Sunday, April 30, 2006
She said the next song was one she has always wanted to sing but "this is my first time. Be gentle." She walked back, up some steps, and carefully drapped herself on the grand piano to sing the sexiest rendition of Fever I may have ever heard. Finally she sang a song from a show that she was in, and did sing in that show - Unexpected Song from Song and Dance. (I would have rathered Tell Me On A Sunday, if only to get Lindsay Karmer's butchered version out of my head. She raved about Sondheim as she sang You Could Drive A Person Crazy, Not A Day Goes By, Children Will Listen, and for her finally, Being Alive. Other highlights, my short term memory will not allow me to recall, but I do remember her beautifully singing a soft and understated song and right by the end, some old could behind me started talking.
When she came out for her encore, she said "Ottawa won." Then she talked about Gypsy as she put on the cardigan she wore in the show, and the shoes she wore in the show. She seemlessly turned into Rose and broke into Rose's Turn. It was phenomenal. I've always regretted not seeing her portrayal of Rose, and now I got a little taste of it live. I'm complete.
Went to the stage door to meet her after the show. She signed my program. "What's your name?" "Nick. And I love you. You're fabulous." "Awe, thank you." And as I walked away she said "Good luck to you." The woman is my mother's age. Why is a someone who's almost sixty sexier than most 20 year olds I know? I love Bernadette Peters.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I've been thinking about postponing yet again my move to Vancouver until January because I haven't made any money in 3 months. But being there made me realize how much I need to not be in Ottawa for much longer. I was thinking yesterday that Toronto is the only place to be, but on the way home I rethought it and realized that I miss my Vancouver friends too and need to go experience the West Coast more thoroughly. Besides, the people in Vancouver are even better looking and I know I'll make lots of friends there too. For now I really miss the specific Torontonians I've come to know and love.
I love being around people who know me almost better than I know myself. The kids I went to theatre school have that advantage over everyone else in my life. Even my friends from high school I don't relate to anymore. Ottawa sucks.
That said, I had a successful night at rehearsal today. All of a sudden all these people decided I was their new best friend. It mostly came out of us talking about people we hate. Fuck there are some people I hate in that cast and unfortunately the one who reminds me of Brianne Tucker decided that she would start talking to me today and would not leave me alone. I hate her. Everyone hates her. That's why they're my new friends.
Ugh, I miss my Toronto friends.
(I'll correct grammar later)
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Bachelorette - Baccalaureate
Kelsey's - Celsius, Salsa's
Sarah's - Karachi
Friday, April 21, 2006
I hate working. I've had the last 3 months off and, yes I've been bored as hell and so lazy that it's hurting my body, but I don't want to work. I hate having to learn things and having to do stuff. I really do. Why can't I just get paid to do what I love? I go to rehearsal every night and I'm in heaven. I need to get paid to perform. I'll sing for you, act for you, dance for you, I'll even write for you. I just DON'T want to do anything else! I don't want to serve you alcoholic drinks I've never heard of because I don't care for alcohol. I don't want to know where the guacamole button is on the micros system. I don't want to have to clear your plates, take them to the dish pit, wash my hands and get you the bill. I want to make you want to be on stage because I'm so good at what I do, I make you forget about your shitty life and make you want to live my fantasy life.
I am a doctor of the soul. I went through two years of medical arts school to earn that and I'm damn well going to get paid for it. "Give me a job and you instantly get me involved. If you give me a job than the rest of this crap will get solved. Put me to work you will see that by now I'm allowed. I'll do you proud."
You know, every so often I think I should just get a real job and do community theatre and my life will be stable and fulfilled. But there's honestly nothing else I can do. There's nothing else I want to do.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
I've been thinking about the notion of dying at this stage of my life for over a year now. I think it all started the winter before last when that guy came up to the counter at work with his hand in his jacket and said "Give me all your money or I'll shoot you." Or maybe it was that delightful spring afternoon a few months later, when I was walking down Yonge street, on my way to work, and I heard gun shots and three people were shot about ten feet away from me. Yeah, that might have been it. It also could have been that between that time span, several people in my life began to die unexpectedly, each for very different reasons. I'm not going to lie, all these events overwhelmed me to the point that I was certain that I would be next, and it was a scary feeling. I knew that the only way I would feel safe walking to the subway station again would be to come to terms with the fact that anything can happen at any time and accept that. (Also, I told myself that lighting doesn't strike the same spot twice, which did the trick for a while, until the Boxing Day shootings in the exact same spot later that year, which killed an innocent girl. So much for that theory.)
