Most of this week has been spent wearing my writer and producer hats. We had 3 production meetings for Little Bird (which goes to camera next week!), and I am pushing through a new draft for Prophecy (which comes out next month!). I also made time for a tiny but momentous acting task…
Getting my FULL ACTRA MEMBERSHIP!!! For the non-actors out there, ACTRA is the Canadian actors’ union (on the English side). There are multiple ways to join (background work, theater school, a role) as an apprentice, but then you need 3 credits to be a Full Member (unless you get in through a reciprocal agreement with SAG or Equity). I applied for my final permit yesterday, then filled out the application and officially became a Full Member with a new number and everything. I’m a bit of an eager beaver so I’ve already done the online training stuffs, but I have a very busy week ahead of me once we go to camera.
I rounded off my week with some Jiu Jitsu classes and visits to the dentist, then I’m ending it tonight by going home for Thanksgiving. With a shipment of Gata from my boyfriend’s mom because she is the best. Hopefully there’ll be some left by the time we get there 😉
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
After finishing a new first draft of Prophecy as the first book in a trilogy, I spent last Monday reading it with a notebook to keep track of things. I find it really useful to write down any important information I reveal about characters (eye color, likes and dislikes, dates, etc.) or the story, so that I don’t contradict myself. It is especially useful when you are writing more than one book in the same universe. In addition to facts, I make myself a list of things that need to be changed or added. This can be for mistakes (if I wrote that she was 12 a decade ago, then say she is 26, I have some math that needs fixing), creative decisions (removing a character, changing their name) or missing information (not enough background on a character, they come out of nowhere, she suddenly has a car that wasn’t there in the last scene…). I do this chapter by chapter, then add notes in previous or later chapters (mention x before they meet her, bring up y so we know she hasn’t forgotten him). Sometimes I’ll just write questions, like “Did she know this?”, “Who is Spencer?”, “Why did he do that?”, so I know I need to figure that out before I write the next draft.
Once I have answered all of the questions and figured out where everything goes, that is when I’ll start the next draft. Right now I am also waiting on my Alpha Reader (my mom), to let me know what she thinks about the story and the characters, so I know if everything is coming across like I want it to, and if the story is interesting for people who are not me. In the meantime, I am working on the novellas, character backstories and some compulsive planning, because that’s how I roll.
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday I did background, each of them an awesome experience. I was referred to as ‘our hero’ on one set, booked as SSE and learnt a whole lot on the next one, and wrapped within 2 hours on Friday.
I only went to Jiu-Jitsu twice, which sucks, but was also the smarter thing to do. On Thursday I did some Brand Ambassador work on a van, which was a lot of fun, but I sort of fell through the cracks in the early morning. I was praised for my acrobatic abilities in catching myself and preventing what could have been a lot more damage, but I still ended up very bruised with a slice of skin missing (a very thin, small one, don’t worry). I probably still would have gone, but my foot was swollen and gently brushing three-quarters of my legs brought pain, so I decided to wait until the swelling went down to go back to class.
On Saturday I attended the Fall Member’s Conference with ACTRA, which is an awesome opportunity to learn valuable information while mingling with old friends and new acquaintances who share your interests. The day started off with a screening of some TiP projects, which are low-budget, ACTRA-approved films like Get-together and Touched. These are both in post-production stages and waiting to go through the festival circuit, but I would absolutely love to have them screen at ACTRA once they’ve made their way around. It was really inspiring to see what you can accomplish when you get a bunch of actors together.
Next I went to the TAWC (Toronto ACTRA Women’s Committee) Page-to-Pitch Session, where we had industry leaders share how they got their projects off the ground before 3 brave souls went up and pitched us their ideas. It was really interesting to hear these new ideas and then get the feedback that the experts provided, which was sometimes a question I was asking myself, but other times something I completely missed because I don’t get pitched to all the time and just heard the awesomeness of the ideas.
Next, we had lunch, where I caught up with some friends and slightly kidnapped a baby. I had the mother’s permission, but I also claimed her for the next 20 minutes or so, as she tried to devour my hair and my shoulder. It is moments like this (and when the childcare workers bring a baby to the door of our classroom so a mother can breastfeed and not miss anything) that make me realize how incredible and badass mothers are. They get it all done. Everything that I have to do, plus a million other things because they have tiny humans that depend on them for everything. They’re superheroes.
