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Day 20?

>> Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I think it's Day 20 - I kinda' lost count. I was away this past weekend for the junior/senior high youth retreat, and am now home and quite sick. Some of the youth weren't feeling well on the weekend and I've definitely caught it. Had to call in sick to work today as both my throat and my chest feel like they're on fire. I've been dosing up on the Benylin but it doesn't seem to be helping at all. I'm tired but my sore throat keeps me from sleeping, and lying on the couch watching TV makes my headache worse.

I hate being sick . . .


Day 12

>> Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oh, thank the heavens - I have my punctuation back!! Seriously - I never knew how much I depend on my commas and such until I didn't have them for a day!

Another crazy day at work, but I'm trying not to think about it now that I'm finally home.

So in all honesty, I don't have anything of substance to post today. I slept in as I was completely wiped, and by the time I got up and running today and had gotten some laundry done it was pretty much time to go back to work! I did have some time to just sit and have some lunch before I left though, so I read some of my current book "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown, and have to say that I'm completely obsessed. I didn't think I'd be that into it as it's been a long time since "The Da Vinci Code" and I really didn't think he could do it again, but so far so good. Mr.Brown has me flipping the pages as fast as I possibly can! They way he engages his reader and just draws you into the mystery and intrigue is amazing - definitely worth the wait!

Tomorrow we have author Douglas Coupland at the store for a reading and signing. He's a pretty famous Canadian author and I'm sure we'll have at least a few hundred people out to meet him. I always like meeting authors as just as with actors and musicians, I get a lot of inspiration out of people in the arts who follow their dreams and make an effort to make a living out of expressing their creativity into something that can be shared with others. I'm lucky that I've gotten the opportunity to meet a lot of people who work in the "arts", and now that I'm really pursuing this, it means even more to me and I find myself gaining courage and strength from the successes of others. If they can do it, I can do it!


Day 11 - really late (or should I say really early)?

>> Monday, September 21, 2009

Crrazzyyy!! That would be the word to explain the last few days. Seriously - I can barely remember what day it is. At work today I kept thinking it was Saturday and was writing the wrong numbers down for budgets and schedules and stuff cause I kept looking at the wrong day on the computer! Oh to have a regular 9-5 job where I have weekends off and go to bed and get up at the same time each day. But who am I kidding - that would drive me crazy after a few weeks of never being able to sleep in!

I will not be able to write much tonight - seems my computer wonèt let me type commas and apostrophes and question marks and the like, (see above wonèt as example - the apostrophe keeps coming up as è - what is with that). I could just keep typing and not use the punctuation I want and not use any contractions - but Im already annoyed just reading it back so Im sure anyone reading is probably annoyed by it already).

Grrr . . . I will get Chris to have a look tomorrow.

Stay tuned for a real post . . .


Day 10

>> Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ooohhh - I'm a delinquent blogger. I missed a day! My excuse is not really much of an excuse - I was tired and by the time I got home from work I wasn't feeling inspired enough to write anything. I was pretty much thinking "food . . . sleep . . . need to do laundry . . . food . . . screw the laundry . . . sleep".

I did have a moment of inspiration today though. As is normally the case, I was singing in the shower (acoustics are awesome!) and finally figured out how I want the melody to sound in the chorus of a song I'm working on. I've been struggling with it for awhile now so I was pretty happy about that (and what a productive shower too! :) My best work is done in the shower or bathtub, I have to say).

At the moment, I'm sitting on the couch watching a movie, having just finished a late-night dinner of Chinese food. I'm very happy to be veggin' out as it was another crazy day at work today. I decided I needed some relaxing and lazying around ("relazing" as I say) and swung by Blockbuster on the way home and picked out a few movies. I'm currently watching "Music & Lyrics" with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore - it's a little silly but I'm lovin' it so far! And seriously - could Hugh Grant be more adorable?

It's going to be a busy week as I'm in the midst of 7 days in a row at the store and then I'm helping out at the junior & senior high youth retreat next weekend in Muskoka. It's my first youth retreat and I'm pretty excited to be going, but I'm sure I'll be a little sleep-deprived when we get back next Sunday afternoon. Thankfully I had the foresight to ask for the Monday off so I could recoup a little bit. As busy as I know the next several days will be, I have promised myself that I will find the time each day this week to work on my music and acting. I'm currently trying to find some great monologues to practice with, and I'm also really trying to get a song finished soon. It's only day 10, but so far so good!

