Sunday, December 14, 2014

Keep on Keeping' On

There's a part of me that's been debating about posting for the last month. But I have found something worth addressing.

After my last entry, I felt conflicted as to whether it was necessary for me to keep writing about every audition I went on. Not only would it be tedious, predictable and rather redundant, but at this point I've found my groove and am essentially going through the same process each time:
1. Get sides from agent (Hooray!)
2. Memorize/work on sides (adorn Clark Kent glasses)
3. Print off resume/head shots (NEVER FORGET THESE!)
4. Sleep (only once lines are down)
5. Run lines successfully in shower (steam helps me remember)
6. Commute to audition (they are never in convenient locations)
7. Arrive and assess competition (give the occasional stink eye when they're not looking)
8. Have a mini panic attack (everyone is so attractive!!!)
9. Find a space to warm up (usually a closet or alcove)
10. Warm up, get my breath under me (calm the heck down)
11. Audition as rehearsed (ideally)
12. Walk out with a sense of completion (or having learned something)
13. Move onto the next one (like a BAUS)

Honestly, that's it. If something crazy happens, I can assure you I will write about it.

Post done.

But for real, I've rediscovered my confidence and am riding it like a wave with my foot strapped to the board of humility.

Now, the reason I'm continuing to write is because I want focus on a part of an actors life that deserves more attention than I think it's given.

Since my last entry, I've been feeling rather drab because my personal life as been...uneventful, I find myself trying to connect with people online, or what have you, as a way to exert energy without really committing to anything. I make going to the gym my BIG event for the day then come home, take my pants off and play Batman/Pokemon till the wee hours of the morning. I've been spending way too much money on eating out because it's easier than cooking, which ironically I love doing, and although I have had some great conversations with people over the last few weeks they all end up turning into the same thing, "Yes, I was in British Columbia for 4 months...I don't know if there is gonna be a season 2...I'm just bopping around doing auditions...No, this is my first Christmas not going home...etc" I'm honored that people want to talk to me, but the reason I'm bored of those conversations is because I actually have nothing else to talk about, because I have been doing nothing else.

Some of those delightful friends have been levelling with me and telling me that, "its okay to be lazy and enjoy your free time...its okay to have dominos three times in one week...I would love to play Batman with you... drink more whiskey..." and this is all true, to a point. I'm rolling into my 5th week since finishing Olympus and it's high time I started to get my life back together. To be honest, I function so much better in chaos than idleness. I thrive in calamity. So, I must create this for myself, or at least schedule it. I have to start creating positive rituals and scheduling even the mundane, like getting a head start on my taxes (yes, that time is nearing), if I want to be successful.

I was speaking to my mother, the incredible woman that she is*, and she broke something down for me which I had yet to realize. She said, "Wayne, your life is the opposite of everyone else's, we all schedule our lives around work, our freedom comes with an annual vacation, if we're so lucky. You have to learn how to schedule your life, because your work is your vacation."


Momma just laid it out.

Enjoy free time, be in post show slump, play video games without pants, drink pumpkin spice whiskey, but eventually one is gonna have to get one's personal life in order, because it's that preparation of the mundane that creates an opportunity for incredible work.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in the times of challenge." - Martin Luther King Jr.

The only way I will truly rise above is by having my artistic and personal life on point, running alongside each other, in harmony.

As the New Riders of the Purple Age said, I gotta "keep on keepin' on."


P.S. I recently wrapped an episode on Remedy, Season 2 which will be premiering on Global in the New Year.

Please check out my fan page and/or website for more info on how to watch for me.

*Mother endorsement

Monday, November 3, 2014

Golden -- I Am Not Afraid.

Today marks the first day of my next adventure. 

I flew in from my final week of filming Olympus last night, as I rode the bus back into Toronto I had a moment, or an exhale, as I realized, "It is done." 

This is not to say that I was waiting for what has been one of the most life changing events of my life to be over, it was acceptance that I've completed one chapter and will now be moving into the next. 