After lunch we attended the plenary session to find out what’s going with ACTRA this year, then I went for round 2 of Page-to-Pitch. This time, 10 ‘presenters’ went to another room with the executives and they pitched in private (with the knowledge and comments from this morning) while we got a presentation on being an entrepreneur, an often overlooked facet of our industry, and figuring out how to analyze your idea and build on it, how to network, etc. Very interesting.
At the end, both groups merged and we got comments and a Q & A session with the executives who went off to hear the pitches.
I learned a lot from these sessions, including the fact that I don’t think I want to be a showrunner. Or write a TV series. At least not for now. I loved the ideas and information and tried to transfer it for books, but I am no Mindy Kaling. Even when I produce a short film, I need to no longer be in charge while I do the acting part. Ideally, I would like to write a book series while acting in a TV series. And producing films with amazing people. Wouldn’t that be perfect?
There was a wine and cheese thing to finish off the conference, so I met a few new friends and said goodbye to my people before heading home for date night. After supper, we watched Murder Mystery, which was filmed in Montreal so I got to see some of my Montreal friends. I enjoyed it, but possible spoiler alert, I went in knowing Gemma Arterton is not 4 years younger than me.
On Sunday I did a few hours of ultrasounds then went to a Barbecue. There was delicious food, excellent company, we watched some of the Emmys, and I got a beautiful notebook from Venice to write some stories in.
“Treat your family like friends, and your friends like family.”
Monday morning my mom and I went for a very early morning hike, then I went home and wrote for a bit before we tried a new Body Pump class with my aunt. I did not like the class, at all, but I must have gotten a good workout because my thighs hated me (and stairs) for days afterwards.
I spent the afternoon cooking and doing a bit of writing before going to hang out with my grandparents. After supper I hung out with one of my new favorite people for an hour or so, definitely overstaying my welcome, but it made my day/week/year/life.
When I got home I watched American Ninja Warrior with my parents. This show is so inspiring and really reminds me that I need to up my game and start training again.
On Tuesday I did background in a spa, where I spent half the day reading a magazine in a lounge chair and the other half writing books on the floor in the hallway. I don’t need much to be entertained, but I do need to see the words I am writing.
That night we watched Otherhood when I got home and I really enjoyed it. It’s the kind of movie you should watch with your mom on mother’s day if you’re lucky enough to have her. After you’ve remembered to call her and bring something to let her know how much you love and appreciate her of course.
On Wednesday the weather did not cooperate with our hike, so I stayed home and wrote before a little family outing. I spent more time with some of my favorite people, then had lunch with mostly the same group, plus or minus a few people.
Wednesday evening my brother and his fiancée had me and my dad over for supper while my mother went out. It is always good times with them, but I also learned a lot about my father that I did not know. I had bits and pieces, and knew things that would imply others, but never put it all together. I basically discovered that he is amazing, and I am beyond lucky to have him as my dad. To have two parents who love me unconditionally and support me in all of my endeavors…I don’t think I always deserve it but I am eternally grateful.
On Thursday my mom, my aunt, my cousin and I hiked Mont-Tremblant. It took us a little over two hours and I tried to keep up with my cousin who is taller and in way better shape than me, but it was hard. The views were incredible and the company was top-notch, but I think I need to do it more often. It’s a beautiful and fun way to get a workout in 🙂
Once the hike was done, we went to Mucho Burrito for supper. I only mention this because you might be thinking, like me, that they have burritos and rice and refried beans and a bunch of heavy, TexMex food. I didn’t explore the entire menu, though I’m sure they have all that, but they also have delicious bowls. I had half-rice, half-quinoa with beans, chicken, fresh corn, pumpkin seeds, fresh peach salsa…it was fresh and yummy and I would definitely recommend.
I took the train back to Toronto, meeting a man from Poland and getting some writing done, even if I accidentally got a rear-facing seat and slightly got carsick. I have yet to take the bus for my back and forths, but the train was a wonderful way to spend nearly six hours writing instead of listening to podcasts and singing along to the radio.
On Friday I got to have breakfast with the boyfriend after being away forever, then got a bunch of writing and admin stuff done before going to set for 2:30. It was at a studio and a really nice set to be on, but a short DAY shoot turned into working past 2 am. It just goes to show that you never know what to expect. I made new friends, caught up with some old ones, got some writing in and even did some knitting. A very productive day, if I do say so myself.
