As Cassandre, James, Jen and Koy make their way around Montreal and surrounding areas, Northern Quebec and the Maritimes, they will be sending stories about their adventures while travelling with Geordie’s School Tour for A Thousand Paper Cranes. Here is the first installment!
Geordie School Tour Blog
By: Jen, Koy, James, and Cassandre
12/09/11 – Montréal
Today was our first preview of the elementary school show: The Story of Sadako. We performed for 80 kids at St. Gabriel’s and they were absolutely fantastic! They loved the cranes and asked some wonderful questions. It was so fun to have our first taste of what the tour would be like and it was delicious! Afterward, the gang said their goodbyes to their Geordie Family and received some words of wisdom. Jen and Cassandre bought rain boots, Koy stocked up on his techie toys, and James made a sandwich.
13/09/11 – Montréal
Tuesday was the day we previewed our high school show: Weapons of Peace at Royal West Academy for an audience of 120 grade eight students. They were so engaged in the story and gave some in depth feedback. It was fun to see how much they appreciated the content and what kind of conversations were initiated. After we packed the van for our last time before heading off on the “Official Tour”, Jen and Cassandre napped, Koy said his goodbyes, and James ate an apple.
14/09/11 – La Tuque
We arrived in La Tuque late Tuesday night and slept well after watching some bilingual Simpsons. After a delectable continental breakfast we headed off to our first “away” school where we performed both versions of “A Thousand Paper Cranes.” The walls in the gymnasium were covered in inspirational quotes and Koy took some photos so we could share some with you. We then packed up and hit the road for a 6 hour drive to Chibougamau. The gang may or may not have gotten a little lost in an abandoned forest but have no fear, James has got our back. We arrived at an incredible bed and breakfast where we slept like bears.
15/09/11 – Chibougamau
The gang awoke to a not-so-scary-in-the-daylight adorable cabin. We ate some food, drove some distance, and arrived at a school that was under construction. We have attached a video so you can hear how loud the construction actually was. Luckily, the kids at Maclean Memorial Elementary were used to the sounds and embraced us with “motivation, achievement, and unity.” This school was filled with laughter and we deemed ourselves honourary alumni and sported some official school gear. By the time we had finished our second show, the grade four class of Madame Guilmette had learned how to make some origami birds and presented them to us. They are now a part of our set and the cranes we made during their show are sitting proudly in their display case. After we left the school, we had a dance party with a new dance move we have deemed: The Chibougamouve. It is awesome.
It’s not too loud in here? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p49kBiLmTCE
16/09/11 – Jonquière
A rising full moon guided us to the quaint town of Jonquière and as Koy and James slept soundly, Jen and Cassandre learned that apparently you can turn heat on in buildings. It makes sleeping in more comfortable. The next morning, food was consumed, the van was driven, and we took our set down three flights of stairs to perform for our biggest group to date: 265 enthusiastic Riverside Regional kids. The students were so excited and eager to talk with us, ask questions, and make cranes. It was our first standing ovation and they waved us farewell. We then enjoyed the end of our first week as Jen checked her e-mail , Cassandre phoned home, James mended some ripped pants, and Koy ate cheese (he would like to specify that it was Camembert).
17/09/11 – Tadoussac
After a lovely night’s sleep the gang drove around the Saguenay coast to seek out some water mammals, you may refer to them as Whales. On the way we stopped in Chicoutimi to check out the sights and see La Petite Maison Blanche. For those of you who might not know, this house is the only surviving building of a massive flood that took place in the late ’90s. We were glad we made the detour to visit because the natural land in the area was breathtaking to say the least. We then continued onward to get to see those magical sea creatures (by sea we mean river and by creatures we mean whales). Not only did we get to see three types of whales, but we also got to see some darling seals (Koy’s favourite – because they are the dogs of the sea), and a very cool lighthouse. Then we played in the sand and created yet another fantabulous dance called: The Tadoussac Shuffle. The difference between this shuffle and the Crip Walk is that the former is done on sand. Way better. After a brilliant drive up to the marvelous Baie-Comeau, Cassandre discovered that shower curtains go inside the shower, Koy did cast-laundry, James read a book, and Jen hosted a Seinfeld marathon because it equals fun. Good times.
18/09/11 – Baie Comeau
Sunday was the day we did practically nothing. It was glorious. Koy twirled around a massive stick in the forest, James did laundry and kept reading that book, Jen ate an avocado, and Cassandre slept, ate, and slept some more. She loved every minute of it. The Simpsons capped off our frivolous silly evening before heading back to bed to prepare for a sure-to-be-crazy week to come.
