Let’s talk about harassment, baby

Hey all, sorry my blogging day keeps changing! As I adjust to various things in my life and new jobs ( I got one! yay! ) my daily schedule keeps changing. I’ll try to blog on Monday’s for now because I don’t work Mondays, and hoping you’ll still follow me.

It is officially summer weather. Or in the peg it is. I was outside today and it’s almost +30 (degrees C ) here in May. Which is one thing I love about winnipeg. ( I tend to hate on my city a lot but the fact that we have a gorgeous summer is one thing I LOVE )

But things like street harassment, cat calling, whistling, oh those I could do without. Now I know that these are things that happen in every city obviously. And yeah I’m going to talk about it, and yeah I have opinions on it if that makes you uncomfortable well it probably should.

When I lost a bunch of weight ( in my mind it was a bunch it felt like half of me ) was when I first started getting cat called or being harassed more than I ever had when I was bigger. I was not used to this. The thing no one seems to tell you when you’re bigger is that sometimes it’s a shield against that kind of harassment. Now I will also say that is not always the case and sometimes no matter what your size you’re going to get harassed because people are assholes. But this is just in my experience, cause this is my blog.

How do I know when it’s summer outside officially in winnipeg? I start getting these harassments. I get yelled at on the street, from cars, in person, pretty much if I’m ever outside and walking somewhere it feels like I am fair game.

This happened to me again today. Someone, a man, whistled at me from his car. Oh cars. Ways to feel like men ( or anyone ) can harass women and not have to deal with any repercussions because at that point you’ve already driven off and feel really secure in your masculinity for telling me I’m attractive without actually having to talk to me. While also totally demeaning me at the same time. Great. Again, this is from my point of view and how I see it.

How do I deal with it? How do women in general deal with this? How does anyone deal with this? I’m constantly stumbling upon people that are shocked and feel appalled that this happens to other people because it’s never happened to them. Honestly in one way I don’t deal with it. What would be the point in me getting upset and yelling at the car who has already driven off because they can’t hear me anymore. In person it can be different and I can yell at that person or walk away or do something.

But from the months of May- September it kind of becomes part of my daily life. No, it doesn’t happen daily. Obviously. But for some people it might. And some people this kind of harassment happens all the time and I’m not sure what to do about it. And I don’t know how to handle these situations because in some ways, they feel out of my control.

Sure I could like make a thing about not dressing inappropriately but you know what? I shouldn’t have to. It was warm outside today and I was not wearing something I would even consider scandalous. But also it shouldn’t matter if I was. I was wearing a romper. I was hot. It was like almost plus 30 outside. Am I going to change my summer outfits to wear longer things just so I don’t get cat called? So then I can boil under the sun? Absolutely not. And it might happen anyway, regardless of what kind of outfit I’m wearing.

These situations happen to me as well as other women I know. It’s possible that it happens more to women than men but I’m not going to make that judgment call because I’m not out taking statistics on this thing. Who’s to say that it doesn’t happen to men as well and they just don’t talk about it? Or any gender? Men, women, transgender, neutral, or anyone under the sun.

Whenever I get street harassed I vent on my facebook. My dad being the sweet person that he is commented saying just once I’d like to be with you when this happens and people will see another side of me.

But that is the thing. This never happens when I’m with other people. It certainly never happens when I’m hanging out with other men. I was hanging out with my guy friend all morning and this didn’t happen. It was only when I was walking home by myself in broad daylight that it happened.

I don’t have a solution for not getting cat called, for not having people yell at me because I do refuse to compromise what I’m wearing because in my mind then I’ve given up my power. And I let someone else have that power over me and I’m so not doing that. I’ll say that when I have to walk home late at night I grip my keys tightly in my hand so that if anything happens I can hopefully jab that key into someone and make them think twice about doing anything. But I don’t carry pepper spray, despite how often I’ve thought about it.

It makes me upset that as much as I feel like an independent, strong woman that this little thing makes me feel small. Like I should cover up my body and not walk tall. It makes me wonder if I had a boyfriend or someone to walk with me all the time that these things wouldn’t happen. But I don’t like feeling that way.

Whenever my girlfriends and I go out and we’re getting home in way of not a car I demand that they text me when they get home. I don’t care if I sound like an over-bearing mother. I want them to be safe. They’ve started doing it for me as well and it’s a reassuring way of knowing that at least one person counts on you getting home safely.

For the most part I just ignore the harassment I’m not saying this is a good or best way to deal with it obviously. But not responding makes me feel like I didn’t let them win.

I’ll leave you with some Demi Lovato who I’ve been jamming to all day. Girl makes me feel confident a.f. when I listen to this song and hopefully you feel that way too.

 

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You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important

Hey all. It’s been busy over here so I’ve been procrastinating like heck. I also got sick after my audition, probably a combination of relieving stress and lack of sleep and my body just finally being able to relax.

There was a lot of physical things I had to do in my audition which made me realize that I haven’t been in an acting class in a while because my muscles are still sore and ache. It also made me realize that at the moment I’m not in great physical shape.

