Tag Archives: inspiration

for the benefit of mr. ray

Hello, friend…

I found as I woke up this morning not 100% certain of what happened the night before. It’s not that the previous night was a booze filled Saturday night, but rather… well. I’ll try to explain. As I’ve alluded to at times, I’m making a documentary (my first!) and about a year ago now we started filming (we being my amazing core team of Rob, Kristine, Jaime & Nic – and other awesome souls along the way). I’ve traveled with them over the year, as we follow this unbelievable man named John Feal (a 9/11 Responder and the president of the FealGood Foundation). In the course of getting to know John, we’ve gotten to know some phenomenal men & women, First Responders and their families. It has brought so much love into my life, this horrible horrible event has brought proverbial flowers growing through cracks in cement… I’ve gotten to know people who need more help now than you could possibly imagine because of what they did that day in September.

And on Saturday I found myself at a pub in a part of Long Island I’d never been to before, amongst more people than you could count, celebrating the sunshine that is a beloved 9/11 First Responder named Ray Pfeifer. For the first time, I was there without my core crew but with a new friend, my camera guy Jimmy… and we just soaked in all this love. Ray has Cancer, he’s been kicking its ass since 2009 when he (& a lot of 9/11 Responders, actually) learned of their diagnosis and it’s relation to Sept. 11th. But as I say, this is my first documentary and I came into it so very accidentally (watching the Daily Show & sending a Tweet). I began following John because I was astounded to learn of what he’s been doing and continues to do for his fellow Responders. And little by little, trust was granted and given, and they have welcomed us into their community.

As photos flashed all through the venue, it struck me that we have been woven into the fabric with our little documentary that could. I saw pictures of myself, our director Rob, Jaime… I saw us flashing amongst these photos of years previous as the guys lobbied in Washington… and amongst all of their history was us.

Short of what I was wearing on 9/11, I remember almost everything about that day. I remember how scared I was as I watched the TV with co-workers at the CBC in Toronto. There is no way on Earth I could have foreseen myself crossing paths with people like John and Ray. But it’s an example of the good that has come out of the horrors they experienced, and I witnessed. There has been so much bad, but there has been so much good too. But it’s come at a cost, and I’m aware of that.

With our little film, I’m trying to throw as much good as I can into the world. The world needs it, stories of good hope and people doing the right thing simply because the right thing needs to be done. For as hard of a time as I’m having with finding love, for the mess I’m making of that (though yes, I know it makes for “good material for my stand-up”)… the event yesterday reminded me that I’m helping to tell stories that need to be told. And that is a good thing.

I wish so much I could make Ray’s Cancer go away.  I wish I could bring back my dear James & my friend Ana-Alecia who lost their fights to Cancer, but I cannot. But I can help by telling stories.

I don’t know what I’m really trying to say here tonight. What point it was to post this, except that … well… we all have stories to tell. YOU have a story to tell. So you should go tell it. Because by speaking up, it could help someone. Jon Stewart spoke up on The Daily Show, and it moved me to speak up on social media and offer help to strangers. Who are now my friends.

xo.

sugar & spice

Hello, friend…

I am hours into my 39th year. I am amazed that my 30s have gone by as quickly as they have. 10 years ago, I fretted about turning 30 and worried that I wasn’t where I should be in life and I should be more of an adult (even though at the time I was a homeowner) etc etc etc.

Last night I did an open mic at a long-established open mic in the city, sitting with my joke book and slice of pie (I didn’t bring pie with me- it was being offered to the comics) and catching up with an old friend who couldn’t quite figure out what happened to me. “When I saw you last you were quiet, and working at CBC TV…” he recalled, “and now you’re here telling jokes?!” My friend was happy to see me, don’t get me wrong, but he was also kind of confused. And I get it, the Kelly he knew before would NEVER have done stand-up. She NEVER would have had tattoos.

So here I am, 10 years later, seeing 40 on the horizon. I’m more certain of myself than ever before. I 100% never could have told jokes to strangers when I was 29. As much as I’ve always wanted tattoos, I was prevented from getting them sooner because it didn’t fit the image people had of me.

It’s taken time to find my footing. I’m still off-balance, but I have perfected my fall! I get up quickly. I dust myself off.

