Monday, April 2, 2012

The Next New Beginning ... Act II

A few of the overhead spotlights flash on and off, and the oh-so-polite "ding-dong" can be heard over the murmur of the guests in the lobby ... intermission is coming to a close. The crowd finds its way slowly back into the auditorium ... in a few more minutes, the stage manager will cue the house lights down, and the curtain will rise on the second act ...

... and so begins the continuation of my last post ... by the time the final curtain closed on "Willy Wonka" at the end of October 2010, I knew that I was hooked ... I also discovered that I am extremely susceptible to post-show depression. As I understand it, any of you reading this post who have invested heavily of yourselves into a show will identify, to some extent, with my "condition" ... it's actually quite similar to how you might feel when you come home from a really awesome vacation ... a kind-of "let-down" if you will. When "Wonka" wrapped up, I hit the skids kinda hard for a little while there. Friends of mine with far more experience (and intelligence!) suggested that the best way to avoid the "post-show blues" was to always be involved in a show - it seemed like such good advice at the time ... but wait, I'm getting ahead of myself here ...

Shortly before Christmas, my friend Pauline called me up, and said she had heard that the Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society were having an open casting call for the role of Nanki-Poo in "The Mikado". At the time, I wasn't familiar with the work, the composers, or even the Society ... little did I know how indelible an imprint this Company would have on me as a performer! I threw my name into the proverbial audition hat, and the producer sent me a copy of the audition song ... "A Wandering Minstrel, I". With the help of my good friend Sylvia Goodwin, I "learned" (in quotes for a very good reason) the piece and showed up for the audition. I sang the song (as best I could) and did a short cold read for the part. I really had no expectation of actually landing the role - I thought the experience would be good for me, and in a few days, they'd call me and thank me for coming out. Instead, the Director asked me to "wait over there" (a table in the corner of the room) along with a few other hopefuls while the Production Team had a short "huddle". A few minutes later, he walked over to us, dropped his hand on my shoulder and said, "Scott, we'd like to offer you the role of Nanki-Poo". After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I said, "Yes, I'd be happy to accept it!". "Great!" he replied ... "Can you stay? Rehearsal starts in 10 minutes!" ... second jaw-dropping moment of the night!! I stammered out a yes, and headed outside to make a few jubilant phone calls before coming back in to get started.

Over the next few months, I worked very closely with George Corwin, former UVic Professor of Music and music director for the show. With his guidance and expertise, I was able to "find" my voice. (Coincidentally, we took to the stage at the McPherson Playhouse a year ago to the day of this posting) I am very grateful to the entire cast and crew of that show in particular for taking me in, and making me feel so very much at home. I continue to perform with this Company whenever I can, and I have the utmost of respect for their players.

Since "The Mikado", I have performed in another half-dozen (no I'm not kidding!!) shows, in both principal and chorus roles. Most recently, I have found myself rehearsing 3 of the 6 shows listed below at the same time. I have learned that rehearsing 3 shows at once is too much ... I've more or less lived at rehearsal halls and theatres since the beginning of January this year. "Carmen" closed at the end of February, and "HMS Pinafore" wrapped up just yesterday, so now I find myself in just one show - "Brigadoon" ... that is, until summer auditions start ;-)

"Gone With The Wine" (Peninsula Players)
"Another British Music Hall" (Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society)
"The Flying Dutchman" (Pacific Opera Victoria)
"Carmen" (Pacific Opera Victoria)
"HMS Pinafore - concert version" (Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society)
"Brigadoon" - (Victoria Operatic Society)

There we have it folks - the performance has come to an end, and the curtain drops (hopefully while the audience is still clapping, of course) ... not a "Wow!! That was amazing!!!" end to the "Second Act", tho (sorry if I mislead you). I do have one more addition to this "show" tho ... call it an encore if you will:

Early in this post, I did say that I was "hooked", right? Maybe the picture below will give you an idea to the extent:

This tattoo lives on the outside of my left thigh now - a proud monument to my love of (and addiction to) the dramatic arts :-) As always, Dear Reader, thank you for visiting my corner of cyberspace ... I will endeavor to keep this Blog as current as time permits between performances, rehearsals, and vocal coachings. In the meantime, may all your endings be happy ones ... Toi Toi Toi!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Next "New" Beginning ...