All of this brings me to the point ( anthem if you will ) of this week’s blog:

Body image. I know I took a roundabout way to get there but I think I still managed it. I will say that I have never had a good outlook/ view on my body. It’s not that I’ve had very specific instances where people demean the way that I look it’s just kind of how I’ve viewed myself. On one level it probably was those teen magazines I used to read, or the fact that I didn’t feel attractive in highschool and every other girl seemed to jump out of a Teen People Magazine. ( Seriously who remembers Teen People? )

In society I think a lot of body image shaming goes down. No matter what your size. While in retrospect I’ve probably always been what society would call a “normal” size it still hasn’t left me feeling great. In highschool I didn’t play any sports which seems to be the main source of exercise in teen years, and I also didn’t do things like dance or any solo things like running. I did have a love for theatre which was not huge in my highschool, and I loved to sing and was in several choirs. Not exactly exercise material if you get my drift. So in my mind I was overweight. ( I was not in reality but I still don’t like looking at pictures of me in highschool )

When university came around I gained some more weight ( that freshman 15 is sometimes too real ) and for me it got so bad that I didn’t even like to go shopping anymore. Nothing fit the way I wanted it to and I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror. No one ever called me out on being the size that I was, but I still felt like people were judging me and that my size was the main reason I couldn’t get a date, and it also kept me from exercising in public because I didn’t want to be humiliated.

Where does this negativity come from? It’s hard to say. No one was telling me that my body was not a good body. No one was outright shaming the way that I looked. My family is a supportive family who loves me and could care less about my size so why was this all affecting me so much? My friends are also great and every time I would mention that I didn’t like the way I looked they would tell me that there was nothing wrong with the way that I looked.

The summer of 2010 was when I was at my heaviest weight. I went to Montreal for five weeks having just quit my job so I could go on this program. I remember specifically that we could sign up for different activities if we wanted to ( like day activities outside of school or on the weekends) I signed up to climb some small mountain. It was like the hardest thing at that point in time that I’d ever done. It was muggy and hot that day ( as it seemed to be every day in Quebec ) and I was sweating so profusely I thought I might collapse. I remember thinking this would probably be more fun if I was in better shape. ( and if the entire climb wasn’t uphill because I swear it was ) That summer was really hard especially when I got home from Montreal because I had no job and no money.  I think on some level I told myself I would make a change even if I never said it outloud.

The change didn’t come quickly. I think it took another year for the change to happen. I got a new job the next spring and it was close enough so that I could walk to and from work everyday. The walk was about 20 minutes really not much, but added up that was 40 minutes of walking I did a day that I wasn’t doing before. By the time school started I had lost 10 pounds.

School started again and I needed more flexibility so I went back to the bakery I had worked at before. But I made myself some rules. I could eat a sweet or salty thing but only once per week that I worked. In the summers then when I would work full time I kept this rule. And I lost weight. Another 10 pounds. Suddenly clothes fit me differently. I felt better. There was a treadmill in my basement that I started running on. All of a sudden people commented that I looked great, and what had I done and wow I looked so thin!

Sometimes this felt great. It gave me self confidence that I didn’t have before. But my brain, oh my brain. Where were these comments before? When I was a different size? When I really needed people to tell me that I looked great in the size that I was? When people compliment me today I really feel the need to tell them that there is still a larger version of myself that lives in me. She doesn’t go away.

I wish I could’ve loved my body more when I was a different size. I also wish I could say that losing the weight I did didn’t give me self confidence because self confidence is not about size or what you look like, but I can’t. I’ve maintained my new-ish size for a few years now. But I still don’t have a good relationship with my body. When I get really stressed out I lose weight now. Not because I want to, but it just happens. People comment on my body now more than they used to. I get cat-called now which is a whole other level of being uncomfortable. I had someone recently tell me that it looks like I’m disappearing and that I should eat something. My doctor often tells me that I’m a a thin slender person. These comments are meant as compliments, but it’s not always how my brain takes them.

There are very few people that I feel comfortable talking to about this. In my mind they don’t get it. They haven’t lost a significant amount of weight and they don’t get how you can look differently and sometimes think that you don’t look like yourself anymore.  I think they don’t understand the inner struggle of how you can question everything you eat. Of being obsessed with weighing yourself. Of being scared that one day you’ll slip up and go back to the weight that you were.

I have friends that are really supportive and some of them who have gone through similar situations, and for that I’m grateful. But I think we need to challenge the way we view our own body images. To try to put more positivity than negativity in the way we talk to ourselves. And believe me it’s something I struggle with on the daily. For myself this means that I’ve stopped obsessively weighing myself ( for the most part) and I do try to go out for walks and runs because I want to feel better. And yes I still slip up, because I am human and sometimes I will eat more doughnuts than I like in a week. And I haven’t exercised currently in a really long time. Right before my audition I was saying positive things ( or trying to ) to myself.

The main one was : You is kind, you is smart, you is important. ( From the movie The Help )

I’ll leave you with that and this bustle article I found on body positivity:

Body Positivity

 

 

That Dating Life Tho

Soo… I bet you thought I wasn’t coming back. Sure she talks a big game but oh look it’s tuesday and still no blog post?! Well I owe you my bloggers, and I’m trying to blog at “regular” times to get more impact. Like who’s going to read my blog when I want to write it at 12 am… probably no one.

In the interest of keeping it real, which someone complimented me on my blog and telling me to keep it so real ( thank you by the way !) I’ll get real about something I haven’t talked about yet.

Dating. Oh yes. Oh no. Oh god. All of those things and more.

Spring is so in the air in winnipeg ( well sometimes, it ranges between +16 and like -2 which is spring enough for us ) and what abounds more during spring than couples? Literally nothing else I know of. I saw what I called a coffee shop couple in one of my fave coffee shops the other day being super flirty and into each other and honestly… I wanted to throw myself off a bridge. I know, you’re thinking oh she’s so bitter! She doesn’t have respect for love or relationships or anything! Which I think any of my friends would tell you that that would not be the case. I have a fair amount of friends that are married and I love each and every one of them dearly.

