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A Monkeymovember Mid-Month Moment

Hi there. Martin Chodorek, your friendly neighbourhood Artistic Director, here.

I know, I know. I had you at, "Hello."

As you probably know by now, Monkeyman Productions is participating in this year’s Movember campaign. Today is November 15th, the halfway point, and I wanted to take this opportunity to ‘say’ a few words.

I love NFL football more than I can verbally express… which is why I’ve decided to give you a bit of a ‘halftime show’.

I hate cancer more than I can verbally express… which is why I’m, personally, participating in Movember.

Of course, Movember is about more than cancer. Movember aims to change the face of men’s health. “Oh, Marty,” you’re saying to yourself, “please tell me this is more than just license for you to employ more puns.”

It is. Men’s studies has always been a particularly fascinating field for me. The stories I’ve had the pleasure of telling with Monkeyman have often focussed on men. The company was founded by three of my closest male friends and me. We’re Toronto’s geekiest theatre company – and despite the very encouraging trends towards a greater balance of the sexes, both geeky interests and theatre have been, traditionally, heavily populated by males.

A little stubble ain't no trouble - slow but steady, here it grows.

I should state, before I continue, that I’m very proud that Uncharted Zones, our December production, will mark the first time female actors outnumber male actors in a Monkeyman cast.

But back to men’s studies and men’s health. If you watched any sports in October, you probably saw a sprinkling of pink paraphernalia for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women, I salute you. For any number of reasons, awareness of cancers affecting men, specifically testicular and prostate cancers, has historically been buried under fear, embarassment, and even indifference – despite the fact that the incidence and mortality rates for prostate cancer in men are similar to those of breast cancer in women.

In Canada, this year, more than 900 cases of testicular cancer and more than 25,000 cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed.

So, just like Monkeyman Productions takes serious, dramatic stories and puts them in a geeky or pop culture context, the Movember campaign attempts to break through the wall of misguided silence, using moustaches as catalysts to start the conversation and get us all talking about some very serious stuff.

If all you take from reading this is (a roll for) the initiative to talk to the men in your life about having an annual physical and taking steps towards living healthy lives, that’s super. Excelsior! But if you can make a donation to the Movember campaign, that would be even better.

You have until November 30th to step out of the shadows and help the cause.

Movember donations go directly to Prostate Cancer Canada and the Movember Foundation, two programs dedicated to awareness, education, advocacy, support, and research. While Monkeyman Productions is a participant and we would love the bragging rights of collecting a good chunk of change for our team, The Handlebarbarians, if you know anyone participating and want to add to his/her tally, we’ll still salute you.

And, hey, it’s almost the end of the year… think about that charitable donation receipt you’ll be able to add to your 2011 Income Tax calculations. See? If you give, everybody wins.

You can support Monkeyman Productions’ Movember efforts by clicking here.

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