READ THIS IF YOU CAN'T CRY (HOW MEISNER HELPED ME)

Since before I can remember, I’ve always been very good at keeping my emotions under control. If I was sad or upset, I would keep everything to myself. I would cry privately, suck it up and move on. Or if it was really bad, I’d breakdown in front of whoever was there to listen and then pretend like it never happened after it was all out. I’ve never expressed my negative emotions freely. I didn’t think I was allowed.

What I didn’t realize until now is that I unintentionally trained myself not to express negative emotion.

It’s no surprise that when I started acting, it was really difficult to access them. For scenes where I was required to cry or get upset, I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t feel anything because that’s what I’ve done for most of my life. I avoided feeling bad.

This is what prompted me to take a Meisner class. I heard it was a great way to get in touch with your emotions. I decided to audit an intermediate Meisner class at Robyn Kay’s studio in downtown Toronto.

I sat in on the 3.5 hour class and what I saw was scary, inspiring and exciting.

I saw people cry their eyes out. I saw people get angry, swear and bang on walls. I saw people jump up and down full of joy. I saw people laugh. It was SO weird and I didn’t understand anything. They weren’t even having normal conversations but so much was happening.

The only thing I knew was that everything happening and all the emotions people were feeling was real.

Before we move on, let me explain what a basic Meisner class looks like.

In a Meisner class (Meisner is the technique, invited by Sanford Meisner), you go up in front of the class with a partner and you “pick up” on something about them (usually something physical) and you repeat each other while remaining in the present moment.

For example, if your partner was wearing a black shirt, you could say “black shirt” and they’d repeat “black shirt” and you would continue saying it back and forth. It’s called a repetition.

If you’re confused you can look it up on YouTube to get a better idea. But that’s it - you literally listen and repeat over and over and over again until SOMETHING happens.

That SOMETHING is emotion. By repeating words back and forth with your partner, emotion starts to come up. It usually ends up with two people screaming at each other, and then crying. Sometimes people kiss and hug, sometimes they run around the room and throw pillows. Sometimes nothing happens.

After auditing the class, I never thought I’d be able to do or feel any of the things that those people were doing but I decided to sign up.

Two or three classes in, I was crying. One time I wept uncontrollably. A few times I got angry and screamed at the top of my lungs. It felt SO good.

I like the class because I LEARN ABOUT MYSELF, and emotions that I haven’t felt in years ARE STARTING TO REAPPEAR. I get to experience and explore them without fear or judgement.

Anyone who has trouble accessing their emotions (actor or NOT) and wants to learn more about themselves AND discover why they are the way they are should take a Meisner class.





















A Quick Update On My Life!

I haven't publicly shared much in a while for a few reasons. 

#1. I don't want to ONLY share the highlights or the good things that are happening in my life because I don't want people to think that my life's a steady incline and that everything is white wine and butterflies.

#2. but I don't want to elaborate on the "bad" for too long because I have a new way of thinking and I know the more attention you give to something (whether it's GOOD or BAD) the more it expands. (this is so conflicting for me because i do like to talk about the struggle and how to get past it!)

#3.There's some stuff I can't share. Jobs I get, auditions I go to, etc. I sign a lot of non-disclosures and the last thing I want to do is get in trouble — or sued. 

SOOO unfortunately over the last few months I've shared almost nothing! But that's not what I'm about. I want to help people anyway I can which is why I've come back to my blog. If you want to know what's happened in the past few months, keep reading!

The TLDR version of the past 8 months.

I could honestly write an entire book about this year.  

From September to early January 2018, I was managing social media for Koffee Organics (an organic coffee scrub company based in Moncton, run by Estelle Doiron). I was also doing as much background work as possible.

This combination allowed me to pay rent! Aaaaand not much else. Life was a little stressful because background work is sporadic and pay checks are inconsistent. 

After I left for Florida around Christmas, I stopped doing background work. My partnership with Koffee Organics ended in early January.  

From January to April, I worked as a brand ambassador at random events, mostly with Mosaic. I also taught Chinese kids english online through a program called QKids every morning from 6 am to 9 am. In February/March, I was in discussion with an agent from a reputable Toronto agency (I was even sent some sides to film and send back) but it didn't work out and I was pretty bummed. 

*Side note: pay checks from brand ambassador work can be even more sporadic than background work. I also ran into into a few issues with Qkids which resulted in me not getting paid on time so I was really stressed out during the month of March. 

From January to April, I applied to a variety of different jobs (I even applied for a few "big girl" jobs at Shopify) with no luck. In one situation, I had four interviews over a three month period for a part-time, minimum wage job at a clothing store which I did not get. In late April, that same store contacted me again to ask if I could meet up for a chat because they were hiring again. I politely declined.  

On April 17, after a phone interview and two in-person interviews, I was hired for a minimum wage job at a big department store in Toronto. This was one of the best things that happened to me this year. 

Two weeks after I got hired at the department store, I got signed with my agency. I felt on top of the world. I was going to be making a consistent pay check AND I had an agent. I didn't think life could get any better. 

This just goes to show that when you feel good, good things WILL happen to you. I was feeling so excited that I got a job and had an agent, and after that, things just started getting better and better. 

Working regularly after having inconsistent work for so long helped me feel confident again. When I was sitting at home with not much to do or no where to go, I sometimes felt really lost and wondered what my purpose was. However, throughout that time, I was thankful for everything I had (which is A LOT when you break it down). 

I learned to be thankful for the tiny things, and that in every moment, there's a gift if you look for it. I also learned that I am 100 per cent in control of my life and can literally do whatever I want.

A milestone 

June 2018 I was cast in commercial through my agency!!! It was for a skincare brand. 

In July, I realized that the job at the department store was no longer working out for me for a few different reasons (mainly because of scheduling conflicts — my job was almost an hour commute away and I was getting multiple auditions a week and it was getting hard to juggle everything) and also because I was working very hard and the pay did not reflect the work. 

