Antonio Cayonne | Actor

A True Leap of Faith Never Fails (2.11.17)

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I work at a restaurant.
It's owned by close friends.
The day we opened, one of their Fathers gave them a framed photo with these words at the center of it - A True Leap of Faith Never Fails.
I read it everyday when I walk into the restaurant. It's their first.
And it was indeed a huge leap of faith. But their hearts were in it.
And they surrounded themselves with people whose hearts were in it.
Like me. 

2 years ago - Feb.10/15

2 years ago - Feb.10/15

Everyday when I read it though, I don't think of the restaurant. I think about that fact that I'm in Vancouver, and that I can feel the career I want opening itself up to me - like a flower blooming in slow motion. I think of the fact that the day I flew out happened to be my late Father's birthday - February 10th.
A birthday, coincidentally, shared by my father in law. I think of all the little steps over the years that brought me here: the ones that make sense, the ones I will never make sense of, the ones I can't let go of, and the ones I tuck myself into sleep thinking about. 

I have the words faith and reason tattooed on my arms. I've always believed that those are the two governing bodies; the lenses through which all decisions get made. We are each comprised of ever changing percentages of those two things.
I've always leaned heavier on reason. I feel I can trust it. I can see it. I can quantify it.
Faith hasn't been something that I've had much luck relying on.
But like I said, they are the two governing bodies, so I've always had some amount of faith.
We all do. Be it in myself, in the people I've surrounded myself in, or in the guidance of the green lights that guide my way. Like George Michael, I gotta have faith and wait for something more. 

Moving here wasn't entirely reasonable - though I spent a long time thinking it through. However, ultimately, the decision was made in an afternoon. The decision was made nearly purely on Faith.
A thing I had never done.
And I Leapt. 

Happy Anniversary Faith.
We've done well in the past two years.
Ruth Hill's interview is the best celebration of a decision that I could have asked for. Her kindness spoke right to my heart. I'm so grateful to be on this path in the way that I am, and to find so much support from such surprising and grounding places. It truly is humbling. 

To stories

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2017. 
A film just broke my heart. It's not the first time that's happened, but this time it was different. It broke it by being too close to home; too visceral of an experience. That's the goal with good storytelling - good film making - to effect change in your audience. I wasn't the typical audience for this one. It's as if they took a part of my own tale, and played it out exactly as I've envisioned it. For better, for worse, every fear, insecurity, and doubt was up on that screen. And the hollow ring of my dreams are still reverberating off my insides. My bones are the tines that the notes are ringing out on. My soul amplifying every echo. The movie was beautiful. Brilliant. And profound. But for me, it was a bit deeper than I'd expected. I'm appreciative of this moment, and what I'm being given the opportunity to process. I can't wait to put it somewhere. 

The Rabbit Hole - Sept. 1/16

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Two months later, here we are. 
Two months later, work is work.
Two months later, I can start at the beginning, and convince myself it's where I belong. 
Two months later, I can say I'll be happy when. 
And two months later, I know I'm lying. 

There is no happy when. There's NOW. But it isn't happy now, or unhappy now. It's just now. Now we are busy. Now we are curious. Now we are hustling. Now we are hungry. Now we are tired. Now, we are tired. 

There is only today. Anxiety about tomorrow and regret about yesterday are simply distractions from today. This I know, deeply and with a connection to my body and soul. It pulses through me as an electromagnetic current of truth. And I listen to it, I feel it, but I still can't always separate from it. 

I think the state of being, my most common physical condition, is doing. The inverse of that, though it shouldn't be, is undoing. And it's my second state. Doing something. And then undoing it. Braiding and unbraiding. Write, re-write. Erase, re-record. It speaks volumes about my mental condition. We want to be happy. But really, I'd argue we want to be satisfied. Sated. 

Satiety. Being full. Our desires met. Our appetite fulfilled. What do we want? Do we know half the time? Do we simply fill up on bread because we can't feel that we need water? We can't feel the difference? Or can we feel it, but we ignore it. If we pursue Satiety, and achieve it, then what? Is there a latent fear of failure? Or is it of success? 

