You’re Still A Contender

So Gilmore Girls A Year in the Life was released this past weekend. And unless you’ve been living under a rock you or someone you know has probably talked about it or watched it.

** Don’t worry no spoilers here, I recognize that everyone may not have binge watched it like I did until 4 am**

People always seem to ask why Gilmore Girls? What is it about this show? The people I’ve talked to friends and family alike seem to either hate it or love it, there is no in between. People that hate it for the most part hate that they talk so fast. The people that love it love the pace of the show, myself falling into the latter category. As an actor I am incredibly impressed and fascinated that they can talk that fast. People don’t seem to know that that is an incredible skill and incredibly difficult. I don’t know if I could do it. And it is true their scripts are twice as long as normal scripts because of how fast they talk.

I don’t know if I can pinpoint an exact reason why I like it but I can try, from my perspective anyway. ( This is anthems of this 20 something after all) The trials and tribulations of Lorelai’s and Rory’s relationships are definitely relate-able. But at the heart of this show, at the heart of everything is this fascinating mother-daughter relationship that seems to not exist IRL. ( Or no one I know has that kind of relationship with their mother )

They are best friends, they tell each other everything, they hang out together because they want to. They tell each other about their dating lives. Again, fascinating. Now I didn’t grow up with a single mom, and my mom didn’t have me at 16 either. I have a fairly well rounded family with siblings and my parents have been together since like the dawn of time. But the closeness of Lorelai and Rory’s relationship fascinates me. Even with Emily who doesn’t get along with Lorelai throughout this series there is still this closeness that she now knows so much about her daughter’s life and in turn her granddaughter’s life.

And Rory. Rory for me is everything that wasn’t on television at that point in time. She was a hardworking girl who wanted good grades, who wanted to go to an Ivy League College and boys were always an after thought. As someone who didn’t date in high school this was huge for me. While I loved The O.C. I could without a doubt say that Marissa and Summer (as much as I loved Summer) were entirely un-relatable and despite the amount of guys I could count that were like Seth Cohen, their lives did not echo mine.

Rory had huge ambitions, she wanted to do well, she wanted to get along with her mom and make her proud and I got that. I constantly wanted to get good grades which I mostly did, where things like sports were never my thing I loved school. Minus science for the most part, I did well in school. Even when Rory flipped out about not wanting to go to Yale and not being good enough, I felt I could relate. I had a similar moment after first year of University and questioned whether I should go back.

Of course I will always be #teamjess and am still looking for some article of clothing to commemorate that. IMO he matched Rory intellect for intellect and challenged her in ways her other boyfriends never did. But the fact that Rory doesn’t end up with any of her boyfriends at the end of Season 7?  It kind of makes sense to me. She was always bigger  than any relationship she ever had and always had outside goals and ambitions, and that’s what I liked about her. She didn’t let the Madeline and Louise’s of the world control her dating life and while she did date incredibly good looking guys, she did manage to always put her life first, whether it was her studies or hanging out with her mom.  She was always an independent woman who was very smart and honestly no guy could probably keep up her.

And what does she get from all of this? Oh yeah she gets to follow Obama around on his campaign trail and report it. Pretty cool. Now I know people may or may not know what happened in A year in the life, and I won’t make spoilers here, but this is just my opinion from the first seven seasons of #gg. I also have a flood of opinions from the revival but I figure I’ll let people watch it first to form their own.

I’ll leave with one of my fave quotes from A year in the Life though and this is not a spoiler but it was in the trailer so if you didn’t see the trailer I apologize in advance and don’t keep reading:

It is indeed a jess and rory interaction:

Rory: I could’ve been a contender!

Jess: You’re still a contender.

Through everything Rory has been through she’s still a contender, and no boy was going to alter that for her.

But also this picture:

image1.PNG

And the trailer:

The Tragic Romantic Four

So I know I missed a week. I’m sorry to everyone who follows this blog ( which may just be my dad- sorry dad) I had a busy week. A heads up that since I’ve changed jobs I no longer have Tuesday during the day off so my blog will most likely resume to a Monday/ Tuesday evening post.

Onward, since I know my personal life isn’t always super fascinating, I’ll talk about something that has always fascinated me. It’s something called The Enneagram. Now I grew up in a house where The Enneagram was always talked about. I remember when my parents would have their friends over and they would get together and talk about the enneagram.

It involved talking about numbers. A lot of numbers. I didn’t understand the number thing. Only when I grew up a bit did I realize that the numbers actually meant something. For people reading this that have never heard of the enneagram- I’ll clue you in.

The Enneagram at the base of things is like a personality test. It’s like Myers Briggs you know those tests you took when you were younger to figure out what kind of qualities you had? If you were on an extroverted person or an introverted person? If you were more logical, more empathetic? Basically where you were on Myers Briggs line.  ( ENFP – I still remember that from high school ) It’s kind of the same thing. But also way more in depth.