My dad always told me "work smarter, not harder" so I took his mantra and found a new job. 

A few weeks ago, I got a job at the COOLEST restaurant next to where I live. It's called Impact Kitchen. I didn't sign a NDA for this so I'm excited to tell you all about it. 

It's a half-service restaurant that caters to people who like to eat healthy and stay active! It's gluten-free and they serve different protein bowls, smoothies & most importantly...coffee! 

I couldn't ask for a better part-time job. Working somewhere that's literally a two minute walk from where I live has made my life a lot easier. I save a lot of time, and money. Not to mention, I'm able to juggle auditions much easier now.

SIDE NOTE!! From July - August I took a really great on-camera acting class with John Gordon at his studio. It's a 4 hour class and it's something I really enjoyed and learned from. highly RECOMMENDED!!!

Last week, I picked up another job at a restaurant in the Distillery district. I'll be serving again (which I swore I'd never go back to) but I'm actually pretty excited. I've arranged my schedule so that everything works out, and most importantly, I'm putting myself first. 

So as of now, I'm working two jobs, filming self-tapes, going to auditions every week, and watching a lot of Netflix at night (WATCH THE SINNER). That's my life. I'll be taking a new acting class in September as well. 

When I have some free time, I like to call my parents, my sisters and my grandparents. When I have a free day, I like to hangout by the pool, spend time with Marcus,  go to a dance class, plan dream vacations, go to Toronto Island, or see some friends. 

I haven't had a lot of time for exercise lately (only once or twice a week...unfortunately) but I walk everywhere which helps. My eating habits are kind of sucky right now. Groceries don't last long between Marcus and I. We're both pretty lazy when it comes to cooking (not to mention, we have opposite schedules). 

The past 8 months I've been on a crazy, exciting rollercoaster. Before I got on it, I didn't know where I was going, but now I do. I'm tired, but I'm happy, excited and just getting started. 

I Started Meditating for 20 Minutes Everyday and This is What Happened

Six months ago if you told me I'd be meditating every morning and it would become my favourite part of the day, I would have probably looked at you like a crazy person. 

"LOL HA HA OKAY!" would be my exact words. 

But the truth is for the past month and a half, I started meditating every morning and now I'm addicted. I can't really explain why, but I'll try my best! 

Here are some questions you may have. 

Soooo what is mediation? Do you just sit with your legs crossed and go hummmmm? 

Yes and no. Mediation can be different for everyone. I've learned that there's no "right way" to do it.

For me, it's the one time in the day where I spend time on myself and commit to myself 100%, and where I quiet and clear my mind as much as possible. It's a place where I relax, observe (in my mind) and most importantly, listen. 

How do you do it?!

Like I said before, it can be done in so many different ways, and you need to pick a method that works best for you! 

You can sit, stand, lay down in your bed, or do whatever you want. There aren't any rules. You can listen to peaceful music or be in complete silence. You can even repeat a mantra to yourself or focus on a specific image or sentence in your head. Or you can think of nothing. 

Here's my method: 

I listen to a specific mediation audio by Deepak and Oprah on YouTube. It's a great way to introduce yourself to mediation because it tells you what to do. They are twenty minutes long and feature an awesome intro by Oprah where she sets the tone, offers inspiring and positive statements. The second part is lead by Deepak where he gives your further insight and offers a mantra. The third part is the "meditation" part where you repeat the mantra your head with calming music.

I put on my earphones, I sit in a comfortable position (I don't lie down or else I fall asleep), close my eyes, and I usually try to do it outside or face a window. 

It sounds long and complicated but it's really simple. My only job is to listen.

The hardest but most important part of meditation is keeping useless thoughts from entering your mind and focusing on the present moment (what I'm supposed to be doing today, how much money is in my bank account, a phone call that I should make, what I'll have for breakfast, etc is all useless during mediation!) 

Okay cool, so what are the benefits?  

After doing this for almost a month, I would say that one of the biggest benefits is that it really helps you to be in the present moment. That sounds soooo hippy dippy but it's true. It's the one time in the day where I'm actually 100% PRESENT and aware of who I am and what I'm doing. I don't think about anything else except for what's playing through my earphones. 

Another thing it does is it relieves my stress and ensures that I start my day on a positive note. To me, my morning mediation is like emptying the trash out of my head. After my twenty minutes is over, my mind feels clear, more focused, and very positive. Only important things are on my mind after I meditate. All of the little stresses and anxieties disappear. 

My other favourite thing about mediation is enlightenment! Sometimes when you meditate, new ideas, insights, or even answers will pop into your head. Questions or problems that you might have will start to resolve. It might take a couple of tries to get to this stage, but if you keep up with mediation you'll get there. And people who meditate frequently know EXACTLY what I mean. It helps you make decisions. The more you meditate, the more you'll get to know your true self. 

How has your life changed?  

To sum it all up in the simplest way possible, here is what has changed. 

I hardly worry about things anymore. 

I feel WAY more connected to myself. When you feel more connected to yourself, you feel like you have more control over your life. 

I only focus on important things and things that I'm grateful for. 

I can make decisions much more easily and ON MY OWN. 

I trust myself. 

I'm way more positive. 

I've learned that the universe is working for me and not against me. 

13 Important Lessons I Learned in 2017

2017 was a pivotal year for me, and without getting into too much detail, here's TLDR version of year. 

Started working for an amazing startup. found my long lost twin lion friend. traveled to three new places. moved to a major city with my boyfriend. switched career paths. lost a family member to suicide. started dancing again. found my true passion. had my first audition. negotiated my first business deal. became self-employed. worked on an award-winning show. My immediate family moved to Florida thus Florida becoming my new "home" base. 

I've learned so many lessons that I'm still incorporating into my daily life (and which I plan to continue following forever!) 

Everything that has happened in 2017 has prepared me for 2018. Here is a list of some of the lessons I've learned during the past 12 months! 

