Don’t you know who I am? I’m Kind of a big deal! And other tales from my experience as a Guest List Bitch during TIFF


For those of you just joining us today in the wacky, yet I’m sure we’d all agree, WONDERFUL world of Paris (that’s me), Jambo! And here’s the spark notes on the important info:

I am a 24 (almost 25-sweet-baby-cheeses-that’s-old) year old Australian who lives in Toronto, Canada, but who grew up in Asia, and I am probably definitely the most inappropriate, coolest, and most all-over the place girl you know.

I’ve also been looking for a real job (read: one with a steady salary, and or benefits) in Film, TV, Production, Advertising, Marketing, Social Media…look i’ll literally do anything creative you want at this point…you want me to dress up like a Monkey and clap my hands while hopping around the office singing, ok i’ll do it. Let me just update my LinkedIn….for a while now.

As such, I have been temping, which for those of you that don’t know (lucky straight into jobs after your degree bitches…oh so you did a degree with the name of an actual job in it?! That’s cool, me and my Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Creative writing will be chilling over here with the cool kids) is when you get hired on Assignments to do Reception, Data Entry, Help at Events… etc.

So two weekends ago I was asked if I’d like some weekend work at some parties for TIFF.

TIFF stands for Toronto International Film Festival, and like, don’t freak out, but it’s kindof a big deal worldwide. I used to live in Sydney, Australia and attended the SIFF and even I had hear of TIFF and even followed the head of TIFF, Cameron Bailey on twitter (more on him later).

So I love Parties and I love Film so I said, Hells yes. Sign me up.

And it was glorious.

Not only did I get to meet some lovely celebrities I also got to talk to the people that actually make shit happen in the world of entertainment, Assistants to big name producers, Agents, Finance people, Parents of stars (Daniel Radcliff’s dad is potentially the nicest and shortest British man I have ever had an interaction with, he told me Dan was always ditching him at parties…sigh).

Everybody sucks up to the guest list girl (I gathered) because the huge scary gorrilla like bouncers standing behind you are only listening to you. If you say they’re in, they’re in. If you say they aren’t on the list, then step aside please. They don’t give a shit who you are. They’ve been working all day as personal trainers/bodybuilders/guards and are on their third redbull. You do NOT want to fuck with them.

And everybody wants to get into the “cool” parties where the celebs, and free drinks and pretty women are. And that’s where I was. Little old me, behind a velvet rope with a clip board and a friendly Australian accent.

I love how you can learn so much about people when you’re suddenly observing them from a position of power. You don’t know these people, you don’t have to suck up to them. Okay sure I was flirting and being friendly (and I did get some potential contacts and business cards) but really I was doing a job. Finding a name on a list, and if it wasn’t there, sorry guy. You can spout as many names as you want, they don’t mean a thing to me.

Some particularly noteworthy incidents:

-The coked-up finance guy who got so close to my face i’m pretty sure spittle flew into it, while he was grinding his teeth and ranting. Sorry bud, we’re AT CAPACITY. And you’re right, I did let the Celeb in even though we’re AT CAPACITY because that’s what I was told to do so the paps don’t harass them. Just doing my job buddy, nope I’ve never heard of you. Tell me again how you don’t wait in lines.

-The wife of the guy who cut the trailer. Listen lady, I’m going off the list, I’m sorry that you and your husband aren’t on it (he was totally quiet and not making a fuss) and I agree, it seems unjust, but i’m just doing what I’m told. Go ahead and call somebody from the producers office. When I get an update, you can come in.

-The drunk, 40+ women (four of them) who tried to get in because they met such-and-such at the hotel and he told them to come. Uhhhhh nooooope. You can get as offensive as you like and try to grab the list, but this giant guy behind me, Brandon, he’s not going to like that so…

In contrast, all of the celebrities, directors and big deal producers I met were excruciatingly lovely. Not a bad egg among them. Almost all of them THANKED me as they exited. Thanked me. Like I really had anything at all to do with anything. I just stood outside in the cold with clip board. Some of them even had private jokes with me because I’d seen them a few times and also…i’m hilarious.

Cameron Bailey, Head of TIFF and who I’ve followed on Twitter for 6 years now, I couldn’t find him on the list because they had put his name back-to-front as Bailey Cameron. Me, being the slow ditz that I am didn’t recognize him and said “i’m sorry you’re not on the list.”

To which he calmly replied, “I think you might find that I am” before one of the party planners tore outside and said “he’s good! Thanks for coming Mr Bailey” before shooting me a dark look.

Life is not dull.

I’ll give you that much.



