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Archive for the ‘Personal Performance’ Category

HPR: Deadly tomatoes led former executive to riveting solo performance – Calgary Herald

Posted: January 9, 2020 at 7:47 pm

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When Vancouver native Keith Alessi says that tomatoes tried to kill him but banjos saved his life he means it both literally and metaphorically.

Alessi was a corporate executive whose job was to fix ailing companies. In the fall of 2015, he decided to retire only to be hit 13 days later with a diagnosis of stage 3 esophageal cancer.

The doctors told me I had a 50 per cent chance of living a year and a 15 per cent chance of living five years. It came as a crushing surprise to me because I had never smoked, say Alessi.

After a series of tests, the doctors concluded his cancer was the result of a lifetime of acid reflux and the big culprit was tomatoes.

I come from an Italian household where tomatoes in all forms were a big part of my diet. Thats the literal explanation. My Italian father was a highly abusive man and that is the metaphorical way in which tomatoes tried to kill me.

For decades before his cancer diagnosis Alessi had been collecting banjos.

I was fascinated by them. Collecting them became my passion. I never learned to play them. Just to collect them. When I was diagnosed with cancer I became determined to learn to play the banjo and I vowed I would become skilled enough to get on stage and play before an audience no matter how small.

Alessi says he dragged himself out of his man cave and learned to play. He also began telling people his story of triumphing over adversity.

I had so many people tell me I should create a show and so I decided to enter the Toronto Fringe lottery. More than 1,000 people applied for the 100 positions at the fringe and my name was first out of the hat and thus began the journey that has brought me to Calgary, Lunchbox Theatre and the High Performance Rodeo.

Keith Alessi brings his show, Tomatoes tried to kill him but that banjos saved his life, to Lunchbox Theatre and the High Performance Rodeo. Courtesy, Erika Conway Calgary

Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life, Alessis solo show in which he tells his story and plays several of his banjos, plays at Lunchbox Theatre from Jan. 11 to 25, beginning its run as part of the 2020 High Performance Rodeo.

If truth be told, and Alessi insists he holds nothing back in his show, that first summer at the Toronto Fringe was a disaster.

They gave me six performance slots and I think I might have played to a hundred people total. I had to cancel one show because nobody turned up and the critics panned me, but I was not about to give in.

The next year I entered the Edmonton Fringe Festival lottery and received a slot and kept working on the show, making it more conversational and more personal and at my last performance I received a standing ovation.

Alessi has kept entering fringe lotteries and, beating the odds, has won a slot each time. In 2019 he got into eight fringes including New York, Orlando, Regina, Windsor, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and even Brighton, England.

That summer, the show really caught on and I sold out every single show at every fringe and after every performance people came up to me to thank me for my story and to share theirs with me.

Alessi didnt get a slot in the Calgary Fringe Festival but Lunchbox Theatres Shari Wattling caught his show in Edmonton and booked him for the theatre.

Ive been on the wildest of rides and it doesnt appear to be stopping any time soon. Great things keep happening for me. The universe has been very good to me and I am grateful and I am listening.

Co-presented by One Yellow Rabbit and Lunchbox Theatre, Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life runs between Jan. 11 and 25 in Lunchbox Theatre during the High Performance Rodeo.

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HPR: Deadly tomatoes led former executive to riveting solo performance - Calgary Herald

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January 9th, 2020 at 7:47 pm

What Russell Wilson Eats in a Day Is Nearly Impossible for ‘Regular People’ – Sportscasting

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Russell Wilsons hope is to play football into his 40s. A lofty dream for sure but not impossible. Of course, we all know 42-year-old Tom Brady is going strong. So, while living the life of an NFL player into middle age isnt likely for most, it can happen if the individual is committed.

The Seahawks Russell Wilson is committed, according to ESPN, and he backs it up with an unusual routine.

The quarterback stays in excellent physical shape with help from a variety of experts, according to GQ. His staff includes personal chef Andrea Witton as well as a recently-assembled personal performance squad. This team includes trainers, therapists, movement specialists, and a mental coach.

Wilson does anything necessary to maintain his health and fitness, including soaking in Epsom salts, using a hyperbaric chamber, taking ice baths, receiving deep tissue massages, and practicing yoga.

Chef Witton more or less lives with Wilson, his wife Ciara, and their kids. When the family travels, the whole performance squad goes along. Witton knows Wilson loves tasty food like those he ate growing up in Virginia, but he seeks to eat healthier versions.

The quarterback says Witton makes everything from scratch, and she uses clean and fresh, nutritionally dense ingredients.

The NFL stars 2016 season was, well, painful. In Week 1, Wilson sprained his ankle, reports ESPN. Then, in Week 3, he sprained the MCL in his left knee. These injuries forced him to be less mobile, which limited his running game.

With a career-low of 259 rushing yards and the Seahawks ranking 23rd in rushing efficiency, Wilson suffered a tough year. To add insult to injury, a side effect of his injuries involved substantial weight gain.

At the time, Wilson told ESPN he typically runs a lot in and after practice, on his off days, and everything like that. He added, I couldnt do much because of my ankle and knee.

Eventually, his weight peaked at over 225 pounds, which made him feel too heavy and not mobile enough. Its not like Wilson wasnt eating healthy hes had a personal chef for years but the injuries and weight gain forced him to reexamine all aspects of his routine.

After wife Ciara recommended food coach and nutritionist Philip Goglia to Wilson, things began to change. According to Goglia, [Wilson] was an animal about [Goglias diet plan]. Goglia then added, The fing guy buried himself in this, and its epic to see because that really validates him as a complete athlete.

The famous nutritionist provided Wilson with a diet that may seem counterintuitive. The QB had been eating around 2,700 calories a day, but Goglia told him to bump it up to 4,800 calories.

His explanation for the calorie increase was that a calorie is a unit of heat, and metabolism is a function of heat. He explained that fat is a lipid and converts to energy in a hot environment, so a person must consume enough calories to generate enough heat to burn fat.