19/09/11 – Baie Comeau II
During our breakfast, the gang discovered that Koy doesn’t like watermelon: “It’s like, water… but crunchy.” We then performed at Baie Comeau High School, after our shows we were able to check out Pioneer Park and the waterfront of the city. Cassandre made friends with the ducks, Koy took a nap on the rocks (which sounds uncomfortable but is really quite nice), and Jen and James played on the outdoor gym equipment. For dinner, a staff worker at the school named Maxime took us to a little restaurant named Orange Bleu. It was a great night and we thank him for his wonderful hospitality.
20/09/11 – Baie Comeau III
Today was the day we performed at our first CEGEP. We started off with a bang: we didn’t get stuck on the hill like they did last year. Take that, Charlotte and Adam. Instead, we got fire drilled. After we were allowed back inside, we ended up having an uber-successful show in a theatre with a dressing room, lighting, a stage, and all the trimmings. The audience was so receptive and we had an engaging conversation with the students and teachers. They were truly wonderful and a great send-off to our next town. The drive to Sept-Îles was windy and roller-coastery filled with beautiful scenery and Jen swears there was a stop sign in a bush. Koy doesn’t believe that actually happened, Cassandre didn’t care, and James had some sort of reasonable explanation that was discarded immediately.
21/09/11 – Sept-Îles
Wednesday was a busy day. We started off at Fleming Elementary School with a guest appearance by Riverview. The 165 kids in the audience were contagious with their energy and excitement. It was a total blast and we gave out some autographs. Look out for those collector items in the near future. We quickly packed up our set only to set it up again down the street at Queen Elizabeth High School. The students here were also very receptive and couldn’t wait to make their own origami creations. We enjoyed the city so much we couldn’t help but create another dance move in its honour: The Sept-Îles Salsa. This one also has a soundtrack dedicated to the What’s Up With That? SNL skit that we love so dearly. After a boogielicious day we headed off to the airport where we embarked on a 18-seater prop plane. The sights from above were gorgeous and after a smooth landing in Chevry, we hopped in a truck and went to a quaint little motel named Misty River. Cassandre ate the best meal in her entire life, Koy ate more than he has this entire trip, Jen couldn’t decide between 3 different beverages so she took all three, and James ate the best Chevry panini he has ever had. The stars came out at night and the gang enjoyed the milky way along with their new friend, Patrick (he’s cool, you’d like him), and then they headed off to their rooms for the first time since the tour started.
22/09/11 – Harrington Harbour
Thursday morning was bright and sunny, perfect weather for a water-taxi boat ride. Bryce drove us from Chevry to Harrington Harbour on his boat and we got to tour the islands on the Lower North Shore. We arrived in the harbour only to be picked up by an ATV and transported to the Harrington Harbour School. Due to the method of transportation, we were unable to bring our set with us on this leg of the trip. The school lent us some desks and milk crates as substitutes for our main set pieces and we learned to make-do. What a good experience for the gang to learn about theatre on the road (and water). It was a lot of fun to improvise around the challenge. In the late afternoon, Koy hiked up to the highest point, Cassandre drew in her art book with some wicked crayons, James did some photography, and Jen got a tour from a group of excited young school girls. Harrington Harbour is made up of boardwalks and is only accessible by boat or helicopter. We were in awe of the beauty of the houses along the coast and we took some pictures for you to share the experience with us. This town is where La Grande Séduction was filmed and the locals shared very interesting stories about their lives in the town and what it was like to have the movie filmed there. We enjoyed it so much and thank Amy for letting us stay in her charming house and Helen for taking such good care of us.
23/09/11 – Chevry
Harrington Harbour bid us farewell in the morning and we took an ATV and a water taxi to return to Chevry so we could perform at Netaganiou School. At that point we had become experts at only having part of our set so we had a lot of fun experimenting with the different possibilities of the play. After a lovely day in Chevry we got a drive up to the airport where we took a short flight to St-Augustin. It was pitch black upon arrival but the locals embraced us and made sure we got to where we needed to go. It was a van ride, another water taxi, and one more car ride before we arrived at our motel. We finished the night with some Bananagrams (such a good game) and chitchat. Everyone was looking forward to a weekend off to recharge on the lovely waterfront.
24-25/09/11 – St-Augustin
We spent the weekend relaxing and catching up on sleep. Tamara, the woman in charge of the restaurant where we were staying, took good care of us. Not only did she feed us some home-made goodies, but she took us out on a tour of her hometown. It was so nice to see what kind of life one lives out on the shore and it helped us all appreciate a natural life on the coast. A funny story we learned from her is that she once saw a bear who found a pizza box and was standing up on its two feet holding the pizza out in his hands. We adored Tamara so much and a big thank you to her for being so lovely!
UNTIL NEXT TIME….