Interning and dining

10 Jul

So yeah, the last few days have been… pretty busy.

On Thursday, I was working as a stand in for a TV show. A guy I know here works for a reality TV show based on ‘Come Dine With Me’ and they needed people to pretend to have dinner so that they could test their cameras before using them on the real people. I thought it was all going to be a bunch of us sitting around and eating, but it was a bit more than that.

Basically, the director gave us all these scenarios to play out to test the speediness and readiness of the cameras. So I was paired up with another guy and was the hostess of the party. At one stage, I had to yell at him and call him an asshole and storm out. Another scenario was that someone else at the table was flirting with me and he and the other dude had to argue about it. Oh cringe.

But it worked really well and, on the way home, the director invited me back on set as an intern to help out for the real thing. Which was yesterday. I worked from 9.45am to 1am. Pretty busy day. Anthea Turner was there. She met me and was all like “oh, how was your first day?” I was like “yeah, great, thumbs up” and then SHE NOTICED MY ODDLY SHAPED THUMBS. Then a bunch of people gathered around and it was very embarrassing and I ran away very fast.

The dinner party itself was hilarious. Dunno if I’m allowed reveal what happened, but the guests were really funny. It was a pretty long day, but it was a great experience. If I have a free day I may help again, but yeah. The crew were so nice, I didn’t experience any of that hierarchical malarky you hear about in the industry.

Other than all that? Canada’s going pretty great. I start in the toy shop on Monday, which’ll be fun. Think I’ll venture out tonight. Sleep is for the weak!

Did someone say ‘party week?’

6 Jul

Gingerbread man with "Swallow My Pride" imprinted on it

It was a busy week last week in Toronto town. We had Canada Day AND Pride to wash away the G20 blues. Click here for some lovely photos.

I was at the Harbourfront for Canada Day, which was absolutely packed. But there were miniature flags for all, so all was well. I went to a few Pride events too, including a dancey night out, a free Cyndi Lauper gig, yet another street festival and, of coruse, the big, funky Pride Parade.

Though I could only stay for an hour of the parade, because right now, Toronto’s going through a bit of a heat wave. It’s 33 degrees celcius and I am a gross mess.

On the job front, I’m having little bits and bobs of interest now, which is a bit of a relief. Let’s hope something comes out of them!

Panic on the streets of Toronto

26 Jun

G20 Summt Protests

G20 summit protests were today. I went to one at 1pm today and, apart from one arrest, it was fine for me. Here’s a full album from my Facebook (too many photos for Flickr, apparently, and I won’t be spending all day resizing!)

However, just a half an hour after I got home, riots started. People (I think it’s mostly from the protest group known as the Black Bloc) started setting fire to cars, smashing windows… the police have reported to have been unleashing tear gas and the like. The city’s in TOTAL lockdown and I keep hearing helicopters flying over my house.

They probably won’t come my way (as the convention centre is south of the city and I’m more north) so I think for the rest of the weekend I’ll sit in and watch Doctor Who.

Earthquaking, Dance shaking, film making and protest… raking.

26 Jun

Firstly, there was an earthquake in Toronto a few days ago. At the time, I was walking up and down Queen St handing out resumes, which was one of the areas which was reported to have had tremours. And… I didn’t feel a thing. Baby’s first earthquake was disappointing.

Secondly, I was out a little bit this week. I went to a dance gig at Rivoli, which was a lot of fun. Here are some of my less blurry photos.

Dancer 1
Dancer 2
Dancer 3

I also went out to a film industry networking/socialising event. I did less networking and ended up chatting to a bunch of folk about films in general, which was good fun. We were also talking to this actor who had a plan for a film and we kept trying to name actors to play the lead role and he kept saying “no, they’re not alpha male enough!” Not even Christian Bale worked out.

Today’s the big day! It’s the weekend of the G8/G20 summit and thousands of people are expected to go out and protest. I’m going to go down and take a few photos and may do a little audio interview with people. A little nervous, there are expectations that it’ll get a bit crazy, so I’ll be careful. The police presence is crazy though. There was a small protest last week with 40 people and there were 100 cops around them. It’s actually estimated that the ratio of protesters to policemen is 2:1. And they’ve also rushed in a new law saying they can arrest anyone in the vicinty around the fence of the talks without ID. Crikey O’Reilly.

Police on horses

Did someone say 'heighten police presences'?

