The Martlet - Freelance Writer (2013-present)
The Martlet - Freelance Writer (2013-present)
Almost a year after its addition to the Royal BC Museum (RBCM), Our Living Languages: First Peoples Voices in British Columbia has won the Excellence in Exhibition award from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) for its ingenuity in showcasing the diversity of First Nations languages within the British Columbia region, and the struggle to preserve them.
When the Oscar nominees were announced late last month, some categories came with easy assumptions of who would pick up the statue, while others had more mystery behind them. There were multiple Oscar snubs, especially in the acting categories, and one big surprise for Best Picture.
Everyone loves banana bread. This recipe makes a fluffy and moist loaf of bread that is sweet and substantial. I've found this to be a great way to ease back into healthier options after the sugar overload of the holiday season.
Pacific Opera Victoria (POV) and the Victoria Symphony present Camelot in Concert at the Royal Theatre in Victoria on Nov. 22-23. The magical tale, which follows King Arthur and the forbidden love of his wife, Queen Guinevere, and knight, Sir Lancelot, this show blends a theatrical musical with the rich sounds of a full symphony on stage.
With the start of another school year, many students will be back to eating lots of pizza, KD, and ramen noodles, but ordering pizza all the time can get costly. Here's a way to save money by using the ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen.
Imagine 12 years of your life, from childhood to matriculation, caught on film every summer. Actor Ellar Coltrane grew before our eyes as Mason in this summer's hot indie flick, Boyhood. With only vague plot points and the 12-year timeline, director Richard Linklater's new film creates a sense of improvisation and realism.
For the past 49 years the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide have partnered for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, one of the most prestigious nature photography contests in the world. Open to both amateurs and professionals, this competition is meant to inspire an interest in nature and the arts for people of all ages.
The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese's Oscar-nominated film of 2013, follows former stockbroker Jordan Belfort from the time he starts his career in 1987 until he is finally sentenced to jail 11 years later. This movie clearly isn't for everyone. Those uncomfortable listening to discussions of sex and drugs should stay away.
Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near Post-Apocalyptic Future, created by UVic alumnae Kathleen Greenfield and Ingrid Hansen with Rod Peter Jr. played at UVic's Phoenix Theatre this month as UVic's annual spotlight on alumni productions. It is the sequel to Hansen's Little Orange Man.
Freelance Writer (2014-Present)
Review of the app Solve the Outbreak
By Lauren ChancellorYou know when Marilyn Monroe said "If you can't handle me at my worst then you don't deserve me at my best"? Well I think Victoria is a bit like that. The rainy fall and winter can be absolutely beautiful, you just need to know how to appreciate it.
The Review Weekly - Creator/Writer (2013 - present)
By now, it's common to see horror on TV. Specifically, American Horror Story has managed to take both the gore and terrifying suspense of the best thriller and horror films and bring it to the longer TV format. Slasher films are a very different dynamic, however, and it's no surprise that it took longer for them to appear.
Spectacular set design and exquisitely detailed costuming is front and centre in Pacific Opera Victoria's season opening production of Otello, matched by the wonderfully elaborate and balanced orchestra led by Timothy Vernon. The choice to use video footage throughout the play as a visual location cue was smart, easily blending into the otherwise well developed sets....
This was an inventive and fast paced season for Bard on the Beach. With three comical, crafty plays and one major drama they were certainly off to a good start. My experience of the season began with a steampunk Comedy of Errors. For such a convoluted play, this was the perfect vessel.
Hot Girls Wanted follows a group of young women enticed into the world of amateur pornography from Craigslist ads. I was really impressed with how the director chose to present the piece. Rather than glorifying the industry or despising the women, there was an open attitude that allowed the women to process their own emotions...
The Belfry recently wrapped their first production of the 2015-16 season and what a spectacle it was! It was a nostalgic experience, even for those not from the baby boomer generation. I was impressed with the array of references and songs chosen that didn't alienate anybody from the play.