Somewhere in Tampa/ Clearwater

Somewhere in Tampa/ Clearwater

 

1. The law of attraction is certain - what you put out is what will come back to you

This includes your thoughts, your words, your actions, and your intention.

If you are always thinking negatively, that's what's going to come back to you. If you're mean to someone, it will come back to you one way or another. 

But if your intentions are good, and your words and thoughts are positive, you'll see a big difference in your day to day life. Eliminate all negativity. 

2. Gratitude is everything, and acknowledging what you're grateful for everyday will make your life so much better

The more thankful you are for what you already have, the more you will receive. There are so many things we take for granted. Our health, the air in which we breath that keeps us alive, the beautiful and SAFE country we live in, the food we eat every day, HAVING ACCESS TO RUNNING WATER AND A TOILET. Be thankful for everything and your world will expand. 

3. You are WAY more powerful than you can even imagine

I'm going to quote Steve Harvey. If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand. Your thoughts create your life. If you expect good things to come, they will. Don't believe me? Listen to Abraham Hicks, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Oprah, Will Smith. I can keep going. 

4. You shouldn't have to feel stressed in order to feel like you've accomplished something great

I used to be the girl who would stay up all night, work three jobs, have like five projects on the go and feel like I'm the verge of a breaking point for weeks on end until I finally accomplished whatever I was doing. Life shouldn't be like that. 

You should NOT have to feel extremely stressed in order to feel like you've done something great. After I moved to Toronto and started getting acting jobs, I never really felt like I accomplished anything because it didn't feel stressful. There weren't really any tears, or bad sleeps, so I didn't see it as a huge accomplishment until my mom pointed out that that's how it's SUPPOSED to be. 

Sure, it was hard, but a different kind of hard. It's hard to explain but just know that you don't have to feel like you're on the verge of a mental breakdown to feel like you've done something great. 

5. Be thankful for your body and you'll see a change

If you're unhappy with your body (because I know a lot of people are) try being thankful for it instead. 

The more negatively you think about yourself, the worse you're going to look (in your eyes) and feel. It's amazing how much a body can change when you are THANKFUL for what you have. 

6. Maritimers really are THE friendliest people in the world

After moving to Toronto, I quickly understood that people from the East Coast (the real East Coast) are the friendliest crew around. 

7. You'll never regret following your dreams

You'll only regret that you never tried. If you want it, you can do it. 

8. It's never too late to change your mind

Just because you went to school for one thing (or never went to school at all!) or dedicated your life to one passion doesn't mean you have to do that one thing forever. And it also doesn't define who you are. It doesn't matter if you 18, 30, 45, or 80 years old. YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND AND DO DIFFERENT THINGS OR TRY SOMETHING ELSE. 

9. And you don't have to pick just one thing

You want to be a filmmaker, and a doctor? You can do both. You want to be a dancer, a motivational speaker, and have your own business? You can do all three. There are no rules. You're the only thing that's holding you back. If there's a will, there's a way. 

10. Vacations are absolutely necessary

Take a break when you need it. Go somewhere warm. Drink a bunch of mojitos. Recharge your batteries. Have fun. Make a new friend, talk to different people. Don't worry about money (p.s., worrying about money only decreases your money. Law of attraction makes sure of that.

11. Speak up and do something when you see someone being treated bad

If you're in a situation where someone is being made fun of, being disrespected, humiliated, bullied, assaulted, etc. and it's safe for you to step in and help, DO IT.  If it's not safe, find someone who can help (including the police). Don't stay silent, and don't be a bystander. You could be saving a life. Being silent makes you just as bad as the perpetrator. Just do something. 

12. It's not important what other people think of you. It's only important what YOU think of you. You don't have to impress anyone

Your self-love will shine through to others. Who care what others think. Especially strangers! Really though. 

13. Stop listening to other people's opinions on what THEY think YOU should be doing with your life. 

It's YOUR life, not theirs. Take everything with a grain of salt. Don't do something just because someone said they think you'd like it or you'd be good at it. Only YOU know what you want. Listen to yourself. 

IMG_4738.JPG
IMG_4739.JPG
IMG_4737.JPG

 

 

December 4th

When someone invites you into their home, they usually clean it and try to make it look perfect. 

The same can be said for blogs. 

I took another break from blogging (surprise surprise) because I was trying to figure out ways to make it look aesthetically pleasing like all the other bloggers I know! 

But now I finally understand that I am NOT your traditional blogger. I'm never going to fit into that mold. 

My intention was never to invite you to my blog. It's always been to bring you into my world. To see things the way I do! 

If I were to clean my entire condo, put on a super cute outfit, and take pictures of my food and coffees, it would almost be a lie because my life isn't Instagram pretty. It's pretty in different ways. 

And please don't think I'm hating on all of the bloggers who make their blogs look amazing. I applaud you. I wish I could be like you (I've tried) but it didn't work, so now I'm going to do it a different way. 

So with that, I decided to invite you into my space as it is, the way I live in it (no cleaning, rearranging, or outfit changes). I took a bunch of photos from my day. Under each picture, you'll read an interesting fact about my life ATM. 

I hope you enjoy. 

Grunge shirt

Last Wednesday I cut my hair and dyed it darker (shoutout to Lone & Co...I'm obsessed with everything you guys did!)

The shirt I'm wearing is a size XXXL and it was $5. 

 

work space

This is where I work on Koffee Organics, submit myself for roles, FaceTime my family, drink my coffee, watch movies, analyze scripts, and write. I usually rotate from the couch to the floor and back to the couch again. 

The stainless steel mug in the background is one of my faves. I bought it after using a similar one at Blonde Inc. 

I have multiple notepads. Each serves a different purpose, and I almost never leave the house without them. 

Magic

Every day when I wake up, I read this book. It's all about the power of gratitude and how being grateful for everything can change your life and bring you what you want. 