Dating is work. If anyone tells you it is not work they have not been on a date in the last 5 years. I wish for the simpler times of dating, like when I was in highschool ( not that I dated anyone in highschool )  when cell phones were just being introduced, we didn’t have twitter, facebook or snapchat and people just called people. I specifically remember three way calling my friends to talk about setting up my friends on dates ( yeah that dates me oh well… ) But if you want to date now? If you want to get on that dating train? You better jump on board with technology and online dating or you might as well stay home.

I’ve always overanalyzed things. Dating has made that worse. Texts to send or not to send, instagram pictures that you do or don’t like, the dreaded dot dot dot while you wait for someone else to type something ( we’ve all been there c’mon). Also do not get me started on new dating terms that seem to pop up all the time that everyone knows and I have to find out through googling things on urban dictionary. I will say that fuckboi has become a regular word in my vocabulary and I recently discovered a new term called cushioning which urban dictionary defines as :

 

A dating technique where along with your main piece you also have several ‘cushions’, other people you’ll chat and flirt with to cushion the potential blow of your main break-up and not leave you alone.
Yeah, I don’t think it’s going that well with Dave. Luckily I’ve been cushioning him with Pablo and Gary
I was appalled there was actually a term for that. And then found it so relevant, like raise your hand if that’s ever happened to you ( you don’t have to tell anyone I’m not here to judge you because it’s definitely happened to me ) All of this means I feel like I can barely keep up with dating, or dating trends.
My favourite story I like to tell people is that I got peer-pressured into joining tinder. I was super anti- online dating but I was out with people and they were for lack of a better term “group tindering”. Which means they were all on their phones, all being on tinder, showing each other pictures and choosing to swipe left or right. I know, kind of awful right? But damn if I didn’t feel left out and FOMO so at the bar that night I joined tinder. And have been on and off it since then. The longer I had it I would just go on it when I was bored or feeling aimless. For fun one time I thought it would be great to have entire conversations with guys where I would just use she’s the man quotes in the conversation. It was highly entertaining.
I think that dating can be fun. It’s supposed to be right? Once upon a time when I was reading teen girl magazines they sounded like the best thing ever. Lately I just find it to be exhausting and really think that I’ve gotten TOO GOOD at being single and being by myself. Having to think about another person in all of my decisions sounds like work that I’m probably not ready for yet. My tour of going on tinder dates has mostly just resulted in me avoiding people when I go out because Winnipeg is that small that people you tried to date are literally at all the cool events you want to go to. In an ideal world we would all probably choose to meet someone IRL right? Unfortunately as much as we may want them back the 90’s are something that happened two decades ago.
My one good dating experiment was about 2 years back I went on a date with someone who has actually become one of my good friends and now we lament to each other often about how horrible dating is. See? You can meet good fun people in the experiment of dating.
I had someone recently tell me that maybe I’ll meet people if I move for school. To which I said yeah, maybe. TBH I’m often so focused on other things in my life that dating never feels like a priority. So yeah that couple maybe made me want to jump off a bridge but it was the first couple I saw in this spring season so I’m just easing myself back into seeing it on a regular basis.
Some things I’ll leave with you first of all as a lover of the 90’s I rewatched Empire Records recently and that movie is everything twice. Here is a great empowering female moment from Robin Tunney ( who I love ) and plays Debra in Empire Records in which she shaves her head.  Now maybe Debra did it because she went through a bad breakup or something but I also think she just did it for herself, because she wanted to. Also it’s so mesmerizing to watch and feels full of strength and I love that she doesn’t talk at all during it:
Also here is JT’s Can’t Stop the Feeling which I feel is just like a feel good spring song whether you’re in a relationship or not :

But I can’t hide

So February 7th. The last day I blogged. I really don’t blame anyone for not following this blog at this point in time because it did look like I had given up blogging for a while.

A few things have prevented me from blogging. I had some health things I was dealing with, my anxiety has felt more out of control and I’ve also been a bit depressed tbh. I feel like I can tell you my lovely bloggers ( or just people who read this blog ) this mostly because it feels strange not to. My blog is me, and I’ve never really been afraid of talking about who I am, even if it’s only across the internet. Also once I avoided writing one week it became so much easier to avoid it every week.

Oh and my favourite thing, doubt. Doubt is always the friend that no one wants. It’s like the cousin you’re forced to hang out with at awkward family gatherings and takes forever to leave only… surprise now they’ve decided to stay the whole weekend!

I have it in bounds. In leaps of bounds. Doubt can prevent me from doing things I want to do (much like my anxiety also can) but somehow feels more permanent than my anxiety. I feel like artists are often just told to suck it up, suffer through it, possibly drink more ( I’ve been there ) to conquer the doubt monster. Lately I’ve been trying to do more proactive things rather than just avoid my doubt.

* My doubt also tells me that I’m not a very good writer, and that no one reads this blog which at this point may also be true* 

I’ve been doing some mindful exercises ( mostly breathing ones ), trying to go for a walk every day ( it is small but vitamin d is great and it’s currently real nice in the peg !) journalling more and also trying to do something creative every day. ( Right now it’s real easy because I have a major audition and a fringe show coming up.. more on that in a later post ) I’ve also been seeing a counsellor, she’s been great and validates my weird/ anxious/ untrue feelings and tells me to practice self- compassion.