Unfortunately, the 25th season of the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival was unable to really capture the spirit of the plays on offer. Romeo and Juliet seemed directionless and absurdly put together. It is not a comedy, yet with crude physical gags and a rapping servant it seemed like a parody of the original.
Although everybody seems to hate M. Night Shyamalan these days, the first episode of Wayward Pines fits his style to a T. The show is full of mysterious, psychological confusion with a slight Twin Peaks edge. By the second episode, directed by Charlotte Sieling (Danish The Killing), a lot of that flare is gone.
A British writer-producer married couple (Tasmin Greig and Stephen Mangan) who created a successful, BAFTA winning show in the UK are persuaded to remake it in America, but they must overcome cast and script changes, along with strains on their marriage from the Hollywood lifestyle.
After having sex with someone, Jay (Maika Monroe) is pursued by a supernatural thing that never gives up. It Follows has a consistent sense of dread, relentless in its pursuit of Jay and the men she sleeps with. For most of the film, this fear comes through the cinematography and score.
If I'm honest, the title certainly gave me pause as to whether I really wanted to try out this show. It seems crass, or at least raunchy, but it ended up being a sweet, British comedy with a lot of heart. If you like the boy-meets-girl setup, then this is certainly a unique one I would...
Vanya and Sonia have lived in the house in which they grew up their entire lives, through caring for their ailing parents and never venturing out to create lives for themselves. When their movie-star sister Masha arrives one day with her much younger beau, Spike, the ensuing havoc helps to reinvigorate their lives.
True Story follows disgraced reporter Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) as he communicates with Christian Longo (James Franco), a man on trial for the murder of his family, who took on Finkel's identity after the murders. It's touted as a crime thriller but it falls flat.
Find a full winners list here. Neil Patrick Harris provides the elaborate opening ceremony we all expected from him. The Moving Pictures song was great, and the animated background projected behind NPH was really cool. The choreography tonight is pretty good. Jack Black made a great addition to the intro musical that added a darkness and...
This is one of the most difficult Oscar races in almost a decade. Boyhood was initially picking up the big awards like the Globes, Critics Choice, and BAFTA, but it has lost some of the other important ones to Birdman like the DGA, PGA, and SAG cast award.
There are three big movies this year, Linklater's Boyhood, Inarritu's Birdman, and Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel. The past two years have shown us a split for Best Picture and Director and this might be the third. It's mainly down to Inarritu who won the DGA award and Linklater who picked up at the Globes, Critics Choice, and BAFTAs.
All AMPAS members (6500 people) can vote for the winner of the category this year, but it's a largely overlooked category on the night. The best chances to win are Leviathan and Ida, but with the complexities and richness of the Leviathan plot we think that will have the better chance at coming out the winner.
This is the only actor category with a bit of a decision to be made. Redmayne's spot on performance and manipulation of himself to become Stephen Hawking is impressive and moving in Theory of Everything. Birdman's Michael Keaton has one of the best performances of his life.
Since this show wasn't good enough with its normal hijinks and girl drama, Jimmy Kimmel was brought on to liven things up. Was Jimmy down in the ratings and felt he needed to remind everyone he was also ABC? It is the most gimmicky season I've seen in a while, and it's certainly not slowing down...
Not that I am old or posh, but Dorothy, the main character of Alan Bennett's People sure is. Everything has a price, for Dorothy it's her house. She doesn't want it to be refurbished or downtrodden, she just wants it to stay the same and get taken for granted.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance: a cast of superb actors all boiled down to one pivotal role. The Imitation Game focuses all its attention on Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) cracking Enigma, the German cipher during WWII, and pays little attention to the other characters alongside.
With the Golden Globes, the award season is officially upon us. It's hard to say how much the winners here will identify the winners at the upcoming award shows, but it's a good first look into the mindset of voters. This is the last Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted Globes of their three year run, and...