The Enneagram deals with numbers as I said.  The Greek word ennea- means nine and the gramma, is something written or drawn. So the numbers go from 1-9. Each number has a different space of where you kind of live/ make your decisions from. They may be called something else officially but what my parents have told me is that there are three spaces; the head space, the heart space and the gut space. **

** These are also apparently called The Instinctive Centre, The Feeling Centre and The Thinking Centre **

So numbers 2,3,4 are from the heart space. They make a lot of decisions based on how they feel, they make them from their heart. ( This isn’t to say that the other numbers aren’t feeling numbers but they think about decisions differently than 2-4’s do) Numbers 5,6,7 are the head space. They tend to think really logical about things before they make a decision and can be in their head a lot- also the thinking centre. And numbers 8,9 and 1 is in the gut space. Or in the instinctive centre. They make decisions from their gut and what feels right in their gut, for them it’s all about justice.

Typically you are supposed to take an online test about what number you are. Also people aren’t supposed to tell you what your number is. I had someone tell me at an early age (one of my parent’s friends) what number I was- way before I was into the enneagram. Also a typical sign of what number you could be, or as it has been pointed out to me is the number you don’t want to be is probably the number you are.

I’m a four on the enneagram. They are kind of known as the tragic romantics ( I hated the title already ) or the individualist. In Helen Palmer’s book The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and the Others in your Life she describes the tragic romantic as:

“…Having attained recognition and material success, remains steadfastly focused upon the lost love, the unavailable love, a future love, and a picture of happiness that only love can bring. To understand this worldview, you need to project yourself into a state of mind where decisions are based as much upon the shifting chemistry of mood as upon the perception of actual facts; and where conversations are remembered for their feeling tone and innuendo as for whatever words were actually expressed. ”

Fours can be expressive, dramatic, and self absorbed. They tend to be creative people. (although really I think any number can be creative, I just know a lot of artist 4’s )  I always think I feel things a lot, and sometimes more than other people, possibly because I’m a four and often feel first and think later. I am often guilty of the cry of the four which is I’m unique/ special and want to be treated as such. Sometimes hanging out with a bunch of four’s, as a lot of my artist friends are, can be a bit much. We all want to be special or unique and frankly it’s a lot to be around for long periods of time.

When fours are in unhealthy spaces they become very melancholy ( I often think I’m in a sad french film when I’m in an unhealthy space) and move to the two space. When they’re in healthy spaces they move towards the one and become more active. Sometimes I feel like a manic one when I become active and decide I have to do all the things so I can get out of my unhealthy space.

All of the numbers are very different and there are also wings ( like I’m a 4 with a 3 wing which means that sometimes I inhabit 3 like qualities- like being a chameleon).

The Enneagram is definitely a way to learn more about yourself, which I’ve always appreciated and I’ve actually discussed a lot about it with my friends, and now we have conversations about what numbers we are. It’s kind of a good healthy way to mind yourself, to think about your thoughts, and to change the negative ones because at the end of the day we should all be a little like all of the numbers. But that’s just this four’s perspective.

Want to find out what number you are because now you’re so intrigued? Sure you do:

Here’s a link: https://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/dotest.php

Also here’s a clip of what celebrities relate to what number on the enneagram ( which may be totally false but is fun to watch anyway – because who doesn’t want to know what Tom Cruise would be on the enneagram? )

I’m With Her

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016. Today is election day in the United States. My facebook/instagram/ twitter has been flooded for the past few months with my American friends telling people to vote, and who to vote for.

Right now being Canadian, as I am, looks pretty good. But I am very concerned. Whoever gets voted in to be the president will no doubt affect Canada, and you know well, everyone. Maybe I shouldn’t have an opinion, or maybe my opinion doesn’t matter because it’s not like I can vote in this election—but I’m putting it out there and saying #ImwithHer . Looking at the American election from Canada is what I imagine the Americans might have been doing when we recently elected our new Prime Minister. Everyone was paranoid that too many people would vote for Stephen Harper again, and I couldn’t stand to look at his stupid sweater vests for another four years.

I like to think of myself as a strong, independent woman, which I also believe defines Hillary Clinton. Like look at all girl has gone through to get to where she is today. This is why I’m so confused by women who support Donald Trump. He talks about women in the crudest possible ways and the most objectifying ways like we are not humans. I haven’t met any woman who does support Trump—the only one I know of is that woman on CNN who is blonde and I can’t remember her name. But I want to shake her and say you know he hates us… RIGHT?!?!

My brother posted something on facebook today that said:

“Happy Am I moving to Canada day?! ” Which made me laugh, but also resonates some truth. People joke about moving to Canada all the time but if Hillary doesn’t win how many people will actually consider moving here? I know for me if the election went south,  I would move to Canada if I was American.

Back to Hillary. I can’t believe that people are still talking about those emails. I want to say let it go guys, because your other option is a misogynist tool who has legit sexually assaulted women and this is the person we want young people and children to look up to? No thanks.

