I just wanted to wish you all the best during this holiday season.. and may you, your friends and families all have a very happy New Year!
I just wanted to wish you all the best during this holiday season.. and may you, your friends and families all have a very happy New Year!
I’m happy to announce that the Live 88.5 TV commercials are now on the air! They’re also available online on YouTube, posted up by Parktown Productions.
Check them out below! You can play them straight from here, via the play icon, or by going to it’s YouTube page by clicking the commercial’s name below the video.
Feel free to take a look at their YouTube account parktownpro for more of their work.
Once again I’ve gone a long time without any updates. Well, this is because I’ve decided to move to Toronto at the beginning of this month! I’ll do my best to summarize most of what has happened since.
The first thing I had to do was find a place to live. Once I did that, I moved and took a few days to settle in. From that point, I started my search for a talent agent. I had already went over a list with a friend back home. So when I was finished with the move to Toronto, I submitted my photo and resume to some of those agencies via email. Shortly after, I found out that most agencies prefer a hard copy submission. So, I decided to print some pictures and resumes, then deliver them as I biked around town.
After this, I started getting some responses from agencies. Either they were interested, or their roster was full and weren’t actively expanding. As these were coming in, I had secured an audition for a upcoming TV game show called “ManUP!”. Also, Jamal Hashemi drove from Ottawa to shoot a short video. Also involved, Umid and Nawid Orokzai, two brothers from Toronto who I met on Jamal’s last project, “Under the Influence”. We met together to discuss the project, then shot it the next day.
Getting back to my agent search, from the interested agencies/agents, I was very happy with Teri Boyack from Hines Management. When I sat down with her, I realized she was everything I was looking for in an agent.. and more. We had a really good rapport and by the end of our meeting, I knew who I wanted to work with! So on Friday, I made it official and signed with Hines Management. Even to this day, I’m still getting contracted by other agencies who I’ve submitted to, expressing their interest in meeting with me. This is because some of these agencies get hundreds of submissions in a short amount of time, and take a while to get back to the talent. Regardless of that, I feel I made a great decision by signing with Teri, and I’m grateful for having her as my agent!
I also attended an acting workshop on the 18th, which featured Toronto casting directors Crystal Kramer and Lori Pearlstein. Not only did I get a refresher on things I knew already, but I also learned a lot, worked with some nice people and had a great time. Crystal and Lori did a great job and it was nice meeting them along with the other actors!
More recently, I started auditioning again (thanks Teri), which I’m very happy about! As for the ManUP! audition, I was contacted to be a contestant! Actually, the episode I was in was just taped on Saturday. Basically, I competed against two other guys (Mike and Konrad) in a series of challenges, as well as some trivia questions. It wasn’t really about the points, but more about the comedic and fun aspect of the program. In the end, the guys at RedFish Entertainment, the production company behind ManUP!, put together a fun show for us, and were very appreciative with our participation. This was my first experience as a game show contestant, which turned out to be really fun. Plus, I didn’t leave empty handed! I’m not saying who “won the show”, but there were prizes for each challenge. A big thanks to the guys who put this together!
As if there wasn’t enough to read already, I put together another self-shot and self-edited picture of myself. This one, shows a more serious side of myself, and also serves an alternative look to my head shot, as I have a beard in this one. In addition, just last week I signed up for a martial arts class! Without mentioning who the master is, I will say that he used to work in film, with stars such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, back in the 70s and 80s. He has long retired from the film scene, and now teaches in his school here in Toronto. I feel very lucky to have found such an amazing teacher, who despite almost being in his seventies, is extremely capable and young at heart! Did I mention hilarious? Well that too.
I haven’t written in a while, but it doesn’t mean nothing’s going on! There are quite a few projects that I have been involved in, but are still in the preliminary stages. I also hope to shoot my very own short before the summer ends! So even though I haven’t had much to show lately, things happening behind the scenes!
Going back to the main topic, I spent most of last weekend working on a short film called “Under the Influence”. We got all the footage we needed in those two days, being a short and having shot until almost sunset. It was a great experience! The project was being led by Jamal Hashemi, who I’ve worked with before and met through Pascal Aka (who was part of the crew). Nawid Orokzai, from Toronto, also played a big part in the production, also having a lead as my friend in the film, as well as taking part of the camera work with Pascal. Nawid will also be editing the film. His brother and friend, who both came from Toronto, helped out on set and had small roles in the film.
