When in Doubt, Simplify.

Ola June. While the city was sunning and swigging back Stella’s, I was sitting in a host workshop on this summery Sunday. The minute the last basketball buzzer sounds on the season, my everyday escapades slightly shift a smidge.

As a matter of fact, I’m a very private person. If you know me through my workaholic world then that may sound like a fib but it’s a true tale. When the NBA season comes to a close on my end I crave just that; a little bit of shhh. A little salt and pepper shake-up of disappearance and non-existence. I spent the first two weekends of the summer in the same hoodie, sipping on suds and collecting moments. Moments are pretty rad. I was challenged once by a friend to recognize the little things in my days and I realized that it really drops you into a state of simplicity. It cleans up the mumble jumble of city chaos that has built up inside of you. And simple is one of my favourite words as you may have hinted from previous posts. These pictures captured that simple something. -k          

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The Seasonal Shift in Scenery and How I Feel About It

The truth? I don’t have to write a Raptors script or blog anymore on a Monday night so I’m filling the time slot with some personal prose. Hi. It’s good to be back.

When the final buzzer echoed at the arena Sunday afternoon, the final buzzer of the season, I realized how invested I am in this team and all that comes with it. And that there were people around me that felt the same way. And that’s really cool. As game watchers trickled out of the arena sharing ‘have a good summer’ wishes and so long for nows, I wasn’t the only one who just silently stood there facing the court for a few moments too long. That buzzer wrapped up an incredible season for the Raptors that made the city and all involved glow. The city was full of remarkable pride and it was praised miles and cities and countries away by people who forgot that Canada had an NBA team. It was a victorious moment even though the game victory wasn’t the Raptors. And the arena stood up and applauded the magic that was. That buzzer also wrapped up my eighth year with the organization and in that moment I felt incredibly blessed. I dabble in a field where work isn’t necessarily stable and where us artists are known for our gypsy ways and I sometimes question whether it’s time to move camp. Then I realize that I’ve moved camp within and that I need to be more reflective of the journey. More confident in my growth. More impressed with myself and not just the escalations of those around me. I began as a dancer or cheerleader and even though that has changed, I’m still a cheerleader when it comes to pushing others to hit their highs. You need to cheer for yourself too sometimes. The only way you were able to advance is because you worked your freakin’ ass off. Dancer, choreographer, host, reporter, social personality and writer. And in this moment, I’ve erased and re-wrote the previous line four times because I hesitate expressing the moment where you yourself shines. I’m working on it. Someone who called me out on exactly that said to me, “You may be the only bible somebody else reads.” It’s a Mark Twain quote. And then they told me to tell my story because someone is listening and it’s exactly what they need to hear. I’ve been blessed to be able to share my passion for the game through more than one outlet that I’m passionate about. I’ve been blessed to be able to share my passion for the game with other people who share the same passion for the game. I’m blessed to have built sincere relationships with people that were once just a connection on a screen; a tweet or a timeline post. 

My sister sent me a beautiful message while I was sitting on set, anticipating ‘go time’ yesterday. She said, ‘Today through all of the stress, the pressure and the frustration, just take a moment, close your eyes and feel. Feel the energy around you and soak it in. Feel the love and support coming your way. Trust that you were meant for today. Have faith, enjoy and breathe.’ When someone sends me wonderful words I like to pass them along. Add it to your day just to see how it feels.

The end of the season is always bittersweet. I miss the passion, the play and the people. I am thankful for the people that have crossed my path and the opportunities that have both scared the shit out of me and changed my life. I also crave a few hours of extra sleep, sitting down with the family and my friends with a big glass of red and no cares and honestly, just a little more time for me. To cook and run and read and clean my unorganized room that has been seasoned by the NBA season. I also look forward to sharing the next few months of thoughts and tangos and thrills on this page. 

Hi. It’s nice to see you again. -kImage

Alter Ego Explanations.

For those few moments when the lights go up and the music is humming I get to play pretend. It’s my wild high. The game doesn’t really go away from those six year old days where you were both the talent and director and the scene wrapped and Mom had milk and cookies waiting in the kitchen for you. Now it’s a vodka water cheers to a great show waiting at the bar. Now I get handed my costumes and choreography and I call on my alter ego to hang out with for the evening. I’ve always said that as an actor you have to be a little crazy to do what you do. To expose your insides to your peers and strangers. And want to show everybody your flaws. As much as you take on a so called ‘alter ego’ or character or ‘method act’ your way from script to stage or screen, there is always going to be a part of you up there. It could be your mannerisms. It could be your side smile or the way your hand grabs at your necklace when you’re nervous. But most likely there is a word or sentence or scene that triggers a memory. You’ve been here before. You’ve felt what this character is feeling in this moment. It kind of overwhelms you. And your competitive actor self wants to tackle those goosebumps once again. Because it’s that wild high. Because it’s a secret. Because it’s a safe place because no one knows the truth… … …

I’m lucky to call on my alter ego every week for Porcelain. I get to dance my guts out. Here are some quick scenes from our recent show. -k

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Kat’s Closet: Blue & White Night.