Thanks for reading, and good-night to everyone out there. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend (and the weather)! I'm off to finish my movie and scrounge up some dessert!


Day 8 - yes I missed Day 7

>> Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh Day 7 - didn't go exactly according to plan. I woke up super tired and must admit that my first thought was "hmmm, wonder how upset my sister would be if I called and cancelled for tonight". I had only gotten about 3 1/2 hours of sleep and was pretty much dead to the world. It also turned out to be a horrible day at work - 3 of my day staff called in sick, plus I had orientation for 3 new staff, plus we were light on managers and on cash, plus it was crazy busy as it was the day after the new Dan Brown "The Lost Symbol" book release - not fun at all. I didn't even have time to grab lunch, just a cookie from StarBucks, so by the time I got home I was starting to get a killer headache. I was going to suck it up though and still go - I was just starting to get ready when my sister called. Turns out she's swamped at work and really tired too and would I be terribly upset if she cancelled? Ha! I was actually relieved and told her so, so we both ended up having quiet evenings at home.

I really wasn't disappointed at all - I was only hearing bad press reviews about "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" and had also found out that the tickets you get for premieres at Roy Thompson Hall are for balcony seating only. We would have been really far back, and part of me thought it just wouldn't be worth it. So I guess this year my Toronto International Film Festival experience will be limited to the "Invention of Lying" premiere experience, which is fine by me as it was a fun night out on the town and one I won't soon forget.

It turns out it's a really good thing we didn't go last night - my killer headache decided to morphe into a killer migraine and I pretty much spent the night curled up on the couch feeling nauseous and almost crying as my head just wouldn't stop pounding. Chris ended up giving me one of his percocets, which did help and I finally got some sleep. It was still here when I woke up today though, but it seems to have subsided quite a bit now, so I'm feeling like I can continue with my day (now that it's already 2:30 in the afternoon).

So . . . as I contemplate what do to with the rest of my day, I'll wrap up this post for now by saying "Cheers" to the Toronto Film Festival. My first year attending "TIFF" proved to me that as the world's largest film festival (I have heard and read this from many people so I'll assume it's true), it is very well run and I love how it opens it's doors to the public and we're all able to attend world premieres and screenings of films that we may never have seen otherwise. I love how it reminded me that we're all human and that celebrities are only "stars" 'cause that's what we make them. Labelling someone as something doesn't actually make them that. It doesn't make them any better than you or I or the neighbour next door. They're just people - people living their lives with hopes and dreams and good days and bad days. I am still inspired by some actors & singers as they're people who have followed their dreams and turned them into reality, but we're all equal and can all learn from each other and look up to one another.

I will definitely be attending TIFF next year - I may even go all out and book some time off that week so I can really experience the festival and all it has to offer. It truly is a great thing for Toronto and for Canada and I feel proud to have been a "tiny" part of it. Hopefully one day I will be going to see a screening of a film that I'm in!

'till next time . . .


Day 6 - when I should be in bed already . . .

>> Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ohhhh I'm tired - after my exciting evening on the town last night I was definitely tired today at work. Tomorrow's gonna' be a long one too - I work the early shift (7am-3pm), then need to come home, get ready, and drive downtown to meet up with my sister at her apartment. We're going to the premiere of "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" at Roy Thompson Hall, but it doesn't even start until about 9:30pm so it'll be another late night for me. Thankfully I have Thursday off so I can sleep in for a bit!

About last night - I'm not going to bother posting pictures - we loaded them onto the computer and none of them really turned out well. :( The mix of it being darkly lit, then the explosion of camera flashes did not make for good cell phone pictures. I think I may take my actual camera tomorrow and take video of the introduction and post that - we'll see how it turns out.