I had a great time while having the chance to meet, work with and befriend some great people! I hope to keep in touch and work with them again.
Finally, just yesterday I had a special extra role as a waiter in a locally shot TV series called Family Biz, produced by Muse Entertainment. Didn’t have to do much in terms of acting in this one, but it was fun regardless.
Actually, I don’t usually mention these roles, but I’ve done a lot of un-credited work with the same production company in the past. This includes another silent role as, how to put this, let’s say a “casual hookup guy” of one of the lead’s in a Movie of the Week called The Watch. In this one, while the two female leads were talking in the living room (Cassie and Andrea played by Clea DuVall from “Heroes”, and Elizabeth Whitmere), I happen to come up the stairs wearing only boxers. They notice, and start talking about me as I grab some orange juice from the fridge. We then make eye contact, I wave with a smirk on my face, and head back downstairs. If you happen to get that scene recorded for me, I’d love to see it!
Over a week ago, I was photographed by the lovely couple, Paul and Shalan Crivellari. We all had a great time and got along well as always. After they had finished shooting me, I insisted on grabbing the camera and taking shots of them as well which was lots of fun! They also showed me some of the raw shots as we went along and I was very satisfied with their work!
Some of the shots have already been worked on and I’m more than willing to share a preview of one, as seen on the left. Paul and Shalan actually offer professional photographic services which you can learn more about on their website www.cprophoto.com. Make sure you check it out!
To finish, as I’ve implied earlier, Paul, Shalan and I worked together before, but not in photography specifically. It was actually on a short film which Paul Crivellari wrote and directed himself, called “Nothing Left to Say”. I’m happy to say that after a long (but understandable) wait, it’s nearing completion. I’ve seen an early cut of it and it looks great!
I revisited Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, this time with my roommate Marko, and also with a camera. We had a great time and were finally able to take some shots of the area. We also got noticed by a young group of girls who took their turns posing with us. Things like this always put a smile on our faces. They just aren’t used to seeing foreigners in Taiwan. Thinking back, it happened on different occasions and we’ve always been very happy to pose with them. They thank us.. but really, I feel we should thank them for making us feel so welcome!
On the way back to the apartment, I was finally able to get a good picture of this stray dog I named Wolfy. In Taipei, stray dogs aren’t uncommon. There was one I kept seeing, and kind of looked like a white wolf, hence the name Wolfy. Anyway, you can see him on the left. Unlike most people, I’ve tried to approach him a few times but he was scared. Actually, it seemed like most strays there are as well.
On a higher note, later that day we went to the grocery store to pick up a few things and was offered some tea as we were about to head back home. We tried it and after the man serving it to us saw our positive reactions, he seated us at his stand and started brewing more and more tea, as we all just talked. Another foreign guy joined Marko and I, followed by a local who seemed to also work for the place (maybe an owner or supervisor). There was no pressure to buy anything and as we drank and talked but I would notice some things I wanted to take back home. The name of the man who was serving the tea was Aber.
Once, during my trip, I tried this tea which had this interesting aftertaste, which you could feel in the neck area, beside your jawbone. I wanted to share this unique experience with family and friends back home, so I was looking for that particular kind of tea. Aber kept sampling us more and more teas, and at one point as he was offering yet another kind, and I was trying to say that it was too much. I didn’t want him to use up so much of his tea! He said something along the lines of “you’re not a customer, but a friend”.. what a great display of hospitality.
I ended up buying the kind of tea I wanted, some “accessories” if you will, and Aber even gave me a bag of another tea that he noticed I liked, while putting his finger over his mouth in a “shhh” manner. As we left, I could see that he was sad to see me leave. We were actually seated with them for over 2 hours, drinking tea together, and having great conversations! All this with no charge for the tea they served, Aber said it’s just in their culture! They gave me their business cards and said that if I came back to Taiwan, I’d be welcome, anytime, to come and sit down for tea. What great people!
On my last full day in Taiwan, I dropped by the PT Models agency to finalize everything, drop off and pick up some last things. They were asking me to take off my hat because noticed something about my hair. I eventually did, and they noticed my shaved head. I couldn’t cut my hair while I was working, so after my last job I just grabbed my trimmer and did it myself. They actually all liked it, and were impressed with the job I did. Even Justine, the manager, liked it. I could tell because when I asked her if I would have worked well with the shaved head, she hesitated and said she couldn’t really say since that they never had someone with that style.When I was all done, I said my goodbyes to everyone. I don’t think anyone was as sad to see me leave as Justine. They told me that I had to come back. It was such an amazing experience for me, so I hope I have the opportunity to! Justine walked me to the elevator and was the last to see me, as she waved while the doors closed. I will miss them!
