Posts Tagged ‘Les Miserables’

CC CHRONICLES: Onward and Upward

Published by cctadmin on May 8th, 2015


Feels like the first time in a while where I’ve been able to sit down and concentrate on a thought, much less write it down in any organized fashion. It feels refreshing; although now that I’m here I’m not 100% certain where to even start. Have you ever been there yourself?

Life sure can make or break us at times; the inevitable ups and downs that none of us can escape either bend us till we break or they can force us to dig deeper than we’ve ever thought possible.

I feel like I have been through a marathon over the past six months; our family took a big loss when my dad passed away in March; I had an appendicitis and was also down for the count with a terrible flu within that same month – and oh, did I mention that within all of this I was committed to Flin Flon’s huge production of Les Miserables? #NoPressure !

The words fit concisely into one sentence but truth be told there were times I literally felt like a dear caught in the headlights; struck with shock, frozen from movement. I didn’t know which way to go or weather to let the traffic hit me, for the inability to control the uncontrollable.

Sitting here and reflecting now I can only break it down like this:

I miss my dad. Life goes on as the cliché states, but there is not a single hour in the day I don’t end up seeing his face, thinking about his life and feeling a tormenting void. It’s a gross and unfamiliar feeling… I would give anything I own to hear his voice and despite being out there, smiling in the community and getting on stage, make no mistake; he’s in my thoughts even though I don’t talk about it. I’m grateful for the time I was afforded with him and my family throughout the past years; and his memory will be what inspires me to move forward most. Mark my word and count on that.

I’m grateful for my family; who as I get older I realize I love and need more than I ever could have anticipated in my uninformed youth. I know where I want to be at this particular point in my life, and that’s here, where I can see and talk to them; where I can see for myself how the years age their faces and they can hopefully get to know who I am and what my purpose is. My mother is my greatest tenderness; my stepdad a loyal and reliable force; my sisters and brother my eminent connection to the past; my niece and nephews my hope and appreciation for the future. It’s important that as I move forward in my next chapter, that I remain connected to them and more so, show my devotion to them.

I’m grateful for the constant support of Alain; my partner and bestest friend. As the song goes, “He’s the rock that I lean on; he’s the sunshine of my day”. He’s been there through the thick and thin of it all and like my dedication to my family, I also move forward in my life with the motivation to give him the best. He deserves it. When he smiles my heart is full, of love, as Marius Pontmercy says.

Being a part of the Flin Flon Community’s production of Les Miserables also saved me in many ways; from falling too quickly into my tendency to retreat and hide away in the face of challenge. There were times I was literally too sick and physically weak to go to the required rehearsals over the past six months. There were other times I simply didn’t have the ‘mojo’; and of course with that came a lot of guilt compounded by my grief and exhaustion. It wasn’t pretty nor did I understand it all the time. Nevertheless the community didn’t turn me away, nor did they leave me in the dark during this time. In fact, I felt more love and support from the Flin Flon community in and around this period, than I’ve ever experienced before in my life.

The outpour of cards, flowers, messages and food upon my dad’s passing (and my stint in the hospital) overwhelmed me in the most profound way. I wasn’t expecting anything; but what it did was reinforce the understanding that my dad was an honorable man whose memory would live on through his children. And it was undeniable to me in that time, that my family was and is loved by the community as a whole. It occurred to me that had I not returned here three years ago to work and try to support my siblings with my dad’s health – I never would have known this great love existed.

I humbly thank everyone who rallied around us at that time; and appreciate those who encouraged me to stay connected to my role as Marius within the plethora of talents involved with this production. I felt a brother/sisterhood with the cast, stage production and just everyone from start to finish. I may have entered the community hall on some days, with a heavy heart and feeling of loneliness – but I would always find myself leaving uplifted, encouraged and certain that I was where I needed to be.

In close, here’s to the future – wherever its path takes us. I remain open-hearted and open-minded about where I’m headed, even though I’m certain I will find myself tripping or falling again. Regardless of that direction and how many times I shall fall – I will always strive to get back up. The memory of my dad and the love of my family and community will always be cherished. I will draw from that.
Onward and upward.

***I took some photos up at my dad’s place today; double click on them for a closer peek.  It was up on these very rocks that I experienced a childhood of a great and pure love.  