Right now I’m also trying to say yes to things to battle the doubt that says no in my head. It’s how this blog got started. People ( and my dad ) kept telling me I was a good writer and should write something, anything, a blog perhaps. My doubt had been telling me for a while * cue in that awkward cousin * that nobody would like what I wrote and what did I have to say about anything and then would leave the room and take all the potato chips.

On my path of trying to say to say yes to things I’ve recently applied to school, am putting on a show in the winnipeg fringe festival and my one friend has convinced me to do a podcast. The conversation started with her asking me how Roswell ( the show I was currently watching ) was going. Which turned into a discussion about television shows and podcasts she mentioned hers that she wants to start and then asked me if I had ever thought about doing one. I told her I had but that it was just an idea. She told me that I should do one on any of the 90s/2000s shows that I love, pick an angle and go. Now my angle may be that I love whatever show I’m doing but hey it’s my angle.

Of course I have scoured the internet ( sort of ) but mostly looked through my podcasts to see if the show I wanted to do was already taken. It hasn’t been yet although if I wait too long someone else might have my idea. That is to say that a Roswell podcast is coming to you in the near future. So get ready for that. And for me obsessing over Brendan Fehr who plays Michael Guerin on the show. ( He’s from winnipeg I’m allowed to freak out a little )

It will be called #285South if anyone out there has watched Roswell you will definitely get that reference. I’m terrified and have no idea what I’m doing but I’m saying yes anyway and will hopefully figure out the rest later.

Thanks for still following if you’re out there and that’s all this 20 something has energy for tonight. But hey I did a blog! And I’ll try to be better I promise.

Some cool links!

Mindshift is a great app that my doctor recommended for me and it has cool mindful training exercises and can really help you understand your anxiety and it’s free.

Learn about it here:  Anxiety BC

Haven’t watched Roswell? Want to start? It’s currently on Canadian Netflix and a show I binge-watched in a week and has great writing ( I am not bias I am not ) Let me ask you this, do you like Parenthood? Friday Night Lights? My so- called life? All written/ produced by the same person that created Roswell. I found this cool trailer from like the 90s for Roswell:

Also the theme song is by Dido which is pretty great ( you never knew that you liked Dido so much until you’ve listened to this song )

 

 

 

 

 

All or Nothing.

Balance. Oof.

Something I’m trying to learn how to do, or maybe have always tried to learn how to do?

I think I’ve always had trouble balancing things tbh. When I was in highschool I remember stressing myself out so much over studying and tests and not doing “well”. Which for me was like getting mid- low 80’s in everything ( I blame my over-achieving friends that seemed to get 90’s or 100 in everything. Wasn’t high school for goofing off? Sometimes? Hah! No it was for who got the best test scores- obviously. Also why be in one thing when you could be in five? I went to a weird high school.)

So it comes as no surprise that given the opportunity to travel to Germany in grade 11, (because all of my friends were doing it, I know I know can you say upper east side gossip girl? ) meant of course I had to do it too.

My peer-pressure in high school was also strange. It wasn’t so much of a let’s do crazy things like drugs or have unprotected sex ( or maybe I was hanging out with a different crowd) but more of a um everyone’s going on this European exchange thing, tell me why you can’t go? Going to Germany meant that I finished grade 11 four months earlier. We had to. We had to cram all of grade 11, including exams, so that we were done by the the end of March, when we left. Which in grade 11 also meant I always had homework, I was always busy and would always feel guilty about going out.

Back to my point. I think grade 11 stressed me out a lot, there was no balance. I was all work and no play Reba. Which meant come grade 12 my courses were less, I had more spares and the major exams had happened in January. This meant I could slack off. Probably not an entirely wise idea in my last year of high school before university but give me a break. I had just completed a year of high school in 7 months instead of 10. And then worked a full summer at camp. I decided I deserved to give myself a break.

I always seem to either be all in or all out in the most basic terms. If I look at my track record that’s even true. I also slacked off in first year university, maybe because I had in grade 12. But my last term of university I remember being at university three days a week but those were full days. That started at 9 am and ended at 6pm when I got home. Two years ago I was full busy stop from january- july and my friends complained. That I never saw them. That I could never “hang out” I had a show in January followed by an intensive acting program from Feb-May and outside of those rehearsals I was trying to produce my first fringe show and book those rehearsals and I worked full time. Oof. It’s almost exhausting just typing it out.

I always do give myself a break after a really intense period. In the simplest way I allow myself to do nothing. To veg out, go for coffee, read, and watch whatever show I’m currently into for hours ( right now it’s gossip girl ). But again, it’s only a matter of time before my brain starts gnawing at me going why aren’t you doing anything? You should definitely be doing something. Or all the things. When I get depressed I go in the other direction. I do nothing. I can’t do anything. And I watch mind numbing shows for hours (Little People Big World? I could tell you their LIFE STORY )

Going into my adulthood it’s really hard trying to find a balance between doing what I love and also trying to live my life. What I love to do often feels like it won’t allow me to live my life. Or in normal hours anyway. Which I have mostly accepted. When I get overwhelmed by doing things ( it happens often) I tell myself to just do one thing on my list that day. I feel like I’ve accomplished something and sure it’s not the list of 20 things in my head but I did one of them. It maintains my balance.

