Monday, June 8, 2015


Honestly, I've been trying to write this post for the last 4 months but I haven't been able to find the words. Despite a lot of things changing around me, I've yet to actually shift. My last few posts have been comprised of all the things I needed to do, was going to do, but had yet to actually incorporate into my daily life. I've been talking a really good talk. Sure, there was the occasional day where I did what all those self-help books have been telling me for almost a year, but overall I was failing at actually living the life I could be. Instead, to make myself feel better, I'd give wonderful and positive advice to others by regurgitating quotations and making myself sound impressive or "enlightened" but realistically I was failing to live by example, which is a major problem. 

The reason that I've refused to change, to take my own advice and really live for me, is out of fear. Fear that I could actually make positive changes, fear that I could actually help and inspire people and what that responsibility entails. Fear of failing myself -- again. It's easier for me to just stand on the sidelines and judge than jump in and get my hands dirty. It's terrible, but it's the rut I have been in for sometime now. 

There is an incredible amount of pressure placed on young people, perhaps some of it self made, to succeed right out of the gate; "I have my education, now where's all the work?" For some it happens right away, they don't have to worry about much because their families have their backs financially or they end up landing their dream job immediately, setting them up financially for the long haul.  For the rest of us it's a constant uphill battle, pushing a boulder, with a tiny elf, named Student Loans, sitting on our back calling us weaklings everyday and reminding us to keep pushing or we will roll back down the hill and have to start all over again. I've had a few glorious breaks heading up the mountain this year, but that's all they were -- breaks -- a stop for air, a swig of water, a stretch, before I felt the crack of the elf's whip and needed to get back to pushing. I've put an incredible amount of pressure on myself by feeling that if I didn't make it to the top of the mountain this year I would be considered a failure. There's that word again, failure. The reality is, it takes years and years and years to get to the top, and for some, they never make it. 

So then why do they do it? Is someone at the top of the mountain with a trip to Cuba or some other equally awesome incentive? What's the point of all this pushing if there isn't anything there? 

Last year I got a significant break from pushing my boulder, 4 months to be exact, that break was Olympus. For those of you who may not know, I'm currently starring as a lead character on an international television show playing in Ireland, London, Germany, the United States and Canada. But despite the reach of the show and my role within it (one that I'm very proud of), my life has remained unchanged. When I booked the role, only one person, a mentor of mine, was honest with me. She said, "This project is simply a wave and it does not guarantee anything." Although I heard what she'd said, and tried to view it as simply that, I too often entertained the idea of this project being a game changer for me, and it quickly went to my head. 

After Olympus premiered I vainly and naively expected a massive amount of attention.  I had built up the show up in my mind (and on my social media feeds) to God like proportions, pun intended. I have a great character, with an incredible arc and some pretty decent scenes, which all ended up falling on mostly deaf ears, due to some unsightly promotional issues and lack of budget. My ego was shattered. Without the world’s validation that my performance was award winning, or at the very least -- good, I became depressed. I lost sight of myself because I had spent, seriously, every spare moment of my time preparing and editing my "image" for the spotlight.  I majorly anticipated and was disappointed. I, for those 6 months leading up to the premiere, needed the world’s approval and, big surprise; it has yet to come and might never. 

Each time I auditioned after the premiere of Olympus the casting director, or artistic directors, would ask me what I was working on to which I would reply, "I'm currently a series lead on a new SyFy show called Olympus." And they would look at me like I spoke another language, "Oh cool, never heard of it." It was during these interactions I realized that my biggest job to date was essentially moot. They didn't care. They hadn't seen it or had any intention of watching it. The saying, "you are only as good as your last job" didn't work in literally any situation for me. Instead, "you're only as good as the work you're currently doing" was more truthful.

Being a series lead on one of the many TV shows this year does not guarantee a career for me, it does not guarantee a career for anyone, it was simply an incredible experience for a young actor to be on set for 4 months, right out of theatre school, working with talented people and being surrounded by the British Columbian landscape --which is gorgeous. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. Until I saw the episodes in their entirety all I had was the memories of conversations, dances, jokes, laughter, loves, lessons, challenges and food. Oh God, the food. These are what made my time incredible and life changing, not the product and what people think of it, because watching the show you don't see any of the memories that were created. It made me realize that no matter how hard one might work, no matter how incredible the artists and visionaries around you are, sometimes things just don't commercially work out. No matter how much heart goes into it. And that's perfectly okay. 