Wilson lost weight and body fat following Goglias system. He went from 225 pounds with 16% body fat to 214 pounds with 10% body fat. It wasnt easy; even though he could eat more calories, they had to be the right kind.

Foods offered comfort to Wilson, who says that his family didnt have a lot of money for food when he was a kid. He and a friend often scrounged for change so they could get something to eat. When possible, his parents did cook tasty meals. Wilsons favorites include mac and cheese, his mothers specialty, and his fathers spaghetti.

Dont tell coach Pete Carroll, but Wilson pilots helicopters. And this hobby must hike up the cost of the teams insurance. The QB claims he gets a lot of peace of mind when flying.

Wilson puts a lot of focus on his career and works hard. The guy deserves to have a fun hobby. Obviously, for Wilson, the sky is the limit.

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What Russell Wilson Eats in a Day Is Nearly Impossible for 'Regular People' - Sportscasting

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January 9th, 2020 at 7:47 pm

Golden Globes: who will win and who should win the film awards? – The Guardian

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Wintry mob drama Martin Scorseses The Irishman, with Jesse Plemons, Ray Romano, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Photograph: Netflix

The best film category is dominated just like everything else in the cultural conversation around movies by Netflix, which has the majority of the nominees: Martin Scorseses The Irishman, Noah Baumbachs Marriage Story and Fernando Meirelless The Two Popes.

The other two are Sam Mendess 1917 and Todd Phillipss box-office smash Joker. This is a really good list, in my view, with one exception: I am unconvinced that Joker is anything other than an amazingly crass, boorish and shallow movie, stridently but incorrectly congratulating itself on its own supposed supercoolness: there is a decent, but overrated performance from Joaquin Phoenix.

1917 is one from the heart, a one-shot nightmare that succeeds in being tremendous, exhilarating and affecting. Scorseses wintry mob drama is a magnificent film, one of his very best. For me, the film flew by.

Marriage Story is a gorgeous, beguiling film desperately sad, and yet with a persistent heartbeat of romance. The Two Popes is the kind of undemanding middleweight biopic that tends to be rewarded during awards season: an imagined dramatic account of the confrontation between Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) and the cardinal who succeeds him: Francis (Jonathan Pryce). I regretted the absence of Claire Deniss sci-fi High Life and even more the snub to Greta Gerwigs wonderful new version of Little Women.

Will win: Marriage Story.

Should win: The Irishman.

Shoulda been a contender: Little Women.

This category is traditionally where the often-mocked Globes scores, because it makes space for the crowd-pleasers at which most awards bodies turn up their noses.

It is a lively list this year, although I am astonished at the way pundits have rolled over for the fatuous and pointless Jojo Rabbit. It strikes a very queasy series of false notes.

Dexter Fletchers Rocketman is a rousing and entertaining account of the early life of Elton John with a great (singing) performance from Taron Egerton, although it is clearly the authorised version permitted by Sir Elton himself.

My favourite on this list is Quentin Tarantinos dizzying, dazzling Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, a black comedy about late-60s Los Angeles which is brilliantly conceived and designed. Rian Johnsons Christie-esque whodunit, Knives Out, has been much praised, although I have to admit to being the tiniest bit disappointed with the big reveal. Eddie Murphys Dolemite Is My Name is a hilarious Blaxploitation biopic comedy, and thoroughly deserves its nomination.

But where on Earth was Booksmart? That really was an out-and-out comedy, without any pretensions to anything other than getting laughs.

Will win: Knives Out.

Should win: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Shoulda been a contender: Booksmart.

Here is where this years Globes look a little bit under par. It is great to see Adam Driver get his nomination for Marriage Story, while Antonio Banderas establishes a gold-standard with his great performance in Pedro Almdodvars autofictional movie Pain and Glory. But I found Christian Bales mannered and twitchy performance as the hot-tempered racing-car genius in the middling Ford v Ferrari almost insufferable (the same goes for Joaquin Phoenixs Joker). Jonathan Pryce does an honest, good-natured job with the role of Pope Francis in The Two Popes. It is very surprising that Robert De Niro somehow didnt get a nod for his gloomy hitman in The Irishman, Brad Pitt probably deserved something for his troubled spaceman in James Grays Ad Astra.

Will win: Adam Driver.

Should win: Antonio Banderas.

Shoulda been a contender: Robert De Niro.

Cynthia Erivo brought sheer passionate commitment, charisma and verve to the role of the anti-slavery campaigner Harriet Tubman; her closest competitor is Rene Zellweger, who won hearts and minds with her very intelligent and heartfelt portrayal of Judy Garland. It is a good performance, although the film itself puts a sugary soft focus on the wrenching agony of Garlands decline. Saoirse Ronan is characteristically forthright and excellent in the role of Jo in Gerwigs terrific new version of Little Women. Scarlett Johansson is also very good in Marriage Story, with flashes of passion, anguish and rage that are all the more powerful for bursting out of that kind of opaque reserve that she habitually creates.

I am very unconvinced by Charlize Therons mannered and odd impersonation of Fox News star Megyn Kelly in Bombshell; the films confusion over the fact that Kelly is no feminist shows up in her performance. Perhaps the Globes should have looked outside Hollywood and rewarded Yong Mei for her heartwrenching turn as the grieving mother in Wang Xiaoshuais So Long, My Son.

Will win: Rene Zelleweger.

Should win: Cynthia Erivo.

Shoulda been a contender: Yong Mei.

Some really great stuff here from Leonardo DiCaprio as a failing TV cowboy actor, and the singing especially from Egerton in Rocketman. There is a blast of comic energy from Murphy as the 70s Blaxploitation comic Rudy Ray Moore; as for Daniel Craig, he brings plenty of amusement and drollery to his performance as the intellectual private detective in Knives Out (although I sometimes wonder if he really does have comedy bones). It is a bit dismaying to see Roman Griffin Davis in here for his moderate child-actor moppet turn in the worryingly overindulged Jojo Rabbit. I would have liked to see Robert Downey Jr nominated for his very distinctive and personal performance as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame.