Last week I let this blog slide, which I didn’t mean to because my blog is important to me.

But I’ll break down my week for you. I had a last minute interview and audition and they were back to back. I also signed up for a workshop that I have to think about this week and applied to school. Oh and I got addicted to Riverdale.

I’ll probably never be good at doing nothing, and I might not want to be. And I don’t like being “too good” at it either because then I’m just a lump. And of course while all of this is happening I need to know if Dan and Serena will ever be together, if Chuck and Blair can figure their shit out and who’s going to tell Rufus and Lily that their son isn’t actually dead??!? ( sorry spoiler if you’ve never watched gossip girl)

That’s all from this gossip girl/ anthems of a 20 something girl at the moment. Writing my blog tonight was the one thing on my list I *definitely* had to do so mission accomplished.

Oh and if you’re wondering maybe you are? Maybe you aren’t? Maybe you’re like who cares what high school this girl went to? ( shush it’s my blog and I assume you sort of care ) I went to a private high school, the over achieving thing might make sense then. And sometimes it felt like the meaner parts of gossip girl where I was Jenny Humphrey living in Brooklyn, without the whole cute boys going to my school thing.

I’ll leave you with a song from O-town ( because the 2000s are always alive and well in my heart) called all or nothing. Get it? It’s relevant.

Why I March

This past weekend was the Women’s March On Washington. It was the first of hopefully many marches that happened across every continent this weekend. It was a march to take a stand for women’s rights everywhere.

Here is a quote from the women’s march on washington website that explains a bit more:

In the spirit of democracy and honouring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

I also marched this Saturday in my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. I don’t know the numbers exactly of how many people showed up but last I heard it might have been 3000? Which is pretty great for Winnipeg. The weather was also amazing and I would like to think that hopefully that many people would show up if it was -40 but I have my doubts. Now I liked the march, and I supported it but was also feeling conflicted as I knew many people that didn’t support it for various reasons ( none of them being that they support trump- they don’t) didn’t go to the march.

First of all it was a largely re: probably 90 percent if not more caucasian people. My one friend pointed out that where were all these white women during woc or poc marches? And I couldn’t agree more. Would they have shown up? Did they show up? Difficult questions to ask I know. Do we only care about the #marchonwashington because it only directly affects white people? ( I say this knowing I myself am a white feminist and presumably already get judged for such things)

Were people all jazzed about it because every celebrity on the planet was live tweeting/ insta-gramming/ showing their support in one social media aspect or another and therefore got more press than other marches? I wonder.

Now I know there was also an outrage about the amount of signs that talked about how being a woman and having a uterus was what made women powerful and no one could own their uterus and proclaiming joy over their periods. From what I heard the backlash was from transgender people specifically trans-women who may not have had uterus’s and felt left out and these signs somehow pointed out that not having a uterus made them less of a woman. Which made me upset because I’m one for saying you do you, you be you. I don’t think that not having a uterus doesn’t make you less of a woman and I’m jealous that you don’t have to bleed every month and spend a ridiculous amount of money on tampons.

For myself, I’m all about being inclusive. I’m all about powerful women and whatever sexuality identity you are. I know posting these things may create a backlash on myself, because this post is getting political and delving into politics is not something I’ve ever been fond of.

But the more that terrible things keep happening out in the world the more I feel like I have to speak up and suffer the backlash with my other fellow women. I mean seriously Fuck Trump am I right? Raising awareness that women still get mistreated as often as we do is important, the work pay gap is still happening and needs to be addressed, the number of women that go missing/ are murdered in a year is not ok and we need to do something to stop it.

I marched this weekend for myself, for women that couldn’t march and for all the women I love and support in my world and those I have not met yet. I marched for gender equality and to start an important conversation that we need to keep being pro-active and fighting for women’s rights and justice because this conversation matters, because we matter.

I’ll leave with another segment from the March on Washington website:

We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights. We must create a society in which women – including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian queer and trans women – are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments. 

Say it with me now: Females are Strong as Hell.

Here is a link to the site that I quoted also there is some cool stuff/ information on there so check it out:

https://www.womensmarch.com/

Also here are some photos of the march that happened in winnipeg this weekend, we didn’t march very far and at times it didn’t feel like a lot of people were there. So we may be small but we are mighty

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And another fave of mine this one says Donald Trump’s reading list * includes twitter for dummies* I loved it because it was creative and made me laugh.

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My personal superpower: Save the empath, save the world.

So I just read when I last blogged… 21 DAYS AGO.

OMGOSH I AM SO SORRY BLOGASPHERE. Also people were probably going hey remember that *cool* girl that used to blog? Yeah well she doesn’t anymore.. wonder what happened to her?

** I am not cool and this blog sometimes feels like me just trying in a different way to validate my non- coolness**

I’ve been busy which shouldn’t be an excuse but it is because I was trying to live that artistic life and I had a show this past weekend ( it went great! thanks for asking and I’m sorry I’m terrible at promoting stuff I do!) Onward and blog-word.

The subject matter of my play was a sensitive topic, it was about trauma and I won’t go into details because it’s not mine to go into details about. But all in all a very sensitive subject matter, and I think we treated it with the care that it deserved.

Doing this play ( re: all plays ) requires us as actors to be sensitive. As actors we are always being told that we have to be open to everything. To being vulnerable and all of the things that you might not normally like to be.