Chris Soules seems to be a good candidate for the Bachelor experience so far. He seems excited to have all these women to choose from and very grateful for the opportunity. Let's just hope he doesn't turn into another JuanP. Of the girls Soules picked, there were some good ones and some crazy ones...
There were a lot of good movies this year, but of the ones I saw these were the best. 1. Boyhood. The movie that took twelve years to make is also one of the most emotionally powerful. The Academy will love it for the cinematic feat, but audiences enjoyed it for the fantastic character development...
Not many people would get on stage in lingerie and a dog collar for a ninety minute production, but Celine Stubel and Vincent Gale sure gave it their all in this wickedly funny, constantly entertaining play-within-a-play. An actress shows up late to an audition for a play about S&M.
Victoria's first-ever staging of Spring Awakening, a musical about coming of age and discovering one's sexuality, hits the high notes but loses something along the way. The acting was well done by all with my favourites being the three main characters, Wendla (Siobhan Barker), Melchior (Ian Crowe), and especially Moritz (Austin Eckert).
Almost two years ago Charlie, Stuart and Roger joined together to form Narrow Plains, an acoustic folk band from England. Charlie Ferriday (guitar, lead vocals), Stuart Connick (drums, vocals), and Roger Connick (bass guitar, vocals) were each in different rock and punk bands during high school, constantly competing for their school's rock band competition.
We chatted with lead singer Charlie Ferriday in early January as part of our Band of the Month feature on his band Narrow Plains. We discussed guilty pleasure music, family support, and how their music has changed. Check it out below! What would we find on your iTunes, any guilty pleasures?
The Belfry's sixth annual SPARK Festival returned this March for some fun, inventive theatre performances with over 40 free events and 5 big shows. 1. Terminus: From Toronto's Outside the March Theatre, this has been called "Tarantino set to poetry" and we have to say, that's a perfect description of it.
The big award of the night, and it looks like we're down to a three-way race. In the past three years there has been a race between a big critical and commercial 3D hit against a smaller historical drama with the historical drama getting the win each time.
Dracula - The Blood is the Life was Craigdarroch Castle's Halloween play for 2013. A touring play where playgoers are doctors, come to witness Mina Murray, Dr Seward, and Professor Van Helsing put things right eight years after Count Dracula's initial trip to London. The lavish interior of Craigdarroch Castle features beautifully in this play,...
A simple set filled marvellously by colourful costumes and expressive characters, The Tempest creates a magical experience as the second play for Bard on the Beach's 25th anniversary season. After a magical storm destroys a ship carrying the King of Naples and his court, everyone is separated assuming the others have perished.
As always, it's the most dramatic finale yet. Does Andi get engaged? Does she stay with the guy she initially chose? Who knows! I guess they need to get us in to watch the After the Final Rose somehow. Nick shows up to meet Andi's parents and he's nervous.
Shakespeare is generally known for two types of plays: tragedy and comedy, but in CYMBELINE we get the best of both genres. This dramatic story rife with mistaken identity, murderous plots, and convuluted tricks is turned on its head with Shakespeare's unmistakable one liners. Cymbeline is one of the most rarely performed plays, but I am...
Ah trashy TV, it's what an ABC summer is made of. If you thought Bachelor Pad was bad, you have another thing coming with this crazy storm of a show. With lots of familiar faces, some with previous drama and romances coming together again, it's sure to be a wild ride.
Until October 20, the award-winning comedy Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie MacDonald will be at the Belfry Theatre in Victoria. Directed by Ron Jenkins (The Trespassers, Any Night and BASH'd for the Belfry), Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) stars Daniela Vlaskalic (The Drowning Girls), Michael Dufays, Nicola Elbro, Pippa Mackie and Jameson Matthew Parker...
Tonight's Oscars might not have had many surprises but it was enjoyable. Ellen Degeneres brought some humour in her opening monologue but nothing over the top. The best moment of her opening was when she hinted flat out brought up Academy racism by saying that if 12 Years a Slave didn't win Best Picture, then they...