So a few days ago I posted about my dilema with choosing the first acting class to take after my long hiatus from the profession (I think it's been 8 or 9 years)! Turns out my decision was made for me. I completely forgot that in order to apply for classes at Equity Showcase Theatre you need an acting resume and current headshot. While I could probably find copies of my old resume, my headshots are waaayyy out of date - my last ones I definitely look younger and have really, really light blonde hair. I don't want to rush to get new ones - that can wait until a little later on, so that means no Equity classes for me until then. For now I will retake the first Actor's class at Sears & Switzer, and then go from there. Sadly the next session doesn't start now until the beginning of November, so I need something to occupy me for a month and a half. I think I may take the next six weeks to study up on some monologues, and work on finishing some songs. I have two that are halfway done at the moment, but I think I'll focus on one at a time instead of flopping all over the place. I may just post a bit of one on here in a bit and see what ya'll think.

Okay, I'm tired now so think I'll turn in for the night. I'll post tomorrow either before I leave or maybe when I get home after the premiere (if I'm not dizzy from tiredness and still halfway coherent).



Day 5 - 12:42am

I'm home! I had a blast at the film festival today. Turns out I didn't have to go solo - I managed to snag another ticket and my hubby was able to come with me! We weren't able to get downtown earlier today, so we didn't see any daytime screenings, but we did attend the world premiere of "The Invention of Lying" this evening at the Elgin Theatre.

I was really excited the entire trip down, and was even more excited when we noticed the security setting up the barrier gates around the front of the theatre for when the stars showed up. I picked up our tickets and felt very posh as we joined the "premium" line-up - turns out if you have a Visa gold card or higher you get to go to the theatre's "Visa Lounge" for some drinks and free snacks, and are then allowed to enter the actual theatre before anyone else to grab the premium seats! We grabbed a table and spent the next 45 minutes or so enjoying free chips and chocolate, and having a really great conversation with another couple who were enjoying their 10th film of the festival so far! The time flew by talking with them, and soon the time came to enter the theatre and grab our seats. At first we picked some seats a little further back - we didn't want to be craning our necks for two hours to see the movie - but then my excitement got the better of me and we ended up sitting in the fifth row from the front (Chris was rather amused by my excitement this whole time). We grabbed some popcorn and got ourselves settled in.

(Let me just take a moment here to marvel at the beauty of the Elgin theatre - it is absolutely stunning. If you live in the GTA and haven't been before, do yourself a favour and go see a show there - really truly beautiful and awe-inspiring).

Anyhoo - finally at about 9:30pm someone came out to thank everyone for coming and to introduce the makers of the film, Matthew Robinson and Ricky Gervais! They both seemed really nice and Ricky Gervais was hilarious - he seems exactly like he does on TV - funny and very British. They only spoke for a few minutes before they introduced two of the producers of the film, and then two of stars - Rob Lowe and . . . Jennifer Garner! They came out from the side of the stage to join the others (while the crowd went wild cheering and clapping) and waved and posed for pictures (they had let some press in so they were up at the front of the stage). They didn't say anything though (which was a little disappointing), and after another few minutes of Mr.Gervais talking, they left the stage to take their seats and then the lights went out and the movie started.

Jennifer did look amazing in a short green dress, and she actually looks even more beautiful in real life than she does on TV or on the big screen, (Chris took some pictures which I'll try and post tomorrow), but I really didn't end up as excited as I thought I'd be - it even seemed a little anticlimactic.

Here's the thing - they're just people. Like you and me, they (meaning celebrities) are just human beings. They just happen to have a job that puts them in the public eye. If you had mentioned Jennifer Garner to me this morning I probably would have said "oh I love her!" but no, of course I don't. I think she's a great actress and I think she seems like a really nice, positive person with a great attitude, but I don't know her - she's a complete stranger! I've been thinking about it ever since we left the theatre - we are we (myself included) so caught up in "celebrity" - why do we care so much about people we don't even know? Is it because they're rich? Is it because they're good-looking? Is it because of their fame? Why do we put them on a pedestal? I'm not saying I'll no longer be a fan of certain celebrities (Ms.Garner included), but I think it just really hit home tonight that they are no better (or worse for that matter) than me, and instead of spending time hero-worshipping people I don't even know, I should spend that time maybe working on myself to make me a better person and make more of a contribution to the world I live in.