Now I am a sensitive person. I may be an overtly sensitive person. When I was younger my brother would get injured and I would cry. Not just on one occasion on like all occasion’s. If I was ever going to be in Heroes clearly I would be an empath and hopefully get to make out with Milo Ventimiglia. Now saying I’m a sensitive person would make you think that that would factor into my acting. It would help me out and maybe I’d have some weird edge on some people that are robots.

Well you’d be wrong. I’ll jump back a little. While also being a very sensitive person, I was a very sensitive child, and I was very shy. ( Don’t ask me where that went although I do have moments of social anxiety sometimes, don’t we all? ) Somewhere along my childhood though I learned to repress it. I wouldn’t even be able to tell you when it happened or where it came from. I’ve had talks about it with my acting coach who suggested that somewhere in my childhood I probably felt embarrassed for being really sensitive to something, or embarrassed or ashamed that something made me cry so easily. This I can imagine. And of course you go through middle school and you just want to make it out alive so you make sure that you never cry in front of anyone for any reason.

By the time I hit high school I was probably on my way to getting used to repressing things, emotionally anyway. Doesn’t mean I didn’t feel them. I did. A lot.

Sometimes I think I feel certain emotions or certain things way more than other people (Empath see? Cast me in your next movie Marvel, and can I also wear a cape? ).

So years ( probably at this point now ) of me repressing a majority of my emotions and now I want to be an actor? Yeah fucking right. Good luck and see you on the other side. Well don’t worry because that’s kind of what happened. University kicked my ass and lots of scenes or plays I did I didn’t connect to, because I felt like I couldn’t. You want to try opening Pandora’s box after 10 years? I didn’t think so. I’ve been called the Ice Queen so many times in my family it is a running joke. Nothing makes me cry. Theatre that moves me, good movies, television shows, pretty much nothing. So yeah, who’s the robot now?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m often emotional watching things, and I’ll always feel a lump rising in my throat but I could always push it down, take a breath and move past it. I’ll always remember a particular moment with my acting coach when I was doing a monologue I had done approx. a hundred times in front of her. She told me to do something different with it and kept pushing me and pushing me, and finally I cried. When I was doing it, as I was saying it. She announced I had had a breakthrough as an actor. Now has that moment happened since then? No. But to me it means I can get there again. Eventually.

It’s taken me way too long to realize that being sensitive is ok. That I shouldn’t try to repress everything because one day you’ll have to do something with all of that repression and it won’t be good. Sometimes things actually make me cry now. They are still rare and few between and sometimes I still get judged for not being able to cry during something like Titanic. But now I can name some instances I’ve cried watching something, ( they are few so I remember them )

  1. Cory Monteith’s episode on Glee right after he died and everyone had to process it. Oh my god. I thought I was upset when I found out he died but this episode cut me.
  2. Les Mis movie, sometime near the end I can’t quite remember when.
  3. X men: Days of Future Past ( Good job marvel you made me cry at a superhero movie now will you let me wear a cape? )
  4. Gilmore Girls: A year in the Life. I never cried during the series once but I cried twice watching the revival. I’ll let you guess when ( hint they’re both Luke and Lorelai related)

 

So I’m trying to be ok with my sensitivity, which is always a process. Trying to be more open with my emotions will probably make me a better actor which will always be a good thing. If nothing else you can find joy that I cried during X Men and we can have a laugh about it because personally I think it’s hilarious that Hugh Jackman made me cry.

Here is a meme to remember how great Heroes was and me thinking that I’d have awesome empath powers:c998ae12e24abb102900a4774feada05-1

 

Also enjoy this very weird music video from 3 doors down with their song Kryptonite:

 

 

 

Not here to be your social media moral conscious

Merry boxmas! Or christmas, or hanukkah or however you decided to spend your holidays, religious or not.

I apologize for being a bit AWOL ( if people are still using that term) last week, I figured that I had already written about christmas so I didn’t know what to write about and I got lazy as well. I got off work on Friday and for the first time since university I have like 10 days off in a row over christmas! It’s crazy! I may do some things I may netflix and eat chocolate the entire time and have no one but my cat to judge me for doing it. Who, by the way is ecstatic that I am at home for long periods of time where she can sit on me and be content for hours at a time.

Onward. Something I thought I would talk about or open up the convo to talk about is social media. I know, its not entirely christmas related but you know what it’s officially the 26th so I’m off the hook for talking more about christmas.

The world of social media didn’t exist that much for me as a kid. I remember when we got our first computer and it was a big deal because not all of my friends had them yet. When I got msn I was over the moon and come high school you could not get me off msn. But things like facebook, twitter, instagram, vine, snapchat you name it didn’t exist yet. Facebook came out when I was in grade 12 and I’ll be eternally grateful for not having evidence that I had braces, glasses and terrible acne throughout high school all over my social media outlets.

I got twitter when I was in university, I will say that my dad being the social media guru person that he is ( this is fairly accurate you would have to meet him to confirm this) likes to point out that he had twitter before my brother or I even knew what twitter was about. I got it in 2011 so in my second last year of university.

I was one of those annoying people that was anti-twitter just because I didn’t understand how twitter worked. But oh man. When I got it. Sure I probably tweeted about things ( still do ) that people don’t really care about. But I quickly came to the realization that you know who else has twitter? Actors. And celebrities. And people I had had no previous contact with at all but just fangirled hard core over and suddenly I could tweet at them?! They could respond?! MIND BLOWN.