Which brings me back to the boulder metaphor. If there can be so much love, care and artistry piled into a project that when it finally comes to fruition and seemingly no one cares, why do we do it? 

For the experiences. For the memories. For the people. For the conversations it might evoke. 

There is no getting ahead, no corporate ladder to climb, no benchmarks that guarantee a career in this life -- the life of an artist -- so the only real thing to pursue is the aforementioned. Those are what create a full life. Those are what make a better more inspiring and relatable artist. Having an impressive resume doesn't get you into heaven; it doesn't make you a better parent, or cook, or lover or friend. It's a just a piece of paper with words on it telling people about your past. 

It's like an obituary. 

Right now I have the power to define myself, to validate myself, to take pleasure in being with my boulder. To stop pushing and simply roll. I've never dreamed of fame, despite being disillusioned by it, I've only dreamt of notoriety; having a solid reputation to build upon, consistent work. That's my personal definition of success. The only way that I can achieve my dream is to stop walking around with my hand out and start creating with what I have. 

These last 4 months have been made up of late night feedings brought on by unhappiness, Austin Powers marathons and getting unnecessarily wrapped up in the politics of my Joe job, brushing my cats and dreaming of living in a perpetual shower, mediating once and then being afraid because of what it brought to the surface, reading incredible books yet refusing to apply what I learned, spending countless hours on on-line dating apps trying to find someone who will listen to my problems and validate my feelings of remorse for depriving myself of the things I enjoy, buying clothes to make myself seem like I have it together on the outside, eating out and blowing through my money because I want to seem successful rather than being economic and healthy, putting off things that need my attention to spend a ridiculous amount of time refreshing my news feeds to see who comments on my witty posts rather than learning what's going on in the world. I'm writing this no further ahead at accomplishing my dream than I was 4 months ago. I went down the wrong rabbit hole. 

Standing on the other side I realize that this was necessary. These 4 months have showed me that this is not who I am, this is who I was and could be if I didn't take charge of my life.

My next step is to actually work hard in silence and let my success be my noise. Implement all that I've spoken about doing for the last year. Listen to learn and respond to understand instead of listening to be rewarded with the opportunity to speak. 

Today I go pro. 

Today I will be bolder. 


P.S. Big shout out to all my new fans who have made me feel extra special during this transition. Much love. 

Monday, February 16, 2015


Over the last month, I've been dealing with a lot of things, speaking to a lot of people, writing a lot, reading a lot and restarting my search for balance.


I keep being told things like, "As always, slow down" or "chill out". "This is your life; it's a marathon, not a sprint to the finish."At first, I was getting rather frustrated with this advice, I felt like everyone was asking me to squelch my drive, to become less ambitious. Turns out, it was just the opposite.

A mentor of mine used this metaphor with me the other night, "You're like a Lamborghini, who's stuck in traffic, in a 30 zone. You're a well oiled, well made machine; ready to take off, but there's no clear passage for you. Rev all you want, until the road's clear, you simply have to be patient and go at the pace being dictated by the surrounding vehicles." It's a frustrating idea to accept, but he's right; There's absolutely nothing I can do, but develop my capacity for patience. Then, when an opening appears, I can show what I was built for.

This idea of "chilling out", or "relaxing into where I am, right now" doesn't mean sleep all day and become unmotivated. It means, for me, to stop muscling through my life and be present. It's like working out, if all I do is lift weights, never dedicating any time to flexibility or stamina, I might be able to lift a few heavy things but I will have no sustainability.

In my "muscling it" mind-frame, I've been trying to get involved with as much as possible in an attempt to find a community, to keep busy, to prove that I'm not simply resting on my "laurels" (NTS, Olympus). All this is doing is making me look like a frustrated gardener running around planting seeds. Instead of taking the time to water, nurture and watch each of them grow, I keep planting more and more and more for fear of losing the farm; never giving any of them the time they deserve.

