It was with great trepidation that I passed through the doors of 50 Wellington East – headquarters to the Canadian Football League. I had a freshly polished script under my belt, a pitch memorized, and gentle, well-practiced smile for the gate keepers inside. I could have phoned ahead. I could have sent an email – but how do you take one of the most ambitious ideas to ever grace the profile of the CFL, and slip it gingerly into someone’s ‘inbox’? I decided that I would walk through the door, and talk my way towards a meaningful meeting.
That was two hours ago.
The office was a shambles. Literally. Everyone was gone for the holiday season and construction crews had taken over for some remodelling. The office manager met me at the door. We spoke for a few minutes, then she gave me her card. She said I should contact her January 3rd, and she’ll put me in touch with the appropriate people. That will be 16 days from now.
There have been other goings on in my life. Frank talked me into buying skates and a hockey stick from Canadian Tire yesterday. Later, we got together with Tonia, Janicel, and his other friend John for some hockey action in a local rink. It was the first time I ever played hockey on ice.
I did alright. I can skate somewhat forward. Stopping and going backwards was a bit of a problem. Mostly I just more or less stayed in one section of the rink and did my best to get in peoples’ way if they were trying to score. I named my stick ‘Baltazar’. That seemed to help too.
The Writers Guild Party was for members only, but I managed to talk my way in. Ian found me right away and started introducing me to people. I genuinely appreciated the effort, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of being a vampire in a room full of warm bodies. I was there to collect business cards from people and leave an impression. I was there to line up work. I was there to advance my career. Period.
I’ve been to industry parties before, but I’ve never had so much riding on my need to make connections. I did alright, but I wasn’t my best. I had spent the day editing the YBCS video and was ready to switch my brain off, not crank it to ‘11’. I met someone from Meridian Artists Management Group. I met some other writers. I learned more about the business. I got to know Ian a little better as well. It was a good night.
While Thursday was all business, Saturday night was about partying with the Polish widows in my building. Donna threw a Christmas party and we were all invited. Frank’s mom, sister, and family friend came as well – in addition to Frank, Janicel, Leach, and Tonia.
I’m told that Toronto can be a cold and lonely place for those without families here. I couldn’t be in a better situation. I left a crazy eccentric family back home to slide into another one right here in my new city. There’s a lot of love and a lot of laughter. I am truly thankful for all my blessings.