Hello once more our dear friends and associates. Again it has been an incredible year and an amazing learning experience. Two Thousand and One has been truly a beginning to The Millennium and has left us both contemplating our futures like we never have before.
The biggest example of this beginning is the fact that I am writing our update from Vancouver in order to send to Martin in Toronto to check it over before sending it out via email/posting on our webpage. Many of you know why I am here and not in Toronto but a few of you were never let in on this as I ran out of time to communicate with everyone as to what was and has happened. Let us start with the beginning of the year.
January 2001 a new year began with a smashing New Year's party at our place. The pitiful coat racks that we had bought from Zellers weren't taking the weight of the coats as well as we had hoped (Brought them back the next day and complained - wound up being a free rental instead of a purchase - cool). There was an incredible variety of people there. Many dropped in and out and that was fine, as at any time we had a different combination of people and that lead to various topics of discussion. We had new found friends that we had met doing Independent Films (Even Martin's old boss dropped in), friends that we had not had in previous years made it as well as some we had not seen on New Years Eve in a few years past. Kelly was living with us at the time and was kind enough to tuck his stuff aside and join in in some of the festivities before heading off to another social event. Our props and such were out on full display as we had finally organised the poor things onto one shelf instead of all over the place. A few people took pictures of the event (Copies?) and we partied until we dropped. Even the pink Champagne bottle provided entertainment. When the both of us went out into the alley way to pop the corks on the huge magnums of Champagne mine would not pop. First off the cork broke in half. I didn't know what to do. It was suggested that I shake the 'bubbly' to make it bubble and push what was left of the cork out. Envision this, if you will. Me, standing out in the alley, with a magnum of Champagne between my legs (for support of course) shaking it up and down to get it to pop. Nothing happened. Eventually the bottle was taken away from me (for my own safety) and the cork was carefully dug out and Champagne was poured for all.
Now... I know you're thinking 'oh my god. She's going to do the whole year in detail.' Nah. I wouldn't be that cruel and my time is tight. So.... In order to keep this from being tedious and drawn out I will only highlight the major stuff. Here goes:
Martin and I were approaching our 10th Wedding Anniversary. As of June 8/01 it would put us at ten years together and as we met in May,1987 it would mean 14 years together. Not bad for two sci-fi freaks who met at a convention.
Anyway... We had decided that there were many aspects of our wedding that drove us nuts or we had lost control of, due to other people's pushy images of what it should have been. So.. We decided that we should do it again. We had a number of original plans go awry (especially our location plans) but with the help of friends and a quick change of location we managed to pull it off. Once more we'd like to thank all of the special people who helped us out and came through for us. You all know who you are. If you haven't already, go to our renewal pages at: http://CarrHunger.iwarp.com/renew.html and read all about it.
WOW! Main reason for me being here. Martin has been working on and off and I've been kicking around Indies for a bit but we really weren't getting as far as we'd like to. So... I started nosing around as to what was and is where. I discovered, must to my frustration, that most of the casting for any show being shot in Canada was being casted from Vancouver. There were a number of 'video submission auditions' happening but unless you already had a noticeable reputation in the industry you were usually tossed aside. Both myself and my agent became increasingly frustrated. On top of that we got the news that EFC (Martin's and JJAMB's biggest customer) was wrapping the show at the end of this season and that many productions were not coming back to Toronto in the new year as Vancouver is more convenient and easier to deal with. We had to come to terms with the fact that productions like Mutant X were not going to pay all of the bills. It was decided that Vancouver was the place to be. Just as we were becoming extremely frustrated, out of the blue a friend from days past contacted me to say hi and before I knew it I was making plans to go to Vancouver with Martin to follow in the spring.
At the end of the Summer (My birthday party being the last party in that place) We gave up the expensive large place and moved to a small apartment. We sold most of our shop equipment as we hadn't used that stuff in a long time. With Martin at JJAMB and me running around trying to establish myself we hadn't done much at home. There was no point in keeping it all and we needed the spare cash. Things we just could not part with we put into storage and began planning a major change in our lives.
By mid October I was in Vancouver and am still here. (more on that at the end)
To top it off Martin and I got featured in an issue of T.V. Zone. That was a nice 6 page spread and well worth the time we spent on email with the reporter doing the interviews.
Almost didn't make it to Toronto Trek. We could not justify the cost of even the hotel room so we came to terms with the fact that we were not going to be there. It was hard knowing that we might be half way across the country for next years and missing that one, but to miss this one as well just hurt. Well...
Once more friends came to our rescue. Between four friends (Alex, Mark and Monica, and Todd) our room and our memberships were paid for and we were going. They all gave us that as an Anniversary Gift and that suited us fine. We had no obligations the whole weekend which was the most unusual thing on the planet. We didn't know what to do with ourselves. It left us a little more brain fried than actually having stuff as we weren't challenged. We did bring R2 and ran him around the hotel. That droid once more made us proud and attracted attention, met celebrities, and educated future prop builders. Last minute we entered Masquerade with our Renewal Outfits. We went in Out Of Competition as we didn't really feel we needed to compete anymore. We just wanted to show off and feel like we were doing something. Besides.. With both of us in the Entertainment Industry and it possibly being the last TT we'd attend (unless a miracle happens next year) we didn't want to Compete.