Yeah, I see myself as a strong feminist but often my brain gets conflicted. I believe that anyone can be a feminist because it’s just about equality. Do you think women should get paid the same amount of money for doing the same work that men do? Because I think they should. I’ll tell you why my brain gets conflicted. Because I see myself as this strong independent person, there are certain situations that present themselves that make me feel less strong. An example would be when I get in a cab by myself late at night. Because of recent stories I’ve heard, sometimes I feel unsafe. I don’t think that I need another person in the cab with me, but the fact that I am a woman changes the dynamic in the cab. * This is why I like to take the bus home if I can *

So where is this little anecdote going? I think we need to see women differently. We need to see women in positions of power. We need Hillary. Things like how the media views women can’t change overnight. Just like things like women feeling safe in cabs unfortunately can’t change overnight either. ( A reason why Winnipeg needs uber right there )

For myself, I’ll always take a bus home if I have an option to ( although that is not to say that terrible things don’t happen on buses either… because they do ) and maybe one day that will change. I think the sooner we can do this whole equality thing the better. We’re getting there, but we’re nowhere near where we should be. I think it’s why we need Hillary, to stand up for us and for women everywhere, even this Canadian who is not an American citizen.

Here is a great clip from when Hillary Clinton was on SNL and my girl crush Kate Mckinnon being Hillary Clinton.

 

Are you also a Canadian that wants to  go out and see the election results? The one place I know in Winnipeg that is showing them, (probably with themed drinks as well) is The Good Will, which this girl will be going to after my class tonight. Link here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1123555234367140/

 

My creative outlet

So Halloween was yesterday. For the most part on the actual day of Halloween I didn’t do that much. I went to work, came home after, saw my niece and nephew get dressed up and be cute for Halloween and probably ate too much candy.

That being said that doesn’t mean that I don’t like Halloween. I’ve found that particularly with Halloween it’s either something people like or hate. It’s an either/or situation. I definitely fall into the category of liking Halloween, I think I always have. Save for some years when I thought I was over Halloween I’ve always enjoyed dressing up for the event.

The older I get  I feel like I shouldn’t be as “into” Halloween anymore, but I think my liking Halloween is contagious among my friends. For the past few years they’ve always asked me what I’m going as, and my one close friend even asked me this year what her costume should be. This is all to say that I am not one to half-ass Halloween anymore. I either go big or go home.

Halloween can be seen as some sort of greedy holiday that is in fact not a holiday at all.  I choose to see it as a creative opportunity to DIY your costume. I’ve never been someone that goes out to buy a specific costume. I wanted my parents to buy me one when I was younger, but that’s because I didn’t know any better. My best costume as a child was when I went as Zorro ( defying gender norms from an early age apparently) and I had to get creative and put a bunch of pieces together after a trip to value village.

Some of my best costumes have been in recent years when I’ve planned my Halloween costume a few months in advance. Last year was one of my faves when I went as Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. This year depending on my hair colour I wasn’t sure about my costume.

Currently my blonde-ish hair stage meant that I might go as Buffy, or Penny Lane from Almost Famous although I didn’t think her character was recognizable enough.

* I learned at an early stage that if people don’t recognize your costume you are going to be sorely disappointed no matter how awesome your costume is *

And then I saw Ghostbusters with my friend this summer.  As someone who thinks about Halloween in summer I knew what my costume was going to be. I could also re-use my goggles and leather gloves from being Ramona Flowers for my Ghost-busting Jillian Holtzmann costume.  Finding a jumpsuit was going to be probably the most difficult part of my Halloween costume. Especially because I didn’t want to order one online and pay a copious amount of money for a costume I’d probably wear once.

To value village I went. And nothing. I was almost considering going as Holtzmann in her daily life but knew I wouldn’t be recognizable and that wasn’t going to fly. So then I went to Party Stuff where I asked one of the retail people if they had jumpsuits. The closest thing she had was a green jumpsuit from top gun that was covered in U.S. badges and about 2x too big for me. Some people might be discouraged at this point. I saw it as something I could work with and a new Halloween challenge to step up my DIY game.

I went to Michaels last week to acquire bright orange duct tape and to make my own Screw U necklace that Kate Mckinnon wears. I knew I had a belt at home that would solve some of the 2x too big problem and provide shape so I didn’t look like a box. Saturday with a borrowed backpack from my sister, a flashlight, a vacuum part, duct tape, wire and a smoke detector I worked on my proton pack. My Halloween game was going to be majorly stepped up if it killed me.

I’ve never really seen Halloween as this sort of creative outlet that I have. My dad reminded me that I’m creating for the sake of creating something, even if it’s just for Halloween. It’s true I get incredibly crafty at Halloween, and driven to make my costume as excellent as possible.