CC CHRONICLES: On the air with CFAR 590

Published by cctadmin on April 9th, 2015


CC CHRONICLES: Coming out of my cave…

Published by cctadmin on January 18th, 2015


If you’ve ever felt as though the winter is long and like you could be contented to just hibernate away – you’ve felt like me these days.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all seasons:  the warm  array of colors of the fall leaves; the fresh scents of the spring flowers and bright and rich green of the summer’s trees… and winter.  Winter… I do love the blanket of snow that covers everything, and the time of year for its holiday cheer.  I also love winter because it gives me the perfect opportunity to cocoon at the end of my work day, and on my weekends which I love spending in my sweatpants and curled up with my cats … bears do it, right?

The thing is – if one’s not careful they can verge on near isolation, HIBERNATION in fact!  :-)

That’s me for sure, straddling that fine line.  I call it ‘self care’ but everything in moderation right? So when I get TOO into my winter hibernation mode I have a tendency to forget that I have a beard to trim, and a world beyond that cave for which I could be out playing in – at least in spurts!  :-)

Les Miserables rehearsals have given me the opportunity to get out of my cave and with that I have been inspired to groom myself; trim the beard, cut the hair, wash the face.  Change from that one orange tank top that just seems to fit so comfy at home yet doesn’t exactly translate into fashion once I hit the outside world.  After all, Marius Pontmercy should NOT look like early man.  Right?

I decided to have a little fun with this process – enjoy!

(*wig used for artistic purposes only) :-)


CC CHRONICLES: Got my sights set on Les Misérables this 2015!

Published by cctadmin on January 1st, 2015


Most folks in the Flin Flon and surrounding area are up to speed on the fact that the Flin Flon Community Choir is gearing up to put on the amazing production Les Misérables.   If ticket sales are any indication, people are very much excited to see this musical, composed by by Claude-Michel Schönberg, and based on the novel by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo.

As a lover of film and music, I was by no means unfamiliar with this story of Jean Valjean, however I will admit I have not been the ardent fan as I know some people; for a lot of people cite it as their favourite of musicals or stories, period.  Legions of fans have seen countless stage performances and film adaptations, and with good reason.  One man’s Les Miz is another man’s Olivia Newton-John.

My life’s joy is found in music, and I keep fairly busy on that score here in the Flin Flon community.  At my core I love to write songs and sing; when I’m lucky I get to sing among the talented musicians we have here.  Its helped me to develop myself and it has also given an outlet.

When the opportunity to audition for Les Miz came up last November I was initially hesitant to take a bite of that apple; I knew it would be a big commitment so naturally I contemplated if I was the right choice.  After all, I  had already been setting my sights on working on my own material; its been a goal of mine to record a third album of original songs.  The question for me became – am I willing to put this personal goal on the back shelf in the name of taking on the challenge such as a musical production?  Heck – I know I’m dramatic but I never fancied myself an actor by any means…and an endeavour such as working on an album takes equal time, dedication and patience.

So what did compel me to take that leap into going and auditioning?  I’ll tell you – as an artist there is no doubt that songwriting and performing and recording all provide a multitude of experience.  I’ll always remain interested in this.  I had to ask myself:  How often in life will you have the opportunity to be a part of something so amazing?  When it gets down to it, I’ll never know – and therefore I had to at least consider auditioning for the sheer fact that the world (aka Flin Flon and the Flin Flon Community Choir) was presenting an opportunity to have f.u.n. while also giving the chance for me to work with some of the most incredibly talented people you could possibly assemble.  I think Les Miz is a platform to become less afraid of the performing aspect of the arts; and I guess what I have come to conclude is that someday I will have a new album, full of all sorts of original things to say.  In the meantime, I can always stand to grow and become a stronger, hopefully well-rounded performer.  That’s why I chose to learn The Cafe Song (by Marius) and give it my best in the name of that goal.  In preparing I developed that interest and affection for his character … I suppose I became attached.  What can I say, I’m a lover and a fighter?

In short – after the audition was said and done, I had enough time to fully appreciate the opportunity at hand and so in the end (or the beginning, depending on how you look at it!) when I received the role of Marius Pontmercy I was an extremely happy man.  Yes it will be a lot of hard work, and yes indeed, I am ready to commit.  In fact, this very morning, the first day of 2015, I sat down in front of the t.v. as early as 8:00am, and I did my homework.  With rehersals already started, I know I will soon enough be immersed in the world of Les Miz and it was my goal to begin 2015 with that commitment and work!

I’m scared.  :-)

But I’m also someone who thrives a bit on fear so I say bring it on!  This is going to be a fun ride! Stay tuned for more!!!!  I’m sure I will have all sorts of stories to share!