Well, if anyone still reads this thing, they're in for a surprise ... almost 2 years between posts - betchy'all thought I was never coming back ;-)

If you tuned in for a running or other endurance sport update, I must warn you - you're likely to navigate away from this page in disgust (ugh!) or horror (Aaaahhhh!!) or just plain boredom (*YAWN*) cuz I didn't return to cyberspce in order to wax loquacious on any of these (fine) subjects.

This blog has definitely changed its focus, as has its somewhat reticent author ...

Just under 2 years ago, (pretty much right after I stopped trying to maintain this blog) I "discovered" the wonderful, exciting and highly addictive world of the dramatic arts - especially musical theatre and opera ... no, seriously! I mean it!!! I'm so H-O-O-K-E-D!!!! Can you even believe what you're reading? From endurance athelete to opera singer?? Really???? How does that happen?!? Read on, my friend(s), read on ... okay, finish laughing first, then read on ... ;-)

I hardly know where to begin ... well at the beginning makes the most sense, doesn't it ... the problem is that there's so much to tell, and I don't think anyone wants to read a 2000-word opus entitled, "How Scott Crinson Found Himself on the Stage". *sigh* Lemme try to hit the highlights ...

I had been singing tenor with a community choir called "Spirit Rising" for a couple of seasons when I got wind of auditions coming up for a production of "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory". Tanisha, my daughter, wanted to audition for the role of Veruca Salt (one of the spoiled-rotten bratty kids). Michelle encouraged me to audition as well. I wasn't too sure Tanisha would "approve" of doing a show with her Dad, but to my surprise, she loved the idea. I originally planned to auditon for the role of Mr. Salt (Veruca's on-stage father) - up to the day of the audition, that was still my plan. Tanisha, Michelle and some friends from the choir were insistent that I should go out for the role of Wonka instead. I showed up at the audition and asked to read for the part - in hindsight, I'm so very glad they (the Four Seasons Musical Theatre production team) allowed me to do so ... much to my surprise, they offered me the role (due in a large part, I think, to my ability to be "creepy" ... think the Gene Wilder version, as opposed to Johnny Depp). By the time we opened in late October, I was starting to feel like I'd found a new home ... call it my niche ;-) Little did I know how "deep" that niche was gonna turn out to be!

What say we leave it there for tonight - it IS getting late for me (on a non-show, non-rehearsal night that is) ... if I've learned anything in the last two years, it's this: never give away the ending of the story in the first act ... otherwise, why would the audience come back after intermission?

I do have a busy week coming up (three rehearsals and two shows leading up to Sunday afternoon) so I cannot guarantee how long this particular "intermission" will last - certainly not 2 years, and likely less than 7 days.

In the meantime ... I'm grateful for anyone who reads my prose - thank you for showing up. Now go stretch your legs, read over your program, maybe get a drink at the (overpriced!) concession, and them c'mon back for the second act ;-) See you soon!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A New Beginning ...

It seems to me that I once posted a blog entitled "... Time Flies ..." I would be hard-pressed to argue that point, given that it's been roughly 18 months since my last post here. When I logged into "Blogger" this evening, I was actually just a wee bit surprised to discover that my blog still exists! In any event, I have returned (with little or no fanfare!) and I am "planning" (emphasis on "planning") to make much more regular entries here.

The fact is that in the last year or so, my running routine has (mostly) ceased to even resemble a "routine" and has in fact become the exception now instead of the rule. Admittedly, I had a very successful training and racing year in 2008 and the early part of 2009. Over the course of 2008, I set PR's at 5K, 8K, and 10K, along with personal bests at both the half and full marathon distance. I even ran my first (possibly my only) 50 K Ultra-Marathon event in May 2009. I ran a respectable time against a fairly seasoned field, and still pulled off a third place overall. Not too shabby, right? Well, from a "results-only" perspective, I can't complain! However, I have learned that training at that level, for that length of time can wreak havoc on many aspects of one's life.