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE. 

thankful

Every single morning, after I read Magic, I write 10 things I'm grateful for. Yesterday I watched Home Alone and felt so grateful because it reminds me of being home with my family. 

Today I was especially grateful for my dad because it's his birthday! 

And every single day I'm thankful for my health because without it, I wouldn't be able to do much. 

Grown up things

I spent the day sorting out my finances and I'm not done but I'm proud of myself for doing it.

Each envelope is filled with pay stubs from different production companies.  

jewls

All of my jewelry. I try to keep it nice and neat but it usually looks like this! I found those blue aviators on the ground at Cabana Pool Bar. 

My mini Christmas tree. All decorations are from the Dollarama. I'm going to Florida for Christmas because my family moved there officially in November. 

books and notepads

My very mini library. A lot of my books are still in Fredericton and Florida. The last book I read is called The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn lived a difficult life (especially in childhood), she suffered from mental illnesses, and I think it's truly amazing she became the star we know today. 

She's one of my newest idols. 

miguel

Currently obsessed with Miguel's new album. Also listened to Revival (Selena Gomez) today.

Decorations

Little homemade Christmas decorations. Jar full of bows, and jar of chocolates. All from the Dollarama. 

Alex Vautour

Something really great that happened this week? I found out I got a part in a short film where I get to play someone who's the complete opposite of myself. And I have to light a cigarette which I've never done before so I'm pumped but slightly nervous because I don't want to look awkward. 

Instagram Rant: Forget About The Likes

This blog post is about my thoughts and opinions on Instagram. 

Over the past year, I've seen a lot of young women (including myself at some points) obsess over the use of social media and getting the perfect picture for the "gram." 

If you've ever cared or been upset about not getting enough likes or having a lot of followers, or have deleted pictures after posting them because they aren't getting a lot of attention, or don't match your feed, then this blog post is for you. 

It's one thing to post pictures on social media, but it's another to obsess over it and to let it alter your mood, how you feel, and even control your life. 

Here are a few things to remember when you're on Instagram. 

Alex and Ashley, Nora Swimwear

#1. An Instagram feed doesn't show you the full picture of someone's life 

Sometime's you'll look at a feed and assume someone's life is amazing. Amazing body, amazing house, amazing boyfriend, amazing parties. What's hard to understand is that you are only seeing a tiny fraction of that person's life. What you are seeing on Instagram is not the full truth, and in SOME instances, the things you are seeing can be a complete lie. 

In the picture above, I look really happy. I'm in Miami with Ashley and about to attend a fashion show at Swim Week. You would never guess that hours before this picture was taken, I had been crying and felt super insecure because I was surrounded by beautiful models and celebs... and also because, I went to a party at the W hotel the night before where Wale was performing, and not many people clapped after his performance... but that's a whole other story. 

Don't obsess or compare your life to someone's life on Instagram. Just because they're smiling in a photo doesn't mean their life is perfect. Just because they took a cute photo with their boyfriend doesn't mean they have a perfect relationship. Just keep this in mind. Always be proud of who you are, be grateful for what you have and the people who support and love you. And something else to remember, your Instagram account and the number of followers you have should not define you. 

#2. People will take 100 pictures to get one good one 

Sometimes you look at someone's feed and say "wow, they take amazing photos every single time." The truth is that that person probably took anywhere from 10-100 photos to get one good one. Think about it. How many selfies do you take before you post one? Probably at least five. People whose careers are based on Instagram are taking even more pictures because THAT'S their job! 

The first photo in the slide show is the one I posted on Instagram. The ones after it are among the dozen that were taken that day that NEVER made the feed (and I had absolutely no plans to show anyone either)! 

ALSO... people edit their pictures. A lot. Not everyone, but a lot of people do/have. Including me. I've altered my own pictures before, but I've stopped. I'm embarrassed to admit it but there have been times where I just felt I wasn't good enough and my picture had to be edited. 

Fake likes

#3. People can easily buy likes, followers, and comments

There are a lot of companies out there that will send likes to your accounts, give you followers, and even make comments. Some of your favourite brands, companies, and influencers have been known to use these tools. Don't be fooled, just be aware. 

Once, a random account contacted me and asked If I wanted to buy likes or followers. I said I was interested. 
She ended up sending hundreds of likes to the photo above. I didn't end up buying any, but it goes to show that it does work and it is possible. 

I love Instagram but I also hate it because I've wasted a lot of time on it, obsessing over what picture to post or mindlessly creeping random accounts. Now, I try to only go on it for the companies I work for, or if someone is contacting me through a direct message. I know my time could be better spent reading, stretching, catching up with family/friends, writing a blog, or practicing a monologue. 

 

To conclude: 

Instagram can be great, but it can also be dangerous.

Next time you're on the app, ask yourself these questions: 

Why am I on here? 

Is this having a positive effect on me? 

If the answer is no, close it. 

If the answer is yes, ask yourself why it's making you happy and make sure it's a good reason. 

Update: Not As Jobless Or As Broke As Used To Be

Hey, it's been a while so here's a little update on my life. 

I'm a lot less broke than I used to be. I'm able to pay my rent, split groceries with Marcus and afford dance classes. I don't really spend money on anything else other than transportation. 

Side note: I haven't splurged in a LONG TIME. This summer I bought two dresses and two tops from Forever 21 when I was in Miami, a jean skirt and a body suit from a thrift shop, and a $6.00 dress from H&M. Maybe that sounds like a lot, but I used to buy a new wardrobe for each season.  

Every penny I have goes to the essentials, or for learning/ creating, but this doesn't bother me one bit, mainly because I know everything will pay off in the end! 

Living situation 

I moved to a new spot in town! It's a lot quieter than where I used to live, and a tad cheaper. It's a hop away from my talent school and the 504 streetcar stops right in front of my condo. #Winning. We decided to get a furnished place because it's a lot easier (and cheaper ATM), and lucky for us most of the furniture is from IKEA. I'm obsessed with this condo and even though it's small, it's my favourite spot I have lived in so far. It just feels like home. 

