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Archive for the ‘Educational System’ Category

Interview With Mr. D’s Mark Forward

Saturday, November 23, 2013 @ 09:11 AM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Mark Forward has led a reputable career within the Canadian entertainment industry as both a comedian and actor.

 The talented actor was  born and raised in Oakville. He achieved his first notable success in 2005 when he  earned a position as a finalist in the Phil Hartman Awards and a  2005 Canadian Comedy Award-winner for Best Stand-up Newcomer.

Subsequent  to his initial success, in 2006  Forward   participated in the Just For Laugh  Festival  where he won the Canadian Homegrown  Comic Competition as well as the Halifax Comedy Festival  where he recently made his third appearance.

 Forward has  also earned his reputation from appearances on notable TV programs and commercials including ,Degrassi:The New Generation,  The Newsroom and Doc. Furthermore his appearances include series such as TMN’S  Living in Your Car and the popular  life time series, The Double Wedding.

Mark’s involvement with the on the Jon Dore Television show as writing staff  led to him being bestowed the  Canadian Comedy Award in 2008 for Writing on a TV Series.

 For the past 3 years, Mark has also been working on CBC’S hit sitcom, Mr. D as the peculiar and often hostile  and unstable librarian,Mr. Leung.With the show approaching its debut date for season 3 and Mark willing to chat for a brief interview, we discuss a variety of aspects related to his involvement with the series.

 Read the complete interview with Mark Forward below.

Abbas Karimjee:Lets start by discussing how you were appointed to the role of Leung. Did you audition or were you contacted? Could you please walk us through this initial process, with reference to your overall reactions?

 Mark Forward:Well, I started in the writers room. At first, they were interested in me playing the Role of Dwyer, which Maestro Fresh Wes now plays so well. When that didn’t pan out, I was then offered the role of the Librarian. Which at that point, had none of the crazy and fun stuff that Leung now entails. I’m glad it worked out his way in the end, I mean, who would want to play a cruel and strange slightly Chinese Librarian.

 AK:How have you related to the character of the Leung?

MF:I don’t think anyone can relate with Leung.

AK:This season   Leung and Lisa had  quite  a few negative encounters as a  result of Leung’s hatred for Lisa as evidenced from  various instances including  explicit  comments expressing his disgust towards her despite her attempts to develop a friendship. Why do you think Leung feels this way and how would you like to see this relationship   develop in the coming season?

MF:Well in season two we explored this, and it was revealed that Leung felt thought Lisa might have been in love with him.

 AK:With Mr.D approaching its third season, what are you able to reveal about what is in store for the show’s third season as well as for the character of Leung?

MF:Well, it’s a toss up between, One, He purchases a Camel, named Walter. It only has six weeks to live, and he must get it to South America, where a camel doctor has the only medicine that can save him. Or Two, more library stuff and interacting with Gerry.

AK:Since Little Mosque on the Prairie , Mr. D has  achieved record breaking ratings for CBC.Why do you think the show resonates  with such a large audience?

MF:I think Gerry has a huge following through out his career, and does really well on the show. And I think the writing team (not bias) is really great and care about the project.

AK:Do you think Mr D is reflective of Canadian culture, particularly  through the way in which it explores some of its  primary themes  such as the presence  of  unqualified teachers  within the educational system, relationships amongst   staff members as well as how staff  relate to students and e.t.c? How exactly do you feel the way these themes  are conveyed actually reflect Canadian culture?

 MF:I have no idea, nor am I going to pretend I do. I think its a fun show, I have no idea if it reflects anything, or anywhere.

AK:What are your most favorite moments from Mr. D , either on screen or offscreen.

 MF:Love working with Jon Torrens, it’s always so fun. One of the nicest people you will ever meet. And so fun to be on set with. When we have scenes together, I rarely can keep a straight face.

 AK.What message do you have for fans of  Mr D?

 MF:Make sure to separate your garbage.

AK:Have you been  working on any other projects which you would  like to share with readers?

MF:I will be appearing on John Oliver’s New York Stand up Show on Comedy Central. And just finished a movie with Alison Brie, Colin Hanks and Justin Chatwin called “No Stranger than Love” directed by Nick Wernham.

Interview With Mr. D’s Bette MacDonald

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 05:10 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]
BetteMacDonald-gallery-thumb-638xauto-253647

Bette MacDonald

Bette MacDonald has been leading a distinguished and successful career within the Canadian entertainment industry  on TV, radio and on stage performances for over 20 years.

