Monday, April 14, 2008

The BEST party in town

Just got back from the WGC--that's Writers Guild of Canada--awards and party. For those of you who weren't there, envy me, because it is a great deal of fun with free fabulous food and drink, courtesy of the irrepressible Jeff Dinan and the fantastic Pascal, chef extraordinare of Celestine. It's free because the Guild pays for the party out of dues and then tries to get various broadcasters and other rich TV and film folk to sponsor the awards so they're actually not out of pocket too much. You get in free if you are part of the Guild's National Council like I was or a nominee, like I have been. Otherwise, you pay for a ticket--cheap if you're a WGC member, less cheap if you're not.

I met the lovely Nazneen Contractor, one of the stars of CBC's The Border, a show I've been on, accompanied by Carlo Rota, star of CBC's Little Mosque. Carlo and I met a few years ago when we were both flown out to Vancouver to act in a big Hollywood movie called Mission to Mars. We had a lovely sushi dinner together after Carlo found out that after one day of shooting, he could go home--I got to go home after 4 days--and we'd both been bought out for TWO WEEKS!

I've acted on both of their shows now. When I mentioned it to Nazneen that I'd been on The Border, she didn't remember until I recounted the first time my episode was on, after my big scene, it cuts to commercial--and it happened to be the commercial I'm in! (What was truly surreal is that I play a home grown homicide cop in The Border - sans accent - and a avuncular East Indian businessman mocking Canadians with their lousy qualifications and funny accents in the commercial. It makes for an interesting viewing experience back to back.) The charming Nazneen shrieked when she realized that even though she couldn't remember me from The Border - ouch - she totally LOVES my commercial. Win some, lose some?

It was great to see friends, colleagues and smart people win writing awards and having been on the National Council of the WGC for umpteen years, I have more than a nodding acquaintance with what goes into putting this show on. Came off without a hitch--though for some reason this year they didn't read out the names of the nominees announcing the winner, which I found kind of stingy. After all, it's meant to be a celebration and the nominees deserve their moment too. (Fix that for next year, okay? Otherwise, don't change a thing.)

If nothing else, I think those aspiring screenwriters out there should want to become professional, working screenwriters and join the Guild just so they can come to the awards. It's a great time and it makes you feel like you're part of the coolest crowd in the country.

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