I think it's still important to have role models and people in the world we can look up too, but we should be looking up to people for the right reasons - not materialistic ones.

I did have a good time this evening though - I'm really glad I got to have a great night out with my husband, and I'm glad we went (and the movie was pretty good too - quite funny although the direction they took with the film was a little surprising. If you're a religious person you'll know what I mean if you see the film when it comes out).

It's kinda' funny though - getting ready today I was most excited to go to a movie premiere and see the stars, but it turns out what really made the evening for me was walking around Toronto with my arm in my husband's and us having a really great conversation with that couple before the movie even began.

Funny that . . . the lessons life teaches you . . .


Day 4 - 1:01am

>> Monday, September 14, 2009

Another late night at work - this time due to our new fall presentation set-up. I'm tired, but almost too tired to go to bed (as weird as that may sound).

I didn't end up going to see Mr.Caine today. Woke up super early after staying up way too late last night to see that they were still sold out. I was considering going downtown to try and somehow get a ticket anyway but my body was pretty much screaming at me to go back to bed. So off I went back to the comfort of my bed, where I fell back asleep in a matter of seconds and stayed as long as possible until it was time to get up and get ready for work.

Tomorrow is "The Invention of Lying" though, so I'm pretty excited about that. Not excited that it looks like I'll be going by myself, but I won't let that stop me. I am a huuuuge Jennifer Garner fan, and think Ricky Gervais is pretty brilliant, so I will go ahead and brave the crowds solo. The screening doesn't start until 9pm but I plan on being in line a few hours early so I can try and get a good seat. I also just may try to get a last-minute ticket to an early afternoon screening of either "The Road" or "Precious" - they may just release some same day tickets tomorrow morning, so we'll see how I feel at 7am. I love Viggo Mortenson (who is starring in the "The Road"), and well - everyone knows how I feel about Oprah (who just happens to be the executive producer of "Precious" - and is attending TIFF) - so who knows?

Anyhoo - I guess I should be off to bed to try and get some sleep. 'Till next time!


Day 3

>> Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Toronto International Film Festival is underway in Toronto, and for the first time ever (I know!) I will be attending a couple of screenings! I managed to snag tickets to the premieres of two movies I have been interested in ever since I heard they were filming. The first is "The Invention of Lying" starring Ricky Gervais and Jennifer Garner (and directed by Ricky Gervais), the second is "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" with Natalie Portman and directed by Don Roos. I'm excited as not only will I be able to see the films at their first showing, but the directors, producers and actors will be on hand for the screening and will do an introduction of the film (and if we're lucky a Q&A session as well)!

There were several other films I really wanted to see ("The Road", "Precious" & "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" to name a few) but the demand was crazy and tickets either sold out right away or I'm scheduled to work and can't switch shifts on those days. I did just find out though that actor Michael Caine is doing a presentation tomorrow in the early afternoon at one of the theatres downtown - it's called "In Conversation with Michael Caine" and it kinda' sounds like it'll be one of those James Lipton Inside the Actor's Studio-type interviews. I don't know how I managed to miss this as I am a pretty big Michael Caine fan. When I was fresh out of my theatre program at college I was a little obsessed with him - he's a real "actor's actor" and I rented every movie he's ever been in and read his books and a ton of interviews he'd done to soak up every acting tip I could get. Now I find out he'll be in town tomorrow and I can't get a ticket! They're completely sold out, but I think I may just head downtown anyway tomorrow morning to see if I can get a last minute rush ticket. It would definitely be worth it and I think the timing couldn't be better as listening to his tales of life as an actor and his words of advice and experience would be something I'd never forget. There's nothing like seeing or meeting an amazingly talented actor in person to get the 'ole creative juices flowing!

Here's to TIFF and what I'm hoping will be an amazing few days at the movies!


Day 2 - 2:42am

>> Friday, September 11, 2009

Just got home from work. We were doing an inventory count and as that all has to be done after the store closes, I had to stay late and help supervise. Now I'm home and even though I have to be back at work in about 8 hours I'm too wired to go to sleep. My mind has been racing all day long with things I can do and "next steps" I can take to help get back into the acting and music scenes.