As I sit here, this morning in my bed, with my recently reclaimed cats, kneading my spare pillow into submission, I feel open; I feel excited and inspired. The possibilities have become endless once again. This might scare some, but I am not afraid. Instead, I am thankful. Over the last few months I've had the pleasure and the gift of spending a copious amount of time being with myself; learning who I am. 

I shifted immensely over this project, as always, as an actor and a man. 

I'm slowly cementing the people in my life that make me feel creative, allow me to be myself and encourage my offbeat patterns. Identifying this circle is allowing me to relinquish my need for control, gives me my much-desired confidence and makes me realize that we all need each other. 

Before I flew out to Vancouver, last week, my agent and I had a lovely conversation about where we want to go from here; I'm coming off playing a series lead on a network television show and have a new standard of work that feeds my trajectory. This is not to say that I'm now a classist, entitled actor who will only do a select amount of projects per year, *cough, Daniel Day-Lewis, cough* I'm certainly not in that position (far from it). What it is allowing me to do is give myself perspective and artist choice. 

As ambitious as it may sound, I don't want to be part of a project I'm not proud of. I don't want to look back in 10-15 years and go, "God, why did I do that?" or, "I needed to pay rent.." I will say this enough about my "Joe jobs". I want each and every artistic endeavour to be a source of pride and education. Perhaps it's a lofty idea, only time will tell. I have a wonderful and supportive partner, in my agent, and I know that she has my back; A rarity in the industry. With her and I's partnership at the height it is and me coming off of a project like this; everything is my favour. Now more than ever, it would behoove me to not go out there and kill it in my auditions. 

With my ideals aligned, my partnership strong and my resume improved, the only thing I need to get underneath me, to be truly successful, are my nerves. I have to learn how to work with them, rather than against. I shouldn't be ashamed of my nerves, but should thank them for letting me know I'm alive and passionate. They are part of me. 

Between some good/new friends, the biggest pieces of advice I have received lately are, ironically, to stop taking peoples advice and to start listening to myself. I have been in student mode for so long now and it's imperative for me to step into the artists/adult life; trust my abilities and the experiences I have under my belt. 

I have a tendency to continually ask people for advice, simply because I want to hang out with them or want to talk to them, almost always it turns into me asking them questions I already know the answers to, or walking away without much more perspective than what I went in with. I can meet someone new and not talk about my craft, or how they deal with being an artist, as radical as that may seem; we can simply talk about life. We can talk about their other interests, which are more essential to my work than ego stroking. It also keeps dawning on me that I have worked more than some people twice my age, in TV at least, and need to take pride in that fact. I don't need to start spitting my advice on strangers, but I can rest easy knowing that I carry that experience, both on my resume and on my face. I don't want to lose my positivity and wide-eyed perspective, but I have to step up and become an adult, "Studentmon digivolve to ADULTMON!" 

I have been meeting new people, who aren't actors, who have been making me feel so much more human. They have allowed me to learn about them and hear about their lives, which are vastly different than mine, and rightfully so. It's been refreshing to learn about things besides acting/writing/producing, I love all those things but sometimes one needs perspective. 

Right now, that one is I. 

I have accepted that I will need to get a part time job in the New Year, and am not bothered by that, because I will find something that will supplement my life, rather than become it. That's what I must to remember; My focus is my creative life, not being the best Starbucks barista. 

Life is in a great place for me; I'm golden. 

A good friend of mine and I had dinner the other night and spoke about the ease I feel in life right now and how I do not want to drop below this level again. She replied, "Then don't let it, but if it does acknowledge it, be in that state truthfully, and then rise back up." She is a wise woman. 

And now, I leave you with some Jill Scott: 



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Childlike vs Childish.

A few weekends ago, I attended one of VIFF (Vancouver International Film Festival)'s red carpet events with some of the cast and writer, Nick Willing, of Olympus. In my hurry to pack, before coming out here to film, I had neglected to bring any of my prized dress clothes, my freakum suit, if you will. Between my lack of clothing options and having been denied a haircut, I had to make the best of the situation and try to SLAY in my converse, Beatles wannabe/Justin Bieber mop and paisley tie.

