Nights record, because the working time usually allotted to Rated A for Awesome was going to run into the final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Ready to work, I was in the minority. Places of employment cleared as early as 1 o'clock. Files blew around in the wind tunnels left by the wake of fleeing office workers. People scurried to get home. I overheard one desperate youth on his cell phone: I don't care! Anywhere with a screen!
Hockey fever here has been very, very intense. While I cheered the Canucks when it seemed required, I can’t watch hockey. I do love my city and I enjoy my fellow citizen’s enjoyment the way I enjoyed watching my dog single-mindedly chomp a bone. It’s endearing. But I prefer other food.
If there were dance numbers and a bit of clever dialogue, I might just have managed. If there was Kung Fu. A fiddler or two. If it was actually in water rather than on ice. But there are emphatically not those plateaus in hockey where the likes of me is won’t to walk their eyes… ?
No idea what I just said. Perfect. I won’t edit it.
At the salon the other week, women were having their nails painted in Vancouver Canuck colors. Those were no flukey females. It’s an epidemic. Neighbors have their extended clans over every hockey night, and as I walk my cats past their houses I see their roofs lifting off as they hoot at their tellies.
The wrap party for Dinosaur Train was held on a playoff night. The actors in that show love, love, love the team that was flying in from Los Angeles to celebrate our last show: but the party threatened to go poof. Until they got a telly put into the posh restaurant they had rented out.
Now the dust settles the day after Vancouver lost to Boston, (where I was actually born, and where I’m still not capable of being interested in hockey). And we find that here in our convivial town, some little gerbils have been very naughty indeed. Riots! Not because of invasion, lack of food, or feudal hardship. No, because of a game.
Sure, it’s a game that’s left some lads with smashed backs and heads. But a game.
Shouldda cut off his head with a skate!
Oh, dearie, dearie me. Hard surfaces, blades, hideous lighting, the same dreadful rising chords on a tinny synth. Anthems and Flags (Ridiculous! A player can be traded into any team anywhere) It wants balance.
I’d really like to argue for Bangara numbers in the middle of hockey games. Also, perhaps some colorful frocks for the players. Instead of sticks, why not pillows? The identical game could be played. The puck can be a pair of socks. Very accessible. A half time episode of Care Bears.
Why don’t people take me seriously? It’s viable. I’d be perfectly willing to watch a bunch of virile young men hit each other with pillows. I’d go to the bar and have a tomato juice to see that.
Puffy eyed from drink and sorrow, people piled back to work today. Fellow toon Actress Sarah Edmundson discovered that the car on flames they were showing on TV as Vancouver rioted, was in fact, her car.
No one seems to understand how downtown became Planet of the Apes yesterday.
I think it’s the lack of theatrical values endemic in hockey. Makes people think it’s ‘real life.’ But it’s a game. And games should not only be fun, they should look like fun, so you don't forget. Costumes, wigs, lights, dance, proper music, a proscenium arch. And what was most absent? Humour. Speaking of. Here's the outake reel from Dinosaur Train S2
Today after recording Dinosaur Train, I went to Spinnaker Sound in White Rock to do a commercial for Panago Pizza. Had a lovely time trying absurd things with the text, at the end of which, actor Brendan Beiser
arrived to do his bit and tag lines. We had a brief laugh and then I grabbed my purse and keys off the scoochie leather couch and fled back to Vancouver for a 2pm session of "Rated A for Awesome."
By the time I got there I had all of nine minutes for lunch. I went into the Bean Around the World on Cordova and ordered an espresso. They always have the horoscope taped to the cash register in there. So I read mine. I paraphrase: "Expect the unexpected. Communications breakdowns at work. Computer crashes, glitches, faux pas."
I had a little chuckle. I'd had a great day. I looked at the picture of Georgia Nicholls, astrologer, and thought to myself: WRONG!
Then I sat down with my coffee and had a look at my iPhone. Message from agent Ralph: Brendan Beiser was still in White Rock. He was missing his keys. Wondered if I might have taken them. I open my purse. It's dizzying. It's really a whole other dimesion in there. But there were keys on top. Not my own.
I had 2 minutes to be at work. I had unconsciously purloined Beiser's keys. Oh. My. Sleepy. God.
I fly into Dick and Roger's Sound Studios and Roger, my old bean, my favourite pair of eyebrows, my support hose, offers to help, using his courier company. But the courier can't get there as immediately . It turns out Colin Murdoch, fellow actor, is going to White Rock after his session( 20 mins) to see his old mum.
What is the ettiquette for stranding an actor four hours in White Rock? My mind went doo-lally.
I had a pen hovering over a check. Brian Drummond, fellow actor, said: "Is that a check? Tabitha. That's just creepy." So I wrote a note and took all the actual money out of my wallet to send with Colin. He wouldn't take it. All my fellow actors went: "Tabitha! That's creepy!"
So, for his inconvenience, Beiser ended up with a bag of chocolate chip cookies, which I happened to have. Unless Colin deeked and took them to him mum.Later:
talked to Beiser, finally. He told me what he felt about the whole thing and let it go. Then he told me what a good actor he thought I was! Wow! A nicer guy to strand for four hours, you couldn't find.