Will win: Taron Egerton.

Should win: Leonardo DiCaprio.

Shoulda been a contender: Robert Downey Jr.

My feeling is that Awkwafina has this sewn up for her starring turn in The Farewell, a heart-rending and sweet movie about the Chinese-American experience. Cate Blanchett can never be anything other than a potent and intelligent screen presence, and her performance as the agoraphobic architect who goes missing in Whered You Go, Bernadette? has been much admired. As for Emma Thompson, she has been nominated for her role as an acid-tongued British talk-show host in Late Night a good performance although, oddly, she is more obviously funny in a far inferior film, the box-office smash Last Christmas, in which she was the grumpy Croatian mum. Ana de Armas is really good in Knives Out, but again I have to say in terms of real comedy not comedy-drama, not drama with bittersweet comic touches, but actual comedy Feldstein is streets ahead of anyone here. One person who deserved to be on this list is that great singer and actor Jessie Buckley for her full-throated performance in Wild Rose, the story of a Scottish woman yearning to be a country music star.

Will win: Awkwafina.

Should win: Beanie Feldstein.

Shoulda been a contender: Jessie Buckley.

There are some big names and revered silverback gorillas in this list all of whom are doing an excellent job, although I couldnt help wondering if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association could cast its net a little wider? For opaque reasons, Anthony Hopkins has a best supporting actor nomination, despite being of equal importance to Pryce in The Two Popes. Tom Hankss performance as the American TV legend Fred Rogers is causing critics to gibber with awestruck delight, although Brad Pitt may pinch it with his wonderfully mature performance in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which showcases his marvellous Gary-Cooper-like ease.

But the frontrunners have to be Al Pacino and Joe Pesci for their fantastic performances as the Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa and the coolly understated mobster Russell Bufalino in The Irishman. I reckon Pesci will get it to a roar of pleasure from the assembled crowd.

Will win: Joe Pesci.

Should win: Joe Pesci.

Shoulda been a contender: Wesley Snipes (Dolemite Is My Name).

Jennifer Lopez started as an actor; do not rule out the possibility that she will be rewarded for her performance in the widely enjoyed raunchfest Hustlers, as the mentor-stripper who takes Constance Wu under her wing. Yet the Globe might well go Kathy Bates for her part as the everyman-heros mother in Clint Eastwoods biopic drama Richard Jewell. Elsewhere, there is Margot Robbie for her (fictional) role in Bombshell; very uninhibited performance, and Robbie is not hampered like her co-stars by having to produce a quasi-impersonation of a real-life person. Annette Bening gives an intelligent, careful but uninspired performance inThe Report. But the winner here is surely Laura Dern, for her hilarious portrayal of a cunning divorce lawyer in Marriage Story.

Will win: Laura Dern.

Should win: Laura Dern.

Shoulda been a contender: Julia Butters (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).

What on earth happened to Gerwig for Little Women? Or indeed Alma Harel for Shia LaBeouf drama Honey Boy? At any rate, there are some heavy-hitters here: Mendes has a well-deserved nod for his superlative 1917, as do Scorsese and Tarantino. Perhaps the most notable nominee is the Korean film-maker Bong Joon-ho for his fascinating social satire Parasite; fast becoming the talking point of the 2020 awards season.

Will win: Martin Scorsese.

Should win: Martin Scorsese.

Shoulda been a contender: Greta Gerwig.

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Golden Globes: who will win and who should win the film awards? - The Guardian

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January 9th, 2020 at 7:47 pm

Uiagalelei arrives on campus after solid performance in All-American Game – Clemson Sports Talk

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We are giving away a LIMITED EDITION Clemson National Championship football to one lucky subscriber in the new year. Sign up today to help us continue to grow! D.J. Uiagalelei - 6-5, 243-pounds, St. John Bosco, Bellflower, CA

Five-star quarterback D.J. Uigalelei arrived on campus at Clemson today after participating in the Army All-American Game yesterday in Texas.

Uiagalelei finished the game 16-of-25 for 252 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw one interception, but one of his two touchdownthrows showed why he was the top quarterback in this cycle.

As you can see, Uiagalelei rolled right, felt pressure and adjusted to make a beautiful throw to his tight end.

Unfortunately, Uiagalelei and the East team came up short33-20, but he looked the part. Also, if you wanted to see some videos, earlier this week, we put links to some videos from San Antonio in The Roar.

Here are some additional highlights from yesterdays game.

Notes on D.J. Uiagalelei

Head Coach: Jason Negro

Overview: Listed as the top player in the nation by PrepStar and ranked second according to behind Clemson signee and classmate Bryan Bresee top quarterback in the nation according to and PrepStar led his team to No. 1 ranking by MaxPreps and USA Today after guiding them to a 7A state championship in California will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 4, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas National Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-American by USA Today in 2018 as a junior threw for 10,496 yards in his high school career and had 127 career touchdowns against just 11 interceptions completed 585-of-871 passes for a 66 percent completion mark averaged 18 yards per completion also rushed for 1,103 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career, a 6.1 yard-per-carry average.

Rankings: Ranked as the No. 1 overall player in the nation, the best quarterback and best player in California by PrepStar ranked as the No. 2 overall player in the nation by, which also called him the top quarterback and top player in California 247Sports ranked him the No. 2 overall player in the nation, the top pro-style quarterback and top player from California.