On Saturday I mostly did writing until a fitting. It’s for background on a short film about Female Air Force Pilots and I am so psyched to be a part of it, in any capacity. We went to open mat at 4 points afterward, where the boyfriend helped me go through all of the moves I was worried I had forgotten during my absence.
We spent the evening with Ali and Gözde from the gym, which is always a wonderful time. We tried Monga Fried Chicken, which was very yummy, with mochi ice cream for dessert. I was first introduced to this delicacy back in August and I definitely approve. The black sesame had a pretty strong taste, but it was very good, and you can never go wrong with vanilla. We were going to watch a movie, but got carried away with the talking, which I’m pretty sure is a good thing.
On Sunday I finished a new First Draft of Prophecy, taking into account all of the changes I have been making to the story. I also did some Brand Ambassador work and had supper with the boyfriend’s family, which I love to do.
Another awesome thing that happened this week and I almost forgot is the options for my cover! I received 3 possible covers for Prophecy and am currently going through them to figure out which version, or combination of them I want to use for my book. I know the expression is “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but we’re also aware that it’s how most people decide if they want to read a book, or at least the back of it. Here’s to more books with awesome covers!
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”
Shards of Glass has been out for a week! I couldn’t be more touched and amazed by all of the wonderful comments and support I have been receiving. I was terrified to put the book out there because only my mom had read it before I decided to go on this publishing journey. Now I have sold way more than the 5 copies I was expecting, and people are actually reading it.
That was the part that scared me the most, because I knew I had family who would get my first book to support me, but I wanted them to like it. I wanted people I didn’t know to get the book and enjoy it, not because I wrote it, but because it’s a good book. I have teared up several times this past week over the beautiful reader responses. Thank you so much to everyone who has reviewed it on amazon and goodreads!
I drove back to Toronto from Montreal and was on set doing background the following days. I also worked on my next book, the first in The Owens Chronicles. It’s a paranormal/fantasy series, and Emily is a few years older than Rachel, but I’m sure you’ll love her too. Research and plotting has been so much fun, but I am excited to be in the actual writing part now, as well as getting cover ideas whenever I need to procrastinate.
That pretty much covers my week. What about yours?
If you have a copy of Shards of Glass, post a picture of yourself with the book or your tablet. I would love to share them. It’s incredible to think that this book started out as an idea in my head. Now it’s something tangible that you can hold…Crazy!
“Follow your dreams. If you have a goal, and you want to achieve it, then work hard and do everything you can to get there, and one day it will come true.”
I took the month of July off from Jiu-JItsu because of the whole vasovagal syncope thing. I still got to practice a bit with the 4Points Summer Camps. We did Jiu-Jitsu and Obstacle Courses in the morning, then spent the afternoons acting. Every week of camp, the kids got together to come up with a story idea, write a script, then put it all on camera. Dave is editing the videos and I can’t wait to see how it all turned out.
I spent a few days in Montreal for my cousin Steve’s birthday party and a Baby Shower for my two nephews. Chelsea and Rikki will either be grateful or super annoyed by my semi-constant presence. Hopefully their babies will love me for it.
While I was in town, I also went to a shooting range with famjam, and met with JF for cover designs. Let’s just say I was beyond excited.
Speaking of covers, Johnny finalized the poster for our short, get-together, and it is amazing!
We celebrated the boyfriend’s father’s birthday, but I had to wait a few days to see my dad for his. We were supposed to film the Encounters, but setbacks piled up until we had no choice but to postpone. Luckily, Hubert and I met and got the first steps ready for our next project. He is all about building momentum and I am all for it.
I also had a doctor’s appointment, where we still don’t know what caused the fainting, but she is still looking into it, which is reassuring for me.
I finished the month in Montreal, where I celebrated my niece’s birthday, went hiking, worked for my Uncle, finished my July CampNanowrimo project and researched a trip to Hawai’i!
As for August, I have been fully immersed in preparing for something HUGE that happens tomorrow. Except for the 2 days I spent in the heat dressed as a turtle, but such is the hustle. I am so nervous and excited to share it with you all!
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
I started writing this post with the intention of publishing it a few weeks ago, but something happened on the morning I was going to finish it that made me reluctant to post it at all. Writing it the way it was planned felt like I was being dishonest, while editing it to include my new circumstance felt like I was looking for attention. But this is where I share my story and get held accountable, so here it goes.
