Posts by Susan Knight

Kelowna Actors Studio – Sweet Charity

Many moons ago my sister and I went on an adventure! That adventure took us from the suburbs to downtown Toronto where my Mom had bought us tickets to see the matinee of “Sweet Charity!” I felt so grown up on the subway and thrilled that we found it without getting lost!

That day I fell in love with Charity and her attitude towards life.

It has been years since I have seen a production of “Sweet Charity” even though I seem to be forever humming or singing one of the songs from the show. I was thrilled when I learned that Kelowna Actors Studio had included “Sweet Charity” in the season!

 

Opening night I had the chance to reconnect with Charity.

It occurred to me afterward that KAS had big shoes to fill, this show was perched atop a pedestal in my mind that reflected many of the characteristics of what makes Susan Knight, Susan Knight!

Kelowna Actors Studio did not disappoint.

Tracy Ross was fabulous as Charity. When I dream of singing on a stage and performing for a crowd it is always the role of Charity that springs up first, so I was unsure of what the reaction would be in my subconscious. Outside of that brief moment of recognition that I wasn’t the one standing on the stage, I totally lost my self in the sprit of Charity, and that is what this show is all about.

It’s a celebration of life.

A celebration of the good and the bad, it’s about unhappy endings that still hold joy and about a spirit that is lost in so many but truly needs to be found. I always find it interesting when people don’t “get” Sweet Charity. Your reaction to it can say a lot about who you are and your outlook on the world.

Oscar was wonderfully portrayed by Randy Leslie! Without giving away too much the scene in the elevator still has me chuckling, it had the wonderful exasperation of a “who’s on first” skit tied together with a “been their done that” feeling that made the surreal real.

In another scene there is a moment when Oscar switches gears. It’s a moment that most of us have lived, on one side or the other. Randy handles it effortlessly and simply, allow the audience to feel for all involved.

As always the sets held wonderful surprises and transported us to Charity’s world. It’s not my favourite set I have ever seen at KAS but they set the bar so high that it still makes it heads and shoulders above what you would expect from a dinner theatre in another town.

I have to mention the dancing. Originally choreographed by Bob Fosse you know you are in for a treat (or at least you hope so) First a disclaimer: I Susan Knight no pretty much squat about dancing. OK.. On we go. WOW! Usually a KAS performance that involves dancing has one or maybe 2 people that obviously know what they are doing. This time, with what seemed to be a ton of people on stage it all came together! I had no idea KAS has so many performers that could kick that high.. and do it at the same time! You can’t help but love the identifiable Fosse style and it was a joy to see on the KAS stage. Well done to choreographer Jennifer Davies.

I would be remiss for not mentioning the direction of Nate Flavel. This was a big cast that required strong timing and movement. While I am sure it was made easier with the immense talent on stage but the show would not of reached the heights it has without solid direction which he obviously delivered.

Well done!

What: Sweet Charity
Where: Kelowna Actors Studio
Run: Till April 17th

Click HERE to sample some of the wonderful sounds of Sweet Charity

Dinner, Dessert & Theatre
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday Evenings
$73 Adult
$64.75 Student/Senior
$54 under 12
Sunday Evenings
$69 Adult
$60.50 Student/Senior
$50 under 12

Dessert & Theatre
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday Evenings
$48 Adult
$41.75 Student/Senior
$38 under 12

Saturday Matinee & Sunday Evenings
$43.50 Adult
$37.25 Student/Seniors
$34.50 under 12

Swinging With the Stars!

Astral Media has been a sponsor of “Swinging with the Stars” for the Kelowna Hospice for the past three years. Year one saw Andy and TJ from EZRock waltzing across the floor, year two Andy and TJ took over the role as MC and AM1150 host Phil Johnson entertained on the dance floor, this year Andy and TJ returned as MC and my husband Steve and I were put to the test with a Cha Cha! 

First a salute to all the dancers including:

Lawyer Paul Hergott and his wife Terri who did an Argentine Tango. Impressive! Steve and I would of never gotten through the routine without massive giggle attacks!

