Since I’ve actually got a lot on my mind that I want to hash out, I am now unofficially dubbing this New Year’s Week Blogtacular. Stay tuned over the next couple of days as I endeavour to write a post a day.
Everyone from news outlets to good friends have compiled a decade in review, which got me thinking about my own past. That said, I’m probably just going to gloss over a lot in the last ten years and put more emphasis on 2009 in another post since it was one heck of a year for me.
Y2K started off pretty piss poorly. I was back home in New Brunswick for the holidays after completing my first semester of my first year of university in Ottawa. I decided to celebrate at a friend’s party with a mickey of tequila and a mini bottle of champagne. Possibly anticipating the end of the world, I drank the whole thing. I rang in the new century praying madly to the Porcelain God for him to make it all go away (hence the title of this post). I still can’t drink (or smell) tequila without getting violently ill (as I discovered on my birthday in 2009 – but that’s a story for another day). I believe 2000 was also the year I got cast in my first lead role in Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart at the U of O, got elected to serve professionally on the university’s student council, went home for the summer only to realize you really can’t go home again, got cast in my second lead role (this time it was The Lark), dropped out of school for a semester so I could do both the play and my student council job… and most of this happened before I even turned 19… wow, I didn’t realize the year 2000 was such a busy one!
By 2001, things had deteriorated on student council, my roommate and I weren’t getting along and I overcompensated for it all by eating and drinking way to much. I almost got kicked off student council because of an incident involving my drinking (one that I am not proud of, but that is pretty darn funny ten years later – again, story for another day) and I swore of booze for the rest of the year. I ran for student council again, but lost. I was devastated but found solace in my first grownup relationship, which would last for close to 6 years.
I honestly can’t really remember much of 2002, except that I mostly laid low, organized a few events, wasn’t cast in anything, fell in and out of depression, and probably wasn’t a really great person to be around at that time.
In 2003, after cheering wildly at a Gee Gee’s game, I was spotted by the Promotions Officer for Sports Services who immediately offered me a job on her team. So began my introduction to the world of Marketing and Promotions. I kept up one of my earlier electoral promises (even though I hadn’t won) to create the First Annual University of Ottawa Arts Week, which was picked up by Maclean’s Magazine as one of their Best Bets for the 2004 campus edition. I also focused on my studies and managed to pump up my grade point average in my last year from a decent B to an A (though this would not really matter for my overall CGPA, unfortunately).
I graduated from the U of O in 2004 with a B.A. Honours in Theatre and a Concentration in Political Science, as well as an additional B.A. Concentration in Canadian Studies. Yes, I have two university degrees. I got my first full-time job out of school working for Sports Services and got my very first acting agent. I also started my first blog.
My contract at Sports Services ended in 2005 and was not renewed. I was hurt but decided maybe this was the right time to take the professional acting plunge. Unfortunately, I didn’t do much more than community theatre and watch a lot of daytime reruns on TV. I had moved in with my boyfriend at this point and I was becoming incredibly lazy. Then I was approached by my friend Linda from school to audition for a play she was putting on with her boyfriend Chris. I didn’t want to audition because I thought Chris hated me, but I did anyway because Linda insisted. I landed the part and, grosso modo, Evolution Theatre (frankly, all thanks to Linda!) was born. This was also the year that my amazing friend Claudia introduced me to Michele Lonsdale Smith and my life as an actor was shifting into completely new ground.
By 2006, I needed a job and did a brief stint at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Acting was still mostly community work, though I did land my first union credit for an internet video which you can still see here.
I became restless in almost every part of my life in 2007. I landed a full-time job working for the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum in their Marketing Department and wondered why I was so hurt that Sports Services didn’t keep me on since this job was waaaaay better! I also got braces that year. I ended things with my boyfriend and it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Then I went and bought my own house which has now become my oasis in this crazy world. I also wrote my first play which I produced for the Ottawa Fringe Festival.
In 2008, I fired my agent and found another since I was getting all my own work anyway. After getting cast in my first professional film and theatre gigs, I decided to leave the museum (after getting promoted, no less) for acting. The braces also came off during the summer and I caught my first show at the Stratford Theatre Festival: Caesar and Cleopatra, starring Christopher Plummer.
And this brings us to 2009 (blog post coming tomorrow!)