In High School: Played for Jason Negro at St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, Calif. led his team to a 13-1 record and state championship in 2019 won state championship on Dec. 14, as he was 24-of-29 for 410 yards and four touchdowns while also gaining 67 rushing yards on just five carries with another touchdown on the ground led team to thrilling semifinal victory over Mater Dei, which had beaten St. John Bosco in the regular season and entered the game ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today and MaxPreps led St. John Bosco to victory out of a 28-5 deficit in that game, completing 26-38 for 446 yards and five touchdowns completed 222-of-344 passes for 4,225 yards and 48 touchdowns against just two interceptions in 2019, averaging 19 yards per completion and 12.3 yards per attempt added 412 yards rushing and eight touchdowns as a junior in 2018, led team to a 13-1 record with only loss coming to Mater Dei in state playoffs had exceptional game against Miliani, completing 25-of-31 passes for 380 yards and six touchdowns completed 13-of-15 for 361 yards and six scores against Oaks Christian completed 179-of-257 passes for 3,366 yards and 48 touchdowns against just seven interceptions on the year and added 50 carries for 312 yards and six rushing touchdowns as a sophomore in 2017, completed 184-of-270 for 2,905 yards and 31 touchdowns against just two interceptions posted 67 rushes for 379 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore helped team to 10-2 record that year helped lead team to 40-38 victory against Santa Margarita by throwing for 405 yards and two scores and followed that performance with 320 yards and four touchdown passes against Servite completed 20-of-21 passes and two scores against Mater Dei in state playoff game.

Personal: Committed to Clemson on May 5, 2019 wore No. 5 in high school recruited to Clemson by Brandon Streeter expected to enroll at Clemson in January 2020 name pronounced ooh-ee-UNGUH-luh-lay.

Lowell Likes:

The first thing you notice is the size, obviously. 6-5, 243-pounds and somehow still mobile. He certainly has the ability to run, but he would rather sit in the pocket with his Howitzer of an arm and chuck the ball 80+ yards down the field (yes, he can actually throw the ball 80+ yards). He widely gets comparisons to Cam Newton, but to me, hes more comfortable in the pocket. Even with the talent thats come through recently, Clemson has not had a quarterback prospect this intriguing before.

Uiagalelei arrives on campus after solid performance in All-American Game - Clemson Sports Talk

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January 9th, 2020 at 7:47 pm

Satire, podcasts and an Olympian: High Performance Rodeo brings the ‘wild’ to Calgary –

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One Yellow Rabbit will present the ecological comedy The Land, The Animals during High Performance Rodeo.

Calgary's annual three-week theatrical festivalHigh Performance Rodeo kicks off this week, featuringeverything from pop stars to podcasters to 10-minute plays.

High Performance Rodeo starts Wednesday and runs to Jan. 26 in venues across Calgary. The festival features 27 shows at 13 venues across Calgary's downtown for three weeks.

"If you've made a New Year's resolution to get out and see more art to spend some more time with your friends, have we got something for you," festival producer Laurel Green told the Calgary Eyeopener. "If you have any nights off in January there willbe something we like to promise 'something wild' for everyone."

Ensemble troupe One Yellow Rabbit will kick off the first week of the festival with a play called The Land, The Animals.

The ecological comedy was first produced by the ensemble in 1991 and is being brought back with new performers, choreography andmusicin light of today's environmental concerns.

The production is directed by Blake Brooker and performed by long-time ensemble members Denise Clark and Andy Curtis, with new music by David Reimer.

The Land, The Animals runs Jan. 8 to 14 at Big Secrets Theatre.

Another highlight of week one is a chance to meetOlympian Mark Tewksbury up close and personal.

"He's trying something new, bringing his story to the stage with this one-man show," Green said.

Tewksbury is best known for winning a gold medal atthe 1992 Summer Olympics. He'snow a public speaker and the director of the Special Olympics.

The one-man show is based on his book Belong and is presented in collaboration with Wordfest.

"He's a force to be reckoned with," Green said. "Mark Tewksbury is a great Canadian, great Calgarian and an impressive speaker."

Belong runs Jan. 9 to 11 at the DJD Dance Centre.

If you can't get enough American satire in the vein of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, you'll want to check out It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel F****d)featuring political blogger Lee Papa.

"It's gonna be a really funny show that really delves into some American politics and talks about the state of the world today," Green said.

The show runs Jan. 8 toi 12 at Motel Theatre at Arts Commons.

Jamie Dunsdon mounts an intimate and heartfeltperformance that examines her own life.

The show is set during a birthday party, and the whole audience is invited to examine ignorance, bliss and everything in between.

Bliss runs Jan. 8 to 12 at The Studio atthe Grand.

Music and dance hit the stage together in week twoof the festival, starting with Room 2048.

The ensemble group Hong Kong Exile combines pop music, dance and fog in a mind-bending performance that runs Jan. 14 to 16 at Engineered Air Theatre.

A brand new one-woman show called How To Fail As a Pop Star fromVivek Shrayachronicles the Calgary performer's rise through the Canadian music scene.

"Vivek, of course, is a celebrated author and the face of MAC Cosmetics,"Green said. "It's so exciting to get to see her up close and personal."

Vivek will takea humorous look at a career in the entertainment industry.

How to Fail as a Pop Star runs Jan. 22 to 25 at Engineered Air Theatre.

Don't miss a free podcast recording at Calgary's Central Library of one CBC'spodcasts,The Secret Life of Canada,on Jan. 10.

"So the audience part of the event is just listening in quietly.There will be some audience participation and then, of course, we'll get to hear the podcast when it's broadcast later. We'll be really focusing on stories from Calgary," Green said. "We'll have some special guest stars and lots of chances to make some noise."

Green said one of the festival fan favourites is an audience participation show called Queer Blind Date.

"A member of the audience is selected as the romantic hero and with their permission, they come on stage and get to go on a date," Green said. "We'llget to see audiences of all descriptions represented.All couples are welcome."

Ifyou're a romantic comedy fan, this one's for you.

Green said no one has to participate in any productions unless they want to, adding the festival is all about fun.

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks will bring back bring the classic Juliet + Romeo, just having completed a national tour.

