On not having a plan

On not having a plan

When I moved to Toronto to pursue acting two years ago I was wildly optimistic. I envisioned talk show interviews, red carpets, sparkly lights, glam dresses, set life— actually wait a minute, HAHAHA. No I didn’t. I’m a dreamer, but also a realist… which is maybe a bit contradictory. I didn’t imagine being the next insert-actor-name-here, that’s never been my goal. I did, however, imagine being able to support myself a little more comfortably with the help of the odd job here and there. I did imagine booking real acting roles with substance that were both fun and challenging to perform. I imagined that the arts culture here would help me to discover and shape my craft.

Some of these visions have come true, and others not so much. Most of my circle is comprised of like-minded souls who are in the arts community in some form or another. Lots of actors, musicians, dancers, artists, writers. We’re all here for the same reason— for the opportunity to share our stories and our talents with a community that cares. We’re here to be discovered, to create, and to have a voice.

The past few months have been very introspective for me. To be perfectly honest they’ve been a bit of a struggle. I only have myself to blame, I mean, who goes galavanting around Europe for two months knowing they’d be coming home broke and stressed and still goes anyway? I have no regrets. But it does mean that I’m looking objectively at my life choice of pursuing acting and what that means for me in terms of being able to actually support myself— while ideally maintaining some form of sanity. Not to mention trying to maintain my creative charge. Life can be pretty difficult in this concrete jungle which is one of the most expensive cities in Canada. On the plus side, one of the great things about being an actor is that when you do book jobs they pay very well. I have paid an entire month’s rent based off of one commercial booking which was just a day’s work. Print jobs are nothing to shake your head at either. The reality, unfortunately, is that most of the time I’m not working. Acting jobs are not something you can count on. And in that sense, a large part of this career that I’m after is totally out of my control. Yes, I can work on my own projects and hone the craft without a booking. But I’m talking straight up just surviving in the city without losing my mind.

It feels like the plan to be an actor translates into not having a plan at all.

A lot of us turn to restaurant jobs to pull us through. I did that for my first year here, but not again. It wasn’t for me. Each day I could feel my soul abandoning my body due to the sheer monotony. I said goodbye to that job and started something else, another pursuit which also didn’t work out. I stressed so much about what to do. Then 2018 rolled in and I made a promise to myself that no matter what I wouldn’t spend any time in a job that didn’t in some way satisfy my soul. If I wasn’t working as an actor, then I would be working in the field of some of my other interests.

I decided to start my own business. It’s very slow and not bringing in much more than pennies at the moment, but I hope that with my dedication and hard work I can see it grow throughout 2018. I’m also going back to my roots this year— teaching yoga and dance— and as an added bonus, as I mentioned in the previous post, I’m also starting a few photography projects.

Where will it all lead? I have no idea. But I feel a lot better now in not having a plan and instead having many plans. Because, why not? Life is not a cookie cutter event, it’s in our own hands and in our own power to mold into whatever cookie shape we want. When times are tough, I can still smile. When times aren’t tough, I’ll appreciate it more.

Someone once told me that if my life were easy, then I probably wasn’t on my own path. Well, things aren’t easy. So I guess that means I’m headed in the right direction.

If you have any thoughts on the subject I’d be interested in hearing them.

As always, thank you for reading.

bright blue hue

Today the sky decided to cooperate for once. Rather than showing us its usual grey and dank disposition it decided to show off with it’s brightest blue. I decided to celebrate the sky with a little walk and thought I’d better take some photos while I was at it.

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Another new year is here and to mark the occasion that is 2018, I decided to pick up a couple of new hobbies. One of those is photography and the other is water colour painting. I’m not sure why I decided on the latter because I have never really had any artistic talent (which has been made evident by my first few attempts), but I figure I don’t have anything to lose and it’s something I’ve often wanted to try, so… why not?

I’ve also toyed with the idea of deleting this blog lately because I neglect it so much. Most often it manifests in my life as a source of confusion and guilt. Guilt because I’ve never been able to find the passion for it that I once had, and confusion because I can’t quite bring myself to get rid of it despite never updating it.

Where do you guys find the motivation to write and share? Is blogging dead? Should we all just start youtube channels? What is life?

