Well I started smoking again. Ah jesus.
I did manage to last two weeks smoke free then some pesky bugger bugged me and before you know it I turned back into Puffing Billy. I’m averaging about 3 or 4 cigarettes a day so I guess it ain’t sooo bad. It curbs my appetite a bit, which I suppose is good for the camera but honestly the stupidest reason to continue smoking if ever I’ve heard one.
The TV show is going marvelously- we’re on hiatus. So I made the most of the week’s break and escaped to San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico. Am catching up on some much needed sleep and days of doing absolutely NOTHING. Blissful. Wonderful. Joy. Ecstasy. Rapture.
Rather delightfully I discovered that I haven't forgotten all my spanish. I spoke it as a child when I lived in Colombia- according to mum I was quite fluent too. I've been happily chattering away to the hotel staff.
Here’s a picture of me doing absolutely nothing useful during sunset. Freshly showered and gorging on olives and almonds. From the balcony of where we're staying at the Palmilla in San Jose Del Cabo.
I know it's a terrible picture. It was with my phone and I hate phone photos. Almost as bad as passport photos. Here's a great picture of the Forbidden City. It was an old man reading the newspaper and his faithful dog. So gorgeous.
Thanks everyone for checking back so often despite my long absence, the TV series is working me so damn hard, seems all I do in the time off is sleep. and do laundry.
Thanks too for all who commented. It's super encouraging.
Hope you're all doing great. Love~Steph xx
I'm not one to bible bash an ideal- but I am an advocate of doing what you can to save the environment. I'm about to have a bashing session- so if you can't stand the idea of yet another actor forcing their viewpoints on you (because I've read enough of that malarky myself- seems like every young Hollywood twat has a new thing that they're pushing every week) then know this- I have many but I'll only talk about one. Today.
Do something for your planet. Even if it's something that seems little and inconsequential like turning off your car if you're in standstill traffic on the highway like I was today. Felt like choking from the fumes of a thousand cars backed up on highway 99.
I watched 'An Inconvenient Truth' last weekend. I had the dvd for a few months but I refused to watch it till now cause I knew it would scare the pants off me. But Iast weekend came around and I had run out of excuses not to watch it- so I did. Recommended viewing for everyone. In fact - there should be a law passed that from tomorrow onwards everyone has to watch ' An Inconvenient Truth' at least once. And for all those buggers that work in oil refineries- well they should have to watch it everyday.
I did an advert for the Canada Line- a public transport system that will cut down on traffic in the city of Vancouver. They're currently constructing it. It's frightfully noisy and is holding up traffic, and the shops around the construction areas are suffering a bit and it's just generally a pain in the ass, there's dust everywhere- but it's the RIGHT thing to do. The inconvenience is short term. The long term plan is it will save our city. It must be done. Vancouver is too beautiful to be polluted by traffic, and it's accompanying noise and other assorted debris.
Here's the picture that came out in support of the Canada Line. I know that right now pedestrians and shop owners and people stuck in traffic because of the construction are probably cursing at my picture and the other participants in the adverts, but it's the RIGHT thing to do. You guys out there know it. Support it.
Do something for your planet. Do it today. Even if it's just as simple as carrying your own bag to the grocery store so that you won't be adding another plastic bag to a garbage tip somewhere. It'll make a difference.
Anyone who has ever visited a film set can tell you that it can be a extremely boring event. There's a lot of waiting involved. Waiting for the camera crew, waiting for lighting, waiting for the weather to co operate, waiting for make up or hair for the actors, waiting for the director to get his act together, waiting for props.
waiting, waiting, waiting.
And that's if there aren't any children or animals involved!
I've always maintained that I get paid to wait. I act for free.
I found this on youtube while I was waiting in my trailer one day.
Video: it's business time
I have settled back in to Vancouver. Re entry (once I got past the jetlag) was startling easy. I caught up on Entourage, Gray’s Anatomy, Heroes and some reality based contest shows that I’m embarrassed to admit that I watch. I did all my laundry and unpacked everything and visited my hairdresser and kissed my friends. I distributed the posters that I brought back with me as I had done the incredibly tacky touristy thing and bought Cultural Revolution era posters, example- Mao reading on a podium, big red fist squashing LBJ and that other dude can’t-remember-his-name. I had to keep the posters of the communist girls. They’re so calm and serene while holding a machine gun, some of them dancing even in perfect ballet point while holding the gun aloft, so awesome.
I had a moment earlier today where everything felt so ‘back to normal’, felt like I hadn’t been away at all, and that perhaps my China trip was just a dream. So odd.
Then I look out into my garden and realize that in my two months absence a weird tree has managed to grow- I swear when I left it was just dirt there. The diameter of the trunk is about 3 inches and it measures about 6 feet. Can trees grow that fast?
I love this sign. I came across it while climbing the Great Wall.
