Rob Ford aka What I learned about getting famous I learned from Toronto’s Mayor

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When I was in Los Angeles (or as us in the know call it L.A *ehem*) and then at Sundance Film Festival (that would be in Utah, or as us in the know call it…Utah…) lots of people asked me where I was based. Most people (or so it seemed) were divided into New York people (dark clothes, dark glasses, trendy haircuts) LA people (trendy clothes, dark glasses, tanned, Wheatgrass, Goji berry smoothie drinkers) or those who commuted between the two cities (obviously very very important types in the know in both cities. Dark glasses, coffee…perhaps recreational substance abuse?)

So when I answered that actually I was based in Toronto – people were confused. Like, why would you live there? (Lately with the temperature hovering around 0 degrees Celsius for going on 5 months, I ask myself the same question) LA or New York were the only answers they expected.

Though initially confused, there was always almost one follow up question that I began to expect.

“Hey, wait a minute! Isn’t Toronto where Rob Ford is from?! Man I love that guy!”

Yup. People knew about that tiny insignificant city that was neither New York or GASP LA and they knew about it because of the Mayor.

Does the name Rob Ford ring a bell?

Perhaps it doesn’t. Perhaps you’ve been living under a rock. Or perhaps you’ve had other, newsworthy stories on your mind like the ongoing political tension in Ukraine/Russia/The Middle East/Africa (circle one depending on month), the fact that Gwenyth Paltrow and her husband are “uncoupling” or  where the fuck the Malaysian airlines plane is …

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Let me enlighten you.

Rob Ford is the Mayor of Toronto. He was voted into power before I arrived in this fair country and even before the scandal that broke, that rocketed him to Jimmy Kimmel fame, people were talking about how he sucked and was a shitty Mayor. I remember when I first arrived he was doing some kind of weight loss challenge that he failed miserably and gave up on (duh look at him). Probably a terrible idea considering the man is extremely hefty, and looks like a rounder, redder, meaner version of the Fat controller.

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So what did Rob Ford do to gain notoriety?

If you guessed “sex video” you’re not far off.

I mean, what have we learned from the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian? If you want the easy, quick way to fame and fortune – make a sex tape and have it get “leaked” on the internet. It probably needs to involve someone semi-famous, or you have to be from a family that like, owns hotels or like, gets murderers acquitted, but really once you’ve got that down you can be mega famous and sleep with whoever you want and have your own reality TV show & fragrance line!

Nope, while a Rob Ford sex tape has yet to surface, the reason this excellent specimen of male physique is known the world over (no seriously, my mum was on a train in Hong Kong and they were talking about him on the local news) is because:

He smoked crack.

And there is a video of it. And everybody saw it.

Yup. The Mayor of Toronto got to go on Jimmy Kimmel (notice me Jimmy!), and is loved the world over (by people he doesn’t actually represent) because of a video where he smoked crack.

He is “The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto.”

He is a fucking joke when it comes to his credibility, but there is a staunch group that LOVE this guy because of his flaws (and his perceived keeping down of the taxes).

I wish I was kidding.

There is NO WAY a political leader in Australia could withstand this kind of scandal and mockery. I’m not sure if there are many places in the world where a candidate could outside of uber liberal Toronto.

And to add to the farce, Rob Ford has continued with his ridiculousness, making cringe-worthy comments to the media that make for excellent soundbite and get the Newspapermen jizzing in their jeans:

“I get more than enough to eat at home” (In regards to infidelity outside his marriage)

“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably, in one of my drunken stupors.’’ (In regards to said video – after vigorously denying its existence/ his crack use)

“Women love money. Give ’em a couple thousand bucks and they’re happy” (In regards to what he was getting his wife for Christmas)

Who is this guy!? And where are his handlers?! Surely there is a PR  out there willing to take his money and turn his image around!? Why won’t he stop digging himself deeper into a notorious hole? Why was he the first candidate to lodge his papers to run for Mayor again.

