About Me

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Welcome to my blog! I am a Creative Communications student at Red River College. My blog will feature local specialty drinks and my own favourite recipes from home! Take a break from the books and check in every week for weekly specials and events, and holiday features!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dionysus in Stony Mountain

Last week our Creative Communications class went to see Dionysus in Stony Mountain. I have to admit, when Joanne told us we were going to a play I cringed. I always enjoyed going to MTYP as a kid, and I danced at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet as a child, so I always loved the ballet, but I've never felt like the artsy type that can fully appreciate a stage production. Then I found out that we had to blog about our experience after... uh oh. So here it goes, and please brace yourself because I am no theatre major, but I will share my experience as someone visiting Winnipeg's theatre scene for the first time.

I went on Tuesday evening after a long day in the edit suites! The play was at Rachel Browne Theatre. I had no idea where this place was, but I should have, because it turns out that I go there weekly for Pita Pit, and they share a building! So much going on in The Exchange!

The play started at 8:00, but our assignment said to show up at 7:40. Being the CreComm'er I am, I showed up at 7:30, just in case. Already there was a lineup out the door and around the corner, all the way to my beloved Pita Pit! 

I have to be honest, I had no idea what the play was about, and all I had heard about it was the review in the Winnipeg Free Press, which wasn't as positive and reassuring as I would have liked. Nevertheless I went in with an open mind. I took a program and saw that it was written by Steven Ratzlaff and starred two Winnipeg actors: Sarah Constible and Ross McMillan. My first thought after hearing how long it was (2 hours), and knowing that there were only two actors, was how tiring this production must be.

We are learning how to write screenplays and radio dramas, and I find it exhausting to write the scripts using minimal roles. I can't imagine actually writing a two-hour production, and casting only two actors to play three roles. I was impressed.

Once the play was underway, I had very mixed feelings. As a first time theatregoer I thought the first act was terrible. Maybe it's my lack of experience, but I felt very lost. There was little to no movement around the set, as the psychiatrist and her patient James Hiebert (played by Ross McMillan) discuss his downward spiral with upcoming parole.

I felt lost in the intellectual jargon and, Hiebert's reciting of Nietzsche was exhausting and overdone. I was bored with the first half that I thought about leaving at intermission. I understand that McMillan's character memorizes Nietzche as a part of his mental illness, but it was an over share. The only thing that impressed me about the first half, was the fact that he actually memorized all of those lines.

Going in to the second act I was really turned off. I had already written the play off as a dud, but I stuck around to finish our assignment, and because I wanted to really give it a chance. I'm actually really glad I decided to to stay, because the second act was quite quirky and well acted. Ross McMillan changed characters from James Hiebert to Uncle Eric, Sarah Constible's uncle. I think the actors had a great chemistry and a believable relationship. They worked well on stage together. I liked Uncle Eric's character a lot. I think every family can relate to a relationship like Sarah's and Uncle Eric's.

It was another CreComm experience that forced me to try something new, and in the end I'm really glad I stayed until the end. Though I didn't enjoy every second of it, I learned a lot, and it was worth blogging about. I think I'll even try and catch a few Fringe plays this summer!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Journey for Justice

This semester we were asked to read Journey for Justice by crime reporter Mike McIntyre. The story of Candace Derksen's abduction on her way home from school, and the process of finding her and prosecuting her killer Mark Grant.

I read it twice, and each time I felt differently about the book. The first time I read the book I was just floored by Candace's mother, Wilma Derksen's, strength throughout the entire process. This was a story I had heard about, but I never grew up with the case. My little sister went to MBCI and had heard Wilma speak before. Wilma's words from 'Have you seen Candace," are a very powerful tool in McIntyre's book. For people who weren't as familiar with the case, it really helped paint a picture of how devastating this was for the Derksen family, and the entire community.

I had no idea what to expect during the seminar last week, where Wilma and Mike spoke to our class. I was moved by Wilma's ability to forgive. I think we are a society that often likes to blame and hate. Wilma chooses to live her life forgiving, and loving those around her. We need more people like Wilma in this world.

Certain parts of this book worked for me, and others didn't. I enjoyed the beginning where McIntyre retells the story of how Candace went missing. Some argue that he shouldn't have put so much of that in this book with Wilma's book, but some people won't take the time to read both books (though they should), so it was important. In part two I felt that the doctors reports on Mark Grant slowed it down for me. I wish that he didn't include as many of the reports, because it started to feel redundant. All of the doctors concluded many of the same things.

I think what did work was McIntyre's writing on the trial itself. McIntyre was in the courtroom for the hearings, and it was interesting to read what actually happened from someone what was there.

I think journalists can learn a lot from this book. It really just shows that you can take a story that means something to you, and work with it for a long time. Journalists have to write stories in such short time periods, so I think McIntyre really shows that they can write long pieces too. I think it also shows that stories can mean a lot to people. McIntyre was moved by the Derksen case, and he wanted to bring his own justice to the story by telling it to the world.

McIntyre also explained how important it is to go the extra mile with victims. You have to be respectful of their situation, but you also have to try to get the story. It's your job to report tragic cases, but it can be easier for you and the victims if you show some compassion. He said often people are upset and instantly shut you down, but once you show them that you genuinely care and want to tell their story in a respectful way, it can go a long way.

