Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"The Last Five Years"

An interview with myself.

Interviewer: We're here with Alison Jutzi today who is going to talk to us about her latest project, "The Last Five Years", which will be going up at the Tarragon theatre this January. Welcome, Alison.

Alison: Oh, thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

Interviewer: Alison, can you tell us a little bit about the show?

Alison: Great question. The show is a brilliant musical written by Jason Robert Brown, and centres around a man and woman who fall in love, get married and then get separat-

Interviewer: Whoa whoa whoa! Don't give anything away!

Alison: Well, I'm not actually giving away anything that you don't find out in the first 10 seconds of the show. This show is unique in that one of the characters experiences the events of the five-year-long relationship in chronological order, and one of them in reverse.

Interviewer: Memento?

Alison: Everyone keeps saying that. Yes, I guess so, like Memento. But not really.

Interviewer: So, I'll ask what most of our readers are likely wondering: "What's the point of going through the whole show if you already know the ending right away?"

Alison: Um. I think that with this show, the real joy for the audience comes from the putting together of the puzzle of how the relationship went downhill.

Interviewer: Given the complex nature of the show-

Alison: It's really not that complex...

Interviewer: -do you think the audience will understand what's going on, or do you think you'll lose them halfway through?

Alison: Um. I think the audience will be fine.

Interviewer: Well, let's hope so. Thanks for chatting with us this morning, Alison.

Alison: You're welcome. It was my favourite interview of all time.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What I Have Learned About Marriage in 7 Months

And now, the much-anticipated second post in my What I Have Learned About Marriage collection. You can read the first post here.

Age of marriage: (almost) 7 months
  • They say that the first year of marriage is the hardest, but I cannot see how the year after all the wedding planning is done could possibly be difficult. Not spending several paralyzing hours a week trying to pick out a china pattern at the Bay has been great for our relationship;
  • Saying "husband" and "wife" is fun! For the first few months it sounded almost silly, but now I'm used to it and I like it;
  • I haven't had as many people ask me when I'm going to have children as I thought I would;
  • Sometimes when you're married, people call you Mrs. Sullivan and it makes you giggle;
  • Sometimes when you're married, people call your husband Mr. Jutzi and that makes you guffaw;
  • That joint bank account we started is fabulous! I've bought more clothes with that money...I'M JOKING! IT'S A JOKE!
  • Those moments where we're alone and acting silly together are precious.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Pop Choir

I am very pleased to announce that I will be joining the My Pop Choir team in the new year when I start conducting a choir at their brand new Bloor West location. My Pop Choir is for people who want to sing because it feels good. There are no auditions, and no one ever has to sing a solo. It is just a group of people getting together for an hour and a half each week, singing in harmony and having a good time.

Check out the My Pop Choir website for more information!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Overheard at a commercial audition.

This post could also be entitled, "Conversations between actors that seem interesting when you're involved in them, but are definitely tedious and boring when you're not." Here are snippets of conversations I overheard at that commercial audition I had for that cleaning product on Friday. They are typical of the banter that occurs when two actor friends run into each other:

Have you been going out for a lot of film and t.v.?
No, just commercials lately. It's so hard to get your foot in the door.
I knowwww. I didn't go to one audition all summer. ALL summer. And I haven't booked anything in a year.
Oh, that's too bad. I've had a really hard time being seen too. This week I shot my first commercial in a year.
That's great!
Yeah, it's good. But I wish I could just get my foot in the door for some film and t.v. auditions.
Tell me about it.

So I ran into *casting director* and she told me she was sorry for not calling me in. She remembers me because I send her postcards every few months. So when I saw her at *industry event* and she apologized for not bringing me in, I thought maybe she'd call me in for something soon, but she hasn't and that was two months ago, so.
Well, at least she knows who you are. You never know when the perfect role will come up.
That's true. I'm thinking of asking her if I can come in and observe a casting session. I know she has an assistant, but.
That's a good idea.

Did I hear you say you got married?
That's so exciting! When was the wedding?
Just this past July, it was really great. A lot of work though.
That's so nice. Yeah, it is a lot of work. When I got married, we booked the wedding on a Sunday night because we knew we'd be free on a Sunday night if either of us got a gig, and of course both of us were working when the wedding came, so we had to do the rehearsal in between a matinee and evening performance. It was so crazy. But you have to do it that way, because the alternative is to turn down work, y'know?
I haven't worked in three years, so it wasn't really an issue.
*awkward laughter*

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I am beautiful, no matter what you say.