And why do I care? I live here in Toronto to be sure, but I’m not Canadian, and they sure are making it as hard as possible to become a permanent resident. I couldn’t even tell you the name of the Mayor of Sydney or the Mayor of Hong Kong (do we even have Mayors there?) and I care very little for politics.

Perhaps I care, because like the Americans I know, I am a sucker for drama, reality shows where people self-destruct, and the craziness of human folly that I can enjoy from the comfort of my couch.

If Ford has taught me one thing though, it’s that fame and Jimmy Kimmel are only a crack video away….

My quest for Fame and the disintergration of ethics in Social Media

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I wouldn’t usually use the word “Whore’ to describe myself, (let alone anyone else unless I was EXCEPTIONALLY pissed off), but there is no denying that for the last 3 days I am been whoring myself on all forms of social media for one reason only.

*Gasp* I have entered a reality tv show type competition.

AND oh MAN do I want it.

Twitter (which I haven’t ever fully appreciated and use mostly for posting stuff about the volunteer TV interviews I do)

Facebook (which I over-use for sharing photos and funny stuff with friends and family overseas)

and Instagram (which is mainly just pictures of snow, cut off “artsy” pictures of my face and the Canuck boyfriends dogs)

I am HATING myself all over Facebook and twitter because I am being so annoying and inundating friends and family with ME ME ME-ness.

VOTE FOR ME! I tell them, and I start thinking it is totally normal to start harassing people I haven’t spoken to in a year (umm…hi….i know we haven’t spoken in a while… and we probably don’t have anything in common any more… but would you be a dear and click this link and rate me even though this is a thing you don’t even care about….)

I have turned into one of those spamming douches that people right-click, hide, on their news feeds.

What have I become?

The truth of the matter is that I cringe to ask people to do this. Not because I am afraid of failure (oh no, I’ve taken quite a few knock-backs in my life and I am FINALLY FINALLY learning to dust myself off and pick myself back up) but because social media has etiquette, and begging for votes or views goes against that etiquette. I am like the prim old lady of Social Media.

But it’s not just me and my well-to-do online profile. There are many articles and sources to look for the way one minds their online manners, and you better not fuck too hard with them because a rain of hate will fall down on you. Delete, dust hands of person. Perhaps in real life you will begin to think less of them.

There have been people who I have been close to deleting because of their online spamming. And now I have morphed into one of those people!

BUT whats a girl to do?

I have been fighting for my bit of the TV/FILM pie for a while now and the one thing I do know is that you have to be in it to win it. You have to say “Hi, I’m here and I’m keen”.

There is a high likelihood that I will not make it into the top forty of this comepetition (No! What am I saying – positive thinking/vibes/ooooooohhhhhmmmmmmm – (thats me meditating to the spirit world of reality tv competitions)) but the fact that I made a video, put myself out there and went for it…well who knows who will see it and think, “that girl is cool.”

There is a saying I heard here in Canada which I love and I think about it all the time.

the saying goes:

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

So here it is, my first shot at goal for Much Music…. but who knows?!! At least I’m up for the game.

 

 

Bullshit Express

I realize that a lot of my blog posts contain wisdom from my Mum. Every time I do it I feel like singing Mama Say’s from Footloose.

I can’t help it. My Mama is a smart lady who pontificates wisdom even from afar. And one thing she has begun to say in recent years, as I have languished and moaned and sighed and swooned about why my career hasn’t taken off RIGHT NOW WHEN I STAMPED MY FOOT AND SHOOK MY FISTS…

 

 

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Is:

“Fake it til you make it.”

Now, she wasn’t talking in the bedroom, get your minds out of the gutter, she was speaking more I think about life and careers and such. I think. Sometimes her wisdom is loose and malleable to many and all (sometimes contradictory) instances.

But anyway.

Recently I’ve been interning at a place called Rogers TV over here in Toronto. It’s like Foxtel in Australia or Star TV in Hong Kong. They are a cable provider, but they also have their community channels and local programming. As a result of being a big personality, blonde, Australian anomaly (and not half bad at public speaking I suppose) and being around the studio two days a week, I was offered the opportunity to audition for a role as community reporter.

