I'm back in Halifax for the comedy festival that happens here. In it's twenty first year. When it was in it's ninth year, I was in high school. Hadn't started doing stand up yet but I KNEW that it was what I was supposed to do. KNEW it. I drove around the city at the time, wanting to go to all the shows, and thinking that ONE day I would be performing in the festival. This year is my fourth time being asked to perform here.
I say that to say, every time I come back to Halifax I have many memories from this place. The hotel the Halifax Fest puts us up in for example. When I was 15 or 16, there was a acting convention or some such here. Basically a bunch of casting directors and agents came, charged young hopefuls money to take a look at them and tell them if they have a shot at a career or not. I wanted SO BAD to be looked at as someone who could have a career in entertainment, that I forced my mom to take me to it. After waiting for awhile, they read a list of names of people who they wanted to see more of. I was one of those names, and I literally yelled 'Yes!' I was so excited. I sat at a table with my mom talking to an agent. She said that they would need six hundred dollars to start working with me. My mom said she'd have to think about it, and we left. I was very upset. I REALLY thought this could be the start of everything. My mom refused to give me the money. So I actually dropped out of High School, got a part time job so that I could earn the money myself. By the time I had the six hundred, I decided to go back to school, and thought that this whole 'agent convention' thing was probably a big scam.
This hotel is also next to the train station. The train station that as a kid I went through a lot. I would take the train from here to my grand parents house away. I remember a few times I would be taking the train home, and nobody came to pick me up. I would have to get a cab home. And honestly at the time we didn't have a car, so really nobody could have easily came to get me, but still. As a kid, getting off a train alone, seeing other people being picked up by family, hugging each other and being happy, it made me really sad. I dreaded that part. I thought that people were looking at me like 'No family huh? Jesus.' Nobody cared or thought that, but I felt sad every time.
I walked out of jobs here, which are some of my favourite memories. Walking out of a job is the best thing in the world. Also left a few jobs to do back ground work in movies. I left two jobs, (one that took me back), to be an extra in a movie. Being an extra in a movie is not a huge thing, but MAN, ANYTHING that I could do to be entertainment was what I was going to do. 'You want me to walk behind actors with speaking roles for 16 hours today for a hundred bucks? I'll quit a job for that. You want me to get in and out of a car in the background of a movie that I think only went to TV and I didn't even see? I'll skip three days of school for that and THEN get suspended for two more for skipping those days.'
I remember being elbowed in the face as a kid by another kid accidentally, being sent back to class by the people in the principals office, only to be picked up by my mom who flipped out, asked where my front tooth was, SAW that it was still in my mouth but pushed back, and rushed me to the dentist, and for the next three years was in and out of the dentist office because of this. Due to the principals negligence and the idea to NOT call my mom and let her know that I was elbowed, the tooth died years later and now I have a fake one.
I remember playing video games with my brother for days on end. Just hours of playing Diddy Kong racing, Mario Kart, WWF No Mercy, Metal Gear Solid, and a whole bunch of others.
I remember being expelled from High School for being kicked out of a bunch of classes. I was in a play at the time that I asked if I could still do. It's was nine days away and I was told no. I was really hurt by that. Was also going to run for school president the next year, had backing from one of my teachers, who was like 'what they hell is your problem? I stood up for you, and you get expelled? Come on.'
Lot of good times here, lots of bad ones as well. Can't help but be reminded of them when I'm home, and for both sets of memories I'm happy.