The show will feature a live musical score and, of course, dancing.

"I like to think that there's a spark in it for everyone, that everyone's a little bit adventurous that comes to the festival," Green said.

Juliet + Romeo runs Jan. 16 to 23 at DJD Dance Centre.

With files fromthe Calgary Eyeopener.

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Satire, podcasts and an Olympian: High Performance Rodeo brings the 'wild' to Calgary -

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January 9th, 2020 at 7:47 pm

The Bafta 2020 nominations prove the industry treats diversity as a fad – British GQ

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In 2017, it felt as though diversity was winning. Well, not necessarily winning, but at least making progress towards equality in film. Scooping best picture at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes, the success of Barry Jenkins' Moonlight seemed to signal a turning point in the film industry, an indication that Hollywood had finally learnt some valuable lessons from the #OscarsSoWhite debate of 2015. The following year, Get Out received a few nods of approval, but fewer major wins. That's OK, we thought, real, meaningful change takes time and, besides, we've got Black Panther! The upward trajectory continued in 2019, giving us Green Book, BlackKklansman and If Beale Street Could Talk, which between them won many of the top prizes at the Golden Globes, Baftas and Oscars. But now it's 2020 and not a single non-white face is seen in this year's Bafta nominations. Hollywood, what happened?

Ill disguised efforts to appease audiences with faux wokeness, that's what. This year's Bafta nominations, along with a noticeable lack of people of colour acknowledged by the Golden Globes, only work to reveal the industry's true attitude towards diversity: it's regarded simply as a trend, something to cash in on when #BlackLivesMatter is trending and cast aside when extreme right-wing politics takes over even Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker demoted Kelly Marie Tran's character, Rose Tico, after she was set up to have a bigger storyline in The Last Jedi. Show business is fickle, yes, but to drop efforts to promote diversity in the industry so quickly and so dramatically is shameful, particularly for institutions such as Bafta, who only last year introduced new diversity requirements to ensure people from all backgrounds are represented both on and off screen at the awards. Seems like they devised a really effective system, doesn't it? So effective, they don't even need to acknowledge diversity at all.

But it's not just the fault of academy voters; the studios have a lot to answer for too. In 2019, a plethora of films hit the screens that were deserving of more recognition at awards season, including Us, Harriet, Hustlers, Dolemite Is My Name, Blue Story, Just Mercy and Parasite, to name a few, yet out of those films only Us and Hustlers were given decent marketing campaigns. Films made by white, male directors starring predominantly white, male casts were splashed across billboards, buses and editorial spreads all year, while the rest were left to quietly creep into cinemas and streaming services through the back door. Why didn't Netflix's Dolemite Is My Name, starring Eddie Murphy, get at least half of the same push as The Irishman? Why did Harriet only land on most people's radar once Cynthia Erivo received a Golden Globe nomination, despite being released last autumn? And why, oh why, did the wider public only become aware of Blue Story once it accidentally found itself at the centre of a racism and youth violence controversy?

The marketing teams at these film's respective studios failed them. They assumed that the audiences they felt they were made for would find them themselves and that it wasn't worth trying to convince other cinemagoers that these films were worth their time. They segregated both cinema and audiences, ignoring the outstanding success of films such as Black Panther and Moonlight, that were evidence of the fact that films with diverse talent behind are for, and can be enjoyed by, everyone. I can only wonder how this attitude towards promoting these films trickled down to awards season campaigns.


There is also something to be said about the kind of diverse films that are typically acknowledged at awards season. Only those that are explicitly about the experience of being a person of colour are typically rewarded and, more often than not, these films are not particularly uplifting viewing. Hollywood loves to depict the suffering and trauma of POC, yet it doesn't appear to like it when cinema simply treats them as normal people. The widespread snub of Jordan Peele's Us this year makes this abundantly clear. Although the film's lead characters are a black family, their blackness is of little consequence to the plot. They're depicted just as a family of any other race would be, because guess what? We're all pretty much the same!

Lupita Nyong'o's performance in Us as both a kind family woman and her evil doppelgnger was nothing short of exceptional and the fact that Margot Robbie received double Bafta nominations for her role in Bombshell and her five minutes in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, over Nyong'o's double performance in Us, both baffles and enrages. Scarlett Johansson also receives two nominations for Marriage Story (fair enough) and Jojo Rabbit (er?), making it seem as though the voting body was just desperate to nominate anyone but an actress of colour. The biggest nod given to any diverse film went to The Personal History Of David Copperfield, but when nominated for best casting while other categories remain very, very white, it's a move that reads more like a panicked "Dev Patel's in a period film and we have to at least pretend we like diversity" than a genuine acknowledgement of achievement.

There will no doubt be those who will cry, "Why does it always have to be about race?" and "Awards season should be based on merit, not diversity quotas!" But if this batch of award season nominations prove anything, it's that it is always about race not because of the #BaftasSoWhite backlash, but because Hollywood refuses to properly acknowledge its own subconscious racial bias. People are often quick to berate positive discrimination, while neglecting to acknowledge that white people have essentially been negatively discriminating in their favour for, well, ever. It's clear that Hollywood won't wake up to diverse films unless they're aggressively reminded to, because if awards season were truly based on merit, the nominations this year would look dramatically different. If we really want diversity to win, we need to let academy voters know. Otherwise, they'll keep handing out prizes to the only people they want to win: themselves.

Everything you need to know about the Baftas 2020

Heres who will win big at the Oscars 2020

Why the Baftas needs to throw more curveballs into awards season

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The Bafta 2020 nominations prove the industry treats diversity as a fad - British GQ

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January 9th, 2020 at 7:47 pm

Don’t fall prey to the stock market’s banner year – CNBC

Posted: January 3, 2020 at 10:49 am

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Pattanaphong Khuankaew / EyeEm

The stock market surged in 2019, closing out the end of the decade by posting its best annual gain in six years.