My Drake General Store spot is out, and I've never looked better.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Am Not Pregnant.

Just wanna get that out there. Because this post is going to be about pregnancy, and I don't want everyone to get all excited like when I posted a link to this hilarious Hairpin article about delivering a baby, and subsequently caused a bit of a stir.

I want to talk about those people who comment on Facebook statuses of pregnant women, warning them how crappy their life is about to get. You know the kind. And if you don't, here are some examples:

Preggers: "I had the best sleep last night. 9 hours!"
Negative Nelly: "Enjoy your sleep now because you won't be getting any when the baby comes lol!"

Preggers: "What a wonderful first anniversary with the love of my life: Steak and ice cream, and a lovely moonlit stroll on the really doesn't get better than this."
Debbie Downer: "Don't get used to it, once the baby comes you won't get any alone time lol!"

Preggers: "Loved having a girls' night last night. Thanks to Stace and Rachel for showing me a good time!"
Cynical Cynthia: "Did you tell them you won't ever be able to see them again once the baby comes? I haven't been out since Gabe was born and that was two years ago! lol! kill me."

I don't get it. And I don't think it's because I'm not a mom. My close friends who are moms don't make comments like those above, and I think it's because they know that:
1) pregnant women who have any sort of grasp of reality already know they're going to be busy and tired when the baby comes;
2) there is no way to store up sleep in the body, so "enjoying your sleep now" isn't going to do much to alleviate the fatigue that comes with round-the-clock feedings; and
3) the acronym "lol" needs to die a quick death, and soon.

Maybe I'll change my tune when I become a mom. Maybe when I post comments that might sound negative to some on my pregnant friends' walls, my pregnant friends will understand that while I may be saying something that sounds vaguely like, "Your life is going to suck soon!" they'll know that what I really mean is, "Having young kids can be hard, but I'm going through it too and I'm here to help!" Maybe that will happen. But I'll be damned if I'm going to start laughing out loud about it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Shooting and Eating Leaves.

We've had salad for dinner the past two nights, which totally justifies my eating half a bag of Brookside pomegranate chocolates tonight. I was intending to save them for an upcoming dinner party, but you know what they say: "When life hands you dark chocolate-covered pomegranate candies, you will probably snarf them immediately."

My creative energy abounds these days. I'm taking the Improv for Actors course at Second City, headed up by Chris Earle, a brilliant mainstage alumnus; Chelsea and I are busy writing funny roots tunes for our soon-to-be-formed trio; I have teamed up with some very talented people to finally shoot a music video for one of my original songs; and tomorrow I will be shooting a funny commercial for the Drake General Store. I think this spot will be a winner, and I'm looking forward to posting it here when it airs.

Life is busy and life is good.

The Drake General Store

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dear New Subway Train.

Dear New Subway Train Rocket,

My God, you're gorgeous! With your antimicrobial surface treatment and your electronic maps and your 10% more capacity and your $1,000,000,000.00 price tag.

I just have one question:


The other day you slowed down and stopped as I waited anxiously on the southbound platform at Eglinton, only to chug along down the track as a TTC employee informed me you were being used for driver training only that day. My hopes of losing my Rocket virginty were cruelly dashed, and not for the first time either.

Is it because I'm married? Is that what's scaring you off? Because, just to be clear, my husband is in full support of this.

Let's make it happen, Rocket. You have only to open your doors to me.


Sunday, August 28, 2011


Big news, folks. I am making the colossal yet inevitable move from comedic folk to comedic roots. Yep, it's a big move, but one I think I'm ready for.

Chelsea Manders and I are starting a comedic roots trio which will parody groups like "The Dixie Chicks", "The Good Lovelies", "The Wailing Jennies" and "The Be Good Tanyas", and we're looking for a name.

Can you help? Our current front-runner is "The Do Good Fannies", but we think someone out there will have an even better idea. Please leave a comment here with your suggestion. A prize will be awarded to the winner!

Thanks so much!


Friday, August 5, 2011

What I Love About Calgary Fringe.