What happens when we become collaborators to our own desires, and begin to manifest their arrival? The doing. Then the undoing. This rabbit hole makes me believe that we might be computer simulations. Because it's an easier answer than, we are all a little bit broken. 

I wish I broke my arm, but never broke my heart. 

Be better. Do better. Wake up. Undo it, question what you know, doubt who you are, resign to thoughts of inadequacy, resolve to be better, define your own resilience, set goals, stand taller, stride forward, begin to do, go to bed, and snuggle into the rabbit hole. 

I'm doing just fine. I always am.
Doing. And undoing. 

 

The line separating these things isn’t a hard one

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Inconvenient. It's a word that's been weighing heavily on me this past week. I know so many people in pain. From every side. Different types of pain. But all pain, equal in nature, though perhaps more oppressive in certain situations. I don't want to diminish anyone's experience. Nor do I want mine to be diminished. I want to make sure that we are clear with each other. Because right now, so much of the offense is akin to being hit in the face in a dark room as we all fumble to turn on the same light. Some of the hurt is from cheapshots taken in the dark. But I have to believe many of us, most of us, want something better. Better than this, better than what we are, better than how this all feels. I know that we will be looking back on history wishing we stood on the right side, so for now, I want to stand, and say I see you. I want you to stand where you need to stand to feel heard. I want to stand together, even when it's hard to understand why you're standing there. And I want to say your hurt matters. And say so does mine. And say that they are both important. But let mine matter. Because right now, it doesn't. So many of us - and I don't mean one race, one religion, one culture, one gender, on sexuality, i mean us, we the humans of this planet - are in pain. See me like I see you. Hold my hand, my heart, and my personhood in your hand next time you start to type, to speak, to yell, to cry.
I'm just like you, reaching in the dark, looking to illuminate things.
Let's make this better. 

'Protest where you want. Soil is free bloodshed should never be.' - Matthew Taylor

Burnt. February 10th 2016

Antonio Cayonne

I haven't been using my blog a lot lately. It's not that I don't have time. I do. In starts and stops. I do. So it's not that. But I haven't been using it the way I did last year, I guess in part because I sometimes feel like it's all been said. And sometimes the horse is dead, and there's no need to kick it. That's not pessimism, just an honest assessment of my view of the truth. Then of course, other days, I want to talk so that I can let the thoughts escape. To create that release, that ksst sound that happens when you open a carbonated beverage. To shake the bottle up and then crack it and waste half of what's inside just to release the pressure. 

I watched Burnt tonight. Story of a Chef battling his own demons; coming face to face with his own self worth. I know this story. I think many of us do. This one resonates because I have for a long time lived in two worlds. I act and am a creative. I serve and work in hospitality. I'm not a chef and don't work in the kitchen. That said, there are demons in the business, and pressures, that are not foreign to me. Both businesses. Addiction and depression go hand in hand. Egos. Hurt. Self Hatred. Self Worth. Self-Esteem. Value. Relationships. Expectations. Pressure.

I thought I was going to hate Burnt. I'm growing tired of seeing the same faces take on worlds and live out lives that are so much more than they get portrayed as being and have so much more to offer than they get portrayed as having. I'm getting tired of not seeing myself, and my peers reflected back at me, and needing to be fattened up for the slaughter, spoon fed (sometimes) great stories by using a a big name actor, as though I may not get it otherwise. I'm tired of not getting credit as viewer and as participant. That said, I'm also tired of getting in my own way. Because oftentimes I look around, in both my industries, and I often am the only person that I'm asking to see reflected back at me. Chicken, meet Egg. Horse, meet Cart.  I digress. I got out of my way and watched Burnt. 

The things I didn't like about it were on the surface, waiting for me to get past them, as I must for most films if I want to be included in the 'Hollywood' experience. Beyond those things, I appreciated what felt like aspects of an honest portrayal of an addict. The Chef's addiction to validation in every form was palpable in his relationships, his 'wit', his arguments, his tantrums. A need to be the best. To be seen. To be told. To feel. To be felt. The voices in his darkness loomed large and lived out loud in most of the movie, and I appreciated someone giving them room to be heard. They ultimately made him likable, which is rarely the case. They ultimately allowed him to change - which I've seen happen...once. They ultimately made a movie that could sell, and I guess I can fault them for that but there's no need to. They don't care what I think.  I like actors, and I liked the actors. I love Bradley Cooper and I like him too in spite of wishing that I hadn't recognized a single face in the ensemble and could just live out the journey. I felt they all dug in and told an important story. 