Last year's 50K took place on May 2nd ... I was probably at my peak of endurance and personal fitness (ever!) on the morning of that race. I had planned on some serious recovery time, and had no immediate plans for my next race. A few days after the event, I got an e-mail from David Milne of Peninsula Runners, inviting me to the Oak Bay 'Kool' Half Marathon on May 24th. Instead of politely declining, I (very foolishly!) accepted the invite, and toed the start line for the race, having had a mere 22 days to recover from the 50K!! Needless to say, I did NOT run a PR that day. Although I didn't injure myself (dumb luck as opposed to planning!!), I did something far worse ... I pretty much burned myself out. It's been over a year since that event, and I gotta tell ya - I don't feel like I've ever really recovered. I still managed to race a full marathon last fall - I ran my "next-to-slowest" finish time (3:21) - frankly speaking, I think I ran the event simply because I couldn't get a refund on my entry fee. I knew going into the event that I wasn't completely prepared.

I have discovered that endurance training can be habit-forming ... Toward the end of 2008, and leading up to the Ultra Event in May '09, I think I became (somewhat) obsessed with running. My priorities shifted, subtly at first, then more obviously, so that running became more important to me than work, or sleep, or even my relationship with my wife. My waking hours were filled with training, planning my next run, or pouring over the results of my most recent outing. At one time, I was maintaining 3 different training logs, along with this blog, and I began to neglect my personal relationships. I had heard from many sources that running could be habit-forming ... I never expected that it would take over my life in the way that it did. By the time I got to the start line of the Ultra, running had become the most important aspect of my daily life. Fortunately for me, I have a very patient and devoted spouse. Michelle has always been my biggest fan, and greatest supporter. (In 2004 when I first started training, she used to follow me around in her car, for fear I would pass out!) In hindsight, I can see the evolution of my running addiction. Michelle stood by me throughout, and for her faithfulness, I will be forever grateful. Thank you Michelle.

In August of last year, my youngest daughter, Tanisha, moved in with me. Prior to her arrival in my house just 2 days after her 13th birthday, we had never lived together before. Needless to say, a period of adjustment ensued ... is still ensuing ... will continue to ensue ... I'm sure you get the point. In all seriousness, I am thrilled to have my daughter living with me. I would like to keep running, no question of that ... Tanisha has helped me realize that family comes first. I'm still working on balancing family and personal needs - like the rest of my life, consider it a work in progress. Thank you, Tanisha, for teaching Dad a lesson (or two!)

I haven't raced anything since the RVM last fall. I can't even say that I have really trained effectively over that same time period either. There are a myriad of reasons why I'm not training at the same level. These days, I can't seem to find either the time or the motivation to strap on the shoes and head out the door. I am working split shifts now, and my workday starts before 7 AM, 4 out of 5 days of the week. For years, my daily routine consisted of rolling out of bed, having a coffee and light breakfast, then heading out for a run. I have yet to figure out a running routine that fits into working the split shift. More importantly, I seem to have lost my mental "edge" ... I feel perpetually burnt out. In 2008, I woke up every morning, just dying to get out there ... these days, I can't seem to string together more than one or two runs a week, and even those runs feel "forced" - almost like "I'm gonna go running now cuz I have to" ... where did my Joy of Running go? With any luck, Dear Reader, we'll find it somewhere in the days and weeks to come. I sincerely hope that by re-visiting my Blog, I will recapture some of the motivation and joy that I felt a couple of years ago. Assuming that someone other that Michelle and Tanisha will read this, I'd love to hear any suggestions you have. Please post them as comments! Thank you for reading - this was a long one ... Goodnite all :-)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Marathon of Hope 2009

Just a quick post today ... this entry isn't about training, or racing ... it's about a chance I have to participate in the Marathon of Hope 2009. This program is being put together by CBC Television with the support of the Fox Foundation - they are going to assemble a team of 12 runners to start in St. John's NL on April 12th, and have them follow Terry Fox's original route and daily mileage, arriving in Thunder Bay ON by Labour Day. With the help of a very talented friend, we have created a YouTube video as part of my application to participate. You can view the video here.