Westside Mortgage Broker Philippe Daigle and his pro partner Jeni MacMillan from Latinesque danced with banana’s, a pineapple and strawberries! It was fun to watch and showed off Philippe’s unique flair for fun.

The crowd was on their feet for Boyd Autobody’s Gordie Abougoush! He teamed up with Dance 4Lifes’ Sharon Sebo and they tore up the floor using songs from Grease! TOTAL fun to watch!!

Lorraine McGrath and her pro partner Tom Selzler, from Dance Connections entertained with a West Coast swing. You could see all the work she put in to make it look perfect! Really wonderful to watch.

Jazz singer Anna Jacyszyn and her partner Chris Thorburn from Kelowna Ballroom had a ton of fun,  dresses were ripped off and Anna was spinning over Chris’s head!!   They danced to Donna Summers’ version of Macarthur Park. I was pretty sure Anna was going to blow the roof off the Coast Capri and she did just that! (She’s lucky she didn’t blow off some well places sequins or that would of made a very different show!)

The judges this year were local realtor George Cwiklewski, Tracy Ross from the Bumbershoot Children’s Theatre and Comedian Herb Dixon.  Luckily they only had the options of giving us an 8, 9 or 10!

What was truly wonderful about the night is that 130-thousand 595 dollars was raised this year…. up from last years’ total of around $74-thousand.

It is wonderful to be part of that!!

Dance really isn’t my thing. I LOVE to dance, it feels good and it’s fun but grace and rhythm I was not blessed with! That combined with all the changes happening at work and that Steve had to go to Calgary smack dab in the middle of our training for the boat show left limited lesson time available. We are SO lucky that Warren from Latinisque was our instructor! Patient, funny, and oh so talented he managed to craft together a routine that would work for us and our limited time available!

What did I learn from this experience?  A couple unexpected things.

I learned that my years in a show ring on a horse has paid off in spades as a performer.  In the ring I was taught, very early on, to never let the judges see you cry. Smile! Smile! Smile! This has become my default when performing anything, and with this number it really helped, the smile was plastered on my face as I tried to make sure I could remember what we were doing!

I learned that not knowing how short your skirt is until after the performance when you see it on video is a good thing. (face – palm)

I learned that I have a pre performance routine, that I am accustom to. I know when my nerves hit, I know how they feel, I know how to deal with them, I know they will leave once I start.. I didn’t know all that would change when walking out to perform with someone I love. I have performed with people I care about before, but never with someone who I truly do NOT want to let down, the person who I always want to be proud of me and a person who I usually count on to be in the audience catching my eye to let me know I am doing a great job.

Tears.

Just briefly, but the panic hit and the eyes welled up. A couple deep breaths and I was OK. I realized that in many ways this was Steve’s night, my job was to follow his lead. He loves to dance and he has a wonderful natural ability in front of an audience! My part in this dance was my experience in front of an audience, I would keep us moving no matter what and if it all went off the rails I can improvise my way out of anything. I was what is behind the glass in the “In case of emergency” box.

That glass didn’t need to be broken.

While in the world of dance are performance was horrifying, for what this night was about Steve and I rocked that dance floor. Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” was the perfect song for the crowd, the cause, and our spirit.

Almost $131- Thousand raised for Okanagan Hospice. OUTSTANDING!

Thank you to Total E’clips for breaking out the crimping iron and rocking my 80’s do!! It made the look! Thanks you to Calowna Costumes for all the help with our outfits!! Thank you again as well to Andy and TJ from EZROCK for encouraging us to do this and Warren Eaton from Latinesque for his wonderful tutelage!

All About LOVE!

What isn’t to love about love?

I can feel the dirty look coming my way from some, and the hopeless romantics swooning!

The is week on 52NEW we talk heart, flowers and asking the big question; Will you marry me!