I met someone I admired that night and was excited by the opportunity to ask them specific questions, but instead of listening to my questions they bombarded me with their rehearsed bit of "advice". Instead of us truly connecting and perhaps developing a mentorship, I walked away disappointed and embarrassed that I had ever put them on such a pedestal. Upon returning to my fellow cast mates I was reminded by them to never become that kind of person and always strive to make real connections with fans, and people who look up to me as an artist. It cemented for me how there is a large portion of this industry that is looking for meaning in their life through success and fame, that their person is defined by the amount of people who know them. They lose sight of the work, and forget what they are fighting for (if anything).

Nick Willing, Sonita Henry and I spent the day together on Sunday and the two of them really got me thinking about what it is that has drawn me to this profession. What is it that I'm truly fighting for in life, beyond the stage, beyond the camera, what is it that makes my heart beat? Nick spoke about how we are hunting for the things that give us meaning and once we find what those are it is relatively easy to achieve them. The issue, or hard part, lies in the fact that we spend so much time distracting ourselves from what we truly want, we settle for what we think is comparable, or just completely deny our dreams altogether.

When I skyped with my good friend, Lisa, I mediated on this idea with her, "What exactly do I want?" I concluded, for now, that I'm looking for complete empathy for the human race. I want to understand how I operate, how others operate, what makes people tick and why we do the things we do. I want to have the ability to show people themselves, humanity, and what they could be if they also fought for what they love. 

Over the last few weeks I have had moments where I've noticed how childlike this whole situation (acting) is; Here we are, dressing in costumes, playing on a set that had been constructed for our imaginary world to exist in, while others were trained how to capture our moments of pretending; it's professional child's play. And I'm paid to do it. When I reduce it down to that rationalization it becomes so much less grand, it brings me back to playing Digimon with my brother on the front lawn; the worlds we created, the characters we played, the lives we lived in those few hours between after school and supper time. It suddenly became demystified. Acting really is having the imagination of a child, while impressing it on adult situations.

To quote the Bible, "Be childlike, not childish." - Luke 7:31-5

This realization may seem obvious or rudimentary, but it's so easy to let acting become cerebral and revolve around wit and trickery, when in reality, it's corporeal and honest. When one sees a child truly feeling something, one is there with them. We are forced to be present with that child because the stakes for them are so high. This is what I'm hunting for, that effortless call upon my emotions, honestly, the bravery to look anything but attractive. There are obviously schools of thought that believe acting can be broken down into steps, but really, I'm discovering that it's just the opening of ones mind, breaking down walls and reclaiming that sense of play we all had as a child.

Lisa also spoke about bringing this childlike bravery to auditions and letting them be fun, and simply a chance to play rather than seeing them as this massive, career-defining thing. If I can go in and truly see these casting directors in their underwear, so to speak, then it adds humour and allows me to release the pressures that I'm fabricating in my adult brain, "I need this job, I need this money, I hate my Joe job, save me from the seventh level of Hell that is customer service, etc."

By letting childish tenancies into the work, one takes away from the process. By letting ones emotions and personal insecurities into the work, at any level, one takes away from the world that the brave are creating. One has to learn how to interact and maintain the work with a childlike innocence and play, while still dealing with the world as an adult. It's a balance that I'm determined to find. 

Being at that event solidified how many childish: self-interested, vain, rude, narcissistic, and shallow people there are in this industry.

My fight for ultimate empathy requires me to treat everyone with respect; myself included, and stay true to my dream, regardless of how they treat me. I cannot afford to let myself get bogged down or be self-depreciating, the longer I entertain those ideas the further away I get from my goals and the more power I give them in dictating my life. 

When we are born into this world we don't know what fear is, we are open, malleable vessels who only know how to love. For me, getting back to this place is the ultimate. 


Monday, September 22, 2014


I had an audition Friday morning. This was my first live one in a while. I was contacted at 6am about going to the audition at 11:45am later that day. My agent informed me that this was a big casting director and it would be in my best interest to meet them. Despite it being 6:15am, I was pumped and grateful for the chance to meet said casting director. 