June was a very fun and productive month. I got booked through a stunt coordinator for 2 days of SSE (Special Skills Extra) on a movie. I got to wear a really cool costume while making sure the stunt performer didn’t land on anyone in the crowd. Definitely something I would love to do again.
A problem I was pretty excited to have was that I booked so much work that I had to cut my trip to Montreal short. I spent a day in Quebec with my mom for the Premiere of Deep Web on the 9th, had a fake Father’s Day on the 10th, then drove back to Toronto after little more than 24 hours.
What was supposed to be a couple of days turned into a full week of background work as a high school student. It was long days with a lot of downtime, since they were mostly filming by section, but I was in heaven. I brought my laptop with me and got to finish my 5th Draft of Shards of Glass while we were in holding. There was an entire day where I was only used for 30 minutes, so I was basically paid to write. Whenever we were called to set, I brought some loose pages with me and plotted out a 17 book series. I am so excited for all of the things I will someday get to write! This was probably my most productive week ever.
On the 15th, we had a production meeting for Touched, where we got to explore our filming location. We were incredibly lucky that Hubert’s friend had his house for sale, so we got to film in a multi-million dollar home. Once the Touched meeting was done, I had a coffee date with Steph, our 1st AD. She was also the 1st AD for get-together, but this was my first time sitting down and actually getting to know her. All I can say is that I wish I had done it so much sooner, and can’t wait to spend a lot more time with her.
The 16th was the boyfriend’s birthday, so we did whatever he wanted to do, which included open mat. Not sure if I’ve explained this before, but Open Mat is where a bunch of people practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from different gyms come together and roll with each other. You get to try out your technique on people who weren’t trained exactly like you, learn new things and in my case, roll with people my own size.
On the 17th we met with our business rep at ACTRA and I applied for my permit, which gives me my 2nd of the 3 credits I need to be a full ACTRA member. I spent the next 3 days working as a Brand Ambassador, which was stressful with all of the pre-production stuff going on with Touched. In the future, I would try my best to not book work up to the day before we go to camera on something I am acting in and producing.
I’ll make a separate post all about our 2 days of Touched, but suffice it to say it was an awesome experience that I hope to be repeating soon, and often.
The day after Touched was a day of rest, and to celebrate a year with the boyfriend <3
I did my last day of background on a show I was doing continuity on, had our last TAWC meeting before the summer break, then drove to Montreal.
Once there, I established a routine of Hike, Write, Repeat. I would wake up around 6 in the morning, go for a hike on Mont St-Hilaire with my mom, then spend the day writing/reading my latest draft out loud with my mom to make sure it all sounded good. I can’t thank her enough for the countless hours she spent helping me edit Shards of Glass.
Of course, I also did things like hang out with my grandparents, have a book meeting with JF and watch my niece play soccer, but Hike, Write, Repeat was the routine. I was all set to continue this routine on Friday. I brushed my teeth, got dressed, sort of slipped/mostly caught myself going down the stairs, walked it off, then woke up with my mom trying to shake me awake while crying on the phone with 911.
This wasn’t my first time fainting. It happened like that in May 2012, and I passed out one of my first days as a reader, but that time I woke up as soon as I hit the floor. This time, I had no recollection of crossing the room to where I passed out against the couch, then apparently flung myself backward, slamming the back of my head against the side of a table before convulsing on the ground. Which is how I woke up. All I knew was that I did not like seeing my mom cry like that, so I sat up as best I could, ignored the pain in my head and tried to assure her I was fine and she didn’t have to worry. She ignored me and called an ambulance, who brought me to the hospital. They drew lots of blood, monitored my heart and I totally bombed the neuro exam, but they didn’t seem concerned. Whereas last time this happened, I wasn’t allowed to drive for 2 months while they made sure I wasn’t epileptic, this time I was given the okay to drive 6 hours to Toronto the following day. Not because I was fine, but because they couldn’t figure out a cause. They labeled it a vasovagal syncope, with no actual trigger. They told me it could happen more often now, or never again, they had no idea, but they could mostly guarantee it wouldn’t happen while I was driving. Let’s just say I wasn’t reassured.
My mom would re-enact my episode a lot over the next few days, partially as a distraction from the heartbreaking funeral we were a part of on Saturday, but also to convince herself it wasn’t that big of a deal. Still, she would occasionally look at me and start crying, and she avoided being alone with me again.
On Sunday I convinced her and my dad to go on a hike with me, because I knew that if I didn’t go, they would be nervous and maybe never let me go again. We got caught in a torrential downpour as soon as we reached the top, which I felt really bad for, but it also shows that I have the best parents in the world.