Being this crafty at Halloween makes me think I could be a costume designer or something but in reality I can’t sew at all so I just appreciate my crafty-ness once a year.  It’s this small creative thing that brings me joy every October and my little creative outlet if I have nothing else going on. I went to a Halloween party this past weekend as Jillian Holtzmann from Ghostbusters and people loved my costume. Someone even told me I won Halloween. I think it’s good to remember small things that can bring you joy, Halloween is one of mine and I look forward to it every year.

I feel like I hyped up my Halloween costume so much this year it would be unfair if I didn’t post a picture so here is me being Jillian Holtzmann from Ghostbusters:

14889896_10154065920251134_3795210090568125320_o

I also forgot about this picture which I love from when my friend and I went to the Rocky Horror Picture show last year and we went as Magenta and Columbia ( another fave costume of mine I went as Magenta, she went as Columbia)

11046223_10153257484991134_6985785391045497280_n

As someone who LOVES Rocky Horror here is The Time Warp for you to listen to on this post Halloween day as well. ( From the original of course )

You don’t got it

“You don’t got it.” This is seriously the worst ( or one of the worst ) moments in Gilmore Girls for me. Yes, I apologize that I may reference #gg again in my blog but it will be brief.

This moment, if you are unfamiliar with Gilmore Girls is when everything goes to hell in a handbasket for Rory *spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched all of gilmore girls yet *

It’s the moment where Mitchum Huntzberger tells Rory that he thinks that she doesn’t have what it takes to be a journalist. Whatever “it” is, she doesn’t have the drive or ambition or whatever.  And it totally crushes her. And then she steals a yacht with Logan    (which I mean Jess would never let her do, sorry still #teamjess) and drops out of Yale and her perfectionist image is ruined for all of season six.

Rory is a very perseverant person. She has been all throughout the series up until this moment where she cracks more or less under the pressure of criticism. This is where Rory and I are so similar it’s scary.

I have always been told that I’m a very perseverant person. Just like Rory. Nine times out of ten I don’t really believe it, but then I have to look at my track record and I have to agree.

When Rory stole a yacht she was acting out against the criticism she didn’t want to hear and didn’t know how to cope with it properly. But I mean I can’t say I blame her, all she’s ever wanted to be is a journalist. She has persevered for that goal since the beginning. Since the end of high school I think all I’ve ever wanted to do is be an actor. There was a brief stint in elementary school where I wanted to be a veterinarian but as soon as I found out that you had to be good at science I was out.

This is why in my third-ish year of university after I auditioned for an acting program that I didn’t get into I was crushed. Oh I was beyond crushed. I had persevered so hard for this and it was all that I knew. People that I respected and considered important people had said that whatever “it” was I probably didn’t have it. I probably wasn’t going to make it. I believe the next year in school was incredibly hard because I didn’t know what to do anymore. I retreated, I didn’t take any acting courses to better myself that year and I avoided the theatre building like the plague. The fact that this happened umpteen years ago and I still think about it sometimes I think outlines how devastated I was. But, I was unadventurous and did not steal a yacht, or do anything stupid. But I did stop acting. Just like Rory stopped being a journalist for most of season six.

I took another program a few years after university that I did get into and it was great. I wanted to build up my resume to get to the point where I could get into the program, and I think I did that. I’ve had people tell me that they admire my drive, my ambition and that they could never do what I do. For me there’s not an option of not doing it. All of the Mitchum Huntzberger’s in the world could tell me that I suck and I think I’d walk out of the office to go and try and prove him wrong.

I have moments of course where I lack confidence, where I think I suck. But I think every actor has that. I did a fringe show about a year ago ( by that I mean I acted and produced one) which I never thought I’d be able to do, but nobody told me that I couldn’t do it. It didn’t even cross my mind that I couldn’t do it, it was something that had to be done.

For myself I always want to try and improve, and do better and have a plan. Sometimes my plan doesn’t work, but I think failing is a part of persevering so much. I’ve failed so many times I can’t count but I think it’s the stupid ambitious gene in myself that tells me to keep going. That’s what Rory eventually did and look where it got her- on the Obama campaign trail ( I know you’re so tired of my #gg references sorry ) at the end of season seven.

Sometimes I’m so one tracked it’s probably not good for me. Sometimes I need more balance. And sometimes I need a break from acting. Right now I’m taking a course because I want to apply for a program and I think this course will help in that way. Because my one track always wants to have a plan. My one track Rory Gilmore mind is perseverant a.f. and I like it that way.

A Rory meme I found that I liked-

images

And a link to the trailer we did for our show Clink in #wpgfringe 2015 –

Do you read much? What is much?

As long as I can remember I’ve loved books. I don’t even know if there was a time in my life when I didn’t love books or had a book in my hand. But while I failed to grasp concepts of math or be interested in volcanoes that spurted baking soda, I always read at a higher level than the grade that I was in.

Lately with all the technology and Netflix in the world I feel like people have forgotten books. And I am so guilty of this. I’m currently binge watching Gilmore Girls because it is coming up guys and if you’re not on #teamjess I don’t know if we can be friends.

