Tournaments, YEAA and Trips

So much has been happening lately! Right after my last post, I competed in the Next Gen Jiu-Jitsu tournament, which was quite an adventure.


I woke up on the morning of the competition with my biggest fear being that I would tap out within the first few seconds and have all these people who came to watch me there for nothing. This lasted until I got on a scale and realized that unless I got to work, I wasn’t going to be able to compete at all. Tapping out would be embarrassing, but not being able to compete because I weigh too much would definitely be worse. I was wishing for the simple opportunity to get to tap out a few seconds in.

I spent a stressful morning watching others compete and running around with a bunch of layers so that I could sweat the weight off, but stressing out about my weigh-in kept me from stressing about the actual competition, so it was filled with relief, not fear that I went into my match, less than 5 minutes after making weight.

In the end I got choked out two and a half minutes in, but I fought hard up to that point, and was really proud of myself. Not to mention that the girl who beat me went on to beat everyone else and won the gold medal. All in all it was a great day, and everyone went out for supper afterwards to celebrate our defeats

My parents were in town to watch me compete, so I spent a lot of time with them, visiting family and Niagara, before going to a bridal shower in Cornwall. It wasn’t quite home, but still felt like it time-wise after spending over 8 hours in the car that day. Still, I wouldn’t have missed it. It was so nice to see family and celebrate Jessica’s upcoming wedding. I even ended up driving back to Toronto with the bride-to-be, after a delicious supper at her grandmother’s.


I had a week of summer camp, where the kids wrote their own play, worked on songs and auditions, we did obstacle courses, made bracelets and all kinds of cool things. I also went to my first YEAA meeting for the short we are filming later this month. It was really cool to meet the other filmmakers that were chosen, to hear their concepts and to find out exactly what this project entails.

I left that meeting to go meet my Director at William F White’s and discuss our visions for the short. The closer we get to the date, the more I get excited (and obviously nervous) that this is really happening.

A few days later, we held a mixer at ACTRA to meet potential actors and crew members. So many interesting people, and one of them will be our Director of Photography once we start production on August 18th.

Once camp was done on the Friday, Ayisha and I headed to Montreal for a week filled of training, self-tapes, family stuff and cool events. It started off with my cousin’s engagement party, which was super cute and my aunt definitely went above and beyond with the tiny details, like personalized water and wine bottles for the couple.

Next we had breakfast with Christine and a pool party at my grandparents before attending the Yes Let’s Make a Movie Festival at the Cinema du Parc. It was awesome to see so many familiar faces, and to get to see some really interesting shorts on the big screen. Ayisha and I celebrated with a supper at the Keg, where we also made game plans and discussed goals.


Almost every day we were in town we made sure to train jiu-jitsu at BTT Headquarters, and boxing with the Grant Brothers. And Edwin. I felt like a total newb for the boxing, but also had so much fun, especially since it was my first time being in an actual ring. Jiu-Jitsu wise, I had some good rolls, but the most exciting part was when Ayisha finally received her brown belt. It was during a NOGI class, so we didn’t get to hit her with our belts as is apparently the custom, but I was bursting with pride for her anyway.

I managed to squeeze in a day at McGill, and a few hours as a reader, which I really miss. The work and the people, who even suggested I do a self-tape there after we finished, since they are the ones casting the project.

I met up for coffee with an old friend, went to the YEAA Montreal Indie Producing Panel Event (insightful info, familiar faces and favorite teachers) with another friend who wants us to write a horror short together, and made it to Reuben’s for a ginormous and delicious dessert from a new friend.


We spent Friday at La Ronde eating all the food and riding all the rides with moderate to no lines, then went to the Women’s Only class at BTT Headquarters. We were only 4 of us, 2 brown belts and a black belt working with my white, but rolling was super informative and fun. Because even though I am still failing most of the time, I am actually trying almost all of the time, which makes for more exciting and beneficial rolls.

On Saturday we took the morning easy, working with these weird hand things from Aqualogix that actually gave us a pretty good workout. We may have accidentally given my mom the hardest of all the colors, but she was a good sport and did great regardless.


That afternoon we got serenaded by a singer at my grandparents’ summer party, which included so much food, dancing, music and love, then went home and raided my closet to get rid of clothes that either don’t fit me anymore, or just aren’t flattering. As someone who once lost a bunch of weight, reached her goal and gave away all her clothes, I can clearly remember the last time I did this and had to wear dresses with leggings for a year because none of the pants I had left would fit me. Not my proudest moment, but hopefully this time will be better.


On our last day in Montreal, we helped my brother move, went to my niece’s birthday party, and my brother’s moving in/housewarming party. It was busy, but exactly how I would want to spend my day, surrounded by friends and family

Once back in Toronto I maybe took things kind of easy, but was also working really hard on preproduction for my short. The cast is set, most of the crew as well, but we probably just lost our location. So slightly stressed out. But mostly grateful and excited.

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

-Henry David Thoreau

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