I think this book also shows how powerful the media is to have on your side. For example on page. 63 when Wilma's former journalism and public relations instructors come over for support and urge the family to ask the public to help them, "The public is out there. You need to solicit their help."
I think that this is even more true today with social media, and the ability to get the word out to a huge following so quickly.

I think Mike McIntyre's Journey for Justice, really felt like a lot of his columns in the Winnipeg Free Press, except a bit longer. In a way it felt like many stories from the newspaper, organized in a way that tells a full story. I never actually felt like I was reading a book. I think because there are so many other voices in the writing, it made it feel like a multi piece work, but I think it worked in this case. I  really enjoyed that he included actual clippings from the Winnipeg Free Press when Candace went missing. It was interesting to read what people were writing about and saying when this actually happened. It was interesting to hear McIntyre explain his process of writing books. How he becomes so close to a lot of the families he writes about, and would often drive out to other cities just to sit down with the father of a missing child.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed the presentations. I had no idea what to expect at the seminar, but it was my favourite this year. I wish we could have seen Wilma and Mike on different days, because I would have really liked to hear more from Wilma. It was hard to fit in everything in such a short amount of time. I am now starting to read Wilma's book, so it will be interesting to have both perspectives.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Black Tutu Magazine!

We are so excited to announce the launch of our first issue for Black Tutu Magazine. It's been a long haul,  but we are just a few short days away. The Magazine Trade Fair will take place next Friday March 30, 2012 from noon-4 at Red River College's Princess Street campus.
Black Tutu Magazine puts the 'baller' in ballerina. We feature local young women in Winnipeg, with trendy and innovative careers and hobbies. The prizes will be endless at the Magazine Trade Fair, so make sure you don't miss out on the fun!

Friday, March 9, 2012

It's been a while

What a hectic month! I feel terrible that I have neglected my blog the past few weeks, but it has been busy, busy, busy! The past few weeks the first year CreComm students have been putting the final touches on our magazines. The launch is just a few short weeks again, and putting the final touches on a magazine is hard work! I have a new found appreciation for the business! Stay tuned for our very own Black Tutu Magazine drinks page coming soon.
This week was also really special because we had the opportunity to watch the second year students present their Independent Professional Projects. We saw over 70 different and unique projects ranging from video documentaries, plays, radio dramas, graphic novels, screenplays, sarcastic greeting cards, magazines, songs, start up businesses, novels, and even children's books. It was really inspiring to see what these dedicated students committed a year of their life to. I know the first year students were floored with the talent, and we are all nervous to begin ours!

Here are some pictures from the 2012 IPP Presentations.

 Paddling in Peeptoes

Sarcastic greeting cards

nothing like finishing off the week with a drink or two!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Big Rocking in Ad

Had a great time in ad class today.  Doer & Dow Productions was hard at work creating a fun Big Rock Brewery print ad for the Eddies awards. Great to look through past winners both print and video, and we can't wait to submit our entry. Even if it doesn't win anything it will be first place in our hearts!

Check out some of the past winners courtesy of Big Rock Brewery!

Meet your Batch

Doer & Dow Productions

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bridesmaids at the Oscars

Every year the Oscar nominations are released I always ask myself where I have been the last year. I am ashamed to say I have only seen a few of the movies up for nominations this year... and when I say a few I mean two. Moneyball and Bridesmaids. At least I know most of the actors and actresses up for Oscars, but I really must get on my movie watching. Now that theatres will be serving alcoholic beverages...the only question I have is whether the drinks themselves will actually be more expensive than your ticket?

One movie I did happen to see in theatres this summer, four times in theatres to to be exact, was Bridesmaids. I guess it is obvious by how many times I paid to see it, actually enough to buy it on DVD or Bluray twice - that I am a HUGE fan. Bridesmaids by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig, and being the Saturday Night Live fan that I am, I couldn't wait to see it. If you haven't seen it and have no intention of watching all of the Oscar nominated films, this is your one exception. 

Also up for nomination as best actress in a supporting role from the film is Melissa McCarthy.

Bridesmaids Trailer

My drink of the week is inspired by one of my favourite scenes from the movie. The scene on the plane when the Bridesmaids travel to Vegas.

Double 7&7

- 2oz. Seagram's 7 whiskey
- 7-Up
- lime wedge

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

good wine with great friends

With the cold Winnipeg weather most want to stay indoors, especially with busy school schedules. Last week my friends and I braved the elements for our friend Sam's 22nd birthday. We made our way to Hermanos on Bannatyne. 
My mom works on Bannatyne just down the street and often meets clients there for lunch. She had always told me great things, so I was excited to try it for myself. 
The food was great, the service was excellent, and the wine...perfect ending to a busy week.
We all tried something different for dinner and sharing is always the best part of going out with a group. From the watermelon and cucumber salad, or the fish of the day, or even the burger and fries, everyone seemed to love whatever they ordered. Which isn't always easy for one server, a packed restaurant on a Friday night, and a table of 20 young women.

A few of us shared a bottle of Graffigna Pinot Grigio - an Argentinian wine grown in Tulum Valley, San Juan, Argentina. I would highly recommend this wine. It was a delicious wine, that could be paired with a variety of different tastes and dishes, or just a casual glass on its own. With hints of jasmine, peaches, and apricots, they recommend serving along with "stews, seasoned ethic foods: Peruvian, Mexican, Indian, Asian dishes, and cheeses.

Retails for approximately $14.00. Pick up a bottle this weekend, or try it out at Hermanos restaurant.