A few weeks ago there was a high profile suicide in a kitchen. High profile being key in that it was a chef who got his third star. Who was himself a Star. He was perhaps the best in the world at the time. Perfection. That is rare air. 

Last year there was a high profile suicide behind the curtains of the film industry - and it wasn't the first one either. A star. Someone who changed lives.

In Burnt the Chef says he wants to make food that makes you stop eating. That's the goal in good art. To literally make you have to stop. Because something has changed. You've changed. It's a transformative experience. And to know that that's the goal, once achieved, to be repeated? That's a lot for any one person to handle. 

I don't know why I wanted to write after watching Burnt. Maybe it made me think, which means it was good art. Maybe parts of it were too close to home, and I felt jostled. Maybe I'm in the middle of Pilot season unsure of the very ground  beneath me.

I really don't know. It's ultimately a film about finding a way to let your demons ride in the backseat instead of shotgun, and being your own co-pilot even if that means you have a clown car of close friends rotating in and out to help you remember what you're worth, and that hits home with me. I'm out here without the clown car, a full back seat (and truck at that), and space for one, but I'm going it alone. Without a map. Or any truck stops. And I drank a few liters of water but don't have enough gas to both pull over AND still make my destination, and I'm hoping for a sign that says we're almost there even though there are no lights and I'm not sure I'd see the sign either way.   

KSST

I cracked the can and let it overflow. And re-reading makes me think, I understand why there's nothing new anymore. We get stuck and need a resolution, but don't know what it looks like. So we tell the same story again. Write the same blog again. Love the same person again. Live the same patterns again. And try to get closer to making it all make sense. 

It doesn't make sense. But it's not for lack of trying. 

The movie ends with an acceptance; with a win; with un raison d'etre. I guess that's it. I want to see that ending in life, before I see the end of life, because I see it in movies. But that's not how it works. Sometimes, most times, it just ends. 

 

Appetite for Love! Airs Feb. 6th

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I got to spend a week on set, playing Chef Lucien. It was the longest I've been on set yet, and was a fantastic way to end the year. I can't say enough good things about the Director David Mackay, as well as the two leads, Taylor Cole and Andrew Walker. Salt of the Earth humans. I got really lucky!

If you're free, and you can get this channel, watch it! Its a light-hearted romantic comedy as part of the Countdown to Valentines Day. 

Also, if you're in LA check out Andrew's Juice spot!

CLOVER JUICE

Cassandra Troy Walker of Clover Juice

Cassandra Troy Walker of Clover Juice



Taylor Cole plays Mina (with blond hair)

Taylor Cole plays Mina (with blond hair)

Andrew Walker plays Clay

Andrew Walker plays Clay

Pilot Season 2016

Antonio Cayonne

It's year 2 for me here. Almost. 

At the least, it's my second go at pilot season in Vancouver after lifting up my life and planting it in a new city. And I couldn't be more excited, more happy, and more at ease. I've been penning (for myself) a wrap up of all the things to celebrate from last year. A trick I got from Robin Sharma. And there were many. Big. Small. All worth celebrating. But the biggest is that I'm still here. 

I am about to get back to work, because there's an audition to work on. Because it's pilot season, and there will always be, and should always be, an audition to work on. But I wanted to take a minute and start the blogs off for the year. I stayed away from this forum for a bit, because I wanted to get my head right. Things are slowly coming together. 

Maybe in upcoming blogs I'll reflect on my past year, maybe I won't. I don't really know. I fly by the seat of my pants. What I do know is that among the things to celebrate was having the nerve to chronicle my journey through writing. I'm grateful to be able to put things somewhere, and set them free. 

It's year 2. Let's make the ceiling the floor and start living. 