But investors hypnotized by the prospect of big profits should temper any knee-jerk reaction to load up on stocks as the new year gets under way.

Charlie Fitzgerald, a financial advisor at Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, an advisory firm with offices in Orlando and Melbourne in Florida, said a strong stock market often leads investors to be overconfident and assume the gravy train will last.

"People look at their portfolios and say, 'Stocks did great last year. I don't want to miss out,'" Fitzgerald said.

"One of the biggest investing myths is that people can time the market," he said. "It's just not possible."

The S&P 500 index was up a whopping 31.5% last year, including reinvested dividends. That's its best showing since 2013, when the index had a total return of 32.4%.

The only year that saw better annual performance over the past three decades was 1997, when the S&P 500 yielded 33.4%.

There were several factors nudging the stock market upward in 2019.

For one, the Federal Reserve reversed course on monetary policy, reducing its benchmark interest rate three times last year. The Fed had previously raised rates four times in 2018, up to 2.5%.

Lower interest rates generally lead investors to pour more money into stocks in search of higher returns, since safer havens such as cash and certificates of deposit yield less in low-rate environments.

Further, much of last year's market run-up went into erasing steep losses from the fourth quarter of 2018, which contributed to the S&P 500's first annual loss since the financial crisis a decade earlier. A surge in stocks is typical after a year in which there was a downturn.

While there aren't strong indicators suggesting the market's upward trajectory won't continue in the near term, some financial experts say the prudent course of action for investors especially those near or in retirement after 2019's banner year would be to reduce stock holdings.

"It stands to reason after this performance that you'd want to take some chips off the table," said Christine Benz, director of personal finance at research firm Morningstar.

That doesn't mean selling out of all stock holdings, though. Increasingly longer lifespans mean retirees will have to make their money last for perhaps three to four decades, and some investment risk is necessary to ensure adequate returns.

One of the biggest investing myths is that people can time the market. It's just not possible.

Charlie Fitzgerald

financial advisor at Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo

However, investors should consider rebalancing their portfolios, which are likely stock-heavy after 2019's performance, Benz said. That would mean selling some stock holdings and reallocating them to a less risky part of the portfolio such as bonds.

Let's consider a $100 portfolio, allocated 60% to stocks and 40% to bonds, to see how an investor could inadvertently take on more investment risk over time.

A 31.5% increase in stock returns last year would have grown the stock portion of the portfolio to $78.90. Let's say bonds returned 5%, bringing bond holdings to $42. The portfolio would now be 65% stocks and 35% bonds, instead of the investor's target of 60%-40%.

"You have to think about portfolios not just from a return perspective but from a risk perspective," Fitzgerald said. "If rebalancing isn't done, the risk is unchecked."

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Based on average annual stock market returns of around 10% over the last century, probability dictates that performance exceeding 25% in any given year is rare or, with odds of roughly 1 in 6, Fitzgerald said.

It's impossible to know how long the current market rally will last, but chances are returns will, at the very least, be lower in 2020.

Younger investors with decades until retirement should maintain stock-heavy portfolios, because they have time to weather any future losses and can afford to take more risk, Benz said.

However, such investors can reallocate within their stock holdings, Benz said perhaps by adopting some more foreign versus U.S. stocks, since the former underperformed domestic equities last year and may be in store for stronger returns.

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January 3rd, 2020 at 10:49 am

‘Work has fully invaded our personal lives.’ Here are 8 ways we can work smarter in 2020 – NBC News

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Jan. 2, 2020, 3:46 PM UTC

Virtual meetings and instant-messaging apps like Slack mean we have the ability to communicate more easily than ever. We can share files nearly instantly. We can be in communication with our teams in transit from trains and airplanes. If we need to stay home with a sick child or because we're sneezing ourselves, deadlines can still be met.

But experts say that these changes that seemingly make work easier than ever before are making work more challenging in some ways, too.

Work has fully invaded our personal lives in that we can work 24/7, but the reverse is not necessarily true, explains Christine Carter, Ph.D,, a sociologist and senior fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at University of California, Berkeley. We dont take our personal lives to work in the same ways that we are taking our work into our personal lives. (Carter is also author of the book, "The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less," a guide to balancing the busyness of modern life.)

There are a few changes Carter and others hope to see in the next decade to get smarter about how we use the technology we have and refocus on the metrics about work that matter. Here are a few.

Employees have been very flexible towards letting their work responsibilities come home with them. Punching out (and staying offline and away from work) when the clock strikes 5 p.m. is a thing of the past. We stay those extra 15, 30 or 90 minutes to send those last few emails or wait for that client to call. We log onto our email after weve put the kids to bed to check if any other urgent emails have come in we need to address before heading into the office the next morning. We get a jump on things over weekend days were not scheduled to work.

In the 2020s, that flexibility needs to be allowed to work in the other direction, Carter says. It means workers need to be able to take their kids to the dentist during the work day or work from home because the plumber needs to fix a leak, she says (because we know were going to spend the time later on to get our work done). Human beings want to do their best work, she says. When you set them up to do well by not creating so much conflict between their families and their personal lives and their work, we do better.

Doing more than one task at the same time (or switching very quickly between tasks) makes us less, not more efficient. Psychology research dating back to the 1990s suggests its because theres a mental cost to the type of mental juggling required to switch back and forth between multiple tasks.

Its basically the opposite of productivity, Carter says. It makes us feel productive, but it fries our brains to the point where we cant get anything done.

We get real, deep work done when we single-task and focus, but we need to allow ourselves to do that, Carter says. And to do that

We need to get rid of the antiquated notion that value in the workplace is tied to time spent on the job. Its an outdated idea thats a holdover from the first Industrial Revolution from when people worked in factories and the more time spent on the line really did mean more output, Carter says. People who take breaks are actually able to focus more and do more deep work (the type of work that puts our education and multiple degrees to use), she explains.

