Tag Archives: Toronto

Brian D. Johnson, Filmmaker, critic

Episode 75: Oct 04, 2017

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Brian D. Johnson’s work as a journalist explores art with the insight of not only a passionate observer but also an accomplished artist with a fascination for the human condition.

For almost 30 years Johnson was the staff film critic and Arts writer for Macleans, Canada’s top current affairs magazine. He’s retired from Macleans but continues to submit stories while pursuing his own artistic endeavours.

Brian’s directorial debut, the documentary “Al Purdy Was Here,” is a beautiful piece of work on many levels, I think you’ll really enjoy our chat about the creative process behind it.

We discuss everything from Brian’s easy working relationship with Leonard Cohen to the inspiring story behind the creation of a film celebrating one of Canada’s most prolific poets: Al Purdy.

Incidentally, we recorded last year prior to Leonard Cohen’s passing.

Our conversation begins with the fact that more films than ever are being made in Canada but there are less “Canadian” films.

Show Notes
Al Purdy Was Here website
Al Purdy Was Here on iTunes
The Al Purdy A Frame Association website
Follow @briandjohnson on Twitter
Brian D. Johnson Films website
Words the Literary and Creative Arts Festival: WordsFest.ca

Writer, Comedian: Joanne O’Sullivan

Episode 72, June 20, 2017

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Joanne’s written for the hit TV shows “This Hour has Twenty Two Minutes” and the “Baroness Von Sketch Show.”

Joanne has performed stand-up comedy across the country, she’s also done storytelling at the Stratford Festival’s “Late Night with Lucy Peacock cabarets,” and improvisation for four seasons of “Sin City,” Toronto’s popular live, improvised soap opera.

Plus she’s had a hit Fringe Festival show and is about to debut her new show “She Grew Funny” at the Toronto Fringe.

We talk about parenthood and the impact having a daughter had on her career. Prior to writing her latest show Joanne took a course to help with her writing, something she never imaged herself doing at this point in her career, but as you’ll hear it really helped kick start the process that led to her second Fringe Festival show.

SHOW NOTES
Joanne’s Show “She Grew Funny“.
The crowd funding site.
Joanne O’Sullivan on Twitter.
Tracey Erin Smith Soul O Theatre.
Albert Howell on Twitter.

Actor, improviser and writer: Sean Cullen

Episode 62 - Dec. 06

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Not-Sick
Seán Cullen was regular on the Tonight Show and he’s appeared on stages in New York, Chicago, Toronto and at the Stratford Festival. He writes books for young readers, his “Hamish X and The Cheese Pirates,” won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Book.

Plus he has a podcast, the Seanpod, and with all that going on he still finds time to play hockey three times a week.

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Seán Cullen and I talk about his improvisation and writing, as well as his path to success in comedy.

He also talks about his work on stage and why he describes his time performing 8 shows a week in “The Producers” as “just trying not to get sick.”

Seán mentions his time as a CBC Radio host and says “I was rambling completely and this drove the CBC Mad.” But as he explains, his rambling got the attention of a book publisher that led to the opportunity to his write books for young readers.

Seán’s Books
Hamish X and the Cheese Pirates
Hamish X and the Hollow Mountain
The Prince of Neither Here Nor There
The Prince of Two Tribes[Paperback]

Show Notes
The SeánPod with Seán Cullen.
Twist Your Dickens at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
On Writing by Stephen King
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr., E. B. White
Margaret Atwood’s Wandering Wenda to become Kids’ CBC series