Now I realize as much as I like tweeting at celeb’s that it becomes one of those annoying things that will get me un-followed, same as if I live tweet watching Felicity ( which I did last christmas because have you seen that show?! OMG). Some days I care, some days I don’t care and I’m just like whatever brah, just let me do me.

A variety of people that I’ve gotten responses from are Milo Ventimiglia, Ben Feldman, Zoe Kazan, George Strombo, Julia Stiles, Ingrid Michaelson, the Backstreet Boys (ohmylanta I couldn’t handle life that day) and Mara Wilson. To name a few. One famous time I asked George Strombolopolous to wish me a happy grad from university in 2012 and he did better than that. He made me a fucking video, when he was on the road somewhere with people and took time out of his life to make me a small 36 sec video wishing me good luck with my future. It was the best grad present I got.

Now that’s the fandom side of me being on social media. But as an actor it’s also a tool. To promote stuff I’m doing, to connect with other local winnipeg actors or whatnot that are on social media. It’s taken me a while, and some fabulous workshops I’ve taken, to know that as an actor I’m a brand. I’m selling a certain brand and the brand is myself.  And I know some people that don’t “believe” in social media. And that’s fine. Live your life. But they most likely aren’t my target audience. Even casting directors want to be able to search for you on the internet and also since this blog I think I’m more searchable than ever now.

Case in point, someone I matched with on tinder freaked out that I had met Patti Smith, which I wrote about on my blog – see very searchable. I’ve literally had people come up to me and tell me that they read everything I post on fb, which in itself is scary. Sometimes I tell people that I’m more unfiltered on twitter so if you can handle me at my Facebook, you can handle me on twitter. I’ve also had people say it as a derogatory term like oh yeah I know, I read it on your Facebook. To that I go, so? At least you read it, you may not have liked that you read it, but you did and I’m not here to be your moral conscious on social media.

So yeah, sometimes I’m on my phone way too much. I would like to add that who isn’t? And sometimes it takes me away from things and when it does I try to check in with myself. Like if I’m spending time with people do I need to check my phone to see if Milo Ventimiglia liked my tweet? Probably not.  I’ve heard in the past that today’s kids will probably be good or end up doing jobs that haven’t even been invented yet. When I was growing up there was no such thing as a social media coordinator, if you wanted to be social you probably picked up the phone to call someone. I didn’t know there would be a job that didn’t even exist yet that I wanted. * Again outside of acting, because we all know how much money that doesn’t make…*

Most days I feel good about my social media usage, and there are days when I try to cut back, and actually if I’m staring at a screen too long I get a headache, at which point it is definitely time to go read a book. Last night I was live tweeting about a terrible hallmark card movie I was watching that was actually getting a lot of likes. I may do the same tonight.

As always if you want to follow me on other outlets:

my twitter is @rebajesse ( public )

and my instagram is @rebajesse ( it’s private but you can always ask to follow me )

I do wish I could show you the video which I would post here from George Strombolopolous but keek doesn’t exist anymore and I’m currently trying to get him to send me a new link to the video but it hasn’t happened yet.

Here’s a nice Ryan Gosling meme that I found that feels accurate:

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And here are some pics that I do in fact get tweeted at

 

 

 

The Holiday Month that is December

I know it’s only December 12th but to me it feels like Christmas is right around the corner. ( The corner being next week ) and while I could write about something else the fact is that December just feels like a holiday month.

I’m serious. An entire holiday month that feels like nothing but christmas parties you’re obligated to go to and you better byo-any alcohol that will fit in your tiny purse that literally only holds your phone.

Lately when people want to hang out I’ve said I’m busy every single weekend can we hang out in January? And this is not family stuff. The older I get the more grateful I am that my immediate family is small and we have like two things. A thing on Christmas Eve and lazing around on Christmas day being like well we should eat eventually.

For example last year my family and I had chinese food for supper and went to a movie christmas day. It was kind of nice and very low key.

Saying this now is kind of unbelievable. Anyone in my family will attest to the fact that I am one for tradition. More so than my parents have been or  will ever be. I like things in a certain way, I like things to stay the same, and apparently liking organized plans are a virgo trait so I’m just following my astrological sign there.

I will say that traditionally I do like watching certain christmas movies every year. My main one that is not a christmas movie at all. It’s  The Sound of Music. When I was younger and we got together with family friends of ours on christmas day the kids would end up in the basement and we would turn on the T.V. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to watch T.V. on christmas day. I think it’s a lot better now than it was back in the late 90’s/ early 2000s. Like you could probably find something on T.V. that you would actually watch.

Not the case when I was a child. Which meant we normally ended up watching whatever was on CBC because it was the only thing that wasn’t like the news or something. And what was on CBC every single year? The Sound of Music.

And at the glorious age of 23 a childhood dream of mine came true and I went to Salzburg, Austria and visited every place that they filmed for The Sound of Music. It was raining the entire day and I had to get someone else to take pictures of me standing in front of the gazebo and various things but I am happy in every single picture.

Another fave of mine is The Holiday. I know you’re saying but what about Love Actually?!? What about Hugh Grant?!? And Colin Firth?!

To that I say have you seen Jude Law do Mr. Napkin head in The Holiday or watch Cameron Diaz rock out to Mr. Brightside by The Killers? As an adult I also feel like I can ridiculously relate to both Cameron and Kate in that movie because they just want to get away from it all and get over various ex’s.  Also we can not forget that Eli Wallach pretty much explains what meet-cutes are in this movie and I use that term in my daily life.