I recently got to interview Danica Sheard, author of Love Game her debut novella. Self described as "a dreamer, an explorer, a thinker, an analyzer, a slave to [her] inner child, and a total klutz," Sheard has been writing since she was a teenager but only recently came to it for a career.
The Paper Kites are an awesome indie band from Melbourne, Australia. We recently got to ask Sam Rasmussen a few questions. We talked about band rituals, influences, and how they came up with the idea for their St Clarity music video. The Review Weekly: For North American audiences that will be getting to know you...
Nobody expected Sharknado 2: The Second One to be good. Certainly, it was expected to be another cheesy, B-list (if that) silly-horror movie that was so bad it became enjoyable to watch. Once again, it managed to cause a massive stir on Twitter (check out our feed if you missed it!)
Recently I got to sit down and chat with Derek Gust, a 21 year old Canadian singer originally from Edmonton. I got to hear an awesome new song he recorded at a friend's studio a few days ago about marriage which he's "particularly thinking about lately" as he recently got engaged.
Talk Nerdy With Us - Freelance Writer (2011-2013)
Stars In Stereo is a California rock band with singer Bec Hollcraft at the helm.
Recently I had the opportunity to interview Kayla Conn, an up-and-coming country singer from Texas. She recently released her debut EP that you can find on iTunes now. We talk summer camp, juggling high school and music, and celebrity crushes.
The Projecting Change Film Festival starts on Wednesday, so what better way to kickstart PCFF by interviewing the executive director and curator of the event! Tell me about PCFF. Katie: Projecting Change is a documentary film festival that was started six years ago by Brady Dahmer and Lindsay
I recently had the opportunity to interview Katie Weed from the band Old Man Markley, a punk bluegrass band out of the San Fernando Valley. Check out the interview below! Q: How did you come up with the name Old Man Markley for your band?
Aaron Abrams is a Canadian-born actor that has been in shows such as Rookie Blue and The LA Complex. He has also acted in many movies, including Young People Fucking which he also wrote and produced.
Recently, I got to have a chat with Chris Hayzel and Elora Jane from Ellis., an alternative pop band in LA. We talked about making the band, influences, and a possible west coast tour. Check out what they had to say below!
I had a chance to interview up-and-comer Rachel Griffin today. Her music is a jazzy pop-style leading Gavin DeGraw to call her "so talented" and Portland Phoenix to compare her to Norah Jones and Alicia Keys.
Austin Nivarel is a singer/songwriter of pop/rock music from Wisconsin. His album "What We Don't Say Out Loud" comes out today. I had a chance to interview him recently, so check out what he had to say below! We discussed Nirvana, his inspiration, and Dr. Steve Brule's Check It Out!
Zerbin: Peter, Nick, Jason, and Derek.I got to chat with Zerbin before their show last Thursday, March 28. We sat down at Romano's Pizza to discuss their new EP, style, shows, and what's next for them. Although not in the band full time, Derek Gust fits in quite well.
Jason Zerbin, Nick West, Derek Gust and Peter Mol (left-right) performing at Lucky Bar in Victoria Last night, I found myself at the Lucky Bar in downtown Victoria for the Zerbin concert.
Recently I got to interview Tyler Folkerts, an American YouTube cover musician. We talk about covers, his perfect day, 90's covers, and his first concert! Tell me about yourself. Tyler: I'm a college student graduating this summer with a Biology degree from Northwest Missouri State University. I
I recently got to interview Kevin Hart from Four Minute Mile, a punk band based out of Washington. We discuss favourite songs, playing in Lancaster, and lots of new music. How'd you come up with your band name, Four Minute Mile? KH: The Get Up Kids.
Steve Byers is an actor from Scarborough, Ontario in Canada where he got his big break on the hit TV show 'Falcon Beach'. He has recently been in the movies Total Recall and Immortals, and he is currently on the CW's 'The LA Complex' and SyFy's 'Alphas'.