Tuesday, 1 February 2011

MY YEAR IN CANADA

OK so this is not a review of a TV show or Movie, there will be one very shortly, but some people have been telling me to write about my year so far so hear it is.

Since April 14th 2010 I have been living in Canada, I came to Canada with the intention of working in TV/Film production as either a PA, AD or Extra and to travel and see more of the country.

I spent the first 4 and a half months in Vancouver where I signed up with an Extras agency went on loads of auditions and called up the production companies responsible for many of my favourite show to offer my services. Unfortunately I was not what they wanted fro their commercials, films or TV shows, but I remained positive.

I tried getting part-time work to pay the bills but none were forthcoming in Vancouver, which is why many people moved on to the next place in Canada or went home, I stuck it out and thanks to my friend Ket she got me a volunteer job working in the box office of the Theatre Under the Stars in Stanley Park, it was a great job and I did not mind that I was working for free, I was doing something connected to entertainment and I was happy.

I said to many people with in the first month of being in Vancouver that I did not feel happy in Vancouver and that I felt I should go to Toronto, but I wanted to give it a chance and stick it out over the summer as lots of TV shows were being filmed and I hoped that I could work as an Extra on them; sadly this was not the case and in July I received an email fro the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that I had been accepted as a volunteer. I took this as the sign it was time to leave Vancouver and head to Toronto, so at the end of August I arrived in Toronto with 37 degree heat and I attended the Fan Expo, the start of my celebrity gazing in Toronto.

The summer before I went to London Comic Con and met and got my photo taken with Scott Bakula and in Toronto I met and got my picture taken with Dean Stockwell. I was so nervous to meet Dean Stockwell because well he is one of the last remaining old Hollywood stars, he grew up in the system and he has this presence a bit like when I met Chris Sarandon in London he had a presence and I also did not want to come off seeming weird which I feel I usually do with some stars like when I met Bruce Boxleitner, he was talking to the assistant beside him about the fans and I spoke up and said “Of course cause your Captain Awesome Dad and you were and Awesome Captain in Babylon 5 and you were Awesome in TRON” and he responded “And I'm Awesome in the new TRON movie” Yes people that is me geeky fan girl extraordinaire.

Anyway back to my travels in Canada. I Volunteered for TIFF everyday of the festival and a few days in the month after, I loved it I met so many people who were into the same thing and others who weren’t. Once October hit I applied for part time jobs and jobs in TV and Film and like buses 3 came at once and I'm not kidding.

First I got offered a PA job on a short film, then I got offered a part time job at a cinema and then even after a very bad start to an interview I was offered a Job on a film as an AD. The film jobs were originally happening the same weekend and so unfortunately I had to choose so I accepted the AD Job when I emailed the first film producer he replied saying if I had known you were looking for AD work I would have offered you that position, but then at the last minute the shooting of the second film was postponed, so I contacted the first film to say yes I can work and they gave me a AD position, Brilliant. With the second film moving I had to turn down the paying job and 2 days after I did the filming of the second film became postponed indefinably so I could take the paying job at the cinema after all.

One thing I have noticed about Vancouver and Toronto is there are a lot more people who are trying to get in to the industry then there are in Belfast which is great cause we can all relate to how hard it is to get paid work here.

Anyway back to my travels around Canada, this year I have climbed a mountain, maybe a metaphorical one but actually a real one in Vancouver, it took 4 hours and I thought I would never make it but I did I took pictures of myself at different parts and you can see the point where I was no longer happy about the mountain, the funniest picture for me is the last one as I took it at the top and when I made it I started to laugh and cry cause I could not believe I made it. When you climb the Grind it is like going through a dark tunnel of trees and you literally head towards the light at the top, funny thing, when you get to the top you then have to climb a couple more stairs into the building to get warm and have some food. While in Vancouver I went kayaking which was a lot of fun a recommend it I think I would like to learn to do it solo, I also went white water rafting again this time the rafting was more intense and I even fell out of the boat, I wasn't scared cause well there was no time to be scared I just grabbed the rope and the guide got me back in the boat it was Awesome, seriously I actually like falling out, not enough to do it on purpose but if it happened again I know what to do. I come off as a fragile person sometimes but I love that sort of action. In Whistler I went Zip lining down the mountains so much fun I did try to go upside down but I need more practice. In the Rockies there was a lot of nature walks and I went western style horse riding; it does not mater what style of riding you do on a horse it still hurts but I know know why John Wayne and other cowboys walked the way they did it was cause their thighs hurt so much.

Yes on the west coast of Canada I as an adventurer on the east coast I have been a star gazer and writer. I finally finished the first draft of my fairy tale story, I am now working on my second draft, writing my blog and writing the first draft of a romance horror story set in Toronto's PATH system.

Since being in Toronto I have been very laid back but still pushing myself out there with interviews for positions in the industry, I have met so many people and have drunk as much as I did in Vancouver but that’s cause I have not found a bar as fun as the Beaver at the Samesun hostel and as welcoming. If your ever in Vancouver check out the bar they have great people working there, the food and drink is cheep and the Thursday night quiz is a must I tried to not miss that it was great fun and the teams I was on won it a few times which meant a free trip to Whistler and free beer, what’s not to like.

Well there are a few more months left of this year here and so I will have to up date this once the year is officially over, but for now be excellent to each other and live long and prosper. ;)

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