Back to the prep .

Back up and Running. Dec.2nd 2015

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Here we go. Round two with the computer. My hard drive was dead. Not a virus. YAY!

Keeping this one short because I have to get some work done, and find time to grind out Shane Dennie's 21 day challenge. Maybe even take my new kicks for a spin. 

Nearly a year out here. So far so good.

Tuesday November 16th

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Computer is down again. That is a bummer.  Hopefully when its back I'll be back with the NEWS. I've refrained from writing about international events, choosing instead to read, and learn more about what is truly going on. So, back to all that. 

Nov. 10 2015

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I don't have a ton to write and I don't have a ton of time, but I wanted to make an entry. Let's pretend I said something smart that made you nod your head and then you felt like you had to talk about it and it inspired you to write something profound because I like impact and that would be nice. 

Video Pitch -Nov.8th 2015

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Yesterday we submitted our video pitch.

We have a solid team. I highlighted Courtney last time, and want to wish her a Happy First Day on Set today! Yesterday though, our team had a different Hero. Because our team is tight!

Mike Koras moved her from Toronto within the last few months, joining us in this west coast push for bigger projects. He's a friend and peer from a while back having trained at many of the same places in Toronto. And his ability to break things down into bite sizes and zero in on what's important and how to get the best out of everything is uncanny. 

Yesterday he directed me through a 5 minute pitch. I though maybe we'd have multiple cuts, but Mike was confident that we could do it in a single take and nail it within the exact timeframe of five minutes. He was right. Thanks to his guidance, his specificity, and his direction I was able to talk for exactly 4mins and 45seconds, get out all the important information and sell the story. 

So, fingers crossed we make it to the next round. But already, this team is winning.

CRAZY 8s - Nov. 5. 2015

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One day we were sitting around talking about producing our own work. We talked and talked and we still talk but we hadn't leapt. Yesterday I signed us up for a short film festival here in Vancouver.
I pushed us off the cliff.
Stay tuned. 

Check out this great interview at www.EXAMINER.com with one of my partners in crime out here...who also by the way just booked a LEAD! Boom. Welcome to Vancouver. 

Courtney Richter was fabulous in her role as Claudette in this week’s Supernatural episode “The Bad Seed.” Best known from her guest roles in Bates Motel and her new short filmHeartbeats, this Northern Ontario small town girl has been busy lately. Get to know Courtney as she shares a little about herself and her experience on the set of the episode Jensen Ackles directed.
— examiner.com


star light star bright

Antonio CayonneComment
This isn't actually the one. It was way too fast to catch. 

This isn't actually the one. It was way too fast to catch. 

I think I just saw a shooting star. I've never seen one before. It's cloudy out, but it was very bright. It seemed low, but that just may have been the size. It was a shooting star. Or a UFO. And I'm way more prone to alien theory and conspiracy, so frankly I'd love that. But today, I need a wish. So it's a shooting star. I made my wish. I don't pray, though sometimes I talk to my dad - usually in my head. I don't ask for things, though I collage the shit out of vision boards from time to time. And I try not to want; to not live in the future. 

But I made a wish on that star.

I needed that star tonight.  

nov.3.2015

Antonio CayonneComment

je pense que je suis deprimee encore. bein, je comprend qu'etre deprimee est quelque chose qui existe toujour en moi. c'est une realite constante.  c'est moins effrayant de l'ecrire en francais. mais je crois que je suis. deprimee. je le connais bien. c'est agacant. c'a m'ennui. a ce momnet exact, je regard des photos qui tous exprime la depression. ils sont si dramatique. c'est beaucoup moin interesant que les photos expressent. je sais tout. je sais que j'ai bessoin de manger. je sais que je dois faire l'entrainment. je said que je dois parler avec quelq'un. mais, c'est difficile. la verite est que quant je suis comme ca, c'est difficile. j'aimerais mieux passer a d'autre choses. aussi, je sais qu'il devrait etre des accents sur les e, mais je ne peux pas les trouve.
okay,
c'est tout pour aujourd'hui.
en fait, c'est trop pour aujourd'hui.