Monday, September 22, 2014


I had an audition Friday morning. This was my first live one in a while. I was contacted at 6am about going to the audition at 11:45am later that day. My agent informed me that this was a big casting director and it would be in my best interest to meet them. Despite it being 6:15am, I was pumped and grateful for the chance to meet said casting director. 

Unfortunately, getting sides 5 hours before an audition isn't the ideal situation. I tried my best to memorize what I could, but with 8 pages of text I settled on trying to make some bold choices and attempt to avoid looking at the pages the entire time. I drove out to the casting office and while waiting to go in, my nerves started. I started to pep talk myself, but felt entirely unprepared. When it was finally my time to go in, I tensed up and sped through the scenes with none of my minimally rehearsed choices and was in and out within 5 minutes. 


All these excuses came surging through my brain, "If only I had more time. I wish I hadn't felt so rushed. There was too much pressure on this meeting. I didn't like the character anyway. I mean, I only got the sides this morning..." as I was driving away, I realized that none of these excuses were viable. They were just ways for me to avoid the truth: I lacked confidence, again.

This word. This feeling. This mindset; is my albatross. I have been grappling with it since first year at NTS. Prior to school, I didn't care what anyone thought of me, I knew who I was (or so I thought) and nothing was going to stop me from killing it every time I walked on stage. Having been smashed apart and slowly built back up at NTS, I'm still trying to reclaim that, once free, Wayne who would have done anything to get in front of people. I miss him; he is still inside me. Once I uncover him again, we can get on living the life he wants for me.

Granted, this was my 5th (in person) audition since graduation, so I have to give myself a break. I need a little more time to acclimate, that's normal. Nerves are normal they mean I care. I need to embrace their presence and breathe a little deeper.

Some of these rooms aren't the most inviting or coziest places to show ones work, but these rooms are not for artistry, they are for business. That's what I have to keep in mind. I have to be professional and perform the best I can in the medium that is "the audition". No one is going to make me comfortable, that is my responsibility. I have to take my space and, if necessary, wait until the reader is with me; treat them as my scene partner. If my scene partner were rushing through dialogue and not connecting with me I would stop and ask them what was happening, or simply look at them until I am ready to speak. I put time into the piece; I deserve to do it the way I want.

Working on Olympus has taught me many things, but one of the biggest is how much confidence affects my work. When I walk onto set now I know what I'm doing, I know my character, I've done my homework, I know my lines inside and out, I know all the crew... it's a completely comfortable environment. Sure, there are days where I have to bare my soul to strangers, but I know that more or less they are all there with me, at the very least the director is. The set has become my home. I have to do the same with the audition room. I need be true to me and let my work shine through. I'm a well-trained, intelligent, talented actor so why am I not letting them see what I can do?

Fear? Doubt? Rejection? These things that have no place in my work. They need to be exorcized out of me then doused in nitroglycerin and smashed into thousands of unidentifiable pieces. 

From now on I will no longer succumb to the aforementioned. I will be brave, confident and specific in my choices. I will execute with passion and focus; my life depends on it.


I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine. I don't have a project coming up upon my return to Toronto so I'm excited to have time to establish said routine, while finally doing some things I have been putting off for years. Like learning how to play piano, cooking killer breakfasts, and getting my voice back in shape.

I've been obsessed with tight choreography lately and want to experience some live. I watched Pina last night and had forgotten how much dance speaks to my soul. I'm working on writing a play, while  developing some performance ideas. I want to meet more artists in my community, I want to collaborate on projects and ultimately get back in touch with my creativity. Through that I will rediscover "confident Wayne", who's been waiting to play for a while now.  


Monday, September 15, 2014

In the Air Tonight.

