I need to get to know people. Not just here, but in general, this is something that drives me. Knowing people. I've always been a social guy. When Cath and I first started dating, we'd walk down the street and I'd run into 5 people everytime, anywhere. It's even happened on vacation. Because it's a small world, and I like to keep it small. But as I've gotten older, and being social started getting called networking, I've done less of it. Perhaps it feels daunting. Networking. Perhaps it's because there seems to be an end game. I'm not sure. But I've started shying away from new contact. Don't get me wrong, it still happens, and I still love it, but I seek it out less.
But I actually do want to know more people. I want to know what's going on. I want to see what's doing and where, and with who. I want to be a part of something. I always have, and I always do.
Today, I somehow got to explore connections at a little restaurant around the corner from my house. The Lions Den. It's run by this really cool dude named Ken, who has a great story that I won't ruin. Just go in and ask. He also keeps track of every single day that he's been open on a little calendar and gets you to be a part of that day in history. He's really cool.
I went there with Ese to find Caribbean food - something that Van doesn't seem to have. Well it's alive and well here! It's no Eglinton West competition, but it's still on point. Had me some saltfish and ackee. Proper.
While I was there, Ken spun a web of community engagement that was so expert you didn't even notice it. Within a few minutes, we'd met Blu Mankuma. He's a veteran Canadian actor and musician with the longest IMDB. Dude's been in everything, and has great stories. I asked if we could be facebook friends. That's a start.
I also met Ken's son MJ, a young actor just graduated from VFS. We're in touch too now. People kept pouring into the Den, and we kept meeting them all. Jason and Nick showed up and we exchanged emails and numbers. I offered to help on his upcoming production - maybe as a PA if I can learn what that's all about. It was a great day. Seriously.
I also shot off an email to a very inspiring producer I met who's just doing it. Leap. We're having coffee next week sometime.
AND I got to do some work with Elizabeth Weinstein - my high level acting partner.
I always love having someone who geeks out the way I do. She inspires me, and I inspire her, and we can just jam in our shared love of this gig. It's a relief being here and finding people, one by one, who I vibe with. I'm a community guy. I can do it alone, but I like having my whole team here. 'Started from the bottom now we're here...Started from the bottom now my whole team f@*king here'
We worked out a couple of scenes using a new audition method I'm being introduced by Stuart Aikens.
It's refreshing to talk to a casting director who's a straight talker. Who can explain what he looks for, and the process, and share his understanding of a way into the scene. He's a theatre guy. That's clear, and he's the first voice that I've heard who approaches the visual medium of film/tv as though it's the rehearsal process for theatre. The 'technique' he's sharing with me perhaps isn't revolutionary, but for me, it's a brilliant way in that I haven't been exploring in a way that has jumpstarted me. It's jump starts me. That's electric and immediately valuable.