Fringe Review: Lights! Camera! Odd Jobs?: “Be in the Moment”

2019 MONTREAL FRINGE FESTIVAL COVERAGE

Arthur MacKinnon (Photo Credit: Olivia MacKinnon)

“Lights! Camera! Odd jobs?” sheds light into the fascinating and daunting experiences of a contemporary Canadian actor trying to make a living through acting, and a few odd jobs. Arthur MacKinnon blazes through an hour of storytelling with relatable tales, wonderful impersonations and character creation, and maybe even a bit of magic. 

Through storytelling segments and impersonations, MacKinnon recounts his history as an actor. Starting from his youth as a young enthusiast, all the way to earning paychecks, his tales are nuanced and grounded. Interestingly, I found his storytelling more of a “hopeful” sentiment behind it when talking about his youth, and less so as we progressed through his timeline. 

In the first paragraph I wrote “experiences of a contemporary Canadian actor”. I put the emphasis on “a” because throughout the hour, MacKinnon let’s us get to know him as an individual. He makes the show personal. I understood his desires, and wanted him to get what he wanted. This is a great feat in a solo show that maintains the 4th wall. Even with the invisible barrier, audiences are brought along with the performer in a way that lets us get to know him. We’re not talking about the life of just any Canadian actor, we’re talking about Arther MacKinnon.


Arthur MacKinnon (Photo Credit: Olivia MacKinnon)

Something I immediately realised (especially since I purposefully hadn’t looked up the production beforehand in order to not have any preconceived notions), was just how good of a performer MacKinnon is. I didn’t know his history, I didn’t know he had been an actor from an exceptionally young age, but his presence is immediately remarkable. His eyes are alive constantly and tell a story even when he isn’t talking. His voice is vulnerable and allows us to listen in on his emotion, beyond the words he says. His many impersonations are lively, fluid and seemingly effortless. Using other characters (who were people from his past) as a device to progress his story is a good idea, and great in MacKinnon’s practice

I managed to clock the subtle changes in his mannerisms when he would go back and forth between himself and someone from his past, for example, the angle and openness of his feet and knees for one of the characters seemed to be a foundation. This is a minute detail, but when a series of these minute details comes together, a believable character is created and the audience gets to see some incredible and convincing impersonations. As an actor, I noted how well put together his performance was, and I genuinely appreciated his focus, commitment, physicality, precision and openness. Seriously impressive stuff, and it made me want to see him act in one of the roles he spoke so fondly of.


Arthur MacKinnon (Photo Credit: Olivia MacKinnon)

I do need to mention there were times when the energy felt low, and a couple of moments lasted a little longer than they needed to be. However this is forgivable since I saw the show on a hot Sunday night at 11pm, and overall the show is solid and entertaining. 

In a single word, I would describe “Lights! Camera! Odd Jobs?” as Inspiring. A very human tale of an artist making his was through the world. Almost all of us can relate to the successes and failures MacKinnon illustrates about his career, and I feel honoured to be able to be taken along for the journey. This show made me want to go out an audition more. Actors will be able to relate to the sheer hunger MacKinnon has for the camera or stage, and everyone will appreciate his humbleness and very quotable reflections.

“WHO IT’S FOR”
This is a show for storytelling enthusiasts, as well as just about any artist who takes an interest in the careers of others!


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3rd Floor Productions presents “Lights! Camera! Odd Jobs?”
at the 29th St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival

Performances: June 7 – 15, 2019
Venue: 07 – Théâtre Impro Montréal
3697 Saint-Laurent, Montréal, H2X 2V7
Admission: $10 – 12 | Ages 12+
Box Office:
514.849.FEST (3378)
boxoffice@montrealfringe.ca 
www.montrealfringe.ca

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Rahul Gandhi

Theatre Reviewer at Montreal Theatre Hub
Rahul Gandhi is an independent artist and Montreal based actor and director. Recent credits include Rafi in Centaur Legacy series' "What Rough Beast" and Fourteen in Concordia University's "Animals in Paradise". As a recent graduate from Concordia University's Acting for the Theatre, Rahul is ready to stumble blindly into the real world. As an artist, he is thrilled to be working with Montreal Theatre Hub again to watch, offer insight into, and review some of the wonderful experiences the Montreal Fringe has to offer. Catch him in "The Peers" by Infemous. @raulgeendee
Rahul Gandhi

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3 Comments on Fringe Review: Lights! Camera! Odd Jobs?: “Be in the Moment”

  1. Rahul Gandhi, what a heartfelt insightful review of Arthur MacKinnon’s Lights, Camera, Odd Jobs! We saw this play in development and your comment about his impersonations being “lively, fluid, and seemingly effortless” is what every actor works for and hopes to achieve! As well, your comment about Arthur’s “focus, commitment, physicality, precision and openness” lets readers know what makes this play so captivating…along with the “magic” you mention!

  2. Thank you for this wonderful insightful review. The show is indeed an intimate portrait of an actor’s experience of the peak moments and low valleys that accompany this vocation, as well as everything in between. I was thoroughly entertained by Arthur MacKinnon’s skillful storytelling and struck by his open, humble and genuine presence. And certainly MacKinnon’s impersonations are first rate and extremely entertaining. I’m always amazed at how a single storyteller can bring a whole cast of characters and story so thoroughly to life. A very satisfying show…Thank you Arthur MacKinnon for sharing your story and Rahul for your reflections on this gem of a show.

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