Posts by Tracey Erin Smith

You’re An Artist. You Have Value. You Have A Story. Here’s What Happens When You Combine The Two…

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

You’re An Artist.  You Have Value.  You Have A Story.  Here’s What Happens When You Combine The Two…

~*~ An Open Letter To Artists, For 15 years I’ve been helping people better communicate Who They Are, What They Do and Why Anybody Should Care? I’ve done this for companies like Walmart and every major bank in North America. This got me thinking… Artists need to know how to do this too. Here’s the simplest way I can explain it: You combine Your Story with Your Value to Others. I call it your Value Story. ~*~ A Value Story Contains 4 Things: 1. The work you’ve done that you are most proud of. 2. The value others received from it. 3. What you are looking for in future work, projects or partnerships. 4. What you bring to the table in these partnerships or work opportunities. ~*~ When to use Your Value Story: 1. When asking a person you admire to work with you. Or asking a business to partner with you as a sponsor. 2. At networking gatherings when someone says, “What do you do?”. 3. When submitting a Grant Proposal or scripting your Fund Raising Video. 4. When building a team of fellow artists to create something awesome, like a Festival or Co-Production. ~*~ Know your VALUE. ~*~ Go forth and DO EPIC SHIT! All My Best, Tracey Erin Smith — Artistic Director...

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NOW Best of Toronto 2014

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

NOW Best of Toronto 2014

SOULO Theatre has been nominated for Toronto’s Best Small Theatre Company by NOW! This means SO MUCH to us! SOULO Theatre runs purely on the passion of our people.   We are powered by devoted big-hearted folks who have taken a class or seen a show and wanted to be a part of what we do. If you have been touched by SOULO, it would be amazing if you could… Click this link, scroll down to SOULO Theatre and click on our name until you see this: Then hit this button: ​ AND YOU’VE VOTED!! THANK YOU!! This will help us continue our mission to make sure EVERYONE gets a chance to tell their story. All our Best, Tracey & The SOULO...

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What happens after life?

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

What happens after life?

January 7, 2013 Welcome back to the “A Year to Live” experiment, living this year as if it were my last.   Today we ask the question… What comes after life?   “All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” ―Walt Whitman In this, my fourth month of living as if it were my last year, I am asked to think about the end of life and what comes next? Steven Levine, the author of A Year to Live shares these stories from people who’ve been resurrected from clinical death: “They have interviewed hundreds of people who spoke of floating free of their bodies, hearing themselves pronounced dead, and headed across some barrier or though some tunnel, past long-departed loved ones, drawn magnetically towards a brilliant light that emanated an all-consuming peace and an all-embracing love.  Most personified the great light as Jesus or Buddha, or God herself.  Some children have spoken of meeting Santa Clause.  A few teenagers describe meeting an admired cartoon Superhero.  And for the astonished atheist, who mistakenly believed that the existence of an afterlife was dependent on the existence of a God, when in truth is depends only on existence itself, perhaps a smiling gray-haired Einstein waiting with a cup of tea to sit and talk it all out.  Most who returned from such an experience came back with three very precious insights:an increased appreciation of life, a diminished fear of death, and a new sense of purpose.”  When you read this did you imagine what the ultimate of source of everything might appear to you as?  Barbra Streisand?  Hugh Jackman?  A huge chocolate cake with real star sprinkles?  Judy Garland in her ruby slippers and a cosmic little dog made of angels wings?  Or speaking of wings, a steaming order of 12 extra hot wings sharing with you the mysteries of ever-lasting life?  In my research on this topic I found this Documentary called:  The Afterlife Investigations.  It’s fascinating… Around the 50 minute mark they talk about something called, electronic voice phenomenon.  This is when spirits speak through radios or are recorded on audiotapes and videos. No, really!  There seems to be some evidence that voices or images show up on tapes which were not heard at the time of recording and only seen or heard during playback.  Hmmm… I suddenly remember six months ago I was sitting I this very room being interviewed by my friend and media personality, Irma Gagnon, for her blog.  She asks questions about my latest solo show, and about my father and his death.  I share memories of our father/daughter trips, where we partied together, how he used to take me to old car shows and how near the end of his life I tried desperately to get him some help for what I saw as depression and sense of hopelessness. Irma has come to my home with her audio guy, Jeff, to help her capture our conversation on his electronic recorder.  We speak for about forty minutes, then we wrap up our conversation and I start talking with Jeff.  He tells me that for a long time he has been able to see spirits…of like, dead people.  He says he particularly sees them at intersections, where they have died in accidents.  He has to be careful not to make eye contact with them because then they’ll know he can see them and will want something from him. He says, ‘your dad is here.  And don’t be surprised if during your show you look up and he’s...

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This experiment is changing my life.

Posted by on Dec 26, 2012 in Blog, Uncategorized | 9 comments

This experiment is changing my life.