Because I haven’t had a “what the hell am I doing with my life?” moment in a while

Dear Universe,

Hi, how’s it going? Remember when I turned twenty and I decided to throw away my foolish teen angst and exchange it for the melancholy of being a 20 something? I decided to write a list of things I wanted to achieve in the next five years as a way to not die of stress/boredom/whatever fucking hormones they’ve injected into the chickens I eat which now make me grow black hairs in places a fair-haired woman should not and make me a crazy person 9 out of 10 times during the day…

Remember? Remember Universe?!!? We had a deal! I’d put all of my hopes and dreams for the next five years on a piece of paper, and you… you would keep up your end of the bargain and make them all magically happen. Instantly. Just as I planned.


Win an Academy Award

Publish a book

Learn Another language and live in a country where I can use it

Buy some property

Do something notable that helps others

Well guess what Universe? In 2 months, I’ll be 24 years old.

HOLY COW BATMAN! you say, and I say it too, but you can’t really understand me because I’m curled up into a little ball with a pillow scrunched into my mouth, rocking violently from side to side shaking my head, moaning WHY WHY WHY to the sound of that biological clock ticking and the days of my beauty ebbing away.

So MAYBE (I’ll admit it here) some of these dreams were lofty, and MAYBE (I’ll admit) even though I WAS an extremely well-travelled 20-year-old, I didn’t really know shit about the world, having lived first in an Expat bubble, and then wrapped up in the world of Wesley College where my main concern each week was how many boxes of wine my friends and I could afford if we got Thai food 3 times that week too.

Perhaps I was a little naive in thinking that somebody would swoop down to my disgusting room and say:


Because I’m pretty sure that’s how it happened in my head. Hey! I wrote it on the piece of paper. Now I just sit back and watch the money and job offers roll in.

Heh heh heh. *I rub my hands together Mr Burns style – excellent*

Um yeah.

So let’s have a lookieloo where I’m at with the old paper universe wish list.

I haven’t won an academy award, in fact I haven’t written a script in almost 18 months…so. I did win a badge at the Blue Jays game I went to a couple of months ago… and by won, I mean, my friend who works there got them to give me a badge that said “Today is my first Blue Jays Game!” and the date. I wanted to end up in LA or New York…but in fact I am here in Toronto. Like a bird slightly blown off course.

Publish a book…. well i did write two articles for free which went into the Gleaner Newspaper! A small indie newspaper that mainly services the tiny area I live in…And I have this blog. When I finish writing it, the button I have to push says Publish.

Turns out I did move countries, so we can strike this one off the list. AND to a place where I had to learn another language and could use it every day. Canada is that country. I learned to speak Canadian English. I can now put that on my resume. WIN. I now know what a sweater really is, and sketchy. Woohoo. So glad my parents sent me to Private schools.

Buy some property…yeah maybe on the Monopoly board – If i don’t get sent to jail

Do something notable that helps others….

When I was redrafting my Resume a couple of days ago, my Canuck boyfriend, who for the last five months has been working in a position where he has to view hundreds of Resumes, told me I should put some hobbies and interests if I am to be applying to certain positions as it distinguishes you and sets you apart.

Me: Okay…so what hobbies should I put?

CanuckBoyf: I don’t know…whatever you enjoy doing in your spare time.

Me: So… sleeping?

CB: OR, writing your blog, theatre viewing, Theatre acting…

Me: Okay! What about Photography? (Just btw, I have 217 albums on Facebook and, as someone pointed out to me, nearly 5 and a half thousand tagged photos of myself.)

CB: Great, I’ll put attending indie music festivals and historical reading.

Me: um… I don’t think I’ve ever attended an indie music festival…and historical reading… that sounds like you.

CB: you read game of thrones right? That’s historical ish, and you love Of Monsters and Men! They’re indie!

Me: Okay… maybe we should put basketball… I seriously plan to join a team this season…

Sadly our little fudging of my Resume exercise made me realize how lacking in volunteer work my life is. I have always meant to volunteer some of my time to helping others, but the “meant to” does not translate to actually helping somebody. And so with remorse I realize that by 25, I may not have achieved something on my list.

OH HUSH Paris, you say as you read this overly long and gas baggy account of woe is me – there is still time. You have 14 months to get yourself on track. And you are right, by the time I am twenty-five, I very well may have put myself on a path to Oscar glory, or written some chapters of a novel, or seriously started saving for a house, or made a difference to someones life.

I realize that life is a journey, and that probably this freak out is because I am currently seeking the next chapter of my life – deciding it is time to start that elusive beast “A Career”.

Being unemployed SUCKS and its only been a week, but I’ve always been someone who likes to know what’s happening next.

And right now it is all a bit of a mystery, like a jigsaw puzzle with the border all done, but NO fucking clue what the big picture is.