Canada sure loves its street festivals

23 Jun

Went to Kennsington Market the other day, which is basically Toronto’s version of London’s Camden. Nice place for some bargains ($5 sunglasses, woo!), nice cafes and generally cool stuff. Didn’t get a good picture of the actual market itself, so there’s a pretty wall from it instead.

Taste of Italy Festival

Taste of Italy Festival

Toronto seems to love to make any excuse to shut down a street and hold a festival there. That day, it was Taste of Little Italy, where restaurants had stalls up for cheaper than usual food. Lots of hub-bub and activity.

Televised activity

Television being made

Guys playing vuvuzelas

So I heard u liek vuvuzelas

Things are a little bit frustrating right now. I’m out job hunting each day with minimal success. I had a few ~potential~ job offers, but they were more vague promises, so I’m not sure how they’ll go. I have to contact them again next week to see. I’m off on the hunt again for shop jobs. Flung my CV into a few radio stations, you can bet the farm that I’ll be harassing them further.

I see more Irish here than at home

20 Jun

I went to the visa night out on Wednesday and met some Irish folk. It’s pretty funny, there are so many. Even the Canadians are confused by how many of us there are lately. GOOD OL’ RECESSION.

Harbourfront

Ahh, the Harbourfront

Yesterday, I went to the Harbourfront with some of them. The weather here has been pretty gorgeous. We considered heading over to Centre Island, but the queues were massive so we just stuck to the mainland.

More of the Harbourfront

More of the Harbourfront

We ended up sitting on the porch of a restaurant for some of the day. I ordered a ‘Blue Wave’ cocktail. It had strawberry vodka and blue berry juice and a tonne of crushed ice. And possibly other stuff. But it was delicious.

Blue Wave Cocktail

Memorieees...

Next weekend is the G20 summit, where a large amount of world leaders are flying into Toronto to discuss leading ‘n’ shit. This has attracted a hell of a lot of attention. They’re predicting people in their thousands will protest and there are big fears it’ll get violent. As such, security measures are huge. Much of downtown will be closed off by a fence, a lot of public transport will grind to a halt and police will be all over the place, armed with sound cannons and the like. We’ve been recommended to stay in unless you absolutely have to leave the house and if you do, bring ID at all times. I was considering running away to Montreal for the weekend, but right now, I need to save money. Will make those plans once I have some sort of job.

G2 Fence

Some of the G20 fence. It won't be this causal next week, I tells you.

Proud Mary

16 Jun

Yesterday, I went to Dundas, which was an area I hadn’t been last time I went to Toronto. Big shopping district. The Eaton Centre is basically the Dundrum of Toronto. You can kinda see why many films based in New York get filmed in Toronto from this region.

Eaton Centre

The Eaton Centre

Badly spelled sign

I dunno about you guys, but I've been against 'imigratio' since day one.

Canadian shop assistants are weird in that…. well… they’re friendly. You enter a store and they’re all like “HIII. HOW ARE YOU!” I think they hire people specifically to stand at the door to do this. Don’t get me wrong, this is not me lamenting about us rude Irish, I just find it weird to wander in to browse somewhere and suddenly, someone suddenly yells “HIIII THEREEE!”  at me. Especially when they don’t have uniforms and you’re left thinking “OH GOD, SOME CREEPER’S APPROACHING ME.” Makes me think of this video.

A sign saying 'cool games for cool Dads'

Relevant to Ciara's interests

But I wasn’t just there to partake in consumerism and customer service critque. There’s a festival called Luminato, which is a general music and arts fest. They had a free outdoor gig with tribute acts to 80s divas. I stuck around for Tina Turner (who was awesome) and some of Heart.

The Stage Area

The stage area before the gig

Crowds

Got a bit more crowded later. I loved how that woman in the cap is looking at me all suspicious-like.

One funny part was when ‘Tina’ went to the front of the crowd and held a mic up to a guy to sing a line. And he was incredibly talented. He ended up singing the entire chorus.

Tina Turner Tribute Act

And 'Tina' herself.

Me with straight hair

Also, there were booths doing free hairstyles. I was bored and got mine straightened. Kinda messed up at the end of the night, but...

Off out tonight with the visa folk. About time I went and made conversation with actual human beings.

Mural of "Watchmen"

This was on Queen Street rather than Dundas, but it's still rad enough to get posted. Rad, I say.