My job has plenty of cool perks including, concert tickets, sporting events, gala’s, meeting awesome people, and on occasion helping true love flourish!  SUN FM did a contest in which we offered the chance for some one to propose in front of a full house during 1st intermission at a Rockets hockey game.

Matt was up for the challenge! What made this truly special was that upon meeting Matt I realized that this was FAR away from anything that would be expected from Matt. Matt is a funny, sweet guy with a great smile and easy way.. but you got the feeling that grand gestures in front of thousands of people might not be his usual status quo.

Matt had to flat out lie to his girlfriend, he told her that he had a chance to win a trip to Mexico, but both of them would be on-ice during the Rockets game and she would be blindfolded and would have to find him on the ice!

Matt let the Dad’s in on the excitement and they helped make sure that another family event (sisters birthday party) was moved so everyone could join in the fun!

Fun it was.

Poor Matt was as white as the ice as his soon to be fiance was running around the ice blindfolded and searching for him.. the moment that blindfold came off and Sara saw him down on one knee.. magic happened.

Love

I was there with a microphone, catching the moment and watching their special connection play out on front 6500 people, including the crying SUN FM promotions department, but inside in one brief moment I remembered the love that had been and was in my life.

From the first school yard crush, to my first french kiss at Camp Couchaching. From watching Scotty Myers play hockey and Nicky Taylor breaking my heart. From my Dad offering to beat up Lawrence for dumping me to Vince taking me out on the motorcycle (much to my Mother’s horror) From my first husbands drunk proposal to my current husbands surprise proposal and every other moment my heart skipped a beat or came to a full stop and broke.

In a single instant, as Matt waited for a “yes” from Sara my heart ran the marathon of love that it had lived up till this moment.
My life has been filled with so much love. Passionate, turbulent, nervous, gentle and all encompassing love.

My heart sang as Sara said yes and the crowd roared approval.

What an honour to be included in such a joyous moment!

52NEW on this Valentines week is a reminder that love can be cruel and love can be kind but it is up to us to embrace it and let it in to our life.

Thank you Matt and Sara, and congratulations as you continue down the road that love has paved for you.

Watch it all happen here: Matt and Sara

Getting Dramatic with Kelowna Actors Studio

When you are a radio announcer everyone assumes that you are comfortable on a stage or in front of an audience. Some of us are more comfortable than others, I believe it’s important to our job and if an announcer isn’t comfortable it is their responsibility to fake it until they are. Part of the territory is being in front of people and making it seem easy.

BUT…

I think there is a big difference between being yourself and playing a character.

The least of which is memorizing lines.

Many moons ago I was involved in the wonderful world of theatre, I ran away from that world, for reason to be read in another blog post, but it has always been a part of me. I do love being on a stage and I do enjoy being someone else and bringing that person to others. Very rarely have I had a opportunity to play a “dramatic role.” Through the years I have done some comedy parts here and there and have had some fun doing children’s theatre with Bumbershoot but I have never had the nerve to approach any opportunity to do something a bit “more..”

Why?

I have to go to bed early because of my job… and did I mention memorizing lines?

Are you picking up on a theme here?

Randy Leslie approached me about attending his Master Scene Study class at Kelowna Actors Studio. Part of me was screaming YES, while the other part, mainly my mouth, was coming up with every excuse in the book to say no. Somehow, this time, Randy made it happen. Before I knew it I had signed up and was expected at the first class.

(insert terrified internal scream here)

Really. What if I suck? That was the sentence that kept going through my mind.
What. If. I. Suck.

I tried to reassure my self that it wasn’t about sucking, it was about growth and the journey. Right said the voice.
What. If. I. Suck.

I bullied on and attended class. I kept my mouth shut (a bigger task than you might believe) and learned. I watched, I listened, and I remembered why I loved theatre.

Joy of joy I had a wonderful partner to work with on my scene (Arlene Irwin) and I truly believe she made me better by simply being so talented herself!

The scene we were given was from “Agnes of God.” I was to play Dr. Livingstone and Arlene; Mother Superior.

