Day fifty

I made it to day fifty!  I love how much support I am getting for this little project of mine.  Thank you to everyone who is reading the blog, offering ideas, or helping me fulfill my requirements.

Another art topic I haven’t really investigated on the blog so far is theatre.  My undergraduate degree is in theatre, I’ve worked in theatre and I spend so much time seeing theatre and writing about it, for me it’s not as much a challenge (which this year-long experiment is), but a way of life.  As my friend said the other day, though, most of the people reading the blog aren’t as crazy about theatre as I am.  Therefore it is important I include it in 30 Days of Art.

This week, I’m going to see a couple of plays – both works in progress, so I can talk a bit about the theatre-making process.  Tonight’s adventure was to go to the first preview at Hart House Theatre of Woody Harrelson’s new play (which he has written and directed), Bullet for Adolf.  A preview is a trial run of a show before an audience, to make any last-minute changes before opening night.  The director, writer (if it’s a new play), designers, crew and actors all see how both the show runs in front of an audience and also how the audience reacts to the production.  Notes are taken and changes are made, all in preparation for opening night (traditionally, no changes are made after opening night).  Having an audience there is crucial, and therefore an important role in the theatrical process.

Bullet for Adolf is a story about a group of friends in Houston, Texas in the summer of 1983.  It is based on the true story of how Woody Harrelson met his friend Frankie Hyman, with added fictional elements.  It was a full house for the first preview and the audience seemed to really enjoy the show.  Woody Harrelson and the creative team were sitting right in front of me and I could tell that they enjoyed how much the audience was laughing and participating in the production.  Every time the audience would laugh, they would laugh louder.  During the talkback at the end of the performance, Woody Harrelson said that although they will always be tinkering with it, the show is pretty much set.  The response they saw from the audience made it clear to them that they don’t need to change too much before opening night.  It was nice to be a part of this process.

Day nineteen

Canada America flagsAs I talked a little about yesterday, there are many differences between American and Canadian coupons and coupon usage.  My manager at work, Alana, suggested I do extreme couponing as one of my months after watching TLC’s Extreme Couponing.  Since then, I’ve had many people mention the show to me.  I don’t have cable, but I have watched some clips of the show online (click here to see a few).  And because of the huge interest in the show, TLC is now making a series out of  Extreme Couponing, premiering Wednesday April 6th – for those of you that have cable and want to watch some serious (and sometimes seriously crazy) couponers.  These people (mostly women) dumpster dive for coupons, stockpile hundreds (or even thousands) of the same item, and save hundreds of dollars at the register by using and combining their coupons.  Unfortunately, things here in Canada are different.  Over the next two days I will examine a few of the differences between Canadian and American coupon policies and why it’s harder to save as much money in Canada.

#1. The biggest reason Americans can save more money with coupons than Canadians can is because of coupon stacking.  Coupon stacking is when more than one coupon is used for the same product (each coupon must have a different UPC code).  In the United States, products can be bought for free by getting things on sale and using more than one coupon.  The only store in Canada that allows coupon stacking is London Drugs.  Unfortunately, they are only in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and not in Ontario where I am.  All other stores in Canada only permit using one coupon for each product.  That means it’s much harder to get a great deal, especially on higher priced items.

#2. Canada rarely has coupons for produce, meat, and fish (besides the $1 or $2 off coupons for products that are to be at their best before date the following day).  Quoting from a great Wallet Pop article on the differences between American and Canadian couponing:

“They have a lot more promotions in American stores and they will print coupons on the back of receipts,” says Steven Zussino, a Victoria resident who manages the coupon blog Grocery Alerts with his wife Lina. “We don’t have coupons for fresh produce, chicken, ground beef or ribs and it also comes down to the difference in population. With 350 million people there are many more grocery chains, so there are many more incentives to get people into the store.”

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More to come about the differences between American and Canadian couponing tomorrow…