When I was small I was super shy, it’s kind of funny to think about it now because I don’t see myself as a shy person anymore, or very rarely. Books definitely played into my shyness though. For me if other kids didn’t want to play with me or if I was too shy to play with them ( more often than not the case ) I had books, they were my friends and they always wanted to play with me.

Going over to other people’s houses was common when I was younger as we had a lot of family friends that we saw often. More often than not the kids wouldn’t necessarily be my age so while my brother would go play I would wander off and go in search of books. Every house had a bookshelf you just had to know where to find it. Hallways were a good start, and more often than not you had to go upstairs to find the really good books because they were never on the main floor. When it was time to leave the house my parents would always have to look for me because I’d have found some corner, some stair and have tuned out the world by reading a book that I had discovered.

I was always the kid that loved indoor recess because it meant I could read whatever book I was currently into, and not have to face Winnipeg winter. My love of books continued into junior high where my first few years of middle school were not my favourite and I spent the majority of grade seven in the library. Technically you weren’t allowed to eat in the library but I went there every lunch hour with my book and the librarian probably took pity on me and let me eat my lunch in the cubby hole with my book.

If people ever wonder ( they probably shouldn’t at this point ) why Jess is my favourite on Gilmore Girls one of the main reasons is because he’s as much of a book person as Rory is. He was incredibly smart, and find me a guy that would write notes in my favourite book for me and I’m sold.

Lately I feel like I’ve been reading less and it makes me sad. I could use all sorts of excuses but I really blame no one but myself. When I was younger I dreamed of having nothing but spare time and avoiding homework so I could read my book. I feel like my younger self would be disappointed if she knew that my spare time now consists of Netflix, naps and only reading stuff when I have auditions to prep for. That’s not to say that I’m not trying to read, because sometimes I forget how much I love it.

I’m currently reading The Heart is a lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers because my dad went to Mcnally Robinson and like me has a hard time not buying books when he goes into a book store, and he picked it out for me. The title alone has been the title of so many television episodes that it was already a reference in my brain. I like it so far and I’m not even halfway through yet.

I’m a great believer in books, I probably always will be. When I’m at work lately sometimes it’s hard to read my book when everyone is on their phone but I think of myself when I was 10 and that girl had no problem tuning out the world to focus on her reading, so I’m going to try and do the same. When I look after my niece she always wants me to read to her and I hope that she still wants me to in five years. Plus, I do voices which is the best part.

 

Here is one of my fave Jess/Rory moments ( of which I have many ) but I mean I don’t think you can read too many books. What is much anyway?

 

a6b9bee8dfeb00df22afad0cc63f7d2d

Also if you haven’t read Allen Ginsberg’s Howl I recommend it. As someone who doesn’t normally like poetry- I’ve tried trust me- I really like this poem.

Here’s a link to it-

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/49303

( Also Allen Ginsberg is one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation, which Jess is obsessed with and I also love)

Another recommendation is a movie that explores the beat generation from Allen Ginsberg’s point of view and is one of my favourites, definitely recommend it called Kill your Darlings here’s the trailer:

Just Patti

I’ll start off by saying that I don’t really believe in heroes. Except for the show Heroes which if you’ve ever followed me on a social media platform you know I mostly love because Milo Ventimiglia is in it. I will take a pull quote from that show though, you know besides save the cheerleader save the world. ( Good job writers, everyone knows that quote I mean EVERYONE ). It’s some people are born to be extraordinary.

I believe that Patti Smith is one of those people. I can’t remember exactly when I was introduced to who Patti Smith was but I will tell you that like most things I like or have learned to like, my dad introduced me to the artist that is Patti Smith. I think he bought me my first Patti Smith album a few years ago, on vinyl of course.

So let’s just say that by the fall of 2012 I knew who Patti Smith was, had listened to her album and had read her book Just Kids that past winter when I wasn’t writing essays for school. A quick bio about her is that Patti Smith is a writer, performer and a visual artist and was one of the main influencers that started the punk movement in the 1970’s. Ok moving forward.

In the spring/summer of 2013 I travelled to Europe. It was my self-reward for finishing school and something I’d always wanted to do and I managed to convince two of my friends that we should all go together on this European adventure. Cut to Amsterdam, the last leg of our trip, and a beautiful urban city which I think everyone should go to.

We didn’t have major plans in Amsterdam but it was kind of nice just not having a plan. On our walking tour which we hadn’t done in any other city but was something I convinced Amy we should do, we passed by a book store. On the outside was a sign that someone was signing their book later that day. Not just anyone. Patti Smith was going to be at this bookstore signing her book Just Kids and it was a free event. I freaked out. If I ever believed in destiny or fate or anything I had to go to this book signing. I started talking really fast and asked Amy if we had plans later that day or if we could go back to the bookstore and see Patti Smith and get her to sign a book for me. I don’t know if we were best friends at this point we were definitely close friends (and now I consider her one of my best friends) but I will always love her for agreeing to go despite not knowing who Patti Smith was and possibly forgoing any other plans we would’ve had.