1. Our large audiences, even on opening night when nobody knew anything about us;
2. The musty-smelling church basement where we all gather for cabaret nights and $3 beer;
3. Club Paradiso, our awesome venue that sometimes feeds us tacos;
4. Karaoke at the Shamrock Hotel with the other artists, especially when we end the night with a group sing-a-long of Don't Stop Believin';
5. Our fabulous billeters who make us salmon and lend us their Acura;
6. The brilliant shows we've seen while here, including Oneymoon, Spitting in the Face of the Devil, Houdini's Last Escape, Slut Revolution and When Harry Met Harry.
7. Trips to Banff and Drumheller on our three consecutive days off.

I am having a blast, and would love to stay longer, if I didn't miss this guy so much:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wedding Song

A song I wrote for Philip in honour of our wedding...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Women's Tennis is SEXY!

How does a person think of a really sexist idea for an ad, and then present it to a bunch of people in a board room without any of them pointing out that it's outrageously sexist, and how is it subsequently presented to the client who has hired them to create the ad without anyone in that boardroom saying, "Wait a second, everyone, don't you think maybe this is a bit yucky? No, nobody? Okay, cool. Pass the sandwiches. Ooh, is that olive tapenade?"

Monday, July 11, 2011

See "Folk with Benefits" in Toronto! MONDAY, JULY 25TH AT THE ANNEX LIVE!

Hi folks,

What are you doing on Monday, July 25th at 7pm?


This show is funny and silly, and I think you'll really like it. Check out the lovely work of my husband and poster designer:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Helder Brum & Friends"

Oh goodness, posting about another show, aren't I just a bit self-promotey these days? Well, the good news is all the shows I tell you about are probably going to be funny and awesome. I promise never to invite you to a taping of me as a Metro supermarket spokesperson.

I will be the musical guest at Helder Brum & Friends at Bread and Circus on Thursday, July 21st. What am I doing wasting all this energy typing? I could just show you the poster:

These shows are so much fun - you have to come! Bread and Circus is a great venue and the performers are some of the best that the Toronto comedy scene has to offer. Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Folk With Benefits

Oh, hello, hi. So I'm sitting here in my pretty dress which I wore to Hugh Jackman's wonderful show, watching an old GSP fight on the TiVo because Phil turned it on and then left the room, and I thought I would say hello, hi, how are you, and let you know what I've been working on.

I and my friend Chelsea are busily gearing up for our Calgary Fringe show, Folk With Benefits, which will run from July 29th to August 6th. If you live in the Calgary area, we'd love to see you there. If you live in Toronto, we'd love to see you pay $672 to come see us, and we promise we'll give you at least one free beer.

Let me tell you a little bit about our show. It's about two comedic folk songstresses on the last leg of their cross-Canada tour. It's funny, quirky and dirty, and you will love it. Seriously, totally worth the $672.

Check out our website! Not to brag, but I made it myself and hardly cried at all when I was trying to figure out how to publish it. Now that I've done it, I'm considering becoming an IT consultant.

And now to summarize: Folk With Benefits, Calgary, I'm a computer genius.

Good night!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What I Have Learned About Marriage in 1 Month

Hello, reader(s). In a new collection of essays entitled What I Have Learned About Marriage I will explore my journey throughout this new and exciting chapter in my life, detailing what I have learned along the way.

Age of marriage: 1 Month

Here it is, just over one month after Philip and I tied the knot at Toronto's Berkeley Church on April 30th, 2011. Here is what I have learned:

  1. Marriage is super fun! It involves lots of drinking and partying and people giving you copious amounts of cash in envelopes!
  2. Marriage involves renting an apartment in Lisbon when the weather is perfect, and having the time of your life.
  3. Marriage means you have leftover cake in your freezer that you will probably eat on your and your new huzzzband's birthdays this month.
  4. Marriage ensures that your fridge is well-stocked with all the beer that couldn't be returned to the beer store.
I don't know why people say marriage is work. I think it's all just a big party.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


People and the internet tell you that your wedding day should be the best day of your life. Leading up to my April 30th wedding, I hated the pressure to HAVE AN AMAZING TIME OH MY GOD and couldn't fathom how it could possibly work out that way. This day? This one day that involves so much planning and fretting and waking up in the middle of the night worrying that your guests will starve or that you're accidentally going to forget you're wearing your old backpack as you walk down the aisle*? This is going to be that day? That day that is better than any other? No way. That is unrealistic and a bit insane.

There were many moments of the wedding planning process that I thoroughly enjoyed. These included making strawberry-rhubarb jam with Phil and my mom to give as wedding favours; wedding dress shopping; my bachelorette and shower; all the free cake at all those wedding shows.