Please wish me luck. Thank you again for taking the time to read my blog. Cheers!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Taking the plunge

It's official. After months and months of fence-sitting and fretting, I finally did it. I coughed up the entry fee and signed up for for the 5th Annual Triathlon of Compassion. I've been somewhat negligent in my swimming workouts of late, having remained far more focused on running instead, so I'd better "get wet", so to speak, and reacquaint myself with the joys of consuming chlorinated water while trying to stay afloat (ie. my version of swimming).

Seriously, though, I am very excited about this event. Not a word of a lie, I think my pulse rate went up to over 100 bpm while I was filling out the entry form! I started talking about competing in a "tri" over a year ago, and to be perfectly honest, I've (not so) secretly wanted to complete an Ironman-distance triathlon for many years ... I guess I've gotta start somewhere, right? This is a good race to choose for a first time event for me ... it's close to home (the Esquimalt Rec Centre is the hosting venue - about 1 mile from where I live), and as such, I know the area and the pool well. The bike and run courses are both familiar to me, and most importantly, as a "triathlon newbie", I'll feel right at home. I understand that many folks use this triathlon as their first attempt, so I won't feel too intimidated by my fellow competitors. On the other hand, I was just checking out last year's results, and there were some serious contenders, too. Given my lack of experience in the sport, combined with a lack of training in the swimming/cycling department, I have no expectations about my performance in relationship to others. I'm just excited to take on the challenge.

To that end, though, I'd better get off my duff, and head over to the pool. I'd like to get a least a few swimming sessions in before the big day. Thanx for taking the time to peruse my pages. Cheers!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Here we go again ...

I guess I wasn't kidding when I titled my last post ... six bloody weeks ago!! It isn't really practical (or even remotely interesting!) for me to detail out 6 weeks worth of workout material, so I'll just try to hit the highlights.

As I mentioned in my last entry, I was preparing for the Oak Bay KOOL 1/2 Marathon. I've gotta give a shout out to Dave Milne and his staff at Peninsula Runners for putting on a great event. Race day (May 25th) dawned calm and cloudy - perfect racing conditions! I took off at the start maybe a wee bit too fast (3'49" first km) but settled down and hit the 10K mark at 39'59" - bang on projected pace. The second 10K has a bit more "up" than "down" in it, so I wasn't tremendously surprised with 40'55" for the second 10K split. Official finish time ... 1:25:03, which was fast enough for a 14th place overall finish, and a (surprising!) 3rd place in my age category. The full list of results is here. One other point of interest for this race - having run most of the course on my own, I was lucky enough to hook up with 2 other runners for the last 4 km's or so (is 3 runners considered a pack?). We traded off the lead several times, and with just a few hundred metres to go (most of which was uphill) they took off and left me in their wake. I just didn't have anything left in the tank for a solid finish kick. Kudos to them both for pulling me along those last few km's - thanx Jordan and Greg.

This year, so far, has been a banner year for me in the running department - I've set PR's at 5K, 10K and half-marathon distances, and have thus far remained mostly injury-free. All the signs are pointing to another PR this fall at the Royal Victoria Marathon in October. There are no guarantees at the marathon distance, tho .. last year I started the race feeling totally pumped for a PR, and ended up not even finishing (see this post for a full recap). This year, I have chosen to follow a (very ambitious!) training program designed by Bruce Deacon. I'll try to keep you posted on my progress - I'm finding it very hard to squeeze in "blog time" between work and running and the rest of my life.

