Modern Love - Review

Canadian Stage, festival of ideas and creation

Recently I had the opportunity to see a number of works presented as part of the 2011 canadian stage festival of ideas & creation on at the berkley st. Theatre in Toronto.

The festival, under the direction of Natasha Mytnowych and associate director Claire Calnan, hosts “acclaimed international theatre artists alongside some incredible local pioneers of innovation.”

For me, the evening began with, “Modern Love” a wonderfully entertaining new piece written and performed Jessica Moss.

This clever work, directed by Eric Double and produced by Julia Nish-Lapidus, integrates, a multimedia component, designed by Kyle Purcell with Jessica's exceptional live performance.

I've had the privilege of seeing Jessica perform previously in productions at The Solar Stage, a Toronto children's theatre, as well as Sea Change, a Theatre Caravel public forum for new works.

Strong Performance, Skillful Writing

I have always been impressed Jessica's stage presence and her ability to create a strong performance; last evening was no exception. Jessica demonstrated that, not only is she and excellent performer, but a very talented playwright as well.

This one woman, one act piece, delves into the world of Internet dating in a way which is both humorous and enlightening, especially for those like me, long married and well out of the dating scene.

This play highlights the new complexities of social interactions for singles through the use of want might generally be thought of as social media, as well as the intrusive, sometimes demanding nature cell phones, in this new digital world.

Perils of Personal Exposure On-Line

I found this piece to be lighthearted and genuinely funny, while raising some more more serious issues as well. Jessica has woven into the fabric of her work an important look into the more

personal aspects of exposing oneself, in a figurative sense, on-line. With considerable wit, Jessica deftly explores, in passing, the less than subtle problems created for protecting self-esteem in this new age of personal marketing. The way in this work uses the interplay of media and live performance cleverly adds dimension and brings social media itself to life as a supporting character.

Single Dating In A Technological Morass

As a writer / performer, Jessica embraced technology as potent way to look at the dilemma some face in the vast raw and untamed romantic wilderness of cyberspace.This is more than just Sleepless in Seattle, meets You've Got Mail. It is a piece which expands on those themes as seen from the reality of today's singles. The title, “Modern Love,” is entirely apt to today’s technologically complicated dating scene.

Theatre Caravel

Congratulations to Theatre Caravel for bringing this great original work to the stage for this years festival of ideas & creation. Having been developed through their mentor-ship in the GYM program, it illustrates the depth and breath of extraordinary theatrical talent we can expect to see more of in years to come.

Those reading closely will notice that I share the same last name with the director, Eric Double - not coincidentally, as I am his father. For that reason I can't claim to be unbiased in my review.

Enthusiastic Audience Reaction

Judging by audience reaction, I can honestly say that the work was very well received. On that basis, if no other, it was an unqualified success for Jessica Eric and Julia. This is a work which, I my humble opinion, if fully expanded, would make an excellent feature film.

Canadian Stage festival of ideas & creation

The festival ran between May 9 and 21 and featured a large number of artists and works. Regrettably I was only able to see the performances on the last evening. The evening ended with a Special Event / GYM Playoffs, featuring short pieces and excepts from projects in development by GYM members. "The GYM is Canadian Stage's program for emerging artists, now over 400 strong." These young performers offered some wonderful innovate pieces which I believe foretell good many more good things for the Canadian Theatre scene in years to come.

If you are a fan of live theatre, this is a highly recommended event.

Help Needed to Record "Zombie Christmas Carol"

Zombies at Christmas?
The recent TV series, "The Walking Dead" got me in thinking about zombies, as it did lots of folks apparently. In fact around my house, zombies became quite the focus of conversation, especially among the younger set.

Silly Zombies
I admit to thinking zombies are just silly, but anything that generates that much interest can't be all that bad with my interest piqued I started to do a little research. Just fun I searched on the keywords Zombie Christmas. Was I ever surprised to find a ton of site featuring Zombies and Christmas together. I mean it's one of those combination I'd never have thought went together. It just goes to show that sometimes life is stranger than one could image.