A few weeks ago, a (new) friend of mine offered to take me hiking up the Stawamus Chief Mountain in Squamish, outside of Vancouver. Before this hike, the two of us had only met briefly on set through a mutual friend. Due to the lack of people my age in the cast I thought it would behoove me to not take advantage of meeting a new person, who might share some similar interests. Turns out we like a lot of the same things and are able to keep a decent conversation flowing; gotta love when I find those people. We met up downtown and drove out to the mountain, the terrain getting up to the peaks was far from easy but the view made up for it. When we finally reached "Second Peak" I was speechless: It was easily the most spiritual experience I have had in a long time.

I looked around from this massive piece of land jetting into the sky with a cloud passing by my face and the sheer beauty was like nothing I had ever seen before. Of course, I have seen this kind of scenery in films, but to experience it first hand was nothing short of magical. Sitting atop that peak, with more-or-less a stranger, humbled me. It made me respect the Earth and despise how materialistic I've become, how self-centered I am by believing that my problems are so massive. When I looked down onto the town of Squamish, with it's industrial harbor pushing out into the ocean, I felt pity. Here we are taking this beauty for granted, chipping into it to make room for more stuff, bigger condos and flashier lifestyles. It made me sad to think about how we, as a race, are depleting this natural beauty that is the Earth, for fictional fabricated happiness. 

The whole time, probably to his displeasure, I kept saying to Jeff, "This was how people lived! Natives would have travelled up to these peaks; they would have gathered their food from these bushes and trees. This was there internet, their TV!" It brought me back to the childhood feeling of anything was possible in this environment, stories and histories started to fill my imagination. I felt in touch with my soul again, it was cleansing. To add to this experience, Jeff and I were bombarded by 7, rather tame, chipmunks who proceeded to loot us for our trail mix.

They were the most aggressive chipmunks I had ever experienced. They had no fear; they knew what they wanted and went after it. These little rodents ended up crawling all over us, one even started scratching at my closed fist, thinking I was hiding nuts from him: I felt like a Disney character. 

The hike reinvigorated me, made me realize that my issues aren't really all that big and allowed me to approach my work with (a little) less control. I've spent so much time trying to figure out what to do, how to be good, how to look as calm and free as everyone else, and everything else under the sun, when it all comes down to simply letting go and living honestly.

I had a breakthrough with Martin Wood, who was directing me at the time, he said, "Don't fear it. Simply accept it." Something that has been told to me numerous times but hearing it that day finally broke my walls down and allowed me to do some of the best work of my career. It was hard, but the hardest part was letting go, relinquishing all the vanity, safety and judgment that keeps ones barriers up. When I finally released I just let Lykos take over and I truly became a vessel. 

Having that happen to me allowed me to go onto set this Friday confident and able to do solid work. It was completely freeing to just have fun and let it be what it was. I left feeling awesome, as I did the week before. There is a part of me that wants to break down this "freedom" into liquid form so I can bottle it up and inject before every scene, but that's impossible and I know that with time, and more moments like the aforementioned, it will become second nature. The key really is confidence in my abilities and myself. 

Today, I spent most of my day reading and writing on the beach. 

I'm learning to let go of all that is superfluous and unnecessary, things that don't actually contribute to my ultimate happiness. I'm excited to return to Toronto and purge my apartment of things that I no longer need. As a race, we need so little to survive: Love. I'm blessed to have a massive amount of it. Being part of this show has taught me to truly appreciate and embrace the amount that I have, so much of the world is without it. 

Money, homes, cars, clothes, they are all symbols that we give value to; they do not make or break a person. Good people are good people, regardless of whether they wear Tom Ford or hunt in the bins at Value Village. I feel this quote from Fight Club is appropriate:

"You are not how much you have in the bank. You are not the contents of your wallet. You are not your f**king khakis."

I am wealthy, successful and happy because I choose to be, because of my attitude and the way I treat my fellow human beings. At the end of the day, it won't matter how much I own, but how many lives I touched through my art and my relationships. That’s what makes me rich. 