I did hit one major milestone earlier this month. Before I get there, I have to digress into a bit of history... Although I ran in high school and military college, I drifted away from the sport in 1990. For the next 14 years, I didn't pay much attention to my health ... I smoked for over 10 of those years, and tried quitting several times before it finally stuck. There were a couple of failed attempts at returning to running in earnest as well. I marked my official "quit date" as August 28th, 2004. My "return to running" started (painfully, if memory serves) on October 1st that same year. Since that first run, I have been faithfully logging my workouts, and keeping track of my total mileage. On June 3rd, I officially passed the 8000 km mark of cumulative distance. I haven't figured out how many training hours that translates into - lots and lots would be the short answer!

One last bit of news ... Michelle and I are looking forward to July 1st - we're both participating in the HBC "Run for Canada" here in Victoria. I'm running the 10K event at 8:00 AM, then Michelle and I are going to do the 3km walk together at 10:00. We're both very excited - it's a great cause and a fun way to spend some time together, too!

That's enough for tonight (that's more than enough you might say!) I'll try to post shorter, more frequent entries, but I can't promise anything. For anyone who stuck around to the end of this post, thanx for taking the time to read.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I can't believe how fast time flies!

It's been 10 days since my last post - where does the time go? I've got lots of info to pass on so I'll try to keep it brief - try being the operative word. Anyone who knows me, or has even read some of my previous posts knows that me and "brief" are virtually complete strangers.
  • Monday April 28th - took the bus out to Saanichton to go for a leisurely bike ride with my daughter. It was such a nice day when I left Victoria - it started raining by the time my daughter and I left her house to bike to Sidney. We made it there without getting too wet, then bused back to her house. I decided to ride home - 23 of the most miserable biking kilometers I care to recall. It was raining, cold, windy, and I was seriously under dressed for the conditions (not to mention still sore and supposedly recovering from the TC 10K race the day before!) All in all, not a stellar day, nor a stellar workout.
  • Tuesday April 29th - in the interest of recovery, I went for a very easy 500m swim, then paid a visit to Elements of Health Centre for some much-needed massage therapy. Asta Kovenan is a Registered Massage Therapist, and a recent addition to their staff. She spent about an hour working on my legs, and helped me find all the sore spots that I didn't know were there! I only just started working with Asta, and I plan on continuing to have treatments with her on a regular basis.
  • Wednesday April 30th - easy recovery-paced run, about 7 km's at about 4'42" per km.
  • Thursday May 1st - rest day (from running), but ended up working overtime - loooong day on the bus!
  • Friday May 2nd - unplanned rest day - too tired to work out.
  • Saturday May 3rd - back at it - 14 km in just over an hour, last 2 km's in 4'12" and 4'02" for a nice strong finish.
  • Sunday May 4th - decided to do a dry run of the Oak Bay "KOOL" 1/2 Marathon course (for a course map, click here). My original plan was to run the course in around 1 hr 40 min, just to check it out, and not to try anything too hard. I ended up completing the route in just over 90 minutes instead - something closer to marathon race pace! *sigh* Apparently, I have problems taking it easy - in my defense, Sunday morning was absolutely gorgeous running weather, and I hit the street feeling like a million bucks. Can you blame me for going too hard?
  • Sunday May 4th, evening - softball with the BC Transit Softball team (still no name - we're working on it!) It turns out that I can't run the bases like a kid anymore - I managed to pull a muscle in area of my upper left quadricep, just below the TFL. I came home limping, and got a decent tongue lashing from my wife for over doing it! Silly me...
  • Monday May 5th - rest day, with some ice a couple of times in the evening on the sore leg.
  • Today - went out for a nice 40-min ride on the Trek before taking it in to the shop for a tune-up. When I went back to get the bike, Don spent about 15 minutes with me tweaking my riding position and giving me some tips on pedal dynamics. I'm looking forward to my next ride!

That's plenty for this post, I think - the next few weeks, I'll be focusing on preparations for the Oak Bay Half. This will be my first race at the 21.1 km distance - I'm looking forward to the challenge. In the meantime, happy running to all :-) Cheers.