What is Agnes of God about?

Here is a plot Summary of Agnes of God by Nancy Fisher:

A young nun, Agnes, is discovered, her body covered with blood, having just given birth. Her baby is found dead in the same convent room strangled by the umbilical cord. Dr. Martha Livingstone, a court-appointed psychiatrist, is brought in to examine Agnes and determine whether or not she is fit to stand trial. Mother Miriam Ruth, the nun in charge of the convent, wishes to protect Agnes’ innocence throughout the interview process. Before and after Agnes’ sessions with the psychiatrist, Mother Miriam and Dr. Livingstone debate what is best for Agnes. During their discussions, Agnes’ life before she came to the convent becomes a central topic in trying to understand her innocence and beliefs. Dr. Livingstone also investigates Mother Miriam Ruth’s role in the events once she discovers Mother Ruth was present at the birth of the baby and had known previously about Agnes’ pregnancy. Throughout these exchanges, Dr. Livingstone questions Mother Miriam about earlier events in Agnes’ life. In the end it is revealed that Agnes was the one who killed her baby in an effort to “return the child to God.”

Yup deep stuff.

How did I do? Well, no luck on memorizing lines, but we only had 4 week and even with 4 hour classes and home study, that is a short period of time to memorize anything. The rest of the class did managed to be off book for their lines, but no luck for me. Outside of that, I seemed to have held my own pretty well. It felt really good to be on a stage again. I forgot what it was like to just perform because you loved to do it. The only expectations this time of me, were put on, by me. While often those can be the hardest expectations to deal with, when I stepped off that stage the voice inside my head was no longer pondering “What if I suck” instead it was silent and was replaced with contentment and a sense of peace that I haven’t had in a long time.

Unbeknownst to me I needed to get back on a stage and reach for something that I had never done before, challenge myself to be afraid in a way that I hadn’t been in a long time.

Usually it’s the applause that feeds my fire. Not this time. This time it was about bringing back a truth from long ago, a truth that I had chosen to push aside for a variety of different reason, but a truth that had never left.

Inside of me does lie some talent, that I didn’t believe in for a long time.

So if you are wondering about a perceived talent from long ago, if you can lose it.. I think the answer is no, but you do have to go and search for it.

Best of luck.

Here is the scene we did from “Agnes of God” Please keep in mind there is some language and content that some might find offensive.

17th Annual Wendy’s Dreamlift Day

ANOTHER RECORD BREAKING DAY!

Yesterday was the 17th Annual Wendy’s DreamLift Day! $109,382.45 was raised! from this one-day event!

All totalled over the last seventeen years, Wendy’s DreamLift Day has now raised an accumulative total of $995,080.64!

The total includes the gross profits, wages and salaries from all the staff, management and ownership of the nine Wendy’s Restaurants in Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna, West Kelowna and Penticton.

The restaurants were assisted by volunteers from all walks of life. They added to the fun of the day by changing from their usual jobs in their communities to something very different: preparing burgers & salads, making fries, cleaning trays & tables and all sorts of other behind the scenes tasks that helped make the day such a great success.

A special thank you to the Orange County Sheriff’s who helped make this such a special day: Lieutenant Paul Fuzzard, Lieutenant Robert Peterson, Lieutenant Mike Toledo, Commander Dave Wilson, and Captain Linda Solorza. In addition, Marilyn MacDougall, Executive Director, from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Advisory Council attended.

Check out this video for some of the fun we had! Sonia makes Susan a Frosty!

How Goes the Resolutions?

Here we are just about a month in to January. This is the time you start to notice the gym isn’t as busy, your coworkers that had managed to avoid the smoking area outside seem to have found it again and the brown bag lunches are being replaced with trips to Starbucks.
Resolutions are tough. We start all gun – ho but our determination can start to erode as work, life and chocolate get in the way.

Let’s take this time to reset and adjust so we can get past the tough spots and make those resolutions stick!