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We are on the completely wrong track valuing busyness, and looking up to the people who are constantly rushing around and crossing stuff off their to-do lists, says Brigid Schulte, author of the book "Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love & Play When No One Has the Time." Were learning from behavioral scientists (whove researched and written books on the topic) that that kind of rushing around and feeling out-of-time creates tunnel vision where we are only able to focus on the things that feel most urgent (even if theyre not the most important tasks), she explains. Experiments, for example, have suggested that when peoples resources are very limited they are less able to take into account bigger-picture considerations. Working this way makes us feel productive, but it stops us from tackling those bigger projects on our list that require more complex strategizing and long-term planning.

While there is a lot that individuals can do, there is also a lot that needs to be done on the parts of our managers and leaders to change the expectations for the people who work for them. The people with more power in organizations need to show that what they value is high-quality, focused work over busyness, Carter adds.

There are a couple of ways that technology (over the past decade) has infringed on our time off from work, says Jeffrey Pfeffer, Ph.D., the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Just-in-time scheduling (algorithms that are constantly being updated to make the most efficient employee schedules for companies bottom lines) mean a lot of hourly workers dont know their work schedules until a few days or a few hours before they need to be at work. Theres an increased pressure on companies to reduce labor costs, Pfeffer says and its really hurting employees and their wellbeing. (Pfeffer is also author of the book "Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance and What We Can Do About It.")

It means that people do not know when or how much they will be working. That reality makes it difficult (or near impossible) to schedule child care or elder care help; and for hourly-paid workers, the variation in week-to-week schedules creates economic insecurity because they dont necessarily know what their income will be, Pfeffer says.

And as Carter explained, for a lot of people technology has made it possible for some workers to always be reachable and made it possible so that we can nearly literally be working or potentially working all the time. For a lot of us, we no longer take time off when we actually disconnect from work. (And there is a plethora of research that suggests real, disconnected time off improves not only mental and physical health and well-being, but it also improves our productivity and performance at work, too.)

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'Work has fully invaded our personal lives.' Here are 8 ways we can work smarter in 2020 - NBC News

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January 3rd, 2020 at 10:49 am

Reframing resolutions – The Baxter Bulletin

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Benjamin Houltberg and Arianna Uhalde, University of Southern California, The Conversation Published 12:07 p.m. CT Jan. 1, 2020 | Updated 12:36 a.m. CT Jan. 2, 2020

What's the key to making resolutions stick?(Photo: Getty Images)

People worldwide make New Year's resolutions every year in an attempt to improve their lives. Common resolutions are to exercise more, eat healthier, save money, lose weight and reduce stress.

Yet, 80 percent of people agree that most people won't stick to their resolutions. This pessimism is somewhat justified. Only 4 percent of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set.

We have spent years studying motivation, emotion regulation and behavior in family relationships, athletic performance and health information processing in the marketplace. Now at USC's Performance Science Institute, we help people attain and sustain high performance in all aspects of their lives.

Based on our research, we propose a potential solution to the problem of New Year's resolutions that people can't keep: Encouraging people to reframe their resolutions to emphasize purpose-based performance.

Oversimplified resolutions like 'Exercise more,' lack a personal directive that could help promote follow through.(Photo: Chuck Kirman/Gannett)

What leads to so many abandoned New Year's resolutions?

A large body of research on goal-setting and habits provides insight into the various reasons for failed resolutions.

Many people are not framing their resolutions in ways that will motivate them over time. For example, "exercise more" is a fairly clear directive, but it lacks depth and personal meaning that could help promote follow through. Overly simplified resolutions, such as "exercise more" and "eat healthier" contribute to the ongoing problem that emerges as early as mid-January each year: unintentional neglect of important self-improvement goals.

Purpose has been defined simply as someone's reason for doing something. However, scientists have recently developed a more comprehensive framework for purpose.

Purpose is associated with positive outcomes for people of all ages. People with a sense of purpose make more money, cope with life hardships more effectively and are healthier across the lifespan. Organizations that foster or reinforce employees' sense of purpose are now referred to as "high performance workplaces".

In the context of goal-setting for the new year, the concept of purpose-based performance becomes especially relevant. In our research, we have found that purpose-based performance is much healthier and more sustainable than outcome-driven performance.

Purpose-based performance has three critical, interrelated components: goal orientation, personal meaning and focus on something or someone beyond the self. We provide three questions that you can ask yourself when developing New Year's resolutions to inspire purpose-based performance.

The first thing to consider is your long-term goals, and how each resolution fits with those goals. Purpose-based performance includes goal orientation, or an internal compass that directs people toward some long-term aim. This orientation helps people organize and prioritize more immediate actions to make progress toward that aim. People who are goal-oriented and remind themselves of their "end game" live consistently with their beliefs and values and perform better on the immediate goals they set.

When setting New Year's resolutions, many people end up with a long list of simple resolutions without thinking deeply about their rationale for each resolution, or where each resolution will take them. Linking an immediate goal with a longer-term aim can sustain progress. Thinking about who you want to become can help you decide which resolution(s) to take on.

No matter what your resolution is, making it personally meaningful will help you stick to it through the year.(Photo: alfexe, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The next step to consider is why each resolution is personally meaningful for you. When people pursue personally meaningful goals, they are not only more intrinsically motivated but also find more joy in the process of goal pursuit. They are able to reframe challenges as opportunities for personal growth. In one study with elite athletes, we found that personal meaning helped them regulate their emotions when things didn't go their way and display more patience as they pursued their goals.

Someone who pursues a goal for external rewards that are contingent on a particular end result for example, validation that comes from winning is likely to experience shame when they fall short of their goal. Even when they win, they may feel disappointed because the end result does not bring meaning to their life. This is exemplified by the "post-Olympic blues," when Olympians experience depression after such a significant accomplishment.

