A selection of recent articles written by Stephen Weir and published in newspapers, magazine and websites. The articles are posted in chronological order. Stephen Weir lives and works in downtown Toronto, Canada. His motto? Always busy. Never bored.
WALTER BORDEN 81 AND STILL RAPPING
The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time
Walter Borden, the best Black stage actor in Canada, is currently busy performing in front of live audiences and educating people from the diaspora. At 81 he proclaims, "I am the mirror of your inner truth – I am you!"
However, there was a notable issue at the Sunday matinee attended by the Caribbean Camera. Almost all of the individuals in the Tarragon Theatre audience were white, and a significant number of them were older than the octogenarian actor standing before them.
The play is titled 'The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time,' and according to director Peter Hinton-Davis, "It is Walter's letter to the world. But instead of being a mere memoir, which looks backward, his epistle also looks forward to illuminating one's calling in life.”
"It is an autobiographical 90-some-minute-long monologue. It is set outside of a parking lot ticket booth where a stooped-over attendant (Borden) opens the play by sitting down on a stool to get comfy as he tells the audience his life story.
Not all of what Borden says is true. He talks in the voice of 10 different characters: the fire-and-brimstone preacher, the young woman who has turned to prostitution because she can't get welfare to feed her children, and he may or may not have been the role model for a male streetwalker, proudly talking about the number of "hand jobs" he has delivered.
Wow, Give this man a Mavor Moore Award for non-stop delivering lines non-stop. Walter can really talk, wax poetically, and deliver old-style rap. It is an exhaustive hour-and-a-half performance without cue cards, prompters, or scripts Scotch-taped to the stage. Of course, he has had a lot of practice; he spent the last 4 1/2 years working with his producers on the script. Much of it comes from an early 1986 version he performed here in Canada called 'Tightrope Time Ain't Nuthin' More Than Some Itty Bitty Madness Between Your Twilight & Your Dawn.'"
"It is easy to see that much of the storyline is based on his involvement in the hippy-era civil rights movement. Throughout, he deals with the experiences of being queer and Black.
Towards the end of the play, an Egyptian god proection appears on the back wall of the set. The god tells Borden, 'Life starts with a bang, and at the end? Your life is just a smile.'
Borden describes himself as a Black-Indigenous actor. He was born and raised in Nova Scotia back in 1942. The actor, playwright, and poet has received numerous accolades, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the African Nova Scotia Music Heritage Award. Borden also received the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award in 2006. In the same year, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2007, he received an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree.
The Sunday play ended with a standing ovation and demands for a curtain call. The mostly white audience understood it, got it and loved it. The Diaspora has until October 15th to discover Walter Borden. The Tarragon Theatre is located at 30 Bridgman Ave, Toronto, south of Casa Loma.
. Recent Huffington Post Film Story by Stephen Weir http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/../../stephen-weir/america-wild-interview_b_11397002.html Rachel Pohl - photo by George Socka “ I don’t work out. I don’t diet. I don’t prepare before climbing,” confessed 23-year old mountain climber Rachel Pohl. “ Why can I (climb up a near vertical rock face) do it? Thank my mother and father for their DNA!” The modest adventurer is starring in "America Wild: National Parks Adventure". She doesn’t simply climb mountains, she preternatural ly finds pinkie sized breaks in sheer rock faces. One foot on one side of a stone crevice, the other on a different rock face altogether. And between her legs? The great abyss. publicity still - Devil's Tower America Wild, a new Imax movie narrated by Robert Redford, recently had its Canadian premiere in Toronto. It has begun showing at museums, galleries and Science Centres all across North America. The 50-minut
The Cutlass cutting it up after very successful debut in Toronto By Stephen Weir for the Caribbean Camera Kidnapping is a cottage industry in Trinidad. The Trinidad Guardian says that it “is a crime so epidemic that Trinidad ranks second in the world only behind Colombia for its rate of abductions”. Trinidad is so synonymous with the crime that it is not surprising that a kidnap movie made on Tobago has gained a global following! Since its 2017 Canadian debut in Toronto at the local Caribbean Tales Film Festival, The Cutlass has become one of the most successful T&T feature films made. “We've actually had a bit of news for The Cutlass since we were in Toronto in September,” film producer Drew Umland told the Caribbean Camera. “ “Independent films with a very limited marketing budget really have an uphill battle trying to reach their market. It truly is a grass roots effort. Showing The Cutlass at festivals like Caribbean Tales FF in Toronto really make
Moonzir Butt Wins! Mr. CHIN International Bikini 201l chosen today at the Scotiabank CHIN International Picnic, the Bandshell, CNE Grounds, Toronto. WINNER: This year’s winner is 22-year old Moonzir Butt. The Oakville native beat out 14 other contestants in this evening’s outdoor competition. Second prize was awarded to 29-year old John Burdo and third place went to Troy Campbell. Immediately following the crowning of Moonzir Butt, the winner and two finalists were joined on stage by Serena DiMillo, the winner of yesterday’s Miss CHIN International Bikini contest. Pictured above are, from left to right: John Burdo, Moonzir Butt, Troy Campbell and Serena DiMillo. The 3-day Scotiabank CHIN International Picnic is produced by CHIN radio /TV international; a Canadian radio and television broadcaster that produces and airs programming in over 30 different languages. The contribution of CHIN Radio to the cause of multiculturalism, understanding and tolerance between people of ma