Sunday, August 21, 2011

What happens when we don't get our way?

I've just finished writing a "Management Response" to a review on Trip Advisor.  Recently I discovered that I have a few followers on Trip Advisor who get a kick out of my "Management Responses".  Apparently some of my responses have a touch of sarcastic wit woven into my tactful attempts to set the record straight, or in some cases apologize for our shortcomings.  Interesting.  Trip Advisor, and other sites like it, are yet more proof of the power of social media, usually for the good, and occasionally for more nefarious purposes.  This past couple of weeks, aside from the turmoil on world markets, the media has been obsessing over the use of social media to organize mass protests, and the outrage over BART's decision to block cell phone signals in anticipation of a possible organized protest.  I wonder what they would have said about revolutions that are as old a civilization itself responsible for overthrowing unpopular governments and other oppressors in the past?  Would Maria Antoinette have acted differently if she had Twitter and Facebook to worry about?

Monday, August 1, 2011

The incredible talent of Billy Elliot

It was a strange irony.  As we left the Canon Theatre yesterday afternoon, the last person I expected to see was the lead, the star, Ty Forhan, out amongst the crowd exiting onto the street.  But there he was embracing a woman who I assumed was his mother after having just given an absolutely incredible performance as Billy Elliot

The irony was that although he was smiling from ear to ear, his eyes were red and he was in tears, while my own eyes had just dried up after off and on crying throughout this intensely moving 3 hour performance.  Any more than I could tell you why Ty was in tears, I would be hard pressed to tell you what had me crying. 

Was it the struggle of the coal miners, the struggle of Billy, the love between father and son and mother and son, the acceptance of the gruff coal mining community of Billy and his passion for the dance, or just wave after wave of complex emotions brought on by this group of very talented people?  I don't know. 

I do know that this little 12 year old boy was working harder than I see many adults work.  And with such energy and talent.  It really was overwhelming.  I guess I wasn't expecting much - I loved the movie, and I wasn't sure how the stage production could be any better, but it was in so many ways.  If you haven't been to see it, try to fit it in before it leaves Toronto - you won't regret it.