Being Home Again

I woke up this morning in my old room at Mom’s house. Had to put Jazzy on an early morning flight bound for Vancouver. We’ve been in Regina just over a week now, and it’s been quite the adventure.

First of all, I hadn’t realized quite how much I missed home. I also hadn’t realized that despite countless episodes of picking up, and dropping off Jazzy at airports over the last eight years, that we’ve never actually flown together before. We sat at the back of the plane, where we had the middle seat to ourselves. Twenty minutes into the flight, Jazzy put up the arm rests and stuck her feet in my lap – which was my cue to provide a foot rub.

As we flew, I allowed the seed of an idea that first was planted at the Toronto Cold Read Series in October, to bud somewhat. Upon landing I sent Rod Pedersen (voice of the Roughriders) a text. “I’m in town. Can we meet on Friday?”

He responded positively.

The following morning I found myself sitting in the window of Atlantis – in my old spot. I figured that before I go half-cocked on my budding idea, I should first do some research, perhaps even write a one-pager. I spent half my time writing, and the rest of my time wandering with my mind, through a meandering current of thinky-thoughts.

The year’s been a hard one on my head space. The reality of losing Dad in February had only recently began to wash over me. He’s really gone. And what does it all mean? Feels like it means something, but I can’t quite touch it.

On the way home, I found myself driving through the old neighbourhood – passed my old house, my old school, and even my old paper route. I’m normally not one to indulge too much into my past, but something was knocking on that door.

After sketching out a rough budget for my project the next morning, I began to glimpse at what sort of stakeholders would need to be involved, and to what extent. This led me to a meeting with an old film school colleague at Creative Saskatchewan. In broad strokes, she outlined how my project might fit into their funding criteria, though nothing quite like my idea had ever crossed their desk before. She wished me luck, then asked if I was planning to attend the industry Christmas party that night.

“What party?” I asked.

Three hours later, I found myself in a room full of people, whom I’d known my whole career. I forgot what it was like to have such an interconnected history with so many people in one place. It felt like family. It felt like home.

The next morning, I met with Rod. He loved my idea. I next met with Mike at Twisted Pair Sound, who also loved my idea. He agreed to provide free studio time, so I could record a demo. From there I met with Mike at ACTRA Saskatchewan, who also expressed a strong desire to see my project made. My final meeting of the day was with Harvard Broadcasting, the Roughriders’ radio rights holder. Though my idea would be something they’ve never done before, it was met with much enthusiasm and an invitation to keep the conversation going.

My final stop of the day was at Java Post. I asked Joan if she would play a role in my project, and she enthusiastically agreed. Java also happened to be having their year-end Christmas party that day, so I was invited to stick around. Within an hour, I once again found myself surrounded by people I’d known my whole career.

They say you don’t buy beer, you rent it, so a visit to the bathroom was inevitable. I had to walk right passed my old office space in the building to get there. The door to the space was open, so I stepped inside. We created over 36 episodes of television inside those walls. In a flash I saw every face, felt every memory, and relived a piece of my history that seems a million years old. I just don’t feel like I have that much in common anymore, with the person who used to pay the rent there.

On Tuesday I recorded the demo for my project – a radio sitcom about the Riders. It sounds fantastic. The feedback has been enthusiastic, and its prospects for success seem inevitible. Putting it together felt more like a scavenger hunt, where all I did was drive around collecting “yes’s.” I’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign in January, so there remains much work to do, but in the meantime, I will bask in appreciation for what was accomplished in such a short period of time.

There’s no part of me that feels ungrateful for the home-cooking and abundant family time I’ve been receiving since arriving in Regina. In many ways, the best Christmas present of all, has been to simply wander aimlessly through the memories and musings awaiting me here. It’s been so easy. So remarkably easy.

This is what home is supposed to feel like.

The Case of the Thursday Morning Snows

The snow came overnight. All at once. And it’s still coming. Kinda feels like December out there.

The other thing that makes it feel like December is Christmas Parties. Louise invited me to hers last night at Joy Bistro on Queen Street East. She’s an agent who represents actors, so there were a lot of those types at the party. I ran into two who wouldn’t shut up about Coronation Street. They’re talking about doing a podcast. The open bar and colourful gathering made for a fun night. I even managed to make a few new connections.

I’m finding myself in a bit of a purgatory these days. Jazz and I leave for Regina on Tuesday, so I haven’t really been pounding the pavement, looking for daily work. By the time they need me, I’ll be gone. There are a few shows crewing up in the new year. I’ll be visiting their production offices today, looking to get a meeting. I’m also keeping busy writing pitches for a couple of different (potential) clients.

I began Act IV of Machiavelli & Tymes last week. I still have a major caper to figure out, but it’s only a couple scenes long, so nothing too epic. It would be pretty super duper alright if I could find some time today to get that done. I have a meeting with Shaftesbury on Monday, so wish me luck.

Downtown Train

Photo on 2014-12-04 at 4.42 PMI’m sitting in Bannock on Queen & Bay, across from Old City Hall. Jazzy’s coming to meet me so we can get her passport application submitted, but it’s 4:45pm and I don’t think we’re gonna make it.

No big deal. The Bay has all it’s display windows up and running for Christmas. They’re incredible, and I plan to take them in with my beautiful little girl at my side. We can do the passport thing tomorrow.

We took the train to Union at noon, then walked through the PATH network downtown, looking for a photography place that would do her passport photos. It was great! Just her and I walking aimlessly, and being together.

We went our separate ways at 12:45 – her to the passport office, and me to a lunch meeting I had lined up. At 1pm I received a text from Jazz, informing me they couldn’t process her application without me present, because she’s not 16 yet. She decided to take the subway back so she could get to her Math class on time.

[Jarrett looks out the window]

Oh! Guess who’s looking at me through the window? Time to wrap this up.

Photo on 2014-12-04 at 4.55 PM