I have now been in Toronto for a month (with a few trips home in between) and although I’m assuming this will feel temporary until January at least, I am starting to get my bearings.
My last post ended with my parents leaving, but a piece of home remained in the form of Johnny, who I still think of as my cousin’s best friend, but has also been a coworker and a great friend in this whole acting business. Most of the day was spent unpacking and setting things up, until Shiva arrived, making it a Tom Todoroff reunion with the 3 of us and Christie. It was also on that night that we decided to participate in Hidden Gems, an elementary school’s talent show, that has since blossomed into the idea of writing and filming our own anthology of shorts. I love writing (actually won Nanowrimo this November, even with the move, and for non-fiction en plus) and acting and these people are pretty awesome, so I am really excited for this project. For now, we had a rehearsal with the 3 kids and most of the adults, then the official audition at the school. I knew the adults were all good, having seen everyone perform at Tom Todoroff, but the kids blew me away with their emotional availability and dedication. I am definitely going to be learning from them in the coming months.
We didn’t have internet at our apartment for most of this month, so a lot of my time was spent going to cafés to do some agent sendouts, and trying to get a job in the acting world. My original plan had been to spend November in Montreal, doing these sendouts, so that I could move to Toronto in January with an agent and a job and have it all figured out. Opportunity knocked and things changed, so I am multitasking, getting settled and getting representation, but being in the city does make it easier to go to the agent meetings I get. And I managed to get myself a job doing what I did at McGill, and have already worked a couple of days at it. Hopefully by the end of the month I will also have an agent that I love, who is excited to work with me and help me build my career. If not, I’m still excited to work with me, so I’ll just have to hustle.
Recently I spent even more time in coffee shops, regardless of internet, to make new friends and meet up with old ones. First I had coffee with a director I had worked with back in Montreal, to catch up and talk about the city, but mostly because he wanted insight for a movie he is currently writing, which is awesome, because it means he thinks that I have knowledge ; ) Next there was my first Toronto Ninjas meeting, which only featured one TO ninja, but she was wonderful and someone I definitely want to meet up with again. Then I met up with someone I work with at McGill, who had done an amazing photoshoot with me once. While he probably used to be more of a colleague, I’m pretty sure that now he’s a friend. So distance can bring people closer.
I got my first opportunity to live up to my self tape promise in Toronto after being in the city for just a few days, and not only made a new friend, I got to cuddle a rabbit out of it. Also, it was in French, so always nice to ‘use it so I don’t lose it’. (For those wondering what the self tape promise is, I vowed to always say yes to help friends out with self tapes, as long as I wasn’t busy. So even if I am at home in pjs and don’t feel like going out, unless I am booked to be doing something different, I will come and be your reader. This not only works for if you ask me directly, it also works if I see your facebook post. I used to scroll by, assuming someone else who was closer to them would volunteer, but now I do anyways. Because sometimes there isn’t anyone closer, and even if there is, I love being a reader, so might as well put myself in the running.)
To prepare for all of the eventual auditions I would be getting, my roommate brought me on a tour of the studios and casting houses, which really are all super close to our house. We were there for her to audition more than for a tour, but it is exciting to see how much is going on in this city, and how many opportunities there are. Not to mention just how many Montreal expats you can randomly meet in a single café. (The answer is 5 of us, and one of them happens to be connected to all but one of the 5 people living in my house).
If you know me, you know I love movies, so while we have had a bunch of unofficial roommate movie nights, I have also started scoping out nearby theaters, catching up on my Justice League, and getting to know Ladybird.
We had a slightly impromptu very low key housewarming party, but it is the quality that counts, not the quantity, and we had a pretty awesome group of people (one even offered to build me a ladder for my loft, which may or may not have been serious, but is still really sweet). We had so much fun that night that we made plans to do it all over again the next morning at the Christmas Market. That was maybe aiming too high, given just how much fun was had the night before, but we did get to meet up after separately exploring the market, and have a pretty fun afternoon together.
Before signing up for classes, which I think I will do in January, I have been auditing them, to try and find the best fit for me in a new city, because my acting teacher in Montreal, Suzanna LeNir, is really hard to beat. I am not only excited to get into acting classes here, but also to learn new things, and maybe brush up on and improve some skills I have merely dabbled in so far. And I’m open to suggestions J
This past weekend, I had my first real Toronto audition in front of a casting director (where I somehow talked my way into a rendition of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush”), attended an open casting call and participated in the cold reading of a feature-in-progress at Toronto Cold Reads (it was the part of a seven year old, which I am told I nailed), rounding out an incredible month full of firsts and exciting new adventures. The plan is to keep the momentum going and just keep expanding my comfort zone and making the absolute best of this move.
Which will eventually mean spending more time just in Toronto, rather than all these back and forths, but I have 27 years of being a homebody, so it will take some adjusting. Back in Montreal I spent lots of time with family, was a reader on set and for a casting agency, filmed a cool new top secret project, did some background with some awesome peeps and had brunch and coffee with friends. I feel like it’s important to keep in touch, especially since I am living more like I have 2 homes than like I moved away at the moment. And don’t ever want to lose the sense that Montreal, and everyone there, is also home.
“Home is where the heart is.”
-Pliny the Elder
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”