Something mysterious happens when you make a sweeping declaration that there is absolutely nothing going on in your life. Almost overnight, everything seems to start up again and, before you know it, it’s several months later and you’re really not sure where any of that time has gone.
That’s what my choice of blame is when it comes to the question of why I haven’t blogged since 2014 rolled around. The truth is time seemed to have stopped for me when the new year came. Nothing new was happening for me, the holiday frenzy was over, and we were left in the dead cold of winter. But like I said, something happened, and I’ll take you through a recap of my last eight months. By the power of some magical force, it’s been pretty exciting. (Spoilers: it involves a career change, meeting my idol, taking lessons in my spare time, and traveling!)
I got a new job.
After over a year and a half at Proximity, I made the decision to pursue a new opportunity and take a new role at OgilvyOne. I became an Account Executive and joined the Moneris account. For those of you who are unaware, Moneris is the leading payment processor in Canada, and while working on a financial institution may seem like a real hoot, I’ve actually been learning an incredible amount. I’ve been exposed to the world of print media, activations, and now even a bit of radio production. I was ready and looking for new challenges, and I definitely found them. I’m also lucky that I work on a team with some really great women who I get along with famously, and the work/life balance culture at the agency is a real thing – a welcome change from all of those late nights I used to have. I miss my Proximity family on a daily basis, but thankfully they’re never much further away than a text with the single word and a question mark: “Pilot?”
I met Kristen Bell.
Back when it happened, I meant to come home from my trip to New York City with Erin and ramble on and on about how amazing it was to fly there for the red carpet premiere of Veronica Mars, have an amazing few days in the Big Apple with Erin, and meet the cast of the movie and my favourite television show of all time. But somehow, words couldn’t sum up just how lucky I felt after the whole thing. Even now, these small paragraphs definitely do not do that trip justice, and I think I may go back to the long draft I saved and mass post all of my photos, because it was an experience I never want to forget.
But, in short, Erin and I had gone splitsies on the Kickstarter to make the Veronica Mars movie a reality. For our contribution, we were going to get tickets to the red-carpet premiere and the VIP after-party. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, it became a reality. Erin and I made a long weekend trip out of it – we met up in NYC and proceeded to live out our dreams of being real-life Gossip Girls. We hung out in Chelsea Market, walked up and down 5th and 7th, saw Chicago on Broadway, strolled through Central Park, sat on the steps of The Met, and had Sunday brunch on the Upper East Side. We even found ourselves at the ritzy New York Palace one night enjoying $20 drinks paid for by some rich Australian men on a business trip and frolicked around the hotel taking pictures and having the best time of our lives.
Of course, the highlight of the trip was the night of the premiere. We got glammed up and headed to the premiere at the AMC Lincoln Square theatre. I was so incredibly proud of and satisfied with the movie. I’m extremely happy to have been a part of making it come to life. After the movie, we headed over to a lounge down the street and mingled with our new friends (coincidentally pals with Chris Lowell) and the stars, including Chris, Jason Dohring, Ryan Hansen, Enrico Colantoni, and the creator himself, Rob Thomas. We even spotted Ira Glass and Dax Shepard.
But you can guess what the best part was: meeting Kristen Bell. Ever since I started watching Veronica Mars back in 2004, I have looked up to and admired Kristen. I made it my goal to watch nearly every piece of work she was in. I watched interviews upon interviews, browsed through galleries and galleries, and donated to a bunch of charities that she supported. Kristen was a role model I was proud to have and she makes me want to be a better person. I got onto that plane to NYC with no expectations of actually meeting her – being a part of the Veronica Mars movie experience was enough for me. But my dreams came true when Erin and I walked up to her and I got the chance to shake her hand, tell her how much she meant to me, and was hugged for a solid minute by the girl who makes me believe that I have the power to make this world a better place. Yes, I cried.
I’m not sure anything else in my life will ever top that moment.
I became the lead producer for Behind The Text.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be an actress. I don’t know if it’s because of how invested I get in movies and television, or if it’s because I always want to live out the stories I read in books or the ones I write, but being an actress has always been the shimmering gem of an aspiration I never would have believed could be a reality. It didn’t help that I never got chosen for roles in the school plays or musicals (I still have traumatic flashbacks to my first monologue audition in Grade 9) and certainly was discouraged from taking drama classes thereafter. But I kept dreaming about walking down the red carpet and being on set and moving to LA and making new friends and everything else that I thought would come with that life.
Last year, I made the decision to join an improv class with Improv Your Acting and I still consider it as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Because from there, I began taking acting classes with Tony as my coach, and through that, we’ve also become great friends. But nothing would have prepared me for what was yet to come. Knowing that I worked in advertising, Tony asked for my help to run and facilitate the marketing side of IYA. And so I helped out here and there, but that wasn’t all. In April, Tony asked me to be the Lead Producer for a new division of Improv Your Acting that is now known as Behind The Text. BTT is a scene study class and community designed for actors to put up their work for coaching every week. On top of that, industry guests and auditors are invited to come observe the class every week, oftentimes filling our studio space with as many as 30 people in one evening. Since the course began in May, it’s been a whirlwind and such a humbling experience to be part of creating a community such as this one. Every week, I facilitate all of the administration, manage communications with all of our students and guests, and make sure things run smoothly at the studio. While we’ve been on a break this month, planning and preparation for September is ramping up and it’s an extremely exciting time for the company.
The best part? I get to stand up on that stage and perform. And I’m proud to say that I’ve had some pretty great performances that would shock my fourteen-year-old self. Every week, I am among incredibly talented actors and actresses, and have had the chance to meet producers and directors and other amazing people from the industry. I’ve made friends that I hope to keep for the rest of my life. And somehow, that dream of LA and walking down the red carpet doesn’t seem so unattainable anymore.
I’ve started taking dance lessons.
I always wished that my parents had put me in dance lessons when I was a kid. As a young girl, I remember feeling left out because all of the other girls at school took dance lessons together and always seemed to be having dance recitals and sleepovers and inside jokes that I knew nothing about. And as I got older, I knew that dancers had learned and developed skills and attributes that I struggled with – moving with grace, slimmer bodies, and even feet that weren’t dangerously flat. So after a recent binge re-watch of Glee, I decided that enough was enough. I went onto Groupon, searched up dance deals, convinced Amanda to get one too, and showed up at OIP Dance Centre for my first lesson. It was hip hop. And the warm-up was nothing short of an extreme cardio workout. But then we learned a dance routine, and though I felt a little silly at first (seriously felt like a gorilla trying to follow the movements), I left the studio feeling like a new person (albeit drenched in sweat).
Since then, I’ve taken more hip hop classes and even tried my hands at a few jazz lessons. I’m really enjoying them and I’m really happy that I took the plunge. Although my Groupon expires soon, I think I’m definitely going to be signing up for ongoing classes. Not only it is fun, but it’s an incredible alternate to going to the gym to get some physical activity.
I went to Paris and London.
Because my younger brother graduated from high school this year, we decided to take a family trip as a celebration of his achievements. And when asked if he would rather go to Thailand or London, his answer was: “Harry Potter Studio Tour.” So we planned a 9-day trip to Paris and London and it was amazing. I’ll be posting a series of posts about our trip next, but to sum it up: it was a ton of sightseeing and walking everywhere, amazing food, and we even got the chance to meet up with family and friends. I can’t wait to share the day-by-day details.
Well, if you’ve made it all the way to the end, I applaud you (and secretly wonder why you don’t have better things to do). This blog is making a comeback and I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
By the way, what do you think of the new layout?