Finally, the next morning, with no sleep from the previous night since I spent a big part of it packing and preparing for my trip home, I took a cab to the airport. The driver was actually someone who transported the models from the agency on a regular basis, so I had spoken with him a few times before. I already knew he was a nice guy but that was even more apparent after the drive. We had great conversations and he gave me his card, with his email and asked me to keep in touch. He told me that if I come back, he would invite to dinner with his family! After I was all set, he saluted me one more time as he drove off.
Overall, my experience in Taiwan has been great. It will forever stay with me. I honestly don’t have many bad memories. If I could change something it would be the living conditions, especially because of one particular roommate (again, not Marko, but the other one which I’ve kept anonymous). I hope to one day return to this great country, and I wish its people the best with their newly elect President!
This morning, was a very special one. No, not because I had some catalogue work (although I’m always happy to have work) but for another reason all together. Today was the day the roommate from Hell, who I’ve been stuck with for almost three months, went back to where he came from (I mean Ottawa, Canada…not Hell). I’ve been pretty quiet about that one, especially considering how horrible it was having him live here. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe how bad it was…so I couldn’t be happier…and my other roommate Marko would second that…in a second.
Concerning work, the catalogue was for Liukoo, a local Taiwan clothing label. I worked with one of the new, recently flown in female models from PT, Lindsay. For most of the shoot, it was one after the other. While one of us was shooting, the other was changing. Some we had some together, usually with golfing equipment. The half day job went by pretty quickly and we were offered lunch at the end. Another good photoshoot spent working with some great people!
As I got back to the apartment, Marko had already begun cleaning our ex roommate’s aftermath. I joined in and then the cleaning lady got in and took care of the rest. It was quite the job but now, everything’s finally clean and organized. I’m excited about my last days here, finally living in comfort and ease.
On January 29th, I headed to a production house, where I met the production manager of the Pierre Balmain photoshoot. Together, we went over to the Taiwan High Speed Rail station in Taipei. This a very fast (up to 300km/h) way to travel from the capital, which is in northern Taiwan, to the southern part of the country. After reaching the end, we got on a bus to travel the rest of the way to our hotel. The bus had a much shorter distance to travel but we spent more time on it than the THSR!
The next morning, we woke up to a beautiful day. The place we stayed at wasn’t a traditional hotel. More like a villa/resort. After breakfast, we started shooting at the hotel. Once we finished, we all hoped into the bus and got to a small dock where we took more shots. After that, we headed for lunch. Once again, I ate to my heart’s content.. and let me tell you that’s a lot! This, as it usually is, was pleasant experience, working with friendly people! Actually, the photographer was the same I had worked with on my first job.
In other news, I had been informed that some people attempted to contact me via my website’s email, with no success. Well, I looked into it and resolved the problem. You should now be able to use the address written on the Contacts page to get in touch with me.
Finally, I’d like to bring your attention to the Comments feature. At the end of every one of these posts, is a link which allows you to write comments as well as view the ones other people wrote. The link should be displayed as “No Comments” or “# Comment(s)” where # is there number of comments already written. Feel free to leave one as all feedback is appreciated!
As for work in Taiwan, I booked another job. This one was for a beach and swim wear catalogue. The garments were from a local Taiwanese clothing line called Honor. Some of the stuff I wore for the shoot was a bit small for my taste…but to each his (or her) own! I had fun on this one, as always. Lastly, I’m being considered to for a rather important role in a commercial. More on that if I get the role!
This year, I celebrated New Year’s Eve at rooftop party, very close to the famous Taipei 101 in Taiwan. It was a great night in a fun atmosphere, spent with new friends, along thoughts of family and friends back home.
On the top left is a picture from the amazing fireworks display, visible from the party. We heard it was the last time they were going to have it firing from the skyscraper itself. So we were lucky to see it!
For those who’d like to see pictures from my trip to Taiwan, just click to the link I set up for my Facebook album: “Around the World: Taiwan”. No need to sign up to view them.
Finally, I’d like to take time to wish you all a great 2008! I hope this year will be a great one for all.