I drove back to Toronto, with a friend who did most of the driving, and had a game plan in case I fainted during the tiny bit at the beginning where I was the driver. So overall, a pretty awesome month, but not all of the excitement was welcome.
I could have made this post and left out the fainting episode, but it happened. I have been taking it easy and am seeing a doctor in Toronto to try and get to the root of the problem, so no one should worry, I am fine. If anything, now you know that random fainting episodes do happen, not just in the movies, and please, if ever something happens to you or someone you love, don’t just put it off or assume you’re fine. Listen to your body. Take care of yourself. You need to stand up for yourself like you would your best friend or little sibling. As L’Oreal says, You’re Worth it.
“Don’t like someone. Love someone. Don’t stand up for yourself. Fight for yourself. Don’t be strong. Be indestructible.”
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of work opportunities, family and writing. There were ups and downs, but overall I am so excited for what I hope is to come.
I have a list of priorities, that I tried to find an acronym for. I eventually ended up with WRAMPS, so that is how I am going to break down this Blog Post.
As you may have read in my last post, I’m in the thick of the 4th draft of a book I started in 2003. I realized it was partially written by a 13-year-old and I was trying too hard to stay true to that story. So I decided to rewrite it. Instead of starting with a blank word document (which I would have copied and pasted most of the original draft into), I started with a blank notebook. This way I have to rewrite everything and think about my words instead of settling for what was there. I am on my second notebook, and I think the story is definitely getting better as I go along. And I am catching so many bad writing habits that I have, words I like to use way too often.
I am hoping to publish in August, which is possibly overly ambitious (my friend was very convincing when he suggested 6 months, but I’m a little hard-headed). Either way, please sign up for my newsletter. I am aiming to put out one a month or so, and I’ll try to make them interesting 😉
Writing isn’t first because it’s my top priority, this is just how the letters scrambled into a word. However, I make lists and goals and schedule things all the time, and I’m always excited at the possibilities. This is the first time that one of these plans, my writing plan, has given me purpose, and felt 100% achievable.
This includes the romantic variety (like date nights, hand-holding and John Wick watching), but also family, which means a busy trip back to Montreal. I went hiking with my mom, hung out with my parents, spent some time with my grandparents, ran around with my nieces, had brunch with my cousin and got a ton of writing & publishing advice for my friend, who happens to be a published author.
This is where I had most of the ups and downs. Basically one down and a lot of ups.
My agent removed me from her roster. I can defend myself against some of her reasons, but it was a valid decision. She raised some good points about my priorities and efforts lately. I have been doing a lot of things to try and move my career forward…but they weren’t the things that my agent needed me to be doing. I submitted a self-tape knowing it wasn’t my best work. Not how I would want a casting director to remember me. I told myself I wouldn’t get the part anyway, so I sent something okay, but nowhere near what I could have done.
The whole thing made me take a good hard look at my priorities and what I am working for. Right now I am so busy in writing and pre-production mode that I wouldn’t be good on a new roster. So I am going to clear my plate, do some research and build up my team.
The ups for acting are obviously a lot more fun. I went to some TAWC meetings. I’m figuring out which amazing writer to bring in for our workshop this month. We had our Nell Shipman Award Gala, which was wonderful and inspiring and magical and everything I hoped it would be. Sherry White is amazing and should give Ted Talks. I tip my hat to my fellow TAWC members, who are so dedicated and supportive and inspiring. They are go-getters who don’t sit around and wait for things to come to them, they make things happen. I am so proud to be one of them.
Right now, I make my money from Background, Standardized Patient and Brand Ambassador work. I enjoy all 3, for many different reasons. One gives me the opportunity to be on set, one lets me hone my acting skills and all 3 give me the flexibility to be available for big opportunities. Lately, I really enjoy getting paid to write. There’s a lot of downtime with these jobs, and I have been using it wisely. Being paid to write usually means a book advance or someone paying you to write something, but I still think this qualifies.
I hope to produce a project at the end of August, but for now, my Producer-brain’s focused on TOUCHED. We went to our meeting with ACTRA, have most of our crew and are missing one location. We even held auditions to cast our leads, which was so interesting. Not because our actresses screamed bloody murder and aroused the attention of the receptionist. Actors need to see what it’s like on the other side of the casting table. The decisions are hard. So many actors brought it and a lot of them made me cry. So many factors make a person right for a part. Most of it is out of the actor’s control. It’s even out of my control, and I was sort of the casting director. I am happy with our choices, and can’t wait to see how it all comes together in a few weeks.
