So far I have seen China Town, went to the CN Tower, sweated bullets on the glass floor and saw a Jays game...and hey, that was Day One. Also have been navigating several public transit systems by myself (which makes me inordinately proud of myself,) including how to get from Bryce's in Toronto to successfully buzzing xenologue's front door.
(long, long pause.)
"So, um...does the door buzz or what?"
Into the Woods was amaaaazing. There were some rather head scratching choices (so...the witch is like...literally a garden? Urrrr?) and some interesting scenery. Nice icon for The Cape as Red as Blood. There were some really incredible performances...the actress playing Little Red was awesome. She had the most pitiful (and howlingly funny) wail when the Baker steals her cloak that when she was done, the audience clapped.
Of course Alex and I had to hang around after to try to catch some of the actors.
"Hi! We're your adoring public!"
I mean, c'mon, who could resist an opening line like that? So we got to chat a bit with the Little Red actress as well as the Jack actor. Big, big fun.
It was late when we were driving back and so I quipped to Alex.
"I'm hungry, I'm sleepy, it's past midnight...and you're driving. Just like old times."
Made my way back successfully to Toronto the next morning and hung out with Bryce in a little booth set up for an international student film festival. Problem is that the festival was really POORLY organized and so some of the booths were totally across town from the SCREENINGS. Basically he was supposed to entertain little kids and show them some little bits of animation, how to draw etc...except no little kids showed up.
So, he and I chatted it up with another person involved in the festival...Sarah from the Manchester in England. (I could have listened to her read a telephone book and it would have been interesting, she had such a cool accent.)
Later we got invited to listen to a movie producer at a panel...which, again due to the poor organization of the festival...was poorly attended. Bryce and Sarah and I were 3 of the 5 people that attended it! Still, it was kind of fun to listen to him and pick his brain and hear stories of what it takes to try to get movies made. I couldn't help but think about all of his war stories etc and the struggles to get money and make movies etc still boiled down to "will it sell popcorn?" What a WEIRD, WEIRD industry.
Had dinner with a classmate that evening...got to see him and meet his fiance. It's fun seeing these people who, like me, lived like starving abused animals at art school. We're now happy, healthy and living like grown ups. He and his fiance had just bought a condo, he loves his job (he's a 3D modeler for a company that designs exotic resorts and amusement parks.) It was nice to have an evening of really pleasant conversation and a lot of back and forth of "So what have you been up to?"
Yesterday...(I guess it's yesterday. I haven't really been sleeping tonight,) we hung out at the booth again and hung out with Sarah and were joined by Bryce's girlfriend. As soon as we could contractually get out of there though, we were off and went to the distillery district. Lots of fun market stuff and interesting booths and street performers. We caught a front row act of this really amazing juggler performer and tipped him well when it was over. He really had a wonderful stage presence and was quite entertaining. He was correct, I think, in chiding the audience to tip generously...he had entertained us for over 45 minutes and hey, what do people pay for a lame movie?
"Fancy a pint? First round is on me," is a phrase I never thought I would hear but I couldn't help but grin broadly when Sarah said it. We stopped off at a little out door pub and I got a ginger ale. Turns out she's the only one of our group who even drinks but we spent the rest of the afternoon sitting there in this really old wonderful part of town just chatting and swapping stories and jokes.
We headed back to the city center and Bryce's girlfriend and Sarah eventually split off from us (with many hugs goodbye and "I'll totally email you!" (which we'll see if actually happens,) and Bryce and I were heading to East Side Marios. It's funny because I suddenly got hit with a pangs of nervousness....what if everyone forgot? What if nobody showed up?
It's funny though...as we approached the restaurant I started recognizing faces. "LUCA! Brian! MARK!" All these familiar faces just exploded into view and there were many ferocious hugs. It was already getting fairly packed with people and I don't think I'll be able to properly express how wonderful it was for my soul to see all those people together again. I'll probably write something more indepth about it all... but it was an evening of MUCH laughter, MUCH catching up to do and it was nice because while there WERE a lot of us, it wasn't like the restaurant was totally packed and so we could liesurely talk, and eat and move seats around and get up and move around and talk to people ... and keep chatting long after we were finished eating. Of course I didn't get to talk to everyone as much as I would have liked but just seeing them and knowing they were well again was wonderful.
Bryce and I had to hustle back to his apartment...Alex was going to be picking me up later that evening. I was to call her when I was done at the restaurant and I was afraid she would be cranky if I called her really late. Turns out I shouldn't have worried too much. I called and left messages a little after ten...(she was out carousing after her opening night...which I gather was a huge success, yay Alex,) and "what with one thing and another," she arrived at Bryce's...rather, rather late.
Again with the sleepy and the driving and after midnight part. At least I wasn't hungry.
So, the Toronto part of my trip I consider an unqualified success.
Tomorrow I get to see her performance twice and it will be nice to actually SEE the darn thing rather than hearing cryptic bits and pieces:
"We added this new part without telling the director..."
"So...what did you add?"
"I'm not telling you."
ARGH. I've heard so many cryptic coded comments about the script and performance decisions and cast and how bonded they are together and how draining the rehearsals are etc that I feel like I'm going to be intruding when I finally get to SEE the thing. Still, I have no reason to doubt xenologue when she mentions that it (the production) and her (Hecuba) are brilliant.
And now...now I really wish I could SLEEP.