So I went along to the audition, finding it hard to take the whole thing seriously as I was being screened by the Producer and Director of the morning show I intern on and had to fake interview another Producer I was chummy with and pretend we were at an Oktoberfest thing.

The whole thing was a trip into randomness. But it was fun. And they chose me and another girl out of six female audition participants to get our reporter on. So woooh us.

Since then I have probably shot 7 or 8 segments for Daytime Toronto and two Segments for Toronto Speaks. I never know when they are going to air (I honestly think the Producer kind of figures it out last minute) and it is always fun when someone mentions they saw me, or when I go in to work on Daytime and realize they are rolling something I shot.

Keep in mind that I do all of this UNPAID in the hopes that it will lead to that amazing J-bomb of a word…

A Job.

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I’m just like the rest of the underpaid (read: Not Paid) over worked, underfed (pahhhhahaha if only) interns out there.

The difference is on occasion I get to hold a Red microphone (which is usually scratched up to shit) and plaster on my biggest ditzy smile and have a cameraperson (usually a big burly dude named Ken who I secretly adore) follow me around to different local community events.

And wow you should see how people react.

Nobody has ever heard of me.

Nobody recognizes me.

Everybody loves me.

It’s amazing what an aura of pretend control, a microphone and a clipboard full of realease forms can do.

Mostly I just pretend that I’ve done this reporting thing a million times. I throw words like “shoot” and “Mike check” around and people are putty in my hands. The first time I ever went on a Rogers shoot (because the way it works over at Rogers TV is they are like: “Oh you’ve never actually interviewed anyone on camera before? That’s okay, go do it right now) Ken asked me if I’d done this sort of thing before, and I snorted and was like DUH. Ken. God. Get with the program. But my hands were shaking like I had had 15 cups of coffee. And I messed up 2 takes. AND it is possibly one of the worst/most awkward interviews you have ever seen in your life.

Fake it til you make it.

But if anyone every asked, I would come straight out and say it. I do this for FREE because it’s great experience and also it’s FUN and also sometimes there are free sandwiches (once. once there were free sandwiches. And it was glorious. And I ate loads. And Ken and I got to take some home.)

Yes. I tweet and Instagram and Facebook a lot of shit about the TV thing. I’m trying to build something like an online persona. But I’m open about all of the things above.

So it’s pretty interesting (in the way horrifying things are) to me when people aren’t honest about themselves and the bullshit castle they’ve built. Theres faking it til you make it, and then there is delusion and believing your own bullshit.

We all bullshit, it’s part of life and its DEFINITELY a part of social media.

But it doesn’t have to be a part of the voices in the back of your head. It doesn’t have to nourish you.

Today on the show we had a guest who was SO into her own bullshit, it was hysterical.

I was behind Camera Two today (the easiest Camera, because…well I’m not that great at Camera and it is a live show) and this guest was preparing herself for her segment, lounging around having had her makeup done by the professional make up artist (also a volunteer) and she starts telling a story, to no one in particular but I guess KINDOF the publicist for the company she represents, and kind of to the crew standing around in the calm before the storm (all unpaid and learning just like me, I should add) and she starts name dropping like we give a fuck.

Nope. Sorry. Never heard of this supposedly famous columnist you know over at some online magazine I’ve never heard of.

Ironically she mentioned that her other famous blogger friend who lives in NEW YORK (ooooohhh my god you know someone living in New York?! It’s JUST like Sex and the City!) was blogging about her and her relationship and BASICALLY wrote an open letter to her and it was SCANDALOUS.

Cue dramatic pause.

Cue all of us shrugging like…whaaaaa the crazy guest talking about?

TV will do weird things to people.

This lady was on the show to talk about hand creams. And maybe if I google her, she will turn out to be a big deal.

Buuuuuuuut. I didn’t really care.

I just wanted to check my focus and find out what the chef was cooking to see if we’d get yum free food after the show.

You know.

The important stuff.