We stood in line forever. We had some nice conversations with people in line with us one of whom was a big Patti Smith fan and had gone to her concert the night before, apparently she was also playing in Amsterdam. The rule was only one person per item so you could only get Patti Smith to sign one thing. This is why Amy was holding a book for someone else ( one of the people we were talking to ) because his friend couldn’t be there. Oh and no pictures. If you took pictures I think they kicked you out. So I was next in line to meet Patti Smith. I had grabbed a copy of her Just Kids book which I already owned but I mean, now I would have a signed copy ( I’ve since given away my other copy because I don’t need two copies of her book ) and I was jittery. The person in front of me had just gushed all over Patti Smith about how she was his hero and I thought I can not be that person. I want to be someone she respects and likes so therefore I must keep my behaviour intact. I went up to her and she took my book and opened it to sign it. I had to say something, I needed to say something before the moment was gone. All I managed was I think you’re so awesome and I really really love your book. And I was smiling like an idiot. She looked at me and smiled even though she had probably heard variations of this phrase all day and said thank you. And then moved onto the next person.

I of course posted a picture on Instagram as soon as I could. Of the signed book, not of her because of the whole picture thing. My dad, my brother and my friend Anna who was at home at that point, freaked out. And anyone else who knew who Patti Smith was was freaking out over Instagram. I had met one of my heroes in the most unexpected way and when I forget about other things that happened on that trip I always remember meeting Patti.

What I like, no love about Patti Smith is she is more than just one category of artist. She’s a poet, a writer, a musician ( even though people have told her she can’t sing ) and what seems like everything in between. She doesn’t really let other people get in her way or have other people define what kind of artist she is or isn’t. This is more or less what I’m striving to be in my own artistic endeavours, I’m more than just an actor. I’m more than just one box. I’ve also dabbled in writing, producing, I can sing and I’m really not the best dancer but that doesn’t mean I don’t try to be. I want to do all the things and be in all the boxes.

I’ll leave with a fave quote of mine from Just Kids

I had no proof that I had the stuff to be an artist, though I hungered to be one

On a daily basis I wonder what being an artist means and what it entails. Some days I feel like I have no proof that I am one, but the hunger is real.

Here is a picture if you don’t believe that Patti Smith signed my book:

IMG_5334.jpg

And a link to one of her songs:

She’s also written her second book which I love called M Train, which you should also check out.

Defining Art Lines

So Nuit Blanche was this weekend. I know my last post was about Nuit Blanche as well but I promise I won’t be repeating myself here. I hope you all had a fun, safe night and got to go out and have fun.

I had a show this past weekend called After the Ball is Over, it was a remount of a show we did in March but it definitely had different vibes to it, different characters and our cast/crew was bigger. Being an anxious person I was already concerned at the beginning that my stuff was going to get taken ( my fave backpack got stolen at a fringe party this past summer and ever since then I’ve trusted humanity and the good in people less ) but we locked our stuff up and at the end of the night all of my valuable items were still there.

I’m going to reiterate the safety part of Nuit Blanche here. As I didn’t see much else after my show I”ll just talk about what happened in our show in regards to safety. And I feel it needs to be talked about. There were moments for me, where as an actor, as Reba myself, I felt a little unsafe more than I would like to. In those moments I got taken out of my character, and out of my world and had a stand off so to speak with reality. Now there were other moments that I was not a part of but was told about afterwards that happened during our show that had a disrespectful situation and were also unsafe. I won’t talk about them because they were not my moments and it’s not my story to talk about.

I will talk about how for an entire loop ( our show ran on a loop timed to music ) I had an older gentleman follow me around by himself and it made me feel unsafe and uncomfortable. There is a moment in each of the loops where I have a one on one ( like a monologue situation ) with someone and I remember him standing at the doorway looking into the place where I went and I waited. I didn’t want to have my one on one with him. It made me uncomfortable, it made me feel unsafe. So I waited until other people showed up and pulled my female friend in to have a one on one with.

There was another situation where I had a stand off with a male audience member on the staircase because he wouldn’t move out of my way. He pretty much man-splained himself standing on the staircase refusing to move. I didn’t want to move, I was a ghost and I wasn’t supposed to see people but rather pass through them, see around them. Eventually I did move because he wouldn’t and I didn’t want to create an unsafe situation for myself. I also got called a pushy bitch by an audience member who wouldn’t let myself and another actor into a room where we were supposed to be in.

Now some people may say, you should expect this or not be as surprised when these situations happen because it’s Nuit Blanche. Because there’s lot of people. To that I would say no. Yes, I expected a lot of people. What I didn’t or shouldn’t have expected was disrespect from the audience in our show. Yes, generally some people will be tools and be awful, but in my mind those people aren’t necessarily the ones that come to Nuit Blanche. Or if they did, they discovered how weird our show was and left.