December 25, 2012 This Experiment is changing my life. December 18th marked the three month anniversary of the beginning of my ‘A Year to Live’ experiment.  When I realized this I was like, woah, are you kidding me?!  A quarter of my last year is done?  I felt a little panic.  But there’s so much do!  I am doing this right?  What have I forgotten?  What are the chances I’ll be able to do and feel all that I want to before it’s over?  What if I need more time!? So, I take a few breaths and decide to look back at what I have done so far in my last year. I continue to practice my life’s work of helping others share their stories and truth on stage.  I am dreaming up a new show and new workshops. I’ve checked a few things off my bucket list, like staying in a survival shelter in the middle of the woods, taking my 7 year old nephew on an adventure, seeing Barbra Striesand and Leonard Cohen and jumping out of a plane. A few of these took some deep breathing to overcome the fear. But I knew I had to go deeper. In my reading about this experiment I found it’s normal to begin all excited, writing down and then crossing things off your ‘bucket list’. And it is fun, for sure. But if you’re like me, you know your real fears are not about heights or building a shelter in the woods.  If you’re like me, your real fears live much closer to home than 12,500 feet off the ground or in some remote forest.  If you’re like me, your real fears are as close to you as your own breath.  And if you’re like me, your family and spouse may know what those fears are before you do.  A few weeks ago I became determined to uncover and face every one of my fears, before the end of my year.  If anything stands between me and real freedom, it’s overcoming my fears.  I want to die with my heart as open as it can be.  All that stands in the way is fear.    “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we can not.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt At first glance I thought this quote meant I should walk on hot coals, sky dive, do improv, write a book, etc. It’s much deeper.  The real fears seem to be about our ego’s life being threatened not our body’s life.  For me this fear is about taking the leap of faith and letting myself trust.  This has proved the deepest and hardest part of the experiment, so far.  I am determined to overcome some of these inner fears that were planted there at childhood.  When I wrote ‘snug harbor’, my solo show about losing my Dad, I shared my theory: that in childhood we create guardians (defence mechanisms) to protect us from pain.  And they do protect us, they keep us safe and help us survive.  We need them and they serve a purpose, at that time. But when we become adults, if these guardians have overstayed their usefulness they turn into gargoyles (defences that protect us not from real but imagined threats).  Instead of helping, they keep us from the thing we most want, LOVE.  These gargoyles convince us they’re doing it for our own protection.  This is what I am wrestling with and determined to banish from my humble kingdom...

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My Creative Partner in Crime…

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

My Creative Partner in Crime…

Hello Friends!   Welcome back to A Year to Live!  An experiment where you choose a date and start to live that year as if it were your last. I’d like to introduce my creative partner in crime.   The person who will be with me on this journey.  Her name is Elenna Mosoff.  She is a theatre director and creator of very cool interactive experiences for the public.  In addition to cheering me on, Elenna gives me great ideas on how to make this the most amazing, daring and transformative year of my life.  And, it seems, she’s also doing a bit of the experiment herself. Meet Elenna . . . she’s the one in these pics that’s not me, in this case she’s on the right!   ELENNA: Tracey and I only met 9 months ago and became fast friends. It’s not a coincidence that we met. In fact, we were “set up” by a mutual friend who instinctively believed that we should meet.  We both thought we were meeting for different reasons. Tracey thought I could help produce her theatre shows and I thought Tracey was going to give me access to improv performers for my show.  Regardless, this friendship accelerated at an alarming rate.  Coffee dates about theatre and work turned into hours of heartfelt sessions about life.  We began spontaneous adventures that included a train trip for the sake of the train at 5am from Toronto to Kingston, hikes at the Scarborough Bluff’s, the Scandinavian spa in Collingwood, jeep rides, canoeing to the Toronto islands, New York City shenanigans and so many more.  Tracey has added a sense of spontaneity and adventure to my life that I love, and have always wanted to share. In the spring, during one of these adventures, an overnight girls outing to my cottage, I share with Tracey about Larry, my stepfather.  Larry was one of the most authentic human beings I’ve ever known. He was eccentric, a collector of all things antique and ticking and had a penchant for life and clothing.  He was a ‘balls to the wall’ kind of guy, taking sh*t from no one and certainly never letting anyone else win an argument. He was tough on the outside with a soft spot for the under dog.  He was strong his whole life.  Then came the day he was diagnosed with Cancer. He died that day…not 8 months later when his body finally gave out. Within 5 minutes of telling Tracey about Larry, she looks at me and says, “You haven’t grieved him yet, have you?” The floodgates open and I am given permission to do just that.  Tracey was a year ahead of me on her journey of grieving a father she had lost.  Our exploration of grief has been sometimes beautiful and often like trekking through the swamplands of the soul.  Today I have moved through most of the grief and feel ready to explore life and what it means to live and love, free of fear and anger. When Tracey told me she was going to do this experiment, I had a million questions: How will you live day to day? What does your husband think? What about all the people around you? How will you pay for things? Can I really tell you what I would tell you if you were on your deathbed? Can I handle this? How can anyone in your life?  I believed she was abandoning her life and all responsibilities to merely fulfill a bucket list but it is so much more than that.  I wanted to...

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