Lovingly known as Canada’s unofficial second currency, Canadian Tire money can get you pretty far in this country. Any struggling artist knows that money is hard to come by, but Canadian Tire money is a completely different story. If you play your cards right, you can have those bills falling into your lap.
In his one-man show The Great Canadian Tire Money Caper, directed by Morgan Jones Phillips, Corin Raymond stands on stage alone. With no set, no props, no fellow actors and no spectacular sound or lighting designs, he manages to paint a picture of his life that you are sure to keep with you forever. He is a memorable and captivating storyteller, bringing every incident and every character in his story to life, making it feel as though you were right there with him through it all.
Raymond needed to record an album, and luckily for him, the studio accepted more than Canadian dollars; they accepted Canadian Tire money. That was Raymond’s golden ticket. With a little ditty, and a lot of diligence, he managed to record his album in a year and a half, with the help of thousands of dollars in donations of Canadian Tire money. For Raymond, this wasn’t just money; along with the money came stories – “people were giving [him] pieces of their lives”.
Going from telling his neighbours stories about “Super Pickle”, to learning how to juggle – the “gateway gig” – to busking, to starting his own band, Raymond has always had a passion for entertaining; he knows how to capture an audience and take them into his world. Like many young artists, however, there were always people in his life who couldn’t understand the reason why he wouldn’t go out and find a well-paying job like the rest of his family. Raymond assures us, however, that “you have to work your ass off not to have a job”, and that is precisely what he does.
This is a true Canadian story that captures the essence of the emerging Canadian artist and captures the hearts of Canadian audiences. I am not much of a Canadian Tire gal myself, but Raymond really made me wish I had a few of those bills in my wallet by the end of this show. Bravo.
The Great Canadian Tire Money Caper is playing at Mills Hardware, as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival, until July 27th. For more information, visit www.hamiltonfringe.ca.