As actors in rehearsal we talked about safety, and feeling safe with each other. There’s a moment where we have what was described to us as an orgy scene between about five or six of us. I know your mind just automatically went into the gutter, because you’re human. But it wasn’t all about being sexual it was more about intimacy with one another and feeling that comfort between one another. We traced each other’s bloodlines which was fascinating and became this almost dance in itself. Nowhere in there did I feel unsafe with my other actors or feel uncomfortable, and some of them I had just met this week. Maybe that says something about me or the safety and vulnerability that rehearsal requires.

But I think it’s important to know where the line is. Where is the respect for art line? How can we define it? How we can do that and still be comfortable in each other’s spaces and respect each other’s spaces without something becoming a dangerous situation?

I don’t have answers to these questions. Obviously. But it’s something I’m thinking about, and have been since Nuit Blanche. I loved our show, and the creative expression it was. I loved getting to create and play with artists that I haven’t had the chance to work with yet. It was fun and an eye opening experience all in one.

Here’s a quick pic of the Rocker space we had before the party started :

ct8l27auaaa5nts

And here’s a link that describes what After the Ball is Over was about:

https://allevents.in/winnipeg/after-the-ball-is-over-nuit-blanche/193959114347647

And one more- we had AMAZING pre show music ( I expect nothing less from my lovely talented friend that put this all together) here is one of the songs we had the pleasure of listening to when we were outside waiting to go in:

Nuit Blanche is my Cheap Thrill

One of my favourite events in fall ( besides my birthday ) is coming up this weekend. I’m talking about Nuit Blanche. If you don’t know what Nuit Blanche is I would say I don’t entirely blame you, some people don’t. It only got introduced to Winnipeg in I think 2011 or 2012. But it’s been around for a while, and actually started in Europe I believe. The Helinski festival in Finland was the first to do it in 1989 followed by Barcelona in about 1990. ( You can fact check that if you like- that’s what Wikipedia told me anyway )

It’s basically an all night art party. Just hearing all night art party has me buzzing like I’ve had too many cups of coffee and I start talking faster like Lorelai Gilmore. Everything is open late and I’m not talking 10 pm late I’m talking 1 am, 2 am late when I say all night I’m not kidding. Art galleries will have exhibits, places will be open up later and sometimes put up art or installations in their buildings, normal empty urban spaces become places of creativity and art. A few years ago I went to a parking lot behind the MTS centre that was entirely filled with lit up ping pong balls and my friends and I created images on the cement with them. I even have a cool picture of myself holding some lit up ping pong balls and it looks like I’m holding a ball of light, or a ball of art.

Also place like coffee shops are going to be open later. My inner caffeine addict definitely rejoices at that. As well as doughnut places, coffee and doughnuts and art? You seriously can’t go wrong. Parlour’s going to be open late as well as Bronuts, ( both in the exchange ) the WAG is also open late and you can wander their art gallery and go on the roof as well.  I would encourage people to line up early for some stuff, ( like the WAG they tend to have big lines as it gets later ) but I would say just get out there and go wander around the exchange or St. Boniface or downtown. Did I mention everything was free? Because it totally is and that may be the best part is that anyone can go to this and experience different forms of art in one night.

I’ve always loved Nuit Blanche ever since it started in Winnipeg, I’ve been fascinated by art every year and different people’s ideas of what art is to them. I’ve also wanted to be a part of it. Oh so badly. It may be on my bucket list despite not believing in bucket lists ( I feel like you should just do what you want to do in your life and you don’t need a list for that ) I’ve wanted to have some sort of art displayed or do my version of art, which is theatre. And this year I get to. I’m elated.This may be a bit of self promo but it is also my blog so I’m just doing me.

I had a show in March called After the Ball is Over, anyone that I think went to it was confused, and not sure what they were getting into but super intrigued and people I talked to afterwards loved it. It was an immersive, collaborative theatre experience unlike any I had ever had before and I was addicted. I wanted to do something like it again immediately. I remember asking my director a question about something I was doing and she said something like there is no right answer. I loved that. I could explore and do things and have a creative freedom that sometimes I feel I don’t have.

This show is getting remounted. We ( and by we I mean a whole bunch of really cool creative artists and myself ) are doing After the Ball is Over this Saturday night October 1st at Nuit Blanche. It’s at the Rudolph Rocker Centre, 91 Albert Street, in the exchange. It has more people, more mystery, and while some things are the same some things I think are different. I really don’t want to give anything away then just telling you to come and experience it for yourself, because that’s what Nuit Blanche is all about. I would also say come for a party, come for a dance, come for punch because I know there will be some.

Our party starts at 9 pm on Saturday and that’s where I’m going to be this Nuit Blanche. I would encourage everyone to get out and explore the city Saturday night. Or if you’re in a different city try to find out if your city has a Nuit Blanche night, maybe they do and it’s a chance for you to check out something seriously cool that happens all over the world.