Ticked My Funny Bone
The whole Zombie Christmas thing
tickled my funny bone and got my creative juices flowing.

Putting those two ideas together stuck me as being a worthy challenge. As a marketer, I appreciate how putting odd things together can sometimes work to create something really unique.

So I put on my writers hat and wrote a variation on the old Christmas classic, Jingle Bells, with a little Zombie twist. Then I created an illustrated song sheet for to complete the whole Zombie Christmas theme.

Sing or Record This Song
Scroll down to see the wh
ole thing. I would have done a recording of the song, but heck, I sing like a Zombie. So I need a little help in that department.

Here's the deal, I'm offering the lyrics to song to you as a free Christmas Gift. Take it and sing it with friends and family around the old family piano.

Better yet, if you're inclined to do so, make a recording, post it on You Tube, Blog it or Broadcast it. The lyrics were written to be sung to the tune of Jingle Bells, the very one we all kno
w and love, so you don't have to write any original music.

Go ahead, give it a try and lets see what we get.

Oh yes, if you do a recording please post a comment here and let me know.
The Lyrics are mine of course, so give me credit if you post it anywhere.
Zombie lovers everywhere will thank you for creating a new Christmas song, just for them.

Merry Christmas

Is It Really Christmas Again?

Wow, time really flies, especially if you are marketing on-line. It seems like only yesterday when I was doing my last holiday post.

Much has happened in the world of on-line marketing in the last year and it looks like things are going to continue changing rapidly over the year to come. Keeping up with it all is proving to be a full time job.

Social media marketing continues to expand it's importance as more and more large and small companies come to understand the value of keeping up with this trend. The shift from print towards virtual campaigns has become a major topic of discussion on-line and off. Word of Mouth is (WOM) really taking hold of the whole advertising sector and shaking it by it's ad budgets.

Finding new and creative ways to reach your niche is still an important and ongoing subject of interest across board room tables and kitchen tables everywhere. Game changing technologies are pushing the envelope for both corporate and independent players alike. Everyone wants to be out on the leading edge of what's coming next.

In an economy that is turning around slowly, every so slowly, getting the best bang for the advertising buck really is the name of the game. Mobile is quickly becoming a really important factor, especially in local ad markets. Customized, customer specific content, delivered by push, is changing the face of advertising across the field.

So, as the new year approaches, keeping up with technology and trends on-line and off will continue to keep me focused and finding the best way to deliver valuable content for your benefit and mine.

Here's wishing each of you a wonderful holiday season and a very prosperous new year

Chewing Gum Comet

Look down on the sidewalk, streaking along across the firmament, it's a chewing gum comet. Streaming a trail of semi-solid guar gum, artificial flavors and colours it is evidence of life in other dimensions of the universe. This strange visitor from the edges of life as we know it began it's journey inside the crucible of creation for all chewing gum comets.

It's life commenced inside the cataclysmic dark and mysterious orifice of an unknown mouth. And so it is that we see this unique piece of debris only briefly, as it undergoes the tortured journey of all gum comets, it's fate sealed by the heat of an unrelenting sun and passing encounters with errant shoes.

Soon it will fade from memory, a hardened shell of it's former glory pressure washed into the gutter of eternity, replaced by new comets, brilliant, multi-hued fragments of the cosmos, reminders that somewhere beyond our understanding destiny will in time bring them also into our view.
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Claiming my blog at Technorati

Try and Try Again
By Marvin Double

If you happen to be reading this post and wonder what the heck it's about here's an explanation.
I've had an account with technorati for some time now but somethings been missing. Technorati allows you to claim your blog, which could be through of as registering it, using a special feature.

