Saturday, 30 January 2016

Support Each Other

I have learnt so many lessons from John, but one that springs to mind at the moment is to support each other. Being part of SCTV was probably one of the happiest times for John, in fact I think most of the SCTV actors, crew, writers would probably say the same. It was one of the most supportive and creative times for them all and I feel at a time when they really needed each other. Confidence, love, laughter, a safe space and people to bounce off. They were kind of making the show for themselves and then of course others found it funny and it went from there.

A lot of people question if there was something in the water back then with comedic greats coming out of Canada including John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas, Rick Moranis, Joe Flaherty et al. However in Martin Short's latest book I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend, Short attributes it to the fact they all helped each other - if one of them got an opportunity they tried to create one for the others.

When I interviewed Rob Salem for the book, he told me how John didn't just break America but also boundaries for his fellow Canadian actors. Before John, to go from Canada to America was not a favorable thing to do with the Canadian press, who in the main could be quite scathing of anyone who crossed over to the Hollywood dark side. However, people could not help but love John (probably because he never forgot his roots and gave so much back to Canada) and he really paved the way for other actors to follow suit.

I have heard a lot of stories of John trying to help fellow actors, aspiring actors, people that he liked in general by giving them opportunities, advice, recommendations and if possible, jobs.

I remember back in my Uni years one of my old lecturers Phil Saxe telling us that as one became successful in your group (of friends, colleagues, coworkers etc) as a rule others would rise up with them. So the key isn't just to look after yourself but to look after those around you, luckily this isn't only the most productive way but also the nicest too (the main thing is you all have to be on the same page, everyone must want each other to succeed).

I'm so very lucky that whilst writing about John I have found some of these creative supportive people myself, so every now and then in the blog I will be highlighting them.

The book is not far off  (I have one more surgery to go so I may hold release till after then) and I am lacking in a little confidence so thank god for my very own John Candy's surrounding me at the moment.

Support each other, lots of love to you all and thanks so much for your patience. 

Trace xx

Friday, 1 January 2016

Welcome to 2016!

So we survived 2015, well done us. I know we had our ups and downs but when all is said and done, we made it.

Every year I write this post and every year I say hopefully the book will be out, blah blah blah... well this is the year the book will be out (I promise) and I am excited and terrified in equal measure.

This year I stayed in touch with lots of the people I have interviewed for the book as well as doing some last minute interviews. Everyone I have spoken to has been a boon, just a joy, but never did I think I would actually get to interview Big Bird himself (you don't get bigger than Big Bird). The wonderful Carroll Spinney who has played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch from day dot, chatted to me about the sketch he did with John on Sesame Street where John (playing Yosh Schmenge) delivers clarinet lessons to Oscar's pet worm Watch it here. A documentary also came out last year about Carroll called I am Big Bird and it is just a fascinating and heartwarming watch that I highly recommend.

I was also interviewed by Edinburgh 49, the wonderful guys from Popcorn With Candy and had a few things published on Huff Post.

Thank you so much to everyone who pre-ordered a book in 2015, to those who gave me a few words of support (I needed every single one of them), shared a post or was just generally nice. In 2015 I also experienced just how nasty some people could be, I guess if you put yourself out in the public domain not everyone is going to be kind - so one of my resolutions this year is to toughen up!

The other, as every year, is to be more like John Candy. Live life, work hard, love your friends and family with every thing you have, be kind, think of others and laugh, a lot.

Whatever is ahead for us in 2016 it is a new chapter and as long as we are still standing at the end of it, well we did OK.

Lots of love to you all, let's do this

Tracey x