The older I get I think the whole being excited about Christmas thing wears off as well. I look forward to hanging out with friends ( yeah all those christmas parties are a lot but also I’ve never seen my friends more in the span time of one month ) and value things like getting time off of work to be at home. To be lazy. To not get out of my pjs until dinner. To be excited when family comes home for christmas that I don’t get to see all the time. My brother doesn’t live in Winnipeg but always manages to come home for Christmas and I always love it. Even if we don’t hang out it’s good to have him home even if all we do is watch something like Back to the Future, or LOTR ( you try telling me that there is not a more perfect time to watch LOTR with commentary than at christmas) and quote the entire movie.

* Side note we’re a pain to watch a lot of movies with and it just gets worse as we get older*

Traditions can be great but it’s only a small part of the holiday season as I’m learning and the less I think we put it on a pedestal the better. Although that’s not going to stop me from watching The Holiday at least once complete with wine and chocolate because that’s my own small tradition that I like to live in.

This remains one of my favourite moments from the holiday:

cc2bde0990db531c0ebef023857c7677

 

Eye of the Tiger

This past weekend I went to the theatre. No, not a movie, but you know the actual theatre.

I saw Tigers Be Still which was put on by District Theatre Collective, a small but mighty independent theatre company here in Winnipeg. It’s run by local theatre people and a few people who I know/ went to school with. The play was what I needed. It made me laugh so much, and it was so relate-able my life seemed to parallel Sherry’s ( who was the main female protagonist).

I could rave about how much I loved this play for the entire blog post.  I would and I would also encourage you to see it, but it being a small theatre company they tend not to have very long runs and it had about a 4 night run, so it ended on Sunday.

What I will passionately rave/ rant about is something that I went to afterwords. That is something quite passionate and dear to my heart. Women in Theatre.

Oof. I can already hear everyone simultaneously getting tense as I type that.

I went to an amazing panel discussion after the play that was put on by District Theatre Collective ( from here on in DTC) the panel was filled with local woman involved in  winnipeg theatre in any way shape or form. Actors, improvisers, playwrights, directors, artistic directors and a moderator, to you know, moderate things. The moderator started out with stats that we all seemed to know and cringe with. For those of you less in the know than myself ( or other women in theatre ) I’ll lay it out for you.

There are less than 1/3rd of women ( I believe these were Canadian statistics but I may be wrong) in the Canadian theatre world in these categories:

  1. As Artistic Directors/ Directors
  2. As playwrights
  3. As actors

Are you shocked? I wasn’t either. Which is entirely disappointing. Because I think we should be. These statistics are also scary because when they looked ( whoever they were the random statistic people of canada maybe) more than 80 percent of theatre schools/ institutions were made up of women.

SO WHERE DO THEY ALL GO?!?! Exactly. While we may have high numbers in theatre school, and trust me that statistic is legit, I went to theatre school and I could always count on one hand the amount of males in my classes, we seem to peter off afterwords. Maybe we do something else, maybe we get more adult jobs or, if you’re like myself and so many other women I know, we’re struggling a.f. to get anything.

This isn’t a poor me let’s pity women type of thing. This is the reality of going out and trying to get stuff/ do stuff after you got this degree that proves you can sort of a do an artistic thing. From more statistics from the moderator, and also just facts from the women up there who were talking, a lot of the theatre world is run by men. Directors are mostly men, as are artistic directors ( people that run theatre companies, people who decide what plays get seen for their season of theatre) and please don’t get me started on who they’re always looking for for parts.

The need for caucasian men between the ages of 25-40 seems to be great. Abounding. And suddenly all of these men come out of the woodwork and you’re like I’ve been here trying to do some things/ get some things for 5 plus years who are you? And then they tell you that they just decided to try this acting thing and if you’re like me you just get mad and try not to punch them in the face. Because for sure they’re going to get that part.

This panel talked not only about women in theatre but specifically woc ( women of colour) in theatre and poc ( people of colour ) in theatre. And to quote my one friend when the moderator asked her if she thought that had changed at all in the past few years she legit just said “um… no. ” Which is so true. How can we expect to see these things happen if people don’t get the opportunity to do them?  If they don’t have access to these opportunities?  This perspective of mine I know comes from my own privileged white self and I know I was granted opportunities that not everyone has. So all of this ends up making my brain hurt because how can we change this? How can we change these stats?

The topic shifted as we began to talk about theatre companies in general. A lot of independent theatre companies end up being run by women ( DTC- run mostly by women) and yes they’re smaller. But they end up being able to do more edgy theatre. The only way it seems we are going to get seen and heard and tell our stories is when we create our own theatre. Someone else on the panel said that if you took a look at all of the risky,”out there” theatre for the majority of the part, it’s not being done by men it’s being done by women. Because we have to be scrappy, we have to be edgy just to change those damn statistics.

Those terrible stats won’t change overnight, and apparently they haven’t even changed in the past few decades. Which is sad. Because really when you think of the majority of people that go to the theatre? It’s mostly women. It really is.

I’m hoping DTC will keep having these panel discussions because the key is to keep talking about it and taking action towards it. Tweet at them @districttheatre to keep the convo going!

I’ll leave with this GREAT quote that one woman said that I wish I could take credit for:

“You can’t be a mediocre woman unless you’re very privileged and very beautiful.”

Truth.

Here’s a pic I took from the panel discussion:

image1

And here’s a link to District Theatre Collective’s twitter:

https://twitter.com/districttheatre