Here’s a link to the Nuit Blanche website in Winnipeg :

nuitblanchewinnipeg.ca

Also my past few shows have had a lot of songs by Sia in them so I’ve been listening to her a lot to kind of get in my creative mindset. She also has good dance jams so here’s her song Cheap Thrills to get you in a mood for Nuit Blanche. ( Also Nuit Blanche is free she talks about not needing no dollar bills to have fun tonight )

 

Two peas in an anxiety filled pod

Sorry for the late blog post all, I don’t really have a good excuse other than I got home late last night and was too tired to write anything. Onwards. I’ve been wondering a bit what to write about this week, I could tell you that I went to a cool creative night on my birthday called Pecha Kucha where people got up and talked about projects they had or cool things that they’ve done and how it semi-inspired me, at least to possibly make my instagram public.

But I’ve been reading Mara Wilson’s book ( you know the child actor who played Matilda) called Where am I Now? Besides being an incredibly cool person there has never been another self memoir book that I’ve related to so much. Every chapter I’ve read is a like a chapter out of the book of Reba. She talks a lot about anxiety, self doubt, and not being Hollywood’s standardized version of beauty anymore. All things I can more or less relate to ( minus the Hollywood part – but not being what I would call conventionally pretty makes me feel like I can relate )

Anxiety. Oh boy. I could write forever about anxiety. There’s a part in Mara Wilson’s book where she says I could do a whole show about all my anxieties.  And I’m like um yes. There are other people that do that too? I’ve always been an anxious person. There was possibly some times in my childhood that I wasn’t super anxious but even then I worried about things. A lot. All the time. Mara Wilson describes thinking about worst case scenario’s as a kid and thinking about terrible things that would never happen. When I was a kid I worried about things like if I was left in the car someone would break in and drive the car away with me in it. It’s why I always wanted to go into the store with my parents. In my childhood there was breaking news about a guy who drove around in a white van and picked up small kids and they never saw their parents again. I became paranoid that this would happen to me and my heart would leap in my chest every time I saw a white van. (Which was often, everyone apparently drove a mini van in my neighbourhood)

I had my first panic attack when I was 11. It was over something like not being able to figure out a math question or not understanding why I couldn’t get it. I was dizzy, light headed, sweating and I couldn’t stop crying. At the end of it I had no idea what had happened. I don’t know if my parents did either, but years later found out that that was a panic attack. Through out high school I had them, and into my adult hood I’ve continued to have them.

So anxiety has always been a part of me. When I went to Europe or right before I went I had multiple panic attacks, which for me includes spells of being dizzy, hot, sweating and crying a lot and feeling like I can’t breathe. I was entirely convinced that I didn’t want to go and if I went I would get taken. My dad told me that I had to tell my travelling partners about my anxiety, or my anxiety attacks so that they wouldn’t be freaked out if I had one during our trip. I was nervous as all hell to tell them, I don’t like to talk about my anxiety, but was so relieved when I did and they were just like oh, ok. Good to know. And then asked if there was anything they could do if I ever had one during our trip.

Back to Mara. Besides feeling like two peas in an anxiety filled pod, she actually inspires me. And I don’t like throwing around that word. She talks about how being creative, specifically writing ( for her ) helps her battle that anxiety, her self doubt. She has taken meds for her anxiety and her OCD ( which I never have but have totally considered ) she says something that my parents have been telling me for years. And apparently I only listen when famous actor’s tell me things I’ve been hearing my entire life.

Fighting with anxiety makes it worse; instead, accept the anxiety and it will become less scary. We aren’t responsible for our thoughts, we are only responsible for what we do with them. Own my anxieties and I wouldn’t be letting them own me.

I am an anxious person, I think sometimes it’s easier for me to pretend that I’m not though. To not share that part of myself with other people. Being an actor I’ve gotten probably too good at just letting people see what I want them to see. For the most part they don’t see my anxiety, my panic attacks or that I get anxious when I think people don’t like me. I have some auditions this week, and as is normal probably for any actor I’m nervous. But I feel like my anxiety is way higher than most people’s. I want to do well, I want to be good, I don’t want to fuck up. Oh yeah, I’m also a perfectionist which really sucks when you have anxiety. But I can’t fight my anxiety. It is there. It follows me around like that dark cloud over Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh ( coincidentally Eeyore was always my favourite Winnie the pooh character, yes I know he was sad and depressed somehow that made me like him more, I don’t know I was a weird child )

So I’m going to try and breathe and take stock of my surroundings ( like Mara says to do ) when I’m in that audition room this week. It may work, it may not. But I am a person with anxiety, and on some level I have to own that.

I’m not saying that you live under a rock if you don’t know who Mara Wilson is, maybe you never watched Matilda or Mrs. Doubtfire but here she is talking about her anxieties and how it’s ok to be anxious, and a good breathing exercise at the end.