I actually got an email today from Equity Showcase Theatre - a very well-known theatre/film school in Toronto that has been teaching classes and workshops for a really long time. I've taken courses there before (back in the day when I was right out of college), and the classes are always taught by working actors, directors, or other professionals in the business and are sometimes really hard to get into. There's a couple of fall session classes that sound really interesting to me, but part of me is really intimidated by the thought of being in a theatre class environment again. It's been so long, what if I've forgotten everything? I need to decide soon though - registration deadlines are looming and I know from experience that most of their classes will fill up quickly. Should I do the Classical Theatre Lab, or just sign up as an observer? Or, should I forget Equity Showcase altogether for now and just re-take the actor's introductory course at Sears & Switzer? (another acting school that's really good that I've taken classes at). That would be more comfortable for me - more like dipping my toe into the cold water rather than jumping right in.

Hmmm . . .


The Challenge - Day 1

>> Thursday, September 10, 2009

I had a little solo outing yesterday and took myself to see the movie "Julie & Julia". I absolutely loved it and really related to the Julie character. Here was a woman approaching her 30th birthday, in a dead-end job and feeling like she's lost her way in the world. She gives herself a challenge - to cook her way through Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in a year, and to track her progress on a blog. As she makes her way through the recipes she discovers a lot about who she really is - what makes her happy and what impact she wants to have on the world.

I left the movie theatre feeling completely inspired - what would happen if I assigned myself a similar project? What if I turned this little blog of mine into something a little more focused, and used it to charter my course and steer me back on track? Of course, people may not find it all that interesting - but maybe others could relate to my feelings of being lost and wondering "how the heck did I end up here?" Others still may relate to feeling the tide of time feeling stronger and faster, and in my case pulling me closer and closer to what I feel is a point where I really should have it all "together" . . . my 30th birthday.

Here's the deal - I'm a creative person. I love to act, sing, write, tell stories and entertain people. I love how art (in it's many forms) can make people think about things differently, see things in a new light, can comfort them in times of sadness or lift them up when they feel on top of the world. I love how the arts can inspire, encourage, motivate, calm, energize, and simply make one really feel.

Here's the reality - I have let myself get way off course. There is no one to blame but myself. For reasons I will explain in a later posting, I decided to stop pursuing my dreams and settle into a job I don't really enjoy and that, while I am good at it, doesn't engage me and doesn't bring out my true talents. I have become lazy and complacent. I know it and I'm changing it.

Here's the challenge - I am going for it. I still really don't know how, but I am going to pursue my dream of being an actress and a singer/songwriter. Yes, I need to do both. Many have told me to only focus on one - but for me, one is not complete without the other. In order for me to really be me, I have to do both - it's just the way I work. How I will do this, I have no idea. It's been a loooong time since I've done anything professional in the entertainment industry, so I really don't even know where to begin, but I'll figure it out. I'm going to give myself a year. One year. At the end of the year, I hope to be at a point in my life (career-wise) where I can honestly say that I am back on track, and that I am doing everything in my power to make my dreams of being a professional actress and singer/songwriter come true.

So . . . what does this all really mean? Well, the format of this blog is going to change a little bit. You may have already noticed that it is no longer called "Here comes the Judge!" While that was cute, it wasn't really indicative of what this blog is now here for. My new blog title is "The Road Less Traveled" - I thought this was fitting as I know this will be quite a journey and I'm also hoping I learn things about myself and my place in the world along the way. I will also be posting every single day - sometimes maybe even more than once a day. It will be my way of holding myself accountable and keeping me working towards my goal. You'll also see more media on here - once I get some songs finished, they will be posted on here- so please feel free to post your thoughts and feedback.

I haven't totally figured this out yet - I'm just going with a gut instinct here, but I hope you (whomever you are) will join me on this journey and will hopefully be able to relate to my writing and the musings of a self-described "artiste".



>> Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The whisper of a thought
it's colour so thick, like velvet it wraps around my mind
and I am lost

A promise of change
possibilites abound, a journey of unknown and excitement
and I am hope

The reality of circumstance
the harshness so cold, it stops thoughts from continuing
and I am not

The whisper of a thought


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