It’s one thing to be invited to the Canadian Film Centre (CFC), it’s another thing to actually go.

This is Part 2! Read the first post here: I Got Into An Acting Conservatory.

When I was accepted into CFC, I had an apartment, a full-time job, and a chronically anxious chihuahua. Going to Toronto meant working way less, a significant increase in rent with a decrease in living conditions, and finding a place was even harder with a dog thrown into the mix. CFC provided a one-time subsidy for out-of-province residents which helped, but wasn’t enough to cover flights. Skipper had never flown before, and didn’t even like her kennel very much, so I paid for dog training first and foremost, hoping to make the transition as smooth for her as possible. At work I asked to switch to part-time work, just evenings and weekends. CFC also provided a monthly subsidy to residents which would help with rent, but there were still transit fees and groceries and bills and dog food to worry about.

From the night before I left.

And then I had a meeting with a couple of CFC people to go over what to expect. Turned out, my schedule would be a little too unpredictable with days that could be a little too long for a dog and a part-time schedule. New plan. I’d leave Skipper in Calgary with my family where she’d get the time and attention she deserved. And work couldn’t keep me as a part-time employee, but offered to take me on as a contractor so I could pick up assignments when I had the time. When I was really beginning to panic about finding a place, I managed to nail down a room for 60% more rent than I was paying for my discounted 2-bedroom apartment in Calgary. I paid for a one-way flight for September 3rd, first and last month’s rent, some vet bills, and was ready to go, albeit kind of broke.

And then, I booked a role.

There’s a common joke among actors: If you want to book a role, plan a vacation. Because it seems like very time an actor plans to go away for a little while, they get an offer and have to decide between their vacation and their work. Thankfully, I know this joke well and booked a flexible plane ticket. (A few days after booking the role, I also got a Toronto agent. A lot of good things happened at once here.)

I was needed for one day of filming on the 15th, and the CFC had gotten actor residents passes for the Toronto International Film Festival which went from September 8th to 18th, and there was also a CFC barbecue at the start of the month where I could meet many industry people in addition to the other actors from my cohort. CFC asked whether I’d come to TIFF as planned and two weeks later just fly home for filming and come back again. I would have loved to do that, but I just couldn’t afford two more plane tickets, so I pushed my flight back two weeks instead. I got to spend some extra time getting Skipper settled at my dad’s place and had a great day of filming on the 15th. Maybe I’ll tell you about that someday. Despite the chaotic scheduling, I’d had a really good summer and looked forward to finally going 100% in on acting, a luxury I’ve never had before. On the 17th, I kissed Skipper goodbye and flew to Toronto.

That’s when things started going downhill…

Stay tuned for part 3!


2 thoughts on “I Moved To Toronto

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