See? There were a lot of positive things about wedding planning.

But mostly it stressed me out. It made me feel anxious. It frustrated me. It drove me to drink. Two months before our day, I felt how I imagine a very pregnant woman feels when she is terribly uncomfortable and can't sleep through the night, and JUST WANTS THE WEDDING TO BE BORN ALREADY.

And I waited. And I forced a smile when people said, "Are you excited???" and I replied "Yes! I just want the day to be here! I can't wait!...YAY!!!" and my insides clenched a little more as I remembered I still needed to write my speech and get the centrepieces to the venue and find someone to do my makeup and ask people to bring video cameras and and and...

But Phil was a champ, and as I took the fetal position and waited for it all to be over, he printed programs and placecards and ordered the booze and booked the rehearsal dinner venue and was generally a fabulous wedding-planning partner.

Then the day arrived. After a week of rain, we finally had clear skies and sunshine. I spent the morning at the salon with some of my favourite people, and we enjoyed relaxed conversation while being pampered and made to look beautiful. In the afternoon we continued the beautifying at the hotel, as makeup was applied, dresses were put on, and fake eyelashes were secured.

A flurried photography session which included several shots on the roof-top of the hotel, thanks to the perfect weather, was followed by our heading over to the Berkeley for the ceremony, arriving 20 minutes later than we'd intended, but 10 minutes before we needed to be there. Somehow I got a big stain on the back of my dress from the car to the venue, but my trusty bridesmaids, after helping me hoist the gown over my head as I used the ladies' room, assured me that it was barely noticeable and that they could arrange the train so that it wouldn't be seen. (Truth be told, I couldn't have cared less about the stain - it makes a good story. Especially because it looked strangely like a tire track, and I don't recall being run over at any time that day.)

Our fabulous on-site coordinator, Liz, gave me a glass of water and let me chill out for a bit before telling me it was time to head up to the balcony for the ceremony. I stood up, and that was when it hit me: this was my wedding day. For really real. Phil, who I hadn't seen or spoken to all day, was upstairs waiting for me. This was it! And I got a little happy-woozy and looked at Nicole and said "whoa" and she smiled encouragingly and we headed up the spiral staircase to the balcony.

The walk down the aisle was a happy one, mom on my left and dad on my right. As I approached Phil we beamed at each other and said with our eyes, "We did it! It's happening! How great!"

The evening was full of family, friends, kind words, music, dancing, and poutine. Without realizing it was happening, I took off the wedding planner hat and put on the bridal veil and really, truly enjoyed myself. The year and a half leading up to the day was about details, but the day was pure celebration.

Phil came into my life and I knew he was my future husband, so I figured I'd better marry him. He has changed my life in the best of ways, and I feel lucky to be his wife**. He makes me laugh, he holds me when I cry, and we both feel so fortunate to have found one another.

And yes, it was the best day of my life.

* I actually had a dream about that.
** I'm a WIFE!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wiser's spot.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Good Enough.

Our friends Pam and Kelly got married this past fall. They have a lot of friends who sing, which is mostly Pam's fault because she's a musical-theatre person, so they couldn't pick just one or two people to perform at their wedding. In the end, they decided to host a concert a month before the wedding (because, really, the worst thing about being a bride is that moment when you realize you don't have enough things TO DO on your TO DO lists that you keep making and then keep losing, and anyway they're all kind of useless because you totally forgot to put, like, FIVE REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS on there anyway, and so to remedy this sometimes you will HOST A HUGE CONCERT in order to calm your nerves and give yourself something TO DO to alleviate all the boredom of PLANNING A WEDDING).

Well, anyway, that's what Pam and Kelly did. And my hat is very extremely OFF to them for being so ambitious. It was a fabulous evening with many wonderful voices, and I was quite pleased to be asked to participate. The performers were all backstage during the show, so I was thrilled when Pam sent me a DVD of the concert so I could finally see all the performances that I had only been able to hear on the night.

I performed two of my own songs. Here's a video of one of them:

I wrote that song a few years ago, and it really doesn't have the same zing when you're wearing an engagement ring.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BMO Commercial

The BMO commercial I shot a couple of months ago is now airing. Please note that my husband is Paul Lee of Train 48 fame. Also, I inherited that purse from my Wiser's commercial which should also be airing soon. Am I going to be typecast as "lady with silver purse"?