 

Acting

In other news...I'm beginning to get roles! I was recently cast in three different projects. The first is a pilot for a TV show for Humber College (so it's a student thing). I play a lead character. I can't really talk about the project right now, but filming is happening next week and I'm so excited. 

I was also cast in a short thriller where I play the snazzy love interest of a bad boy. We started filming last Monday, and I'll be on set again tomorrow for a dramatic scene. The script is pretty intense/emotional and I'm currently trying to figure out how I'm going to nail this role. In the film, there's a few scenes where I have to LIGHT UP AND SMOKE A CIGARETTE which I have never really done before. Honestly though, I think I've only tried using a lighter once. Fire scares me. My only experience with lighters are with the ones with the long stems. 

I was also cast in a music video for an up and coming rapper. Filming was two weekends ago and the days were lonnnnnnng. We filmed for 17 hours one day. But I'm happy to say, this was my first paid role! YAY! 

I continue to audition for roles every single week. If anyone has any self-tape tips, holla. 

Side note: I saw Angelina Jolie on Monday September 11 at the premier of First they killed my father. SHE IS AMAZING!!!!

Health

I started eating healthy again. I'm eating more regularly, and I try really hard not to eat out at all. It feels so good to have groceries and to cook for myself (or have Marcus cook for me). I still try to walk everywhere, and I've been going to dance classes once a week at the Underground Dance Centre. I've also been going to the gym a few times a week in my building! I don't have a scale but I predict I'm getting closer to my old weight. 

Side note: I still indulge on goodies all the time. 

Work

I left my second serving job because I recently started working for a company based in New Brunswick to help them with the online portion of their business! (That and also I'm really just over serving.) I continue to do background acting and I'm beginning to get some paid work for acting so things are looking up! 

Overall 

I'm adjusting to Toronto MUCH BETTER. Life isn't perfect and it never will be but I find a lot of comfort by having faith and by knowing that one day everything I'm doing will pay off. Some days I wake up and wonder if I'm doing the right thing. I think it's normal to second guess yourself. When that happens, I just try to stay as positive as possible. I also listen to encouraging podcasts to lift my spirits whenever I'm feel unsure about myself.

Shoutout to Sawyer Hannay for introducing me to the GaryVee podcast, and to Nadine Drillen for introducing me to JLD Entrepreneurs on Fire

If there's any advice I can give, it's to do what YOU love and do what your soul craves (tacky, but true). 

I've been following the little voice inside of me and I've never felt better. Do things that you want to do and just be you (cliche, I know). 


My modern map art

I want to use this portion of my blog to focus one of my favourite things about my new place. 

I received this awesome map art in May but had no where to put it in my previous apartment. I also had trouble finding a frame until I went to Micheals

I like this piece because it reminds me of home while I'm away. I grew up in Fredericton but most of my family lives in Saint John so it's nice to have a New Brunswick poster as opposed to a Fredericton poster. 

I plan on getting a few more posters of my favourite cities in the world! 

This brand also does maps of countries and ski hills! If you're interested, check them out here !

Modern Map Art

 

I Was Lonely, So I Downloaded Bumble BFF

Let me start off by saying that this is not an ad for Bumble. 

About a month after I moved to Toronto I started to feel lonely. I needed friends. I needed girlfriends. 

In Fredericton, I had lots of girlfriends from different groups of friends that I had known since high school. Even if I was busy and couldn't make plans to meet up, I'd never go too long without running into someone at the mall, at the gym, or at Blonde Inc. Salon while getting pampered. 

But here in Toronto, you don't just bump into people or see too many familiar faces. 

I had my boyfriend, his good friend (and roommate) Ryan, Ryan's girlfriend Ceci, and Ceci's best friend Sam. Don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with all of those people buuuuuut I needed my own group of friends as well. And most importantly, I needed girlfriends.  

One day,  I was telling all of this to my dearest Ashley Lemmon over the phone when I said:  

"I wish there was a Tinder, but for friends." 

"There is! It's called Bumble BFF" she said. 

Hmmm an app to find friends, weird. But okay! 

So I did it. I actually downloaded Bumble BFF. At first I was nervous and kind of embarrassed. I didn't tell anyone at first, not even my boyfriend Marcus. 

The way Bumble BFF works is exactly like how regular Bumble works. You make a profile, you narrow your search to whatever age range and gender you're looking for, and you start swiping through profiles

Swipe right if you want to connect, swipe left if you don't. If both parties swipe right, you will be connected and have 24 hours to talk to each other through the app before your match expires. 

Bumble_profile.PNG

I narrowed my search to women 21 and older. I think I rewrote my profile description seven or eight times. I looked at other people's profiles to make sure mine would fit in. Once I was confident enough in my profile pictures and descriptions, I started swiping right. 

I swiped right a lot. It's definitely unfair to judge a person based on appearance, but here's how I narrowed it down. 

I swiped right: 

  • If they liked drinking coffee or going for casual drinks
  • If they said they were new to the city
  • If they liked going to the gym 
  • If they mentioned Drake in their description 
  • If they mentioned they worked/had interests in media, fashion, modelling, startups, or PR 

I swiped left: 

  • If they didn't have a description or barely put effort into it
  • If their pictures were all selfies located in the same setting 
  • If they only had one picture 
  • If they were located out of Toronto
  • If they were vulgar or explicit in their description or picture
  • If they said they loved nature and doing "natury" things (sorry that's just not me) 
IMG_3175.PNG

I remember my first match. I was so excited. I actually texted Ashley and told her I had a match. I can't remember who I matched with, but I remember trying to think of something to say. I ended up just saying "Hi!" 

Soon enough, I had like twelve matches and five steady conversations going on through the app. It felt like speed dating. I honestly started feeling less lonely within the first few days just by talking to these women! 