(Being in) Shape
This one is mostly jiu-jitsu, which I have been missing out on lately because of work. I can’t complain, but I hope to get back into the groove and work on my moves 🙂
“The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.”
We’re secure! By that, I mean that there is a little lock icon beside the website url because I fixed the security issue and people should be able to find the blog again. Amanda 1, Technology 0, right?
This past month has been pretty consistent as far as working for the gym and doing Jiu-Jitsu classes, doing background as a high school student and living a multitude of lives as a standardized patient. There’s also some new/exciting things happening.
For starters, I turned 29 and celebrated and had a wonderful time. Then I realized I only have one year left to accomplish my 30 by 30, and slightly panicked. But I’m okay with hustling.
I filmed a little short with a friend of mine, where I got to be sassy and get yelled at. You can see the full clip here.
I took an acting class at Armstrong Acting Studios. It has been ages since I was in a consistent acting class and it makes me miss Suzanna‘s so much. I loved continuously having scripts to work on, characters to live and friends to see!
I competed in the Ontario Open. I fought hard and was proud of myself, but tapped out to an armbar I probably should have fought harder against. Still, I left with a Bronze medal, that makes me want to work harder to deserve it next time.
We had our monthly TAWC meeting, a meeting to prep for the Gala next week, and we had the Post-Production and Film Festival Strategy Content Development Session that I put together. There weren’t that many people this time, but everyone there was really interested and asked good questions. I definitely learnt a whole lot. Filmmaking is a million tiny pieces coming together, and although it sometimes seems so daunting and scary, it is also so exciting and I can’t wait to do more of it.
I celebrated Easter with my boyfriend’s family, which included egg fights. Not in the sense that you throw eggs at each other, like I misunderstood, but in a very civil manner, you have a one on one egg smashing competition. It’s nice to have that family vibe here in Toronto when mine is all in Montreal.
I did some Brand Ambassador work at the Blue Jay’s Games, though you wouldn’t recognize me if you saw me. I’ve been a giraffe and a turtle so far, with an amazing view of the games during my breaks.
I went to Montreal for less than 24 hours to celebrate my badass cousin, Rikki, getting her MBA. I also managed to hang out with my nieces and spend time with my family, so the visit was 100% worth it.
The two most exciting things on my docket right now are Touched and Shards of Glass. Touched is a short film I am co-producing and acting in, which we will be filming in late June. For now, there are all kinds of production meetings and research and paperwork and getting it all together so we can start preparing for the next one. It’s the kind of project I am so excited to be a part of that I keep thinking it can’t really be happening. But so far it is 🙂
Shards of Glass is a book that I started writing in 2003. Then I chose it for Camp Nanowrimo in July 2015. Since then I have been half-heartedly editing it, cutting my darlings, building up the courage to eventually share it with someone who isn’t my mother…and now it will be the first book that I will publish. August 15th if all goes well. I will definitely keep you all posted 🙂
This week was pretty awesome on all fronts. On Monday I worked from home and got to see the rough cuts for a few scenes from Get-Together, which looks amazing from a completely unbiased perspective. Then I spent the afternoon/evening on set doing background.
On Tuesday I spent the whole day on set and got so much side work done. I am playing a student so I get to walk around with pens and notebooks and spend scenes (or in between takes) writing, which is the absolute best for me. I plan my months, I come up with story ideas, I plot my Nano camps…let’s just say it leads to doubly productive days.
On Wednesday I caught up on some admin stuff, TAWC emails and submitted to Toronto Cold Reads before going to work at the gym. For the 7 o’clock class, we were an odd number, so one of the kids from the earlier class who was waiting for his dad came down and joined us. He didn’t know any of the adults or teens in the class, so he chose to be paired up with me rather than someone closer to his size. He was not only an excellent partner for me, he also learnt all kinds of new moves and did them for himself as well. We definitely don’t give the tiny humans enough credit.
On Thursday I worked at the gym again and had a nice relaxing supper before figuring out this whole blog mess. I am probably going to be changing out the theme every week or so until I find one I love, but at least the blog is up and running again. I also found out that I got accepted into Toronto Cold Reads for this Sunday!