My horses placed. Not my own horses specifically but the projects that I worked on. I had the very good fortune of working with some of the best in 2005. Two projects specifically- a mini series titled ‘Dragon Boys’ and a feature film titled ‘ Everything’s Gone Green’. They were both recognized at this year's LEO awards which are kinda like the Canadian Emmy's (blatantly stealing Byron Mann's descrīption of it . hee hee)
Dragon Boys – airing soon – I think October on Star TV Asia- was shot for CBC TV over here in Canada and aired in January 2007- It stars Byron Mann, Eric Tsang, Tzi Ma, myself, and many more in a gritty dramatic 4 hour tale set in the underbelly of asian organized crime in North America. It was nominated for 12 awards including best performance by a male lead for Byron, best screenwriting, best cinematography, best make up. Congratulations to all those nominated. You’re winners already.
‘Everything Gone Green’ was shot in the summer of 2005 and is written by the voice of our generation Douglas Coupland- my first and still my first reason for signing on. I later came to love the director and cast and crew as much as the material and it became a passion project. So when it was nominated 6 times it was case of the cup overfloweth yet again.
WINNERS- the Leo award goes to....
Ian Weir won for Best Screenwriting for 'Dragon Boys',
Doug Coupland for Best Screenwriting for 'Everything Gone Green'.
Last and Best....
'Everything’s Gone Green' won Best Feature Film 2007
Here’s me struggling with my dress.
There are few truths in this world but there is one that I am now certain of.
There’s no negotiating with jetlag.
You can try everything to fight it but in the end, no deal. You can stay up as late as possible, or not sleep at all on the plane over, plenty of exercise, camomile tea, melatonin tablets, really boring movies, no caffeine..and still sleep evades. Tossing and turning and trying to switch off your brain and occasionally checking the clock and thinking ‘ if I get to sleep right now I’ll have at least three hours sleep before morning’.
Ha ha. Nope.
The daylight hours pass like a blur- things feel slightly surreal, noises are too loud, trafiic is the worst. Uncontrollable narcolepsy at around 4 in the afternoon- right in the middle of a late lunch meeting and the people you're with end up thinking you're not intersted in what they're saying when in fact you are fighting to keep your face from planting into the bowl of pasta in front of you. Collapsing like a victim the moment you arrive back home.
Finally ...peaceful, dreamless sleep.
And then 11pm rolls around and ping your eyes open and there's no going back to sleep.
It’s the second night back in Vancouver. 3 a.m.. Wide awake.
Might have to try counting sheep.
I'm flying back to Vancouver on Thursday.
There’s something imminently sad when a film finishes shooting. Shooting a film is kinda like going to war. It’s hard and grueling work- and not at all glamourous- you wake at 4am and sleep after 15hours of battling- but everyone is there with you all battling in the same army; the camera crew, the lighting crew, the production crew, the actors, the wardrobe crew etc…. for two solid months, day after day, you eat with these people, you stand around and joke with them, you suffer as they do when it’s cold and other weather related ailments- and when you wrap at the end of every day you pat each other on the back for a job well done.
Of course there are the melodramas – people bicker, there are complaints, gossip flies around, the lead actor grows a gargantuan sized head and starts sleeping with one of the supporting actresses and it further inflates his already unbearable ego, the director throws a tantrum and everyone tiptoes for the day….etc etc…
But for the most part it’s good. Very good. These people become your family for those two months. You learn what aggravates them and what makes them laugh- you form bonds with them. They become your sister soldiers and brother soldiers.
And when it’s all over – everyone moves on to other projects- and you may see them again but it’ll never be quite the same because circumstances have changed, and for all the dramas that transpired- all you remember is the good times you had and then you feel sadness that you’ll never be able to revisit those times again except in your memories.
But for the most part I am amped to get back home.
This picture is exactly how I feel. So many times over.
798- the artists community- Beijing.
The Forbidden City. Was actually a bit of a downer for me as the whole thing is covered by scaffolding for repair work. The Olympics are right around the corner and there seems to be constructing and repair every 2nd street that I walk down. Bummer. I didn’t go and see the preserved embalmed body of Mao. I think there’s something very very icky about that. That’s just me though.
Across from Forbidden City is Tiananmen Square. There’s 8 lanes of traffic on the road separating them. Possibly the widest stretch of road I’ve ever seen. Wouldn’t it be perfect for Formula 1?
I can see the ad for it already. Picture this.
That whole long stretch of road completely empty. All 8 lanes empty. No pedestrians, no bicycles, no one. Deserted. You hear the Ferrari before you see it. It’s a faint drone, persistently louder and louder. Until it roars into view. One single red Ferrari. It screams towards us in a huge gust of wind and fire and then blazes past the portrait of Mao at the front of the Forbidden City. Then disappears into the distance. Spectacular. Mao’s hair in the portrait rustles a little from the faint blast.
Formula 1 in Beijing. What do you think?
More on the great wall. The size of it, the magnitude, the history that hides within every brick, the deep sense of pride that I felt within to be connected in some remote way to the civilization that brought about this magnificent structure. Every step I took whispered stories to me. I found it heartbreaking and reverential.
Then I realized that there was no bathroom.
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