While yes, I’m more aware of time than ever before… and yes, I have days where I feel like I knew more then than I do now… I’m also aware now more than ever that things will happen when they are meant to.  My life is filled with things I NEVER DREAMED COULD  ACTUALLY HAPPEN. It’s kind of nuts.

So… my unsolicited advice? Live each day to the absolute fullest because there are SO many places to go. Trust that you’ll be okay. You’ll make mistakes because you’re supposed to make mistakes.

 

xo.

‪+1 (416) 839-8810‬ 20150131_172313 (That’s me waiting to take your call, 1979/1980)

 

 

 

can i get you a beer..?

Hello, friend…

What a day it’s been… I have learned that there is a… wait for it… GIRL GUIDE COOKIE BEER!!!

http://www.eater.com/2017/3/22/15012608/girl-scout-cookie-flavored-beer-is-an-actual-thing

But in all seriousness, today my latest essay for Hello Giggles was published and the feedback I’ve been getting on it fills my heart with SUCH joy. I took a risk with this essay, or at least I think I did, in admitting that I don’t want children. I’m days away from my 39th birthday. I’ve been fielding the “do you think about having children?” questions for YEARS now and I think the only thing I’ve perfected is how I deflect the question. But owning the fact that I am okay with not having the title of Mom, owning that I am HAPPY in my life and BLESSED that I get to do what I do… that is something to celebrate. I’m happy.  That is a good thing!

Hearing today from women who have offered thanks for putting into words what they could not, for giving them permission to feel as they do for not wanting to become a parent… all of this just shows how important it is to tell YOUR story. I shared mine and gave comfort and confidence to women I’ve never met. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

So here is the article… grab a cookie beer and settle in. I offer a cheers to YOU, friend.

http://hellogiggles.com/why-i-dont-need-motherhood-to-be-a-fulfilled-woman/

 

xo.

… a little bit of magic

Hello, friend…

I’m just home from a really great night. I did some stand-up at a venue I’d never been at before and the place was packed and friends were there… and there was some super fun karaoke times afterwards. The simple fact that I get to go and tell jokes is something I beam over. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE stand-up. I feel my nerves go up to a level I cannot describe as I’m being introduced and then I get to the mic, and I feel like I’m home.

I feel at home on stage, just me with a mic, telling jokes.

I don’t think I could have predicted EVER saying that 20 years ago, when I was at the bar next door to the venue I was at tonight.

20 years ago, I headed over to Toronto’s famed McVeigh’s for the first time with my dear James for a pint. I’d never had Guinness before, but James didn’t need to know that. But that night was magic… we talked about EVERYTHING, we confessed having feelings for each other. We kissed for the first time in a corner of the basement. That night I fell in love with James, and Guinness and Van Morrison.

As you know, if you follow my stories, James has been gone for just about a year now. Tonight, as I left the club, after a girl power inspired of No Scrubs with my friends- I was smiling as I do and looked at McVeigh’s and saw James and I that night 21 years ago saying our good-nights. Or trying to. 😉 I kept walking and then completely caught my breath… because…

When James was getting really, really sick we talked. And I decided with my love being so sick, he couldn’t do all he wanted to do so… since I had been thinking about doing stand-up for a good year at that point, I decided to jump and I asked friends if I could do a set at their show. They said Yes.

Something I now love to do SO MUCH came from my pain of knowing he wasn’t well. So James… thank you for pushing me. You always knew I could do things I never thought I could do. Thank you so fucking much.

I’m home and it’s 2am and I’m eating McDonald’s and my throat hurts from laughing and singing off-key and I’m so happy.

xo.

tell your story.

Hello, friend…

I absolutely could not have imagined on Monday how this week would turn out. Maybe you’ve had a week like that recently, where by the time Sunday rolls around you’re not certain how x, y & z happened… but they did. And I mean this in the best way possible! I know utterly terrible things can pop out of nowhere, but in this case it’s all good. 🙂

If I’ve learned anything this week, it’s the power and the importance of telling your story. There is absolutely nothing better than speaking your truth, there is absolutely nothing more important. Because the thing is, you never know how your story can be a spark for someone else. And there have been some gorgeous sparks this week as the result of an article I wrote for Hello Giggles (well, hello…). From that article, I got a call from CBC Radio and a program of theirs called Fresh Air… they wanted to talk to me on air!!!! So many firsts have happened in these early days of 2017… I sold my first article, and I did my first Radio Interview.

