Moving to Toronto gave me a second chance to attend the ACTRA Awards 🙂
We weren’t sure if doors opened at 7:30 or if that was when the ceremony started, so we were there really early. Which gave us time to catch up and meet some new people.
When the elevators started bringing people up, we were among the first batches, so after signing in, checking our coats and getting our bearings, we went to get pictures with the ACTRA backdrop. It wasn’t until much later that we realized we weren’t supposed to be taking pictures yet, only the nominees were. Which explained why the photographer had asked us who we were, sounding like he was surprised he didn’t already know. My friend jokingly told him, “We’re actors. We’re awesome.” Thinking he was just making conversation, rather than trying to figure out why we belonged there. Which we didn’t. Yet.
We spent a little over an hour working the room before going into the theater for the actual show. There was a band, God Made Me Funky, while we found our seats, then Colin Mochrie was our host. He was hilarious.
My biggest takeaway of the night was Theresa Tova’s speech. As the president of ACTRA Toronto, she came onstage to speak, and what I expected to be the customary thank you for coming speech quickly turned into a jaw dropping life lesson. She shared stories about her mother that broke my heart and inspired me to the highest point, then had everyone standing when discussing history and the current Time’s Up, Me Too and Got Your Back movements. She is my new Oprah.
“Get used to it. There’s no one in your life you’re going to meet who won’t hurt you.”
-Theresa Tova’s mother
I can’t say I really knew Jennifer Podemski’s work before the show, but after her acceptance speech, I definitely want to check it out. And create things. And help people. And make a difference. Because everyone has the power to change the world, even if it’s just for one person.
We ended off the night with more networking and some dancing. I made it a point to go up and talk to people I was maybe a little intimidated to. And although I still have the set mentality where you can’t go up and talk to the actors unless they talk to you, I still pushed myself to tell some people how much I appreciated their panels, or how much their work had touched me.
The evening was an absolute success, and I already can’t wait for next year!
“We all deserve to be here on this earth and we all deserve our stories to be heard.”