Unfortunately, getting sides 5 hours before an audition isn't the ideal situation. I tried my best to memorize what I could, but with 8 pages of text I settled on trying to make some bold choices and attempt to avoid looking at the pages the entire time. I drove out to the casting office and while waiting to go in, my nerves started. I started to pep talk myself, but felt entirely unprepared. When it was finally my time to go in, I tensed up and sped through the scenes with none of my minimally rehearsed choices and was in and out within 5 minutes. 


All these excuses came surging through my brain, "If only I had more time. I wish I hadn't felt so rushed. There was too much pressure on this meeting. I didn't like the character anyway. I mean, I only got the sides this morning..." as I was driving away, I realized that none of these excuses were viable. They were just ways for me to avoid the truth: I lacked confidence, again.

This word. This feeling. This mindset; is my albatross. I have been grappling with it since first year at NTS. Prior to school, I didn't care what anyone thought of me, I knew who I was (or so I thought) and nothing was going to stop me from killing it every time I walked on stage. Having been smashed apart and slowly built back up at NTS, I'm still trying to reclaim that, once free, Wayne who would have done anything to get in front of people. I miss him; he is still inside me. Once I uncover him again, we can get on living the life he wants for me.

Granted, this was my 5th (in person) audition since graduation, so I have to give myself a break. I need a little more time to acclimate, that's normal. Nerves are normal they mean I care. I need to embrace their presence and breathe a little deeper.

Some of these rooms aren't the most inviting or coziest places to show ones work, but these rooms are not for artistry, they are for business. That's what I have to keep in mind. I have to be professional and perform the best I can in the medium that is "the audition". No one is going to make me comfortable, that is my responsibility. I have to take my space and, if necessary, wait until the reader is with me; treat them as my scene partner. If my scene partner were rushing through dialogue and not connecting with me I would stop and ask them what was happening, or simply look at them until I am ready to speak. I put time into the piece; I deserve to do it the way I want.

Working on Olympus has taught me many things, but one of the biggest is how much confidence affects my work. When I walk onto set now I know what I'm doing, I know my character, I've done my homework, I know my lines inside and out, I know all the crew... it's a completely comfortable environment. Sure, there are days where I have to bare my soul to strangers, but I know that more or less they are all there with me, at the very least the director is. The set has become my home. I have to do the same with the audition room. I need be true to me and let my work shine through. I'm a well-trained, intelligent, talented actor so why am I not letting them see what I can do?

Fear? Doubt? Rejection? These things that have no place in my work. They need to be exorcized out of me then doused in nitroglycerin and smashed into thousands of unidentifiable pieces. 

From now on I will no longer succumb to the aforementioned. I will be brave, confident and specific in my choices. I will execute with passion and focus; my life depends on it.


I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine. I don't have a project coming up upon my return to Toronto so I'm excited to have time to establish said routine, while finally doing some things I have been putting off for years. Like learning how to play piano, cooking killer breakfasts, and getting my voice back in shape.

I've been obsessed with tight choreography lately and want to experience some live. I watched Pina last night and had forgotten how much dance speaks to my soul. I'm working on writing a play, while  developing some performance ideas. I want to meet more artists in my community, I want to collaborate on projects and ultimately get back in touch with my creativity. Through that I will rediscover "confident Wayne", who's been waiting to play for a while now.  


Monday, September 15, 2014

In the Air Tonight.

A few weeks ago, a (new) friend of mine offered to take me hiking up the Stawamus Chief Mountain in Squamish, outside of Vancouver. Before this hike, the two of us had only met briefly on set through a mutual friend. Due to the lack of people my age in the cast I thought it would behoove me to not take advantage of meeting a new person, who might share some similar interests. Turns out we like a lot of the same things and are able to keep a decent conversation flowing; gotta love when I find those people. We met up downtown and drove out to the mountain, the terrain getting up to the peaks was far from easy but the view made up for it. When we finally reached "Second Peak" I was speechless: It was easily the most spiritual experience I have had in a long time.