So, I'm ready. I don't want to die, but I'm not gonna cry about it if I do. The funny thing is that my only concern about dying is that if I go before I parents, I want the be easily accessible to them before I go. I tend to shut them out and cut off contact with them for prolonged periods of time. When I wasn't living with them I would avoid their phone calls or not return their messages or emails, rarely visit... And now living with them, I don't talk to them much and snap at them every time they speak to me, even if they're just saying good morning. It's not for lack of loving them. I just don't relate to them like I used to and they're so controlling about everything in my life that I feel like I can never tell them anything because they'll find some way to make it about them.
I don't much get along with my parents and yet I need to be near them if I die before they do. I feel like I owe them that much. They gave me life, and a really really good one at that. They love me, even though they don't show it the way I wish they would. With me moving away (again) and my sister living half way around the world for the last 6 years, if any of us should die, it would be absolutely devastating because we wouldn't all be together. After the five of us spent almost twenty years together, growing up, hating each other, laughing together... how depressing that we've all gone our separate ways. I wish family wasn't important, because that would make my life so much more simple. But I need those people. They're why I am.
I realize this blog wasn't really focused. It was pretty much stream of consciousness writing. I don't even know where I was going with this when I started it. Huh. Maybe I'm not so ready for death after all.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Saturday, April 08, 2006
If I go with Hard Rock I work on my waitering skills so that I can get a waiter job when I move to Vancouver. The minimum wage there is $8/h, compared to Ontario's $6.75. That's hot. If I go with Roots I can just get a transfer when I go out there so that I won't have to bother looking for a new job. That's also hot. What to do? I think the Roots job is only part time. I think I might make more money at Hard Rock. I think I'm going to have to stick with Hard Rock. In an ideal world I'd work 4 days at Hard Rock and 2 days at Roots. But the last time I worked that much I burned out and ended up here.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
I'm holding on to Skinny Rabbit as my stomach seems to be continuously expanding. I try to suck it in, but I just don't have the will. I could do crunches, but I just don't have the will. I could eat less, but I don't think I'm eating more. Maybe I'm like those kids on TV who are super skinny but are so malnourished that they have these beer guts and need me to send money in order to support their drinking habits. I'm going to bed.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
A few weeks or so ago I had the misfortune of spending a couple of hours with my aunt and uncle. The topic of conversation turned to my career and they (along with my parents) pretty much ganged up on me about how I've failed and should just give up and get a real career. Right, less than 2 years after graduating, I'm a failure because I don't have an Oscar yet. A punch in the face is what I felt like passing around. Sitting in a room with ignorant immigrants laughing at me is not my idea of a pleasant afternoon. (Yikes, was that harsh?) After a day of being very angry, I ended up taking a phone call from another uncle, my godfather in fact, in Mexico. A doctor. I didn't think this would go well, but I always did like my mother's side of the family better. To my surprise, he wanted to tell me how great it is that I do what I do. As a doctor he recommends dance to all of his patients. Salsa, ballroom, tango, the whole scene. He's found that people who dance live better lives, are generally happier people, and more healthy. He had the same to say for music, going as far to say that whistling is therapeutic. He encourages his asthmatic patients to learn how to whistle and whistle every day, and has actually proved that it helps them with their breathing. I thought this was all very nice, but what he said next is what hit me. He called himself a doctor of illnesses. He then called me a doctor of the soul.
In the past few weeks, I've actually been trying to justify what the purpose of being an artist is. What exactly do we contribute to society other than entertainment? We don't save any lives, I tell myself. But that's not true. A story about someone overcoming adversity - like the story of Traci Abbott, a homely, overweight teen who was on the brink of suicide but falls in love with the sexy pool boy who marries her on Y&R in the early 80s - can inspire people to take control of their lives. A story of alcohol or drug abuse can save a life, just ask the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210. Even with cases such as these (albeit cheesy ones, if not effective), I was still semi-doubting myself. And then that phone call came along from the good side of the family and gave me reassurance that I will never forget.
I am a doctor of the soul.
I'm tired. I'm always tired. Especially at night. Which is new for me. I used to be a night owl. This past week, however, I sleep really early and wake up at a reasonable hour. This is weird. What happened to the days (only a month ago!) when I would sleep between 3 and 6am and sleep all day? It's 9:19pm on Saturday night and I'm going to bed. And so it's been. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd retire to the bedroom before my parents.