Here’s what “Team Susan” had to say:

Starting with Dr. Phillips’ Lifestyle prescription for the Year 2011:

Select any one (but #1 would be a good choice) of the following ‘Healthy Lifestyle Modifications’ and implement it during the month of January. Read it as often as necessary to remind yourself to keep doing it. Each consecutive month add an additional “Healthy Lifestyle Modification.” By the beginning of 2012, you will have gained significant health benefits and enhanced your quality of life.

Find the list HERE it’s awesome.

Here is what Dr. Easterling from Creative Healing  had to say:

With the start of the New Year many of us look at our health and fitness regimes and make some commitments to healthier habits, set some goals and make a little extra effort toward an improved lifestyle. Having your spine checked as part of those healthier choices should be part of your overall wellness routine. The fundamental truth is: HEALTH IS NORMAL!

Read more HERE!

How about from my Idol Fit trainer Ryan Brown:

5 simple health tips when making your New Years Resolutions:
1.Follow a nutrition and workout plan lead by a professional
2.Keep a small journal of your fitness and food logs
3.Slow down your eating…ALOT! Eat with your opposite hand until you mastered it
4.Drink 2-3 litres of water a day. Flush out water retention by drinking more water
5.Shoot to do your health program 1st thing in the morning

Remember: Confidence Dominates Indulgence!

Learn more about Ryan HERE

From the crew keeping me looking my best Aura Beauty:

If this is your life – or even if it isn’t – I recommend this week’s resolution for 2011: Pamper yourself!
Learn more from THIS wonderful article!

Good Will in the Okanagan ~ Get involved!

Photo from flickr user {life through the lens}

We have all heard the phrase, “Pay it forward.” Do something good for someone and help the love/goodness/joy/charity move forward.

LOVE THIS CONCEPT!

Here is where I think it gets derailed;

When you tell someone to do it!

Doing good things for other people is wonderful! Perhaps you plug a meter, buy someone a coffee, or help carry groceries to a car, but expecting the recipient of your good will to do the same for another, or worse, telling them to do it, defeats the purpose.

OK.. if someone was insisting to pay you or do something for you in return, in this moment, I get saying “No, that’s ok.. maybe down the road you can help someone else the same way..” but if you leave a note telling them what you did and advising them to “pay it forward” or without prompting when they say “Thank you” you once again spout off that they should now go into the world and follow your example and “pay it forward” just seems to take away from the whole principle of doing something for someone that needs it base on good will and good will alone.

It has occurred to me that even in our strive to be “better” people we may have veered off the path a bit. My perception, is that the whole point, is good will without expectation.

Can you do that?

I find it hard. I can pretend that I don’t want to be recognized for what I have done, but deep inside.. I do.

I am a work in progress.

I’m a big believer in “Fake it, till you make it” my gestures are heartfelt and sincere, and my motivation is about 75% pure.. the last 25% is the remaining battle with my ego.

Charity is another concept I think we need to work on. Do you donate? That’s great! Do you donate enough that you have to adjust your lifestyle?

True charity should hurt a bit.

That is a another blog all together!

If you are looking to get invovled and would like to give or help in some way.. here are 3 great things happening in the Okanagan to check in with:

Steve and I are part of this years “Swinging With The Stars!” It would be great if you could help support Hospice Kelowna and the wonderful work they do! Please check the web page and if you would like to donate, scroll down to the “Donate Now” button under the write up about our team!

Any donated amount is appreciated and will get a tax receipt.

Meet Rebecca Bootsman.

She is amazing, wonderful, talented, brave and bald.

Rebecca has Alopecia.

It’s time for us to learn more about Alopecia and better yet for Rebecca to teach us!

Check out her You Tube channel HERE

Meet Bob Purdy.

He is about as cool as a dude can get.

You may have spotted Bob out on Lake Okanagan on his stand up paddle board!! Everyday this year Bob has pledged to to be on the water on his board paddling. He is raising awareness and money for the “David Suzuki Foundation.”

Learn more HERE!