I only ever met up with one person I matched with. Her name is Malaika and she's from London England. We met at Fresh on Richmond and Spadina. The place was packed. I arrived 20 minutes late because I was just getting off work, and Malaika was sitting in the corner by the window when I first saw her. When I got to the table, I apologized and she said it was totally fine.   

We talked about music (we both REALLY like hip-hop and R&B), travelling, moving to a new city, and relationships. After 2.5 hours of good conversation, we parted ways. 

I called Marcus immediately after to tell him about my new friend. He was happy I starting to make my own friends. 

After I got my serving job and started making "real life friends" at work, I didn't go on the app as much anymore. But please know that if you move to a new city, or if you're just looking to meet a new friend, Bumble BFF can be a great tool. 

Before I tried it, I thought I was too good to use an app to make friends. For a second, I convinced myself that I had all the social skills necessary to make friends the "normal way" and that I would only meet weird people online. THAT'S NOT TRUE. Don't ever be ashamed for online dating or making friends through the internet. It's okay, and it doesn't matter what others think. 

I'm so happy I didn't listen to my original thought. Talking to all of those women on the app really helped me feel less lonely during a time where I just needed to talk to a girl. And the best part is, I got one good friend out of the entire experience. 

To this day, I still talk to Malaika, and we hang out from time to time! I ended up deleting Bumble BFF, but I recently downloaded it again to see who else is out there. 

This weekend, I'm actually meeting up with another woman I met from Bumble (yay!!) If you're interested and want to know how it goes, slide into my Instagram DMs or email me and I'll be more than happy to answer. 

And once again, thanks for reading. 

Alex 

 

 

Toronto took a toll on my body

If you've read my previous blogs, you'd know that my move to Toronto has been a rollercoaster. 

Yes, it's been the best experience ever, but it's also been a constant struggle.

Not only am I mentally adjusting to living in this city, but my body is adjusting as well. 

For instance, in Fredericton I use to go to the gym four or five times a week. I ate healthy (and often), never skipped breakfast, and my idea of an awesome bedtime snack was air-popped popcorn 

Toronto is a whole other story. In fact, it's the opposite. 

Now, I almost never go the gym, I rarely eat breakfast, sometimes I only eat once a day (or I eat ALL day) and my idea of a bedtime snack is lots of chocolate, lots of ice cream — or both. 

When I first moved here, I went to the gym a lot. I tried to keep the same diet and workout consistency as I did in Fredericton. I bought the same groceries, cooked the same meals and did the same workouts. I don't know why, but it just didn't stick here. 

In July, I started a NEW serving job. I started getting more background acting work as well. I was busy. Like, no-time-to-shower-or-eat busy. 

I remember there was one weekend in August where I worked at the restaurant from 11 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., ran home and changed, then took the subway to a movie set for 10 p.m., worked until 6:00 a.m. the next morning, took the subway back home to change, and went to another set for 7:45 a.m. and finished around 9 p.m. the next night. I remember consuming a breakfast burrito at 1 a.m., a chicken platter plate at 2:30 a.m., and another big meal on set the next day at around 3 p.m. I also may have had a few apples in between. 

My schedule was so messed up. 

I gradually stopped eating breakfast just because I started sleeping in really late. I stopped going to the gym too. (I walk A LOT here, so I convinced myself that walking would replace the gym).

Some days, I would only eat once a day (I'd have maybe an apple or banana, or chocolate chip pancakes) and other days, all I would do is eat out! This happened on my days off where I thought to myself "well I haven't been eating much so I should treat myself" and "I'm too tired to buy groceries, I've been working like crazy!" 

I ate out a lot because of my hectic schedule, and then I just stopped buying groceries. On the rare occasion I would make a tuna melt or rice cakes with peanut butter and extra chocolate chips but I basically lived off of Chipotle burrito bowls. 

I started craving things I've never really craved before like Big Macs and pop. I can remember about a month ago I actually bought a root beer (thanks for passing on that addiction, Ashley Lemmon). If you know me you'd know that I never drink pop, and the only fast food restaurant I go to is Pita Pit. Not in Toronto. 

This way of living took a huge toll on my metabolism and I noticed my body changing— my abs slowly started to disappear and clothes were fitting a little snug. I don't have a scale but I've probably gained a good six pounds. 

But you know what, I don't really care. 

I guess what I'm really trying to get at is, when your life drastically changes, it's hard to keep the same routine. I'm in a transition period, and so is my body. I'm not going to get upset because I wasn't able to stay as fit as I'm use to. 

My Fredericton routine definitely does not work in Toronto because I don't have time to spend two hours at the gym anymore, or cook for hours on end. But I've also learned that I need to make more time for my basic needs. 

Sometimes you just have to "be bad" for a while in order to get back to where you were. If I made health and fitness my top priority while living in Toronto, I'd probably be on my way back to New Brunswick because I'd be broke and have no job. The hustle was mandatory and still is. 

In September I'll be moving in with my boyfriend which will make things a lot easier in terms of cooking healthy meals and staying motivated to go back to the gym.

I'll get back to where I was, but my body needs time to adjust to things too. 

Thanks for reading, 

- Alex 

 

 

 

Plot Twist: I'm Pursuing Acting and I'm an Extra

I never ever planned to admit this to anyone (especially the online community), but I promised I'd be honest, so here it is! 

I'm pursuing acting. Yes, it's crazy, but let me explain.

If you asked me what my BIGGEST and most wildest dream is in the whole entire universe, I would say it's to become an actress.

I ruled it out long ago because...

a) It's crazy  

b) My situation

I was living in New Brunswick and I had no real training. I had never even done theatre (besides one very sad high school production, and a drama class in university). 

You only have ONE life. I could waste my time wishing, wondering, and imagining what it would be like and pursue something else, or I could give it my best shot, so that's what I'm doing. 

I've been wanting to act since I was three years old (I clearly remember being three and wanting to be on Barney) but that's a whole other blog post that you'll hear about some other time. 

The same day I quit my serving job on King West (see previous blog for details on that), I had an appointment with a background agency. 