Those call backs I mentioned last blog? I nailed them. Overall, I wasn't nervous at all. I've never auditioned for an Orpheus show that I wasn't cast in. But I've been away for about 4 years now. Since I've been gone a new group of theatre lovers has taken over and I don't know any of them! Not that I was intimidated, but I definitely felt a little out of place. That said, I pulled out everything I had at the dance call back. I wasn't worried about not getting chorus. My call back for The Jazz Singer a half hour later I was what I was nervous about. I have never auditioned for a singing role at Orpheus and had never really broken out of the chorus. And while The Jazz Singer isn't much of a role, and is essentially part of the chorus, it's still a featured singing role. To make matters tougher, I was up against the fabulous Guylaine, the woman with the HUGE voice who played Diana Morales in my first musical production, A Chorus Line. So we learn the song together, and then it's time for the individual immunity challenge. Oh, wait, this isn't a reality show. Ok, so she sings for the directors first and sounds amazing. When I go in I'm told to play with the rhythm and move like a jazz singer. My only question "Can I use a chair?" Needless to say, I killed it. I sounded great, I moved like Liza in Cabaret. Hours later, I got the phone call. I'll be playing The Jazz Singer/Dance Chorus in Victor/Victoria presented by Orpheus Musical Theatre Society (the longest running amateur theatre company in North America, celebrating 100 years next season), at Centrepointe Theatre June 2-10, 2006. Yes.
I have returned to Eastern Standard Time. Back to the future, if you will. My time in Vancouver was... interesting. I stayed with Clara which was loads of fun and we have it all documented on video. Autumn and Rima reunited with a few special guests - the good times were, indeed, rolling. I reconnected with a couple of old friends, the likes of Collette, Jamie, and a small group from VFS. A planned reunion at a street jazz class at Harbour Dance Center with Marilyn unfortunately never happened. Instead I spent that late afternoon in the Urgent Care Unit at UBC Hospital, trying to figure out if I had blood clot or not. A blood test ("a little bit positive" said the doctor), a blood thinner injection ("I gave you the right medication, but the wrong root, so you may experience bruising and internal bleeding" said the nurse when she called me a few hours later), and an ultra sound ("is the gel going to be super cold?... oh no, it's super warm" said I as the doctor lubricate my entire leg) later it was determined that it was nothing life threatening or even all that serious. That's nice. I was able to get on my plane to O Town the following afternoon. I was fine with Air Canada until that flight. Since when do they charge for airplane food? I hate you, Air Canada. A lady at the airport convinced me to sign up for another Visa. The look on her face when I told her I have no income at the moment was priceless. So I arrived in Ottawa on Friday night and the next morning I went to my audition at my old stomping grounds - Orpheus. I have a double call back in a few hours. It's nice.
Bangkok was aaaallllllright. Beautiful hotel, hot weather, the Grand Palace, the reclining Buddha, a drag show at the Mambo, bitchy drag queens, market mazes, elephants walking down the street, wicked shopping! I bought a number of funky new items for my wardrobe including a pair of black dress pants with half a skirt attached. It's sexy. I got a Thai massage. I've been avoiding massages all my life because I'm so tense, massages make me feel pain. Oh, and did I ever feel pain. I kept wondering why she hated me.
In a couple of hours I leave for the airport and head back to the past. Vancouver, that is. My plane leaves at 2:55pm Monday afternoon, it's an 11 hour flight, and I arrive in Canada at 10:30am Monday morning. I love time travel.
I'd like to describe my vacation so far in the way Victor does in The Rules Of Attraction, but I'm naturally too long winded for that, so I'll just have to do my best. I've done some good shopping. Bought 2 pairs of shoes (Puma and Hush Puppies) each for about $45CAN (let's hear it for no taxes!), a messenger bag suited for travel also for about $45CAN, and a sexy pair of jeans from Zara, also about $45CAN. It's all about spending less than $50 for something that should cost between $100-$300. I want to buy everything I see, especially shoes, which I don't get cause I've never been a shoe whore before. I guess my new found admiration for Carrie Bradshaw is kicking in.Eaten at some lovely restaurants and been to some swanky night spots, despite my picky taste in food and loathing for alcohol. The decors here are fucking hot. Those Asians sure know how to throw a place together! Ahem. The movie theatres here (that I've been to) have leather seats and assigned seating. And people don't talk during movies! Go figure!
Visited Lamma Island, TST, Stanley Island, Avenue of The Stars, the Peninsula, the art museum, the Peak, and HK Disneyland. Monday morning (Sunday night back home) I accompanied my sister to her office at Disney for the live feed of The Academy Awards. The theme was classic Hollywood, and I went as Fred Astaire, the sis as Charlie Chaplin. We filmed commercial spots for the Oscars to be aired later that evening for the rebroadcast, which ended up being replaced by ads for Ang Lee's win. I kicked ass at movie charades and was shocked by the employees of Disney's lack of movie trivia knowledge.
