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Getting By In Life

I love doing my show, but there are just some Saturdays where I wish I could just call in to the studio from home. Not possible, when you are the host as well as the technical operator. Don't get me wrong, I book my own guests and they are always people I want to talk to and introduce to listeners, but every once in a while I just want a lazy day. Every time I feel this way, and go in to the studio, my mood is instantly elevated by my guests. Every time.

On today's show I spoke to director, Aron Gaudet (he called in from Boston) about his film, THE WAY WE GET BY, and the three seniors (one of whom is his mother) who greet troops as they come in and depart from Bangor International Airport in Maine. When I heard about this film, I kept wondering why it wasn't called The Troop Greeters, and I kept forgetting the name of the film. After seeing the film, I realize that it was really about how to get by in life, how to give your life meaning when you have lived a long time, experienced loss, and there aren't that many seasons ahead in your life. We come to understand life and our own mortality through these three portraits of Joan Gaudet, the military widow who gets up in the middle of the night to see troops come in (she gets too emotional seeing them off), Jerry Mundy, the ex-Marine with a heart problem whose humour entertains the troops, and Bill Knight, whose life seemed to stop when his wife died, but who greets the veterans so that they will not experience the pain that the Vietnam vets felt. These three people are wonderful examples of what it means to live life to the fullest by finding a way to get by.

My second guest was playwright/actor, Rob Salerno. Rob is also the founder of Ten Foot Pole Productions, a theatre company that tells stories that "polite people wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole". Rob's latest production is BALLS, a coming of age comedy-drama that also deals with the issue of testicular cancer. Although Rob was inspired to write the play after a friend died from the disease, he wanted to stress the fact that BALLS is more than just a "cancer play", and that themes of young men and masculinity is at the heart of the play. There is also lots of humour involved as you can see from the play's poster.

Showtimes and Tickets: BALLS runs until May 17th at the Lower Ossington Theatre. Tues-Sat 9pm and Sun at 3:30pm. 100A Ossington St. -- One block north of Queen St. W. Tickets are $19 and are available at the door, by phone at 416-915-6747 or online at: Partial funds raised by this production will go to the North York General Hospital's Underwear Affair.

It's always a pleasure to have Sistah Lois a.k.a
Afrikan Princess
on my show. Maybe it's because she was the first solo interview that I did way back when during my By All Means days at CIUT. I was very nervous and she put me right at ease. She still does. She dropped by to talk about the Art of Praise Chorale Collective, which she started as a way to bring joy into people lives (it was a reaction against all the war talk that followed 9/11). The chorale is still going, and always looking for new members, regardless of singing or musical ability. If you can make a noise, you can participate, and if you have a twoonie + a loonie bring that with you so that people who had a one-way fare can get back home on the TTC. It's all about community, shedding your fears, and doing a little charity work at the same time: any extra funds is donated to a local or international charity. The chorale is looking for lightweight musical instruments to send to a school in Guyana. Sistah says feel free to drop in any Tuesday night at the The Spiritual Church of Toronto, 706 College Street. Sessions run from 7:00-9:00 pm. For more info visit:

Photo Credits:
"The Way We Get By" photo courtesy of Hot Docs
Rob Salerno and "Balls" poster courtesy of Ten Foot Pole Productions
Sistah Lois photo by donna g


Dacks said…
Hi Donna - I've never checked your blog before - good stuff, it's a smart extension of your show. see you around the live remotes this summer!

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