A few years ago I was caught on camera being a Skam artist. Not a scam artist, but a Skam artist. In 2012 and 2013, I wrote and performed two short plays in Theatre Skam's Bike Ride, now called Skampede. Skampede is an outdoor theatre festival that runs every summer in Victoria, BC.
The first year I created and inhabited Ranger Betty, a self-important, militant, all knowing park ranger in Nature of the Goose. That production was fun and challenging and taught me a lot. It also gave me a great story.
At the end of Bike Ride 2012, I attended the after party with my partner. A pleasant young man approached us and said he had seen and enjoyed my show that afternoon. He said it was 'entertaining and educational'. At that point, had the beer not been free, I would have offered to buy him one.
As we talked, I found out his partner was in one of the other productions and that he was a Vancouver based musician. We started talking about music and I circled the conversation back to him. He gave me a few more details. Then I asked him what his day job was, assuming any musician I was talking to still had one. He said that he and his band mates were lucky enough to not have day jobs anymore. That's when my partner asked him his name and said, "Oh, I've heard you on CBC! You're doing very well."
Is there any statement in the universe that screams middle-class, middle-aged Canadian more loudly than that one? But how gracious he was. I've since seen Dan Mangan in concert. And like the thousands of others who already know who he is, I am wowed by his talent.
If you are in the neighbourhood this summer, get out and see SKampede 2016. And, in case you are curious, here is a snippet of Ranger Betty from Bike Ride 2012.