All sales employees greet you when you walk into their store, and they say goodbye when you leave. In between they stick to you like velcro but hardly say a word. It's interesting. I didn't expect the city to be so mountainous, and I certainly did not expect it to be so easy for a Westerner to get around. Everyone speaks english and the locals actually don't seem to outnumber the foreigners. So comforting.
Went to a club called Dragon-I Wednesday night, which was models night. Everyone was fucking hot. I knew there would be female models but I was not expecting so many male models. Everyone was so beautiful, so vain, so insecure. It was odd and uncomfortable and exhilarating all at once. Tomorrow we hop a plane to Thailand for a 3 day/2 night excursion to Bangkok. It's hot there. I don't like heat. Good luck, me!
16 Hours. A personal TV attached to the seat in front of me with movies on demand at my finger tips. I watched Bonnie and Clyde, Little Manhattan, and episodes of The Office and Sensitive Skin. I ate chicken, salmon, fruit, dim sum, ice cream. I drank water, orange juice, sprite, ginger ale. Man next to me had bad breath and kept talking to his TV. I started to feel sick at some point during my last 3 hours on the plane. When I made my way through the airport (which brought back flashbacks of The Amazing Race season 2), I took the train to Hong Kong and met my sister at the station. We took a taxi to her apartment in SoHo, walked around the neighbourhood, showed me the world's longest outdoor escalator, happened upon a movie set, attempted to eat spaghetti, felt dizzy and bulimic, went home, showered, popped Aspirin, slept. Missed bondage theme bachelorette party. Better this morning, which is last night for most of you.
It's 2:10am on Thursday morning. I normally don't go to bed until about 3 and I normally don't fall asleep until about 6, because I like to watch a Woody Allen movie or a few episodes of The Muppets before I sleep, and then I get overstimulated so I can't sleep. Tonight I'm staying up under different circumstances. Here's how the next few hours will unfold.
- 1:30am - ? Send Liz Colin Farrell Sex Tape via msn
- 4am Take a shower
- 4:45am Parents escort me to the airport
- 5am Check in
- 7am Board a plane headed to Toronto
- 9:45am Board another plane to the future. That future being Hong Kong
- FRIDAY 2:30pm Arrive in Hong Kong
- Later that evening Attend bondage-themed bachelorette party
My biggest fear about going to HK is that I'll feel like I'm in the future. And I will be. I depart Toronto at 9:45 am Thursday morning and 16 hours later it's 2:30pm Friday afternoon? If that's not stepping into the future, I don't know what is...
I think I'm becoming human again. It's weird. After theatre school totally sucked the life out of me and made me emotionless, I think I may be starting to... feel... again. What? I know! I used to be the biggest pussy. I cried when that ugly girl freaked out at Macaulay Culkin's funeral ("He was gonna be an acrobat!"), when Uncle Jesse's grandfather died and Stephanie told Michelle that they can't cry, they have to be strong, when Demi Moore met up with Woody Harrelson on the bench at the pier after Robert Redford gave her the double faced coin, when Victoria Newman's baby died, and when Rose, Blanche and Sophia realized that Dorothy wasn't coming back. See? Pussy.
And then I died inside. I'm not sure when and I'm not sure how. I couldn't for the life of me emote all through out theatre school and I missed out on a lot of great moments in my acting. I didn't cry when Cassie died. I didn't cry when I left all my crying friends in Toronto behind (yes Allie, I'm talking about you!).
And then I purchased a little DVD known as Rent. I had seen the movie three times in the theatre and didn't cry (though I tried! believe me I tried!). The first thing I did was check out the alternate ending. I didn't even re-watch the movie. All I saw was Angel's hand touch Collins' and I found myself weeping. That's all it took. Then last night I watched the making of Rent documentary, and when Jonathan Larson's friends and family talked about his death I was SOBBING. I couldn't control myself. My face was flushed, my nose was runny. I was releasing vocally, and nodding. It was AWESOME! The best part is, I watched those moments more than once and I cried all over again! It wasn't just a fluke! Now maybe it's because I've been sleeping for 14 hours everyday for the last 3 weeks, but I just totally feel rejuvenated. I can feel again! I'm not dead inside (anymore)!
Thank you, Jonathan Larson.
Everything always works out for me. Or at least it used to. I was the luckiest little bastard, I never had to work hard at anything, everything just sort of fell into my lap, and I was happy. Then I moved to Toronto and luck ditched me for a younger, slimmer boy about 2 and a half years later. 2005 was a hard year, but now that I'm back in Ottawa, I'm determined to get reacquainted with my good luck charm.