Background agencies help you to get work in the background of movies, TV shows, and commercials. In other words, you're an extra. 

One day, I was browsing the media section of Kijiji when I stumbled on a bunch of ads from talent and background agencies looking to recruit. The ad said "no experience required, become an extra today!" I was like ouuuu yes, this could be fun. I decided to submit my information to a few of them, and soon after, I was asked to come in to get my picture taken. 

The first agency I went to was in a tall building on Bloor Street West. I took the subway from Spidina Station, all the way to Islington Station, and during the entire length of the subway ride, I was very nervous. I wore a blue, knee-length skirt from Forever 21, a white crop top, and wore my hair down and natural. I listened to Make Me Proud by Drake and Nicky Minaj for some extra confidence. I did not know what to expect.  

When I arrived to the office, I filled out another application and then met with a man who I'll call Tom (not his real name). He took my picture against the white wall in his office and explained to me that every week he would submit my photo to casting directors for background. If the casting directors wanted to cast me, Tom will call to ask if I'm available to work.  

He then proceeded to tell me that I would need to pay $100 up front to join the agency's roster. This was a bit alarming because I had been told that agencies should not charge you ANY money up front. However, I thoroughly went through ACTRA's website (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), and read that it's normal for background agencies to charge an upfront fee.   

I also remember the agent telling me I'd be the next Jessica Biel (LOL). I paid the fee, smiled, and took off. 

FOUR days later on a Thursday, I got a call. 

Tom asked me if I was available on Friday to work on a very popular show about lawyers (I'm not sure what I can and can't say, so we we'll leave it at this!) 

"Uh, absolutely!" I said. 

"Great, we'll send you your call time later today," said Tom. 

A call time is the time you must show up to set. It usually comes in an email and includes other information like what you should wear and how you should have your hair and makeup. You never know how long you'll be there for. 

After I hung up, I was beyond happy. I told all of my closest friends and family members that I would be an extra. 

I told my dad (who is one of my biggest supporters) and he put it on his Facebook status. He told people I GOT A PART on the show. I asked him to take it down because a) I did not get a part on on the show (I'm only an extra) and b) I could get in trouble by the production company. 

Background actors are seen as bottom of the barrel (we are basically just human objects to make the scene look fuller or alive).

Our tasks are usually pretty simple:

"Walk straight and take a left." 

"Stand here and pretend talk to your neighbour." 

"Walk to here, wait 10 beats, and sit down on this bench." 

Sometimes a scene will go by super fast and you'll only have to do your action a few times, but sometimes you'll find yourself repeating the same action 15 times in a row and be on set for hours. 

Another thing about background: you wait around a lot. Like A LOT. Once, my call time was at 9 a.m., and we didn't get on set until almost 3 p.m. But honestly, I don't mind waiting; it gives me time to read or write. 

My favourite thing about doing background is being in the scene and watching the actors perform (when I can!) I also love the free food. Yes, when you're on set they feed you. Sometimes you'll get a delicious meal like salmon, fresh salads, sweet potato, veggie burgers, and chicken. Sometimes you'll get a sandwich. It all depends on how long you've been on that particular set, and the budget! 

As long as you're a good listener and take direction well, background acting is pretty easy. I enjoy it a lot, and I'm extremely grateful every time I get to do it. 

Since my first background job in early June, I've worked seven other times for different shows and movies. The work is unpredictable, you usually only get a call the day before, sometimes only hours before. The pay rate is $12.50 an hour but you usually work long hours. 

Doing background is a great introduction into the acting world. I'm currently taking acting/improv classes once a week, and my plan is to get a principal agent (an agent that represents actors going for speaking roles) in the next few months. 

Since background acting is so unpredictable, I'm working as a server at a NEW restaurant (and it's going well!), and I continue to do work with Nora Swimwear and Country Liberty. 

I'm still struggling, but I'm having fun doing it. 

Thanks for reading, 

-Alex

P.S, if anyone has ANY advice on this, I would love to hear from you!

Jobless And Broke In DT Toronto

Ever since I moved to Toronto, my life has done a complete one 180.

Before I moved, I was very comfortable with my life, too comfortable in fact. There were no more big challenges for me. I stopped growing, and that's why I had to leave. 

I had a nice, affordable apartment in downtown Fredericton, an AMAZING king size bed, and I got to drive around my parents' balling Chrysler 300. I lived seven minutes away from my family, I worked from home for Nora Swimwear but I had a good job at a restaurant that I could always fall back on and pick up shifts, and I pretty much did or bought anything I wanted (within reason.) 

Purchasing last minute trips to Cuba or expensive concert tickets? Yep, that was me. 

I would meet with friends for sushi or nachos once or twice a week, go for blizzards with my boyfriend, and get coffee from Starbucks or Reads on the regular. BUT I felt stuck. The move to Toronto was inevitable. I knew it was going to happen. I wanted it, and I needed it. 

I moved to the city on May 19, 2017. I was eager and I had a plan.

  • Get a job at a high-end restaurant
  • Make LOADS of money
  • Make super cool connections on the job
  • Land a big position in fashion or media through those connections
  • Live happily ever after

Spoiler alert. NONE of this worked out like I had planed, but we'll get to that later. 

My apartment is located in the entertainment district (aka, I can see the Rogers Centre from my building). It's a one bedroom plus den. I have the den. My room is the size of a large elevator. I have a single bed, a desk, a shelf, and a wardrobe. There's no TV.  The apartment itself is beautiful and brand new. It's twice as small and twice as expensive than my old place in Fredericton, but I have no complaints (and I have a roommate!) 

My second day in Toronto, I landed a job at a restaurant on King St. West. The owner guaranteed me five shifts a week. It looked perfect and every thing seemed to be going according to plan. 

