I'm just a guy who some people like to hang on their wall.
This is my podcast.
A place for curious people.
I met Pj Kwong over ten years ago and we've worked on many productions and writing projects together, so it was only a matter of time before we started a podcast. The Open Kwong Dore Podcast includes interviews with interesting people in unique places and so much more.
This is my storytelling event.
Started over two years ago with Brianne Benness and Stefan Hostetter, the Stories We Don't Tell is a monthly storytelling event that takes place in houses and apartments across Toronto. Each show features new and seasoned performers sharing personal stories in front of the most engaging audience you'll find in the Toronto storytelling scene. We also do a podcast that showcases stories from the event and discussions about storytelling.
These are my films.
Some of these are old, some are new, some never even got made and some haven't been made yet. But here they are. There are many others, but I refuse to show those older ones to anyone-out of compassion. I'm working very hard to get back in the filmmaking game, so look for some exciting news in the coming months. I've also included my demo reel. Over the course of many years, too many really, I've had the privilege of working as a director, editor, writer and producer.
This is my blog.
Dispatch 8.5 (February 20th, 2017): I've been trying to eat better and get more exercise. Don't worry, I'm not going to be that guy, the one who just because he is leaning towards maybe potentially becoming vegetarian that he then has to tell you and everyone else he knows about it and discuss at great length. Who wants that in their life?
Exercising. I'm trying to do more of it. Sure, I'm going to the gym and whatever blah blah blah, but I'm not looking to get huge or anything like that. I'm more focused on agility, which will be much more useful in our current political climate. The route I'm taking is to just get out of the house. So, I'm doing a lot of skating and hitting the gym but mostly 'urban hikes'. A fancy term for a long walk around town. Sometimes I'm in a Queen Street on a Friday night kind of mood. Sometimes it's a High Park kind of day.
Last week, I took a trip all the way to the east end, which is a place where people live despite what my west side ass believes. Parked along Carleton Street and walked down the giant hill beside Riverdale Farm that led to a path along the Don Valley. It was a lot of damn stairs for a guy that has been sitting around on his buttocks for the past year. I COULDN'T wait until I had to climb back up.
I didn't get very far down the path before I reached a 'do not enter' sign and a fence blocking the way. The sign also said that there was a police presence along the path and you will be charged for trespassing. Well, I do my best to be a law-abiding citizen, but what's the worst that could happen?
Of course, there was a small slit that other trespassers had made in the fence. So, I crawled through and went on my way down the path. There seemed to be nothing wrong with the area and I didn't see anything under construction. I came across a bridge that was half built, the water stopping at a makeshift small dam. I guess this was the construction zone. I climbed over top of some giant hills of dirt and on my way back down the other side, I slipped on a sliver of snow and tumbled the rest of the way down.
My ankle hurt a little bit, but the rest of me seemed okay and intact. A shadow blocked out the sun and I looked up to find a wiry man offering me his hand. I took it and he helped me to my feet. He said nothing, only cocked his head towards the path, turned around and walked away. I assumed he wanted me to follow him, so that's what I did.
We walked north along the Don Valley. Every once in a while, he stopped, turned around and looked to make sure I was still following him. We walked until the sun set. The cold was setting in. It was January, after all.
At a certain point along the path, he took a right hand turn into the woods. He stopped at the border between the trees and the path and once again cocked his head to follow. So I did. This was not a good idea. Even though everything worked out, don't do this.
We walked through the bare trees and bushes and came along to a clearing that had a tent leaning beside a fallen tree trunk. A blackened fire pit surrounded by large misshapen rocks was carved into the ground with a dirty lounge chair sitting next to it. The man went over to the other side of the fallen tree - his storage unit? - and pulled out a second lounge chair. He unfolded it and sat it across from the vacant chair. He pointed and I sat down.
The man went back into his storage unit and started pulling out pieces of wood. He placed them in the fire pit in a decorative pose and quickly got a fire going. He placed a bent up grate across the fire. Two cans of baked beans emerged from his stash and he put them on the grate.
Then we just sat there watching the fire. We didn't look at each other or talk or anything.
After I don't know how long, he cracked open the cans, handed me one with a spoon and we ate. We didn't take our eyes of the fire the entire time. When we finished, he took my can and put it into a garbage bag he had beside the storage unit.
We watched the fire some more. We sat there for along time. At one point, I started shivering, not so much from the cold, but from being so silent and quiet for such a long time. He disappeared into his storage unit once again and emerged holding a blanket, which he tossed over my shoulders.
The sun came up and he stood. He walked back the way we came, stopped when at the perimeter of the campsite, looked at me and cocked his head again. I followed him back down the path. Once again we walked for a very long time. We reached the makeshift dam and he helped me cross it more gracefully. As I headed back to where I started, I looked back at the wiry man. He stood, watching me. We watched each other for a long time until finally he raised his hand, waving goodbye.