It’s playoffs in the city! Feels pretty fab. I’m blogging on my balcony and just minute ago a five piece band marched past my building playing the hockey song. Just because. It’s been chaos in Maple Leaf Square where the game has been played on the big screen and a sea of blue and white unite. I’m pretty amped to be hosting the tailgate parties this week when the Leafs come back to home ice. It’s going to be a madhouse. I’m pulling out all of my blue and white, just like this ensemble I wore for game number one. Because it’s the cup. -k

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Sweatshirt – Real Sports Apparel
Jeans – Madewell
Plaid Shirt – Aritzia
Shoes – Converse

Kat’s Closet: I Said A Hip.

My red and black garb has been hanging in my closet for two weeks now. I’m going through a bit of post season withdrawl. My jerseys have found their summer spot again on my bedpost and my fave game day red heels are asleep under my bed. It’s ‘me time’ time for a short bit because I think it’s healthy and Kat’s closet on my blog has been suffering because the truth is, I’ve been living in sweatpants and gym clothes and ponytails and a fresh face. The two loads of laundry I did tonight proved that. But this little gem made me pretty happy. It’s just a sweatshirt. But it’s pretty damn cool. My passion for fashion has been biting at me bad and in that moment a fun little project came up. I’m gagging with passion over combining exactly the above: fashion + sports. Rock it to the bang, bang boogie. -k
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Sweatshirt-Topshop

Kat’s Closet: Goodbye Winter.

I ate dinner on my balcony tonight. I went for a walk with a dear friend and had the windows open as I cleaned my apartment that held hot mess impressions of the last couple of weeks. Tutus and tatted up scripts and unpacked bags were the blankets of madness on the floor. And the sunshine and warm air made everything better.
I put my fur vest away for the winter.
This was the last time I wore it. At the opening of House of Hoops in Toronto. Repping my Raptors on my hat of course. Obviously. -k

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Vest- Zara
Shirt- Joe Fresh
High Waist Jeans- American Apparel
Shoes- Nine West
Hat- Real Sports Apparel
Clutch – Vintage

Lost in Espanola.

When I pick up a pen to mark up a journal with teetering thoughts and dimly lit dreams, I always begin the same way…
Date.
Time.
Location.
How I feel.
And I get an itty bitty buzz when I can ink a new place of purging into my journals skin.
I’m in Espanola. Population 5000.
As I sit in my pinewood lined hotel room, I try to place the dejavu feeling into the correct feature film. Charlize Theron? Eva Mendes? I’m the leading lady wrapped in plaid with a wild mind fueling nerves into her delicate veins. And it’s so damn awesome but that awesome that you can’t explain unless you get me because you’ve felt the same thing, ya know? I briefly peaked out of the ground floor window into a deserted parking lot of puddles. The Right To Play truck comforted my itch with it’s hood of the car slogan; “Look after yourself. Look after one another.” And scene.
Why am I here? Because on a monday morning I opened my email with my famous ‘one eye open’ glare and I was asked if I’d be available for a voiceover. Okay. It was something new which always blinks the word challenge as I debate the task at hand staring at me across the room. Oh, I see you. I hadn’t read the script before I laid my blonde roast and mug of water on the table in front of the mic; my hair in a ponytail, hoodie, kicks, only pinked up lips hiding the Mondays. Monday morning, ya know? But the minute I watched the footage I was attached. I was vulnerable. It was simple. So was my next thought: I had to go.
I’m happy to be up north. The minute the highway shoulder turned from gravel to sand I promised myself that I would spend more time this summer where the blacktop ends. The hours flew on the road trip up as I counted the number of inuksuk made by hands who hold stories that I’ll never get to hear. There were deer. Five. And trees wrapped in dried up flowers covering what you assume to be unfortunate scenes. Those happened here near Espanola too. And that is why I wanted to be part of the unbelievable team from the MLSE Foundation and Right To Play Canada that are giving their every beat of energy to keeping those flowers alive. To keeping life growing, ya know?
I’m excited to meet the people that I watched in those videos. The people whose names I spoke without shaking their hands first. I’m excited to meet the vulnerable children. I’m excited to do intense arts and crafts and watch people forget about the unfortunate for a moment or remarkable mile. The people that surrounded me on the bus and in the meeting and at dinner are incredible. I’m lucky to be amidst their energy.
It’s go time.
-k

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Lost in Espanola
(Polish subtitles available)