Praxis has a brand new Fan Page (and Fan Page Sheriff)
Hello, Praxis blog readers!
A few weeks ago Michael Wheeler put me, Brittney A. Filek-Gibson, affectionately known as BFG, in charge of Praxis Theatre’s social media strategy. By which I mean he gave me the password to the Twitter account. And held me to my months-old promise of creating a Praxis Theatre Facebook fan page. I graciously accepted my newfound social media supremacy responsibility, along with the official title of Person Who Understands The Internet, though I suppose in hindsight that Internet Goddess would’ve been more concise. But I digress…
With the tweets tweeting and the fan page built, M. Wheeler told me I should write a blog post introducing myself because, “I always think it’s weird that you don’t know who you are talking to through these tools.” I was also asked to include an image, which I happily agreed to since the only other picture of me to appear on this blog is absolutely ridiculous (Fun Fact: it’s the first thing to pop up in a Google image search of my name, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?). So fine, agreed, fantastic. Except that now I’m staring at a computer screen the night before I promised my post would be done, I can practically see him shaking his head, and I have no idea what to tell all of you. Eeek!
First I did what any reasonable person would do in my circumstances: stalled for time. Then I did what any reasonable person who understands the internet would do: asked Twitter and Facebook for help. My friends Carl and Lois suggested I tell you that I’m awesome. Great, check, done. And that I was once in a play Carl produced in a parking lot. Long story. Facebook yielded zero helpful results. I assume this is because they recently changed their layout for the zillionth time, it keeps crashing, and no one can find anything. Two strikes, social media, you are really failing me here! I believed in you! And now I’ve made this whole post, which probably didn’t need to be longer than a paragraph, into a minor melodrama. That is something you should know: I have, on occasion, been know to be the teeniest, tiniest bit dramatic.
Which leads me to the best suggestion Twitter generated this evening: talk about why I’m a performer. I’m going to expand on “performer” and say that I’m a theatre artist. And I’m a theatre artist because I believe that theatre can change the world. Which might sound naïve or idealistic or silly, and maybe it is. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Theatre creates community, between artists, audiences, institutions, between everything and everyone with whom it comes in contact. And through these connections, theatre is capable of impacting society, policy, people, ideas, and leading to change. Or at the very least, asking the questions that lead us to the evaluations that lead us to change. This is what I embrace as an artist, and I think it’s fundamental to what Praxis does as well. In fact, Section 98 and the open-sourcing of our creative process is a perfect example of this attitude.
And what better way to contribute to and to expand our community than through social media? While the blog is still the central focus of Praxis’s online presence, I think that both Twitter and Facebook provide another interesting opportunity to engage with the company in a different capacity and to continue creating that community. And I am really excited to be part of that dialogue. After all, the internet is basically responsible for me working with Praxis in the first place, which is the last thing I’m going to tell you about in this post (you could find out more about me and my antics by clicking here if you were so inclined).
As a recent graduate of NYU, I moved back to Toronto in late 2008. I hadn’t lived here since I was nine, and it didn’t take long to be discouraged by the fact that I knew not one single person in the Toronto theatre world and I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. This was a frustration I expressed at length in the comments on this very blog and one that I am not entirely done talking about. This was my official introduction to Praxis Theatre, followed by a brief meeting in the real world. Now fast forward to the Fringe Festival and an email offer of help on my behalf. “Straight up, we need a stage manager,” says Michael Wheeler. I was on vacation in Moab, UT at the time and I blame the desert heat for making me think this was a fantastic idea. I’m grateful I agreed to take the risk of making a fool of myself, having never stage managed anything before, because I’ve had a blast and made some fabulous friends. And I’m still doing it! I’ve even figured most of the stage managing bit out since, although I still have no idea how to program a light board and please don’t talk to me about sound. My point is that a little over a year ago, I was just a few initials in the comments section of this blog. And now, here I am, Praxis, your guide to Twitter and Facebook. Such limitless power responsibility! You’re stuck with me. And I’m thrilled.
So I’ll leave you with the question that started it all: what should we talk about now?