This is the reason I never played FarmVille.

I'm aware that my impatience comes out of fear; of falling to the waste side, of losing touch with people who inspire me, of being a flash in a pan and a whole list of other things. The only way to deal with these fears is to nullify their effect, by having patience with myself. Working at my own pace, rather than the pace I think I need to be at, or what the manual says.


I'm reaching a point of independence I've never experienced before. Although I've been living on my own for six years, I've always had deadlines, graduations; end dates. And it's only been in the last few weeks that I've really started to accept that this is my life. There are no more people looking over my shoulder, holding me accountable for my actions. There are no more assignments, or projects that have to be completed within a certain time limit, there is simply my desires and how I deal with the results of those desires.

I have to become my own life coach. It's really easy to motivate someone else, but how do I do that for myself?  Hold myself accountable. I think the answer for me, right now, is: experiencing. I've been muscling for so long that I've skipped past, potentially, incredible experiences. Now that I'm in this wide open pasture, (not to be confused with the Lamborghini metaphor), I'm free to act and do anything I want, it's through this trial and error that I'll discover what I don't like. Once I eliminate those things, it will be easier to focus on the positive.

I've reached a point where I'm tired of listening to people's advice, I've just heard so much of it and I really want to just lay it all out on the floor and look at it, rather than accumulate more. I want to stop trying to be the perfect student of life. I want to mess up and make mistakes, live and learn, because that's what will make me better. If I continue to move through life monitoring every single situation and dwelling on how I could have done it better, personally or artistically, then I'll burn myself out. I want to receive pleasure from living, not just have a perfect score card at the end of my life.

As time goes on, I realize that no one actually has it all figured out, they've simply spent more time with these thoughts and, potentially, have a clearer idea what it means for them.


I felt a lot of this during the summer. At the time, my life felt like a dream and so being grateful for even the smallest thing, was easy. Being back in Toronto, going on 4 months with nothing prospective on the horizon, except debt, I find myself sinking into bouts of negativity and angst. These negative feelings only build into my feeling of want, rather than focusing on what I have, which is a lot. It doesn't matter how many goals I set and accomplish, how many projects, or groups, I get involved in, if I can't step back and see what I've done then I'll inevitably become jaded and pessimistic because nothing is filling "the void".

Comparison truly is the thief of joy. And gratitude is the antidote to misery.

Noticing how entitled and privileged I'd started to become, I've begun volunteering at a hospice, performing respite care, as a way to give back and be of service to humanity, to re-develop compassion and remind me of my blessings.

During a training session recently, a woman spoke about how her and her husband dealt with him being diagnosed with ALS. He was once a handsome, young, fit landscaper and one day, while he was lifting wights he suddenly lost his strength, dropping the weight. Over the next few months he started to become completely immobile. Here was this man, who, at one time, a successful landscaper, lifting weights regularly, and the picture of health, diagnosed with this life altering disease, losing his mobility entirely. Yet, despite all this, he maintained a smile, completed his masters degree in Horticulture, raised two kids and was extremely upbeat and positive until the day he passed away.

Listening to their story, watching the video they made, showing how much assistance he needed daily, humbled and reminded me of how petty my issues really are. Honestly, if the biggest problems in my life are getting a joe job, and developing some patience, then I'm doing alright. Watching this man, the love he and his wife had for one another, inspired me. Although he needed constant assistance, he found ways of maintaining his independence and continuing to live the fullest life he could; it was remarkable.

It made me think about how limitations are only what we make them. There are certain things we inevitably have no control over, but that doesn't mean we can't find a way around them, or at the very least, occupy ourselves until the traffic breaks up.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Like the age old story of the Tortoise and the Hare, I have to take my time, enjoy what's around me, and be grateful for simply being part of the race. Only when I find my rhythm, discover how to capitalize on my strengths and FREAKIN' have fun, will I come out on top. I've tried so hard to make things stay on a certain level; how it felt in the best of times. When realistically, everyday my energy is sitting in a new place, I have to assess how I feel that day, that moment, and be the best I can be.

While I continue to contemplate balance, here is photo of me in a chicken suit.


If you have an American IP Address you can check out the TEASER Trailer for Olympus here

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