I started working at this restaurant three days later. The first training shift felt okay, I shadowed a few of the servers and watched how they engaged with their customers. I followed them around, took drink orders, poured water, and brought fresh bread over to tables. I went back the next day for my second training shift and I managed to keep up but I still wasn't sure about the place. During the shift, the person I was shadowing told me I was standing too close to them while training, and during the third shift, my trainer tried to teach me how to hold my tray "properly". 

"Hold it like this" she said, as she held the tray with one hand, elbow in, away from her body. 

"But I've always held my trays like this," I said. (I hold my tray with one hand, but with my elbow touching my stomach so I can keep the tray steady with my body). 

"You need to learn to do it this way." she said. 

I tried it her way for a minute, but went back to my way, the same way I've held a tray for the past five years working as a server at McGinnis Landing.  

Later in the night she caught me holding my tray "the wrong way" again and it felt like I was being scolded. 

"Babe, you've got to hold it like this" she said as she motioned to me how to hold it "properly" again. 

"You'll get use to it and you'll thank me me later," she said. 

Later that night while I was clearing some plates off the table, she told me to hold the plates straight because things could fall off when I lifted them up. She grabbed onto my plate while I was holding it and turned it completely straight. 

"There ya go" she said. 

After my shift, I started feeling like this particular restaurant was not for me. 

Monday was my next shift and I woke up stressed and in tears. I didn't want to go. It wasn't just because of my bad experience during the last training session, I concluded that I really didn't like it there. I called my mom, cried a lot, and then she told me to quit. 

I hate quitting. I always do my best and I stick it out as long as I can. I quit my last job in marketing because I started getting a lot more freelance work from Maclean's, but the company understood and even encouraged it. I don't quit unless it's on good terms or I have something else lined up. 

This time however, I had only been serving there for three days so I felt like I was failing. I HATE failing, but the thought of going back to that place was even worse than the feeling of failure. Also remember, I had nothing else lined up. Forty minutes after getting off the phone with my mom, I worked up the courage to call my boss and quit. My ex-boss said "thank you for calling" and hung up. 

It felt really good. But now, I was basically jobless. I was earning a small income from side projects, but not enough to make a living, at least the living that I was use to. When my boyfriend moved to Toronto two weeks later (which is another story) he helped me out by paying for things and buying me a small load of groceries. My parents and other family members helped a lot too. I felt embarrassed not being able to provide for myself.

I saved some money before I went to Toronto, but I spent most of it during my first two weeks on sit-down dinners, concert tickets, and clothing ( I figured I'd be making money quickly so I did not choose to be frugal). My credit cards were being used like crazy, and I watched my bank account fade. I had money to cover my rent for the summer, but that was it. 

My plan crumbled in front of me, so I started thinking of other ways to make money. Old dreams began to brew again, and new and exciting interests starting coming around.

I'm talking about acting, dance, and improv. But we'll get into that later. 

Thanks for reading, 

- Alex

 

The Intro: Why I'm Changing My Blog

I haven't posted anything since May because I have been feeling super uninspired and almost disappointed in myself and in parts of the Instagram/blogging world. 

The truth is, for the past few months I've been writing articles on my blog that I thought would get me a lot of attention. And when that attention didn't come, or didn't come fast enough, I would get upset or my mood would change in a negative way. I spent a lot of time writing things that I think other people would like and totally neglected my love for proper story telling and honesty. I started feeling fake and as if I wasn't contributing anything to the world. I was writing in a tone that sounded like everyone else. 

The problem is, I don't want to be like everyone else, I want to be like me. 

I write for a variety of blogs that are all pretty similar to mine and focus on fashion, health, and lifestyle. When it came time to create content for my myself, I found it very challenging to be creative and compete with the other things I was writing. Sometime I would come up with blog ideas for my own blog but end up writing them for another one just so I could get paid or have more exposure. 

Because of that, my own content started getting sloppy and the quality of my writing went down. I was spreading myself too thin. 

I took a looooooong break and decided to change the entire vibe of my website. 

From now on, I'll be posting more things about my life. 

Sometimes you'll read about my thoughts or opinions (which I don't share often because I'm a people pleaser) and sometimes you'll read about my experiences. 

From the outside, I have a very interesting and exciting life but the struggles I face everyday ARE SO REAL. Only people who are close to me know about them, but I'm prepared to share some of them with you guys, too. The more we share with each other, and the more honest we can be, the better we'll get? 

That didn't make much sense, but please just know that my life is super far from perfect. 

Fashion, lifestyle, and health blogs will also make appearances again, but on my own terms. Interviews, Q&A's and profiles will also be available eventually too. 

I don't have a specific schedule for my blog, but I'm going to try to write as much as possible. Writing has always been therapeutic to me up until a few months ago. I want to get back to that. 

However, whatever I write about, I promise it will always be the full truth. I don't want to just talk about the good, I want to talk about the bad too. 

ALSO, I feel like we should know each other better. I never really talk about myself or my experiences online, so before I go, here are some things you should know about me. 

1. I LOVE spicy food

2. I have two younger sisters (15 & 19) and a half brother (24) 

3. Drake is my favourite rapper, forever

4. At the moment, Rhianna is my biggest fashion inspiration (but this changes periodically!) 

5. BBQ nachos, pad tai, and smoked salmon are favourite things to eat 

6. My favourite stores are Forever 21 and Zara

7. I've applied to Big Brother Canada four times and made it to the semi-final round of auditions three times

8. I don't like sad songs and I never listen to them 

9. One of my favourite movies is Selena  

10. I'm an introvert but I can also be extremely social 

11. I'm an optimist and try to stay as positive as possible in every situation 

12. I brush my teeth about five times a day 

13. I wash my face every night NO MATTER WHAT 

14. If I don't drink a ton of water every day throughout the day I feel weak and dizzy 

15. My mom is the best motivator I know 

16. My dad is the hardest worker I know 

17. I live in Toronto, and I love it

18. Travelling is essential to my health 

19. I'm very sensitive 

20. I'm a Christian

Thanks for reading, 

- Alex