I don't know whether it's the air out here, or what, but I feel so pure and euphoric. I have less than a month left and as much as I'm sad to see this wonderful, and life changing journey come to an end I am even more excited about seeing what the tide leaves for me to discover once is goes out. From now on if I can eat well, drink often, play always, laugh a lot, dream vividly, create inspiring work, see the beauty of the world, listen to the best music, see great films, foster wonderful relationships, make brave choices and live with an open heart I will be the happiest man. 

Now to train those chipmunks to do my bidding....


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Save Me.

I love meeting new people, hearing about their lives, lessons they've learned, places they've travelled, etc. Not only does it add to my catalogue of characters, but also it allows me to see how other people deal with their lives and perhaps give me an alternative perspective on my own. Or in this case, how they avoid dealing with their lives. 

For those of you who didn't know, I was living, or rather dying a slow and painful death, in the weirdest, most disgusting house I have ever been in. If you remember, I was cast only 4 days before I was required on set for the show. This gave me very little time to find an adequate, and within my budget, place to live. 

I had to settle with the first option that Kijiji offered me, and settle I did. 

I began living with an elderly gentleman, whose wife died about 4 years ago, and a boarder who was essentially the blond version of Lurch from The Addams Family.  The wife had clearly been responsible for maintaining the house; I honestly don't think anything has been moved since her death, except for the gym equipment into the living room and the spices from the cupboards onto the deck... 

Now when I decided (had no choice) to move into this place, I thought, "This will be an adventure!" I gave the residents, of this rather sad home, the benefit of the doubt and thought, "We will become best friends by cleaning the house together!"

Well, I had been there for almost 2 months and neither the older man nor the roommate made any attempt to get to know me, or show any interest in speaking to me about their lives. Instead, they griped about me using the toilet paper or forgetting my keys. One day I was denied entrance into the house until I promised to not forget them ever again.

Now, from these pictures, I want you to visualize what the rest of the house looked like.

Got an image? Now picture 3 times worse. 

Essentially, I managed to touch as little as possible by not leaving my room or cooking anything. I was afraid I might contract some disease from an unmoved towel, or the hair covered utensils. 

I won't even get into the bug situation. 

Interestingly enough, Lurch's room was meticulous. Like, serial killer clean. The strangest part of his room was that he kept 3 pictures of people (probably victims), in frames on his bed. Not on his dresser, but sitting ON HIS BED! He didn't work, had barely any belongings and just watched TV endlessly. Occasionally he would walk the older man's ancient dog, clearly blind, due to it's massive cataracts, and for some reason always looked wet. 

Did I mention that there was a deep pit in the back yard...?

This setting for Stephen King's newest novel was where I spent my downtime: close to the set, in a town 60km outside of Vancouver and a 15 minute drive away from people who knew how to engage with one another. I had no car, and it took about 2 hours to bus into the city. I started to go insane, especially on my days off. The older man was always working on something late into the night, other than cleaning his house or getting rid of the copious amount of junk. He consistently found something to complain about, whether it was the 8 vehicles sitting in his driveway that no longer worked...

Or the perpetually drenched dog's endless whining. Basically, it was awful and I regret not moving out sooner, it was nothing short of an irritating and disgusting experience. It wasn't until last week that I realized how much this space was affecting my psyche. It was deeply effecting my work and diet, or lack thereof, while making me dread coming "home" after shooting.

With any job, one needs a place of refuge, where one can unwind, relax and prepare for the next day. Living here, in this pre-Hoarder candidate's home, I was walking on egg shells, literally and figuratively, while trying not to use the toilet paper excessively for fear of dirty looks and unnecessary aggression over needing to wipe my butt. Needless to say, I finally moved out. I'm now staying with a lovely family who is clean, wholesome, normal and made me steak on my first night with them; substantially better, and much healthier for my mind. 

As Darren Hardy says, "Garbage in, garbage out." 

I'm learning to take responsibility for my needs: what I need in order for me to do the best job I can. To bring the best version of myself to set. To fuel my body the way it deserves. This experience has taught me to put my well being first, an obvious one, but in the process of me not wanting to cause preemptive waves I sacrificed my health. Something that should never be on the sacrificial slab.