On Friday I was on set again. 3 days in one week is pretty exciting if I do say so myself 🙂 Normally I love staying later and volunteer when some people are wrapped and others get to stay, but that night I was really happy when they sent me home. The shoot was possibly going to end around 4:30 am and I was leaving for Montreal around 5. Not a very good combination.
Saturday morning we drove to Montreal so we could have lunch with my grandfather for his birthday, then I spent the afternoon doing my taxes with my mom. That night, we went to Rikki’s for her birthday party, which included nachos, tacos and a bunch of karaoke. I also accidentally drugged my boyfriend with night time NeoCitran, so we left a little earlier than planned.
On Sunday we had the Easter Hunt at my grandparents’ house. It’s kind of bittersweet that it was the last time we would have a group of 10 people in their twenties and thirties hopping for chocolate, but I’m really excited to start doing it with actual kids again.
After some chicken and waffles and birthday celebrations, we left so I could get back to Toronto in time for Love You Better to be read at Toronto Cold Reads.
It was really exciting to hear my words read out loud by strangers, and I took pages of notes on audience reactions and questions the actors had and what lines were harder to say/didn’t come out naturally. The music had been great and the other script I heard from the writing competition was hilarious, but I had to head out early before having a supper consisting solely of chocolate bars.
All in all it was an awesome week of sets, family, having my work be read out loud in public, and a bunch of small victories.
“Take your victories, whatever they may be, cherish them, use them, but don’t settle for them.”
This year started off with me joining in on a lot of new traditions. After having celebrated Christmas with my family, we came back to Toronto to celebrate New Year’s with my boyfriend’s. New Year’s is a big deal in his family, so we went to a dinner/party on the 31st, then spent most of the 1st at his parents’, where friends came over to ring in the New Year.
It was a short stay in Toronto before we went back to Montreal for Rikki and Jonathan’s wedding. We decorated the hall and had a little party on Friday before a sleepover, then Saturday was all about hair and makeup and getting everyone ready for the ceremony. They had a photographer that they’d met in Italy who took pictures of us getting ready, during the ceremony and all night long. We may or may not have started crying long before Rikki got anywhere near the aisle.
My brother officiated, and there were very few dry eyes by the time he was done his introduction. Because Jonathan is French and Rikki is English, it was a bilingual ceremony, but Rikki said her vows in French, letting Jonathan say his in English. It was beautiful.
The night was a blast from beginning to end. Delicious food, amazing company, personal serenades and heartfelt speeches. I also had the very best date for the night, who stayed by my side on the dance floor because he knew I wanted to dance, even though I’m very sure he didn’t. We had a brunch on Sunday before driving back to Toronto.
We got back to training at 4 points and welcomed back our coaches from their holidays. Ayisha, knowing my slightly obsessive planning, got me a migoals planner, which I spent the better part of 3 days using to figure out my next five years. It’s always a challenge to balance dreaming and reality, but I am so excited to make everything I wrote down come true.
Eventually, I had to go back to Montreal to work at the Auto Show. I had 2 days of training, then one day to figure out my taxes (always fun) before a 10 day run in the Buick Café. The job was pretty easy, because most people like you when you’re handing out free coffee, but my favorite part was the people I worked with, who taught me the very basics of being a barista when we weren’t busy. I don’t exactly like coffee, but I did enjoy making it.
I was working during almost all of my usual Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes, but I did manage to barter my way to be able to go to 3 classes at 3 different gyms. At BTT headquarters an awesome purple belt tightened up my moves before we learnt some half guard stuff. At the St-Hubert branch I was first considered a newbie, then once I proved myself with the first few moves, my training partner decided to teach me some of the blue belt curriculum. And at the Beloeil gym, I taught some curriculum to a fellow white belt before getting in some intense rolls.
A storm delayed my coming home to Toronto, so I got to do a day of UDA background work, which was great because I got to catch up with a friend from McGill.
When I finally got to drive back to Toronto, I stopped on my way for a quick interview with Danny MAlin for the Yes Lets Make a Movie film festival. This guy works so hard for the Montreal acting community and hustles like you have no idea. It was an absolute pleasure and I can’t wait for the festival in September.
My first month of the year was a bit of a whirlwind and over before I got to do most of the things I wanted to. Time to make a game plan for February.
What about you? How was your January?
“So I just want to say to the people that are at home and not working as frequently as they want, you’re just one job away. You’re plenty talented. Hang in there.”