So here I am. Wondering what's next. I haven't been on an airplane or even left the country in over 4 years. That's insanity in my family. It's time to plan a trip, that trip being the free one to Hong Kong/Vancouver that I've postponed 3 times already. I need this vacation, especially since it's a trip by myself. Yes, I'm going to see my sister and some friends, but I'm doing it on my own and that's something I've never done before (except for a one day excursion to NYC a few years back). I'm not looking for a job yet because I don't think it's polite to start a new job and ask for vacation time after a week.
But now everything's thrown out of whack and I'm stuck with an embarrassment of riches I'm not sure I can afford to maintain. Today my mother invited to Mexico in May for my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. Hot, I'm there. I haven't been to Mexico since 1999 and I now have new family members I haven't even met yet and I want them to know me. After spending almost every summer of my childhood there, these last seven years have left a huge void.
Another void has been left by New York. I used to go every two years up until four years ago. I'm long overdue for a return trip. Liz has the same need and there's no way we're not going this year. Then there's my planned trip to New Brunswick with Claire to put on a show with Melanie. Plus Sarah's getting married in August and I'm the maid of honour, and then I move to Vancouver in September.
Here's the problem. The whole reason I moved home was to pay off a good chunk of my debt before my big move. How the Hell am I going to hold down a job - and even if I do - how the Hell am I going to make enough money to pay off any debt by September, when I'm planning to go away for 2 weeks in March, another week in May, another week in June and another week in July? Where are my priorities?
The truth is that my debt is going to take a long time to pay off and it will likely always be there. Travel is good for the soul, and a huge part of who I am that has been lacking for a very long time. Like I told the guy at the credit card company, I can't stop living my life just because I have debt. I'm really hoping my estranged friend, Luck, will kick in this year. Any day now, bud. Any day now.
You know what I love? Chocolate bars. Why? I'm so glad you asked. Not because they taste great, make a handy snack, are portable, or easily accessible. I like them because they remind me of my fabulous childhood. Aero, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp, Smarties, Reeses Pieces... I grew up with these delicious treats, and even though I don't indulge in my cravings like I used to, every Halloween when they come out with the mini-sized verisons I eat them by the box load.
I just don't understand what the hell is going on with all these new crazy incanations. Aero MINT? Coffee Crisp PEANUT BUTTER? Smarties BARS? Kit Kat CHUNKY? Fuck you! You're tampering with a solid formula that kept people happy for generations! This makes me so angry, I can't even say. I just can't.
I think I did.
I hope you feel the same way. Change is not always good. I mean, I love change and all, but sometimes it's just not for the best. It's like adding a new character or location three seasons into a series. Doesn't always work. Just ask Roy or Poochie.
When Felicity moved to New York she started every episode with "Dear Sally...". I don't know a Sally, but you'll do.
I'm starting a new chapter in my life and I've decided to celebrate by writing down my every thought on this stupid thing for all to read, because I'm a whore like that.
New chapter is: I've moved back in with my parents. What the hell have I done? Not only that, but I left my life in Toronto behind for Ottawa? Call me crazy. Go on, I know you're thinking it.
Here's why I did it. I had a great life in Toronto as a struggling actor, balancing two jobs in retail and as a waiter, to help pay for his sexy one bedroom apartment and and many many many bills. So many bills. I just couldn't handle it anymore (financially) so I decided that the healthiest thing to do for myself would be to suck it up and move back to O-Town and live with Fouad and Lupita, and a cat named George.
Now all I do is sleep all day and prepare for a trip to Hong Kong to see my sister. It's not forever. The plan is get a job, put all my money towards my debt, and then pack up at the end of the summer and head back out to Vancouver. At least that's the plan. We'll see how it goes. For now I'm just SO DAMN BORED!
- Why did I let my license expire? Now I have to wait half an hour for an hourlong bus ride to downtown when it normally takes 5 minutes by car.
- Why did I join a gym and get a personal trainer while I was in school and not working and why did I put it on my credit card? I'm still skinny and boney.
- Why can I not sleep before 5am or wake up before 3:30pm? In Toronto I was used to no more than 5 hours of sleep.
- Why haven't I gotten my ass to the passport office yet? I need to plan this trip NOW.
Thank God for Liz. The only other person in this city that I know from Toronto. Thank God she drives me around. Thank God I have someone to rip up the dance floor with. This city needs us, Liz. It NEEDS us. Let's get the fuck out of here.
So this is blogging, huh?