I wove my way through the crowd jammed on the patio of the Bloor Street cocktail party, looking for my next networking opportunity. Not seeing anyone I knew or thought I should know, I spotted a table and made a beeline for the empty chair, feet by this time crying out for relief. I asked the young woman with outrageously long, feathery fake eyelashes if I could join her and gratefully dropped into the seat.
She looked up from her cell phone and showed me the photo on the screen. This is my daughter, she said. Isn't she beautiful? She was indeed a beautiful child, something she had clearly inherited from her mother. Her six-year old daughter, she explained, was spending the year with her Dad in Spain. She had just finished having her for a year in her home province of Nunavut and was already missing her terribly. While it was hard not having her child around all the time, she couldn't bear the idea of not offering her daughter the opportunity to live on the beach and learn Spanish, not to mention spending time with her Dad. Who, she added, is a wonderful father. She asked if I had kids and I told her about my little blonde-haired dictator. She asked her name and giggled when I told her we were going through that exasperating NO stage. She swore her own daughter was never like that, she must have gotten lucky. I reminded her that ALL parents get amnesia about the crappy parts of parenting, otherwise the world would be made up of single-child families. Her laugh rang out in silvery peals.
What happened to your arm? she asked. I burned my forearm on the oven door while making dinner the previous night and had not mentioned it to anyone, nor had anyone else noticed the quarter-sized red welt.
She confessed that she was really lousy at these kind of party/self-promotional activities. But since she had acted and sung in a short film that was playing at the festival she was dragged to this particular industry cocktail by the filmmakers. Movies weren't really her thing, she was into the music scene actually. Turns out he name is Tania and she is a throat singer. A throat singer of some renown apparently because she spends most of her time touring North America and Europe. Hence the Spanish father, I concluded.
I never imagined I would meet a twenty-something throat singer from Nunavut, not to mention one that could give any fashionista from New York a run for her money. She had those ultra-stylish peep-toe booties and an equally chic outfit and bag to match. Cool. I got up to speak to someone who had approached our table and only saw her from a distance after that surrounded by equally beautiful and haute couture beauties.
After that it was more chit chat and introductions and two-cheek kisses (this was a Québec-hosted party after all) and the drama of seeing the wait staff eject a semi-violent interloper who had tried to join the crowd via the patio gate. I knew all kinds of people there which made it fun, but it's Tania the throat singer that made the biggest impression. Only at TIFF, man.
After a very very very late dinner we put our game faces back on and headed downtown to the night's hotspot: the Pravda Vodka Bar. It was the post-premiere party of the Trotsky and man were we happy to have official invitations. We waved our tickets and bypassed the bouncers and hangers-on at the door and stepped into one of the coolest parties this girl has ever been to. The film is about a high school student who believes he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky so the theme was... vodka. The venue was this super cool bar, not too big, not too small, all baroque decor and socialist artwork, lots of red and gilt and did I mention the vodka? Armed with martinis we went upstairs and caught a whiff of the smoked meat buffet that had been flown in from Schwartz's, the venerable Montreal institution. Since it was about 12:30 by this time, we stayed away from the food and turned our eye to people watching. We caught the film's producer, I spoke to the director, my friends Pierre and Ariel were there (Pierre worked on the film) and a bunch of bonus people from Montreal. The music was great but LOUD so conversations were limited to yelling and gestures. Fun fun fun. We left at 2 - the first time in two years that I have been awake at that hour and not tending to my aforementioned blonde offspring :)
So that is TIFF so far. No films just yet but casting this afternoon for our film. You can read about our on the Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom movie blog .
No Clooney sightings so far, only a picture of him, Ewan MacGregor and Jeff Bridges from a press conference taken by a journalist friend of Tara's. He apparently is extra-handsome in person and cracks a lot of jokes.
Tonight is a Telefilm cocktail and dinner. Our evening is open so far, so who knows? I'll try and recount any adventures in a post tomorrow.
Sorry, no pictures. Forgot the camera.
Sorry, no Liliane either. Stéphane assures me all is well at home. He took her to get her bangs cut today and they're hanging out at the park. An unsettling amount of people have commented on the fact that Stéphane is ALONE with the BABY. ALL WEEKEND. Hello, I feel guilty enough already, thanks! Do I need to remind you people that he is half responsible for the little dynamo we created and can handle single-fatherhood just fine for a few days, thank you very much? Merci mon amour :)
Got to get to casting session. Signing off from Toronto...