Beautiful things can happen when we talk, when we share, when we listen. We don’t do enough of that. (This may make me sound old, but, it’s true… social media is quite the opposite of anything social. So after you finish here, please go make plans with a friend to have a coffee. Or walk in the park… unless it’s minus 20 outside. Then just stay inside with your coffees.)

A few folks have told me my career shift is inspiring to them, gave a dash of hope to a risk they thought of taking. That means more to me than I can tell you. I took a very risky turn stepping out of a role I had established myself in, but by taking that time away, I got to know myself again. I needed to get away from that life… I HAD to. I would love to run into my time machine, and go back 10 years to run to my 28 year old self with arms wide open and scream out “THINGS ARE GOING TO BE FIIIIIIINE! YOU’RE GOING TO BE MAKING A F**KING DOCUMENTARY IN 10 YEARS!!” as I hug her tightly.

Anyhoo…. Here is the link to my amazing adventure from this week, my very first radio interview:

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(with Eli Glasner at CBC Radio)

 

xo.

well, hello…

Hello, friend…

I have the best news to share, Hello Giggles has very kindly published an essay of mine and if you don’t mind… I’d like to share it with YOU! I’m absolutely tickled they chose to add this to their awesome website.

http://hellogiggles.com/left-entertainment-industry-became-a-waitress/

A pretty sweet way to start 2017, I’d say. 🙂

xo.

 

in defence (or defense) of 2016

Hello, friend…

As the year comes to a close, 2016 hasn’t made many friends. I know it’s been a very very bad year for many reasons.

This time last year, I was trying to figure out a lot of stuff… wondering where puzzle pieces could go together… each year we feel that way, though don’t we? We see the new year with copious amounts of hope and optimism. We don’t always act on things we promise or challenge ourselves to, no… sometimes by the first week of January it’s pretty much dead in the water! But this year was different for me.

As 2016 took artists I loved dearly (Bowie, Cohen, etc etc) & took my first love (James, to Cancer in April), as 2016 caused a tremendous amount of pain… there was something to this year that pushed me towards what I wanted more than before. Things aligned in a way, possibly to counter the heartbreak & distract me. This was the year that I got up on that open mic stage and did stand-up, that I stopped wanting to get a tattoo and GOT tattooed.  2016 was a year of stop talking about doing the thing and DO THE THING.

I couldn’t have done a bigger thing than start the ball rolling on my 1st documentary, that was a big thing. That came from a tweet, which lead to an introduction, which set off a light-bulb. No Responders Left Behind is set to be completed in the spring of 2017 along with my friends Rob & Kristine providing me with a big, necessary producer safety blanket. This documentary has changed my life… 100%, full stop. I’ve made friends with men & women who ran into hell and did the unthinkable on 9/11… and that our paths crossed means the world to me. We have a big torch to carry, and I have to do them proud in 2017.

I thought I found paths to new romances this year, but they were dead-ends. But this year had bigger things to focus on, bigger fish to fry… like being able to look at myself in the mirror and say with complete confidence that I like me. A lot. Is that because I’m almost 40? Probably. (I’d hate to be almost 40 and not feel that way.) BUT my heart did find love in a way that I couldn’t have predicted, well, I knew I’d feel a lot but… seeing my nephew Cohen for the first time?! DAMN. I didn’t think you could feel that much love for ANYTHING. So here is to Cohen for bringing sheer BLISS to our family, and in return little dude, we will do our best to make sure the planet is safe for when you’re my age… 🙂

So. 2017 is almost here… it will be my last full year in my 30s & I am both sad and amused by this (where the fuck did my 30s go?!?!)… it will be a year that I keep doing the thing. Because I know I am capable. 2017 will be a year where I’ll never again let fear stop me from doing the things I love. James believed in me when we met, and now that he’s gone, he’s still sending me love. And I share that with you, friend.

I’m on a roll, baby!

Let’s dance.

xo.