Dr. Jeffrey Cottam – A Dickens of an Evening

November 27, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Jeffrey Cottam is a Doctor of Acupuncture, Certified Reflexologist, Cranio Sacral Therapist, who was solely responsible for introducing Myomassology into Canada. 

He is also an actor with a very special offer this Christmas Season. He will bring his one-man show of A Christmas Carol into your home or suitable space, given Covid-19 protocols, at a single price for all the people in your bubble. 

In addition to providing a wonderful and somewhat unusual entertainment to very small crowds, Dr. Cottam’s motive is also to raise money for Partera, the charity his wife, LeeAnn McKenna, founded and through which she works around the world, training people – frequently in war zones – on how to bring peace to their turmoil. 

“We do several fund raisers for her: a show and auctions and things like that. Some people who donate something every month know that 100% goes toward her overseas work. Last month she was supposed to be in Congo but no one can travel,” said Dr. Cottam. 

Currently, Ms. McKenna is doing pulpit supply and “working in Orangeville and Shelburne against racism.” 

Thirty years ago, Dr. Cottam, living in Windsor at the time, commuted to Michigan, studying Myomassology, which takes into account a holistic approach to massage by correcting the body’s alignment and involves several Chinese exercises and healing methods. 

He went on to relate his thespian history, which began during his time of study, “I also dabbled in theatre, singing, voice,” he said. “We did dinner theatre – they didn’t mind us going off the rails and doing some improv. We’d hire students of drama as well: it really was a fun dinner show, different almost every night. My theatrical beginnings were really extraordinary. Three years ago, I was in the Murder Room, where I played two roles in this British Farce, produced at Century Church [Hillsburgh]. I have been in a great many productions and musicals.” 

To further extol LeeAnn McKenna and her charity, Partera, Dr. Cottam explained that the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) gave her a Peace Award; she is a member Christian peacemaker. 

She supports the Palestinian people, which is not a popular thing. She was detained and questioned when she was travelling to Palestine and Israel on a peace mission. 

“She goes to wherever there’s conflict; she goes there to promote peace. She went to northern India to talk about peace: she brings people together and plays games with laughter and food and brings them to see there’s not much difference between them – they’ve started to do Rides for Peace,” Dr. Cottam said. 

His other incentive for offering this performance is to bring some entertainment to the theatregoers who are missing live theatre. 

The idea of small audiences is fine with him as he said, “I was in the U.K. and watched a play done for an audience of 20 and it was wonderful.”

The Citizen had the chance to speak to Bruce Ley briefly for his take on this charming, if basically serious rendition of A Christmas Carol. 

“It was great doing it with Jeff, really, really fun because it was almost like doing a silent movie,” he said. 

“I just watched and reacted to what he was doing. I played a lot; the music was very dramatic. Jeff’s great – he’s very serious about it. 

“We performed for two Christmases and we travelled quite a bit; Oshawa was the furthest, always in a church.” 

Mr. Ley said of the actor, “He really immerses himself in it.” 

Summing up, Jeff Cottam, commented, “So, I thought this might appeal to people here. Everything you see, I made it myself. I will do any date – lunch and time dinner – time and location determined by my host. I need a place to change and a spot in a room where people can see me and where LeeAnn can provide the sound. 

“I do it for $500, no matter the number of people. All of it gets a charitable receipt. People can have an amazing event. I’m hoping to raise $5,000 

“The big one is a spot on Christmas Eve, when the story actually takes place. 

“Which I am very willing to do,” he said. “Covid-19 is changing things but I’m hoping we can work around it.” 

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