Spend time thinking about your motivation for each resolution. Ask yourself, are you focused on a particular outcome because it will give you self-esteem, status or something else? It can be helpful to think about the potential meaning found in the process of pursuing a goal, regardless of whether you attain the desired outcome.

The final step is to consider who or what, beyond yourself, will be positively affected by your resolution(s). Desire to be a part of something greater than the self, or transcendent motivation, is beneficial for performance for several reasons.

Linking a resolution to transcendent motivation can be a powerful source of inspiration. Someone may link exercise goals to a charitable cause they care about, or they may think about how improving their health will make them a better partner, friend or parent. Research shows transcendent motivation improves self-regulation when things get dull or repetitive during goal pursuit, and it strengthens character virtues like patience and generosity. When someone's transcendent motivation is prosocial in nature, they are willing to accept feedback about performance and receive increased social support in the workplace.

Think about the bigger picture. Consider whom you are helping with each goal. Potential impact beyond yourself is added fuel for your goal pursuit.

What might New Year's resolutions that incorporate purpose-based performance look like? Using the three questions above, we have reworked three common resolutions to reflect purpose-based performance:

"Exercise more" becomes "I commit to working out two times per week so I can be more present and energized with my children, so they feel more loved and inspired by me."

"Save money" becomes "I commit to saving $100 per paycheck so I feel more secure in my role as a husband and father, which will ultimately benefit my family."

"Lose weight" becomes "I commit to losing 10 pounds so I feel more confident at work, and my coworkers will experience a more positive version of me."

Cheers to a new, purpose-filled year!

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January 3rd, 2020 at 10:49 am

Current Recovery & Performance Thursday Wrestling Scoreboard, 1/2/20 –

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Class A North

Long Branch 39, CBA 20


Nicholas Geissler (CBA) over Domenic Demarzo (Long Branch) (MD 9-1)


Vincent Principe (CBA) overDylan Kelleher(Long Branch) (Dec 4-2)


Maximus Bean (CBA) over Ignacio Guzman (Long Branch) (MD 20-8)


Julian George(CBA) over joseph Conlon (Long Branch) (Dec 8-2)


Zander Silva(CBA) over Victor Lemus (Long Branch) (Fall 0:49)


Angel Bonnano (Long Branch) over Nicholas Punzi (CBA) (Dec 4-1)


Ryan Zimmerman(Long Branch) overTyler Barrett(CBA) (Dec 2-0)


bobby Lawrence (Long Branch) over Nathaniel Massell (CBA) (Dec 8-3)


Ryan Carey(Long Branch) over Peter Grippo (CBA) (Fall 3:20)


Jack Friedman (Long Branch) over Robert Canterino (CBA) (Fall 1:09)


Andrew Conklin(Long Branch) over Ethan Diamond (CBA) (SV-1 3-1)


Patrick O`Dwyer (Long Branch) over Declan McGagh (CBA) (Dec 5-3)


Tracey Taylor (Long Branch) over Taig Sheehy (CBA) (Fall 1:41)


Matthew Guidetti(Long Branch) over Unknown (For.)

Class A South

Southern 41, Jackson Memorial 24


Brad Galassi(Jackson) over Gabe Murray (Southern) (Fall 4:49)


JT Cornelius (Southern) over Antonio Farias (Jackson Memorial) (Fall 1:00)


Brett Blaess(Jackson) overConor Collins(Southern) (Dec 2-0)


Pat Iacoves (Southern) over Lucas Lipari (Jackson) (MD 8-0)


Jayson Scerbo (Southern) overLuke Temple(Jackson) (Dec 6-2)


Nick Bennet (Southern) overLance Hobbs(Jackson) (Dec 6-5)


Nate Bischoff (Southern) over George Ebid (Jackson) (Fall 2:55)


Matt Brielmeier (Southern) overNick White(Jackson) (Dec 6-0)


Eddie Hummel (Southern) overLuke Hamann(Jackson) (Fall 3:16)


Cole Velardi(Southern) over Mike Rauch (Jackson) (Fall 1:35)


Robert Woodcock(Southern) over Rob Lagravenis (Jackson) (MD 15-5)


Hunter Smith(Jackson) over Brock Lefkus (Southern) (Fall 1:00)


Mike Fiore (Jackson) over Colin Boero (Southern) (Dec 3-2)


Kyle Epperly(Jackson) over Unknown (For.)

Brick Memorial 69,Toms River South 10


David Szuba (Brick Mem.) over Jack Gallin (TR South) (Fall 1:45)


Kyle Kohlmann (Brick Mem.) overDylan Applegate(TR South) (MD 13-3)


Matthew Murphy(Brick Mem.) over Shane Watkins (TR South) (Fall 0:00)


Justin Murray (TR South) over Max Wright (Brick Mem.) (MD 10-2)


Anthony Santaniello(Brick Mem.) overRay Gardner(TR South) (Fall 3:40)


Anthony Krslovic (Brick Mem.) over Chris Yuro (TR South) (Fall 3:50)


Vincent Santaniello(Brick Mem.) over Unknown (For.)


Michael Richardson(Brick Mem.) over Cody Cox (TR South) (TF 18-3 4:32)


Ryan Smith(Brick Mem.) over Jimmy Cohen (TR South) (Fall 1:00)


Victor DiPianta (Brick Mem.) over Evan Thomas (TR South) (Fall 0:33)


Shane Gibson(TR South) over Henry Lindquist (Brick Mem.) (Fall 0:51)


JT Henderson (Brick Mem.) overAndrew Ganun(TR South) (Fall 2:40)


Ruben Lizardi (Brick Mem.) over Matt Zyckowski (TR South) (Fall 1:30)


Joe Colon (Brick Mem.) over Unknown (For.)

Class B South

Jackson Liberty 36, Donovan Catholic 31


Steven Schmitz (Liberty) overChristopher Gallegos(Donovan) (Fall 0:52)


Ian Boyce (Liberty) over Noah Bakos (Donovan) (Fall 1:25)


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