Bette’s active involvement within the industry is evident from notable  tasks which she has undertaken such as  appearing at the Canadian Winnipeg Comedy festival as well as  working alongside Symphony Nova Scotia. The latter of the two performances was  such a success that she was brought back for an unexpected yet highly appreciated  two night encore presentation.

For the past five years, Bette and her husband, Maynard Morrision have been working on a holiday special known as “Tis The Season ” with  it having  been critically acclaimed and it has been selling out major halls since its inauguration.The production was in-fact such a success that it has consistently received standing ovations.

More recently, the actress has been starring as the tough yet  kind-hearted secretary,  Trudy Walsh in CBC’S hit sitcom Mr.D. With the show having been renewed for a third season and  the actress being kind enough  to participate in an interview with me  we  extensively discuss her involvement with the show. Particularly, we discuss aspects of how she has related to her character, how thew character of Trudy interacts with other characters on the show as well as what is in store for the third season of Mr. D. The delightful actress also reflects on the success of  Mr. D as well as the other projects which she has been working on.

Read through the complete interview below.

Abbas Karimjee:Lets start by discussing your appointment to the role of Trudy. Were you contacted or did you audition? Could you please walk us through this initial process?

Bette MacDonald:Sure Abbas.  I was contacted by producer, Mike Volpe who told me about the show idea and the character.  He said that both he and Gerry thought that I would be right for the part, so they asked me to read for it.  I’m so glad it worked out.

AK:How have you related to the character of Trudy?

BM:Well, I love playing this character.  Love it. Trudy doesn’t suffer fools, she speaks her mind and she has a great sense of style (thank you Martha Curry for the best wardrobe ever!)  I believe that when she’s not working, Trudy is living a fabulous life that her colleagues may never learn about.  Maybe she’ll be George Clooney’s new girlfriend!

AK:What challenges have you had to overcome to portray the character of Trudy?

BM:I don’t find the character challenging.  I understand her and I probably shouldn’t say this but I think Trudy and I are similar in some ways.  Oh Dear.

AK:Trudy takes great pleasure in competing with and tormenting  Robert as evidenced in various ways such as when they were competing for a gift to buy Callaghan.  How do you think Trudy feels about Robert  and how would you describe the two’s working relationship?

Trudy and Robert

MacDonald comments on how Robert’s big plans for the school does not sit well with Trudy, but how Trudy also deeply cares for the character as well.

BM: It’s very likely that Trudy has been at the school a lot longer than Robert.  He probably came to the school with a big attitude and big plans which, needless to say, would not sit well with Trudy.  In her heart of hearts, I believe she cares for Robert.  There are moments when she feels sorry for him.  Poor Robert.  Such a knob.  The fact that Robert is played by the freakishly talented and darling Jonathan Torrens makes those scenes a joy to perform.  I just love working with him.

AK:Trudy does not tolerate Gerry’s incompetence as seen from how she  reminds of him  of his responsibility to perform basic tasks, such as completing attendance and  handing  in forms. How would you describe the two’s working relationship and how do you think Trudy’s no nonsense attitude with Gerry speaks to her personality?

BM:Trudy will not tolerate any kind of disruption of her perfect system.  She is the type of gal who, by night is probably the life of the party but by day runs a well oiled machine of her making.  She probably has a system that has been working perfectly for years and here comes Gerry who will have to learn the hard way, that forms must be filled in and returned immediately!  Poor Gerry has to learn everything the hard way, doesn’t he.

AK:Trudy  often gets irritated when she feels as though she is being undervalued as the mere secretary at Xavier academy such as when Lisa put on a show  on secretary appreciation day which suggested that her main role was  as the coffee lady for the principal. How do you feel Trudy  generally feels she is viewed by her colleagues , in terms of how she contributes to the overall operation of Xavier academy. How do you feel that the way she views  the treatment she receives from others impacts her relationships with the staff members, in general?

BM:It was so hard to play angry while those sweet, lovely kids were doing their little play.  I had a hard time not cracking up.  Poor Lisa, her intentions are so good.  It’s in the execution that she has some trouble.  Trudy runs a tight ship.  She’s aware of everything that goes on at the school.   I’ve heard that every school has someone, usually a secretary, who has the keys to all the locks, who knows where the bodies are buried, who must not be crossed….. at Xavier, that person is Trudy.  I believe her colleagues learn that Trudy is not to be messed with.

AK:This past season we have seen Trudy and Lisa develop a friendship of sorts  as seen by how they spent time  after work. Why do you think they have connected together  and grow would you like to see this develop?