All in all it was a good convention and we had fun.
The Ontario Renaissance Festival was a blast! A reasonably priced day, Tons of different sensations (food, jousting, more food, costumes, more food, plays, more food, fab entertainment, food) to delight the senses. Martin got a roll in the hay with Lucy Havemore and I thanked Zoltan the Adequate personally for a great show. We saw a lot of people we see at Conventions. That was nice to see familiar faces. Jo Frankel, Nancy O'Neill and Melissa Small came with us for this adventure. We dressed up as well. Not in the Renewal Outfits as they would be a little too much to keep an eye on (especially my excess skirt) so we quickly made a vest for Martin and made some minor adjustments and voila. A simple outfit he could move around easily in. I borrowed my friend's (Laura) wench outfit until I could make or buy my own. It was a day to remember and it led to another trip...
And another Festival. The Maryland Festival was a blast. A much bigger festival than Ontario's it was overwhelming. At the end of the day I had decided to buy my own outfit (Giving Laura back hers) as I was just not up to sewing one for myself. At a time of massive planning I could not justify it. Laura and Andrew brought their little baby (Olivia) to her first festival and they introduced us to a new batch of people. Our friend Bret came with us and Cathy joined us. The joust area was closer to the audience than Ontario and they had Elephants (which Bret bought us a ride for an early Christmas gift). There were a few things I found as being a drawback (The pub sing was so overcrowded and over social that you couldn't hear the sing) but they did not stop my enjoyment of the day and the entertainment.
Rest of our trip to Baltimore was filled with a trip to DC and the wonderful structures that graced the area of the Capital buildings, more cool areas and stores to visit and see (More like a museum when you can't afford to buy ^_^). We spent time with the new baby (What a cutey) and of course more valued time with Laura and Andrew who we get so little a chance to see. If you visit our hobby pages (http://CarrHunger.iwarp.com) and go to the adventures pages you see some of this but I haven't had a chance to update it yet so do check back later for new stuff.. Actually. It will sort of be old stuff once I get to it. <sigh>
I wish that we could have stayed longer but my move here made the trip a short one. We also went down after the Sept. 11 incident and the border was tough but we were fine.... Which leads me to..
Sept 11 happened while my older brother was over from Korea and staying with us. I know you have all had your own experiences and that you have heard everyone else until you were blue in the face and breaking down in tears so I will not go on and on about this one. I will say that it confused us, upset us, and tossed us around. It made our trip to the US a different experience and my brother's stay an interesting one as he works for the Canadian Government. We were happy that he was able to stay here and not have to go back right away. His wife still doesn't know as much English as she needs so that was hard. All of our American friends checked in one at a time so we were relieved that we did not directly lose anyone but shattered for those who had. My mother begged me to cancel my flight here and the news made her even more nervous about the thought of any of her children flying. Her fear of heights was enough to make her worry but this made her panic. Suffice it to say it changed our world like it changed many others and we will NEVER FORGET Black Tuesday.
To be deadly honest my time here in Vancouver has already become frustrating as my friend's girlfriend has decided that she doesn't like another woman in the house and has set a deadline for me to be out. My (and my friend's) original plan of me hanging out here until the spring when Martin can join me has now been turned upside down. Her image of an artist is not what mine is. She has basically made it clear that unless I am working regularly (A real job would be preferred) or going to school she does not want me here and has asked me to leave as of mid-January. I do not think she is comfortable with the friendship I have with my friend and that may be affecting her as well. I will now have to bump plans up and find work and an agent faster than planned. My time to settle in here has been decreased and I will be honest with you all; I am frightened. A new city in another province and very few people I can call on. I am slowly making friends (I just joined an Improv troupe) but I am not as surrounded as I was back in Toronto. BUT!!! I am determined to make this work as I want the life that I want and I will no longer let fear and discomfort stand in the way. Martin is very supportive of this and looks forward to being here as well and getting opportunities to work on other productions.
My new slogan is: Vancouver. Half way to LA.
Martin's New Slogan: I'm to be just like Rollie Tyler
He plans to join me for Christmas and New Year's Eve before heading back to Toronto to proceed with his plans to move here. It will be weird and quiet for us (unless we can find a party) but fun nonetheless as we will have each other.
My access to the internet is very limited so I can't keep you all up to date on a regular basis. Unless I can solve my lack of personal computer here, soon, my access to the internet will be decreased even more when I move out of here and find a place (To share preferred) BUT I will always do my best to keep everyone updated and Martin will do his best to answer emails from anyone who sends him one. He may wind up doing basic emails (Not personal) due to lack of time but he has promised me that he will answer whatever he can.
I do hope that everyone has had a good year and that this Christmas and New Years is fun and full of adventure. I'll be thinking about you all as I spend time with Martin on Christmas Day (We hope to see Lord Of The Rings on Christmas Day) and count down to New Years 3 hours after the rest of the group in Toronto.