Please leave your answers in the comments, especially for that last one because I so often wonder 😉

And oh yes, Happy belated new year wordpress fam ❤

 

 

2015 means less stuff to hate

One of my many goals this year (including resurrecting this blog) is minimising and simplifying my life.  I wouldn’t necessarily say I want to become a “minimalist”. I’m not lusting after empty walls, counting everything I own, or planning to only wear black from now on.

Not that I even think minimalists do that.

Ever since I realised just how much I hate my stuff I’ve been slowly but surely chopping away at all the clutter that surrounds me and purging it. I came across a great quote recently that really resonated with me: That which you hold holds you.

The truth is that having the stuff has been more of a burden than a reward. Any clothes I buy I have to wash, knick knacks have to be dusted, books have to be stored, and on and on and on. What a nightmare it has all become. Like the ring. Not the ring where the creepy girl crawls out of the TV (that’s an entirely different nightmare), but Frodo’s ring. Carrying that little ring is such a massive burden for him and that’s exactly how I feel about my stuff.  I need to take it to Mordor and be rid of it forever.

That’s not to say I haven’t already come a long way. I might not be traipsing into Mordor just yet, but perhaps I’m at the Black Gate. Here’s what I’ve managed to oust in the last year and 10 months since writing about this the first time:

  • All of my childhood toys/stuffed animals. My previous neighbours had a young daughter and one day I asked the mom if she would be interested in them. To my luck she was and poof! They were gone. Not only that but I was able to see the daughter playing with and enjoying the stuffed animals on numerous occasions, so not only was I unburdened, but they were fulfilling their purpose again. That felt nice. Like in Toy Story. Aw.
  • All the cables/wires/plugs/phones of old. Those things that I didn’t know what to do with but didn’t want to throw out? I finally sorted through them all and took them to a recycling depot.
  • Clothes. So many clothes. Ridiculous amounts of clothes. I got rid of them. I donated so many bags I couldn’t even fathom a guess at the number. I don’t know how I even managed to amass as many as I did considering I have never been much of a shopper, nor very fashionable. In fact I spent 4 years pursuing a dance degree where I wore sweatpants to school every day and was asked what the special occasion was if I was wearing jeans.
  • Miscellaneous items I can’t even remember. Things that sat on shelves collecting dust, extra sheet sets, blankets, etc.
  • Several pieces of furniture.
  • Books… the hardest to part with. I took about 85% of my book collection for donation. Along with the three bookshelves that were their home for the last few years. Actually I wrote an entire blog post about this but never got around to posting it. Although I love my books and it was painstaking to part with them, I’m glad they’re gone to be read by new eyes. All that remains are a few favourite novels, my poetry collection (which I’ll probably never be ready to part with) and books that I have yet to read.

It all comes down to time. I want to spend more of it on the things I love and less of it fretting over the mundane chores on my to-do list.  Now it’s just about being certain that I love everything I have, and that everything brings something positive to my life so that it is worth the effort to maintain. My main goal is to ensure there’s absolutely nothing wasting away in a box in a closet. Everything I have, as William Morris would say, should be either useful or beautiful. That’s why I’m keeping the dogs. Not only are they beautiful, but they help keep me warm on those horrid winter mornings where I just don’t want to get out of bed.

Lastly I’d like to send a belated Happy New Year to everyone. Thank you to those who might still be reading this, you are all amazing.

wings

her wings
covered in ice and snow
still flew

Originally posted this on my twitter ages back. It’s been a while since I posted anything here, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. I think I need to make some sort of commitment to organization because as I was going through my work I couldn’t help but notice the following:

  • 5 different notebooks full of completed and not completed poems
  • 12 post it notes with some completed and some not completed haikus that I wrote while at work
  • 3 napkins with illegible scribbles of might-have-been haikus (written at restaurants)
  • 17 voice recordings in my phone that I thought of while driving and needed to get out
  • A dozen or more ‘notes’ in my phone of incomplete and complete poems
  • A stupid amount of work saved in various notepad files on my laptop.

Yeah… just a little bit cluttered? Belated new years resolution, perhaps.

Oh, on that note
Happy New Year
🙂