I looked around from this massive piece of land jetting into the sky with a cloud passing by my face and the sheer beauty was like nothing I had ever seen before. Of course, I have seen this kind of scenery in films, but to experience it first hand was nothing short of magical. Sitting atop that peak, with more-or-less a stranger, humbled me. It made me respect the Earth and despise how materialistic I've become, how self-centered I am by believing that my problems are so massive. When I looked down onto the town of Squamish, with it's industrial harbor pushing out into the ocean, I felt pity. Here we are taking this beauty for granted, chipping into it to make room for more stuff, bigger condos and flashier lifestyles. It made me sad to think about how we, as a race, are depleting this natural beauty that is the Earth, for fictional fabricated happiness. 

The whole time, probably to his displeasure, I kept saying to Jeff, "This was how people lived! Natives would have travelled up to these peaks; they would have gathered their food from these bushes and trees. This was there internet, their TV!" It brought me back to the childhood feeling of anything was possible in this environment, stories and histories started to fill my imagination. I felt in touch with my soul again, it was cleansing. To add to this experience, Jeff and I were bombarded by 7, rather tame, chipmunks who proceeded to loot us for our trail mix.

They were the most aggressive chipmunks I had ever experienced. They had no fear; they knew what they wanted and went after it. These little rodents ended up crawling all over us, one even started scratching at my closed fist, thinking I was hiding nuts from him: I felt like a Disney character. 

The hike reinvigorated me, made me realize that my issues aren't really all that big and allowed me to approach my work with (a little) less control. I've spent so much time trying to figure out what to do, how to be good, how to look as calm and free as everyone else, and everything else under the sun, when it all comes down to simply letting go and living honestly.

I had a breakthrough with Martin Wood, who was directing me at the time, he said, "Don't fear it. Simply accept it." Something that has been told to me numerous times but hearing it that day finally broke my walls down and allowed me to do some of the best work of my career. It was hard, but the hardest part was letting go, relinquishing all the vanity, safety and judgment that keeps ones barriers up. When I finally released I just let Lykos take over and I truly became a vessel. 

Having that happen to me allowed me to go onto set this Friday confident and able to do solid work. It was completely freeing to just have fun and let it be what it was. I left feeling awesome, as I did the week before. There is a part of me that wants to break down this "freedom" into liquid form so I can bottle it up and inject before every scene, but that's impossible and I know that with time, and more moments like the aforementioned, it will become second nature. The key really is confidence in my abilities and myself. 

Today, I spent most of my day reading and writing on the beach. 

I'm learning to let go of all that is superfluous and unnecessary, things that don't actually contribute to my ultimate happiness. I'm excited to return to Toronto and purge my apartment of things that I no longer need. As a race, we need so little to survive: Love. I'm blessed to have a massive amount of it. Being part of this show has taught me to truly appreciate and embrace the amount that I have, so much of the world is without it. 

Money, homes, cars, clothes, they are all symbols that we give value to; they do not make or break a person. Good people are good people, regardless of whether they wear Tom Ford or hunt in the bins at Value Village. I feel this quote from Fight Club is appropriate:

"You are not how much you have in the bank. You are not the contents of your wallet. You are not your f**king khakis."

I am wealthy, successful and happy because I choose to be, because of my attitude and the way I treat my fellow human beings. At the end of the day, it won't matter how much I own, but how many lives I touched through my art and my relationships. That’s what makes me rich. 

I don't know whether it's the air out here, or what, but I feel so pure and euphoric. I have less than a month left and as much as I'm sad to see this wonderful, and life changing journey come to an end I am even more excited about seeing what the tide leaves for me to discover once is goes out. From now on if I can eat well, drink often, play always, laugh a lot, dream vividly, create inspiring work, see the beauty of the world, listen to the best music, see great films, foster wonderful relationships, make brave choices and live with an open heart I will be the happiest man. 

Now to train those chipmunks to do my bidding....