Being the lazy blogger/writer that I am, my posts have been quite sporadic lately. No schedule, no three times a week, not even once a week. Maybe once a month. Basically, I have been posting when I felt inspired. But alas, as I have learned over the years, one does not learn a craft by only practicing when inspired. If that were the case, I would probably step on stage about 10% of the time during the run of the show. No, I have learned that one learns a craft by showing up every day, regardless of inspiration, to just bloody do it. You learn a craft through discipline. So I am now going to apply discipline to my blogging. I will be blogging every day. WordPress will provide a daily prompt (see the badge in the sidebar!), and I will spend at least twenty minutes of my day writing a post on the topic of the daily prompt. So . . . on with it then.
Silver Screen – Take a quote from your favourite movie – there’s the title of your post. Now write!
I am not a movie buff. Never have been. Some actors are total movie buffs – they can rattle off names of movie stars, directors, Oscar winners, etc. I don’t have the brain power to carry that kind of information with me every day (especially not now since I always have a program open and running in the background of my brain called ‘foster baby’). So when I read this prompt, I thought, “Oh bloody hell. Sure enough the first prompt would be about something I don’t have anything to say about. Favourite movie? I don’t have one!” I was tempted to start with another prompt tomorrow, but that wouldn’t be a great start to a disciplined practice, would it?
The first quote that popped into my mind was “There’s no place like home.” Dorothy, Wizard of Oz. I’m sure you all know it. Like I said, I don’t think I actually have a favourite movie, but I really enjoy this one, and I watched it more times than I can remember over the years. I even saw it in a movie theatre once. It played at one of those indie movie theatres when I was living in Toronto. I think it was the 60th anniversary, so it was enjoying a limited run on the big screen.
I went with my (so wrong for me) boyfriend at the time. I really should have broken up with him before I left Saskatoon, but what can I say? I was young (20 years old), scared (moving from Saskatoon to Toronto ALL ON MY OWN), and stupid (I had just chosen to major in theatre. In Canada). It was a lot of change for a little person, and breaking up with a boyfriend was just too damn difficult. So we had a “long-distance relationship.”
It was actually okay at first because I was really busy with theatre school, and, you know, out of sight, out of mind. I didn’t think about him that much. My acting prof was absolutely mystified when she found out that not only I, but also my classmate from Newfoundland, had a boyfriend back home. “I just don’t understand,” she kept repeating in her thick, Croatian accent (her acting teacher was a student of Stanislavski’s. When I heard that, I so wanted to have trained as an actor in communist Croatia!) “You girls are so young. Why do you want to tie yourself down like that?” I didn’t really feel tied down, to be honest. We were living 2000 km apart. I hardly thought about him. But then he insisted on visiting. He only stayed for four days, but the second I saw him get off the plane, I knew I had to break up with him.
Unfortunately, it took me another six months to do it. Like I said, out of sight, out of mind. Also unfortunately, it took him about SIX FUCKING WEEKS to get over it. He kept phoning me and showing up on my doorstep and I’d have to pretend I wasn’t home (this was while I was back home for the summer). When I think back on it all now, I’m so embarrassed that I didn’t end it sooner. We were so obviously wrong for each other. I guess I sort of thought I could just leave and not have to deal with it.
When I left Saskatoon for Toronto, I had no intention of returning ever again. Other than coming home for visits during the holidays, I had forsaken my prairie home. Poor Saskatoon. In my young eyes, it was a redneck rube compared to smart, sophisticated Toronto. It was blue jeans, and Toronto was black tie. It was Suzy Shier, and Toronto was The Gap. It was a Styrofoam cup of shitty coffee, and Toronto was Starbucks.
But no city is perfect. Toronto was busy, and grey, and full of garbage. Toronto was tall buildings and concrete, and much like being in a valley surrounded by mountains, it made me very anxious that I couldn’t see the horizon. Ever. Toronto was business, consumerism, and expensive houses. I began to long for wide, open spaces. Sunshine. Clear air. The river. When I finished theatre school, I returned home. For better or for worse, I found myself right back where I started.
Much of my decision to return home was because I longed for the land, and I truly loved my province. But, if I’m being honest, much of my decision to return home was also based in fear. Here, I could be a big fish in a small pond. In Toronto, I was a fucking minnow in a great lake. What if I’m not good enough to make it? What if I never get any work? What if I really am a shitty actor, and they just kept me around because my tuition paid the rent? By returning home, I never had to find out. I still don’t know, and probably never will. It’s not like I plan on moving back to Toronto (although, you really never know where life will take you).
So how does this all fit into “There’s No Place Like Home?” I’m not really sure.
See? This is why I need to practice and be disciplined. I’ve just made you read over 1000 rambling words, and I have no way of tying it all up in the end. Hopefully, I’ll improve before you lose your patience with me. See you tomorrow!