BM:Trudy feels sorry for Lisa.  She’s a sweet girl who tries too hard.  Trudy first started going out for the odd drink with Lisa because she likes drinks so much but eventually she began to like her.  Trudy is kind, I think but one should never mistake kindness for weakness.  Especially not in the case of Trudy Walsh.

AK:What are you able to tell us about what might be in store for the coming season of Mr D, both for the show in general as well as  specifically for the character of Trudy?

BM:This season, we laughed more, had a harder time getting through scenes without cracking up.  This season is the funniest of the three.  The characters have developed even further, their relationships are more intricate and the writing, which has always been wonderful, continues to get stronger.  I laugh out loud when I read these scripts.  The character Gerry is revealing some very interesting layers while continuing to be hilarious.  The real Gerry is hilarious and knows exactly what he wants this show to be.  He has maintained from the beginning that he wants the show to be real and as funny as it can be.  He has been very successful.  Right on Gerry!

AK:What are some of your favourite memories from working on the show thus far , either onscreen  or offscreen?

BM:There are many.  I love working with these people.  It begins with Gerry who is an extraordinarily funny and kind man.  The cast is a group of talented actors and comedians who love to work.  They will do whatever it takes to serve the scene.  The best memories so far involve doing scenes that are so funny that you spend your entire work day laughing.  In this season I was in a scene that is the funniest thing I’ve ever been a part of.  I can’t say what it is but when  you see it, you’ll know what I mean.  It’s the actor I share the scene with who makes  it so funny.  The kids in this cast are very talented and mature, far more mature than many of the “adult” actors.  We have so much fun with them.  And without them, we sometimes meet in a local pub after a day of shooting.  Love those nights and hope to have many more.

AK:Mr D has achieved record-breaking ratings on CBC  since the debut of CBC’S hit sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie with the series premiere earning a 1.3 million rating. Why do you think the show resonates with such a large audiences?

BM:Everyone can relate to this show.  We’ve all had the school experience.  There is a big teacher following, of course.  It’s a liberating thing to be able to laugh at some of the absurdity that the educational atmosphere can create and to know that you are not the only one who sees it and understands it.  More importantly, perhaps, is that the show is so funny and smart.  This show doesn’t talk down to the audience.  Everything is not spelled out, we know our audience is bright and is along for the ride.  There is an old theatre expression, “If it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage,” so we cannot overstate the importance of the writing team.  They are some of the best in the business.

AK:What message do you have for fans of the show, with MR.D approaching its third season?

BM:Well, first of all, I want to thank them for tuning in week after week.  I can say, without reservation, that season 3 is the funniest yet.  We are extremely fortunate to be able to work in this business and we don’t take that for granted.  We know how valuable the audience is and we can’t wait for them to see what’s coming!

AK:Are you working on other acting projects which you would like to share with readers?

BM:Yes!  I am currently writing our holiday show that we tour in December.  It began as a one nighter and we are now going into our seventh tour.  I’m also writing and preparing for a show that I’ll be doing in March with Symphony Nova Scotia.  This will be my third show with them.  I love working with them.  They are superb musicians and lovely people.  We take a very interactive approach.  It’s challenging and horrifying in many ways but I love it!

Thank you for asking me these questions.  I love talking about Mr. D.!

Disadvantages of Homework

Saturday, August 2, 2008 @ 01:08 AM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

The management refuses to accept responsibility for the content within advertisements posted by Google.

Here are three commonly known disadvantages of homework.

1.Homework can diminish the amount of time a child can spend on other activities such as sports, family time , leisure and other enjoyable yet beneficial opportunities.Homework swamps a child , making them very overwhelmed.Stress, depression , anxiety and other negative psychological effects can result.

2.Homework can also cause a child to believe that learning and homework have a direct connection.The child may therefore avoid true and natural learning opportunities.The child would essentially limit curiosity .A true personal and intellectual passion towards a  particular field from the child may be in jepordy.A lack of curiosity towards learning may, in the  future, result in the child exhibiting less enthusiasm in general  as the individual would have shut the door of learning and exploring fascinating concepts as result of  a negative primary educational experience.

3.Students who find homework difficult may believe that they are dumb and incapable of performing.Such individuals may lose self-confidence in themselves.These individuals may find themselves engaged in inappropriate activities merely because they feel they are incapable of succeeding and developing  academic orientated skills/talents.

Discussion   Centre

Have you found other disadvantages of homework?Has homework created problems for you or your family.What have you done  about the problem?Start a discussion below in the comments segment!

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