I'm embarrassed to say even though I know the value of technorati, especially for research I've somehow managed to never go through the process of getting my blog claim finished. I had at it more than once but somehow things always went wrong and the claim was just never completed.
What's the point in writing about this little technical fax pas? Simply to advise that if you also have a blog you should take the time and effort to claim it at technorati. The process is pretty simple. You click on the claim your blog here link in your profile. You'll then copy some HTML code into a blog post or side bar, as I've done here and then save the post or update the blog.

After returning to technorati you then click the "complete claim" button and wait. If all goes well in a short while your blog will be officially claimed making it easier for your posts to be indexed and searched. Pretty cool!

I'm only sorry I haven't gotten around to finishing this task earlier - silly me. So there you have it, don't be lazy, or absent minded, go ahead and claim your blog, it's part of the whole blogging thing after all. Technorati Profile

Free Easter Bunny Coloring Page for Kids

Helping to Keep Kids Busy Over Easter
By Marvin Double

After the eggs are decorated, and the chocolate bunny's nibbled, you might want to add a coloring activity to the agenda to help keep kids occupied over the Easter Holiday.

To get your free copy of this 8x10 coloring page got to Simply click on the thumbnail to select the image, then, right click and save as to your hard drive. Print it and give it to your kids or Grandkids to color. Encourage them to add lots of detail to the plain eggs in the basket.

If you want to keep them busy a bit longer give them more than one page and ask them to make each one a little different. My Grandkids just loved this activity so much they brought over friends and had a coloring contest.

If you have one that you're especially proud of scan it, upload and share with other relatives. You might also wish to post a link using the Disqus comments feature on this at the bottom of this post so I can see it too!

The Easter Bunny is a Social Marketer

Marvin Double - Thumbnail
Happy Easter

By Marvin Double

I recognize that many readers of this post may not be Christian or possibly not religious.  Easter is of course an entirely Christian holiday and for pois Christians the foundation of their faith - but this article isn't about religion.  Oddly there is a parallel between Easter and what has come to be known as social marketing. 
Like so many holidays it has been secularized and commercialized to the dismay of those for whom the holiday has a deeper spiritual significance. 

Chocolate Bunnies and Colored Eggs
The Easter Bunny it's much loved and anxiously awaited chocolate effigy have to a great extent come to symbolize the commercial part of the holiday.  For candy makers, card companies and toy makers Easter represents an important part of their yearly business, a fact no one should begrudge in these difficult times.

No doubt kids wait for Easter morning with the enchanted excitement of a child's imagination.  Even in this high tech age of video games not all of the magic has been lost from such mythical creates as the

The Social Marketing Connection
Not unlike Easter social networks like Twitter and Facebook, Myspace began in a more pure, form unsullied what some see as the sacrilege of commercialism.  These  networks originated as channels of communication which rose up from a need to connect with each other not as media for commercial advertising.

But of course as we know, things didn't stay that way and so a conflict arose - a conflict which is perhaps most obvious on Twitter where passions on the subject are often expressed openly.  In my recent article
"Taming The Twitter Monster"   I discuss the good the bad and the ugly of twitter, including the use of impure devices such as automation for certain tasks and searching for those with similar interests.  It's a hot topic and a touchy point with the explosive potential of a cream filled chocolate egg in the microwave.

Peace on Earth
Like it or not, the commercial and practical potential of Social Media as a Marketing tool simply can't be overstated or overlooked or ignored.  Social media is quickly becoming a focus of communications for Interest groups, political parties, corporations mom and pop businesses.  Unfortunately many are blundering into it's use unprepared and unaware.  The end effect of course is standing up in church to break into the ministers sermon for a commercial.

Easter is a time when we can reflect on putting aside our conflicts and be more tolerant of our failings . Perhaps it is appropriate then that we reconcile with the the fact social media can , if used responsibly be more than just one thing to one group or another.  After all social media is still a new and evolving technology.  As it changes perhaps we should evolve along with it and embrace what it may become.  In the same way the Easter can be religious and  secular, Twitter and all other social media can offer something different to each individual depending on their preferences, each using it in their own way.

Here's wishing you each a Happy Easter, May Love and Peace be Yours