People: Sarah Allen

February 27, 2014

 

This week’s person to know is actress Sarah Allen – from Global’s new medical drama ‘Remedy.’

Photography by Tyler Rumi

 

About you…

 

How did you get started in acting?

Amazing teachers who let me hide in the drama room during gym period.

 

Your major career influence?

I had a crush on Patrick Stewart when I was a teenager. I found out that he was a classically trained actor, so I read Shakespeare and went to theatre school. Major career influence: puppy love

 

Best advice you’ve received?

You’re in charge of your life, don’t use other people as an excuse to not be.

 

Favourite actor?

Today its Mandy Patinkin

Watch this Q interview: youtube.com/watch?v=vLc-qxF-Gxc

 

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?

I would be a jeweler and gemologist like my Dad.

 

Something only your closest friends know about you…

I can’t tell you that. Okay fine. I snore. Its not cute.

 

What’s up next?

Probably a tonsillectomy to cure my snoring

 

Remedy…

 

What can fans expect to see in Remedy?

Guts and heart! And maybe even some actual guts and a real heart too.

What sets this show apart from other Canadian TV series?

The tone. It’s like nothing else. It’s a completely new thing.

 

What’s the one key element to having a successful TV series in Canada?

Enrico Colantoni

 

Apropos T.O…

 

A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?

Sunnyside Pool on a bicycle

 

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Pho Linh, Terroni, Oyster Boy

 

Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?

Roncesvalles: because its right next to Parkdale, High Park, a pedestrian bridge to the lake, you can hear the GoTrain and smell the chocolate from the Cadbury factory from time to time… and it’s where I live.

 

Least favourite thing about Toronto?

Winter in April

 

Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?

A. John Campbell- Waterfront Toronto Project

B. Matt Galloway- inspiring Torontonians to love Toronto

C. Adam Bunch- public art, like his Toronto Dreams postcard project, bring a little whimsy to our fair city

D. Jennifer Keesmaat- Chief Planner of Toronto. Believes in creating a walkable city

 

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People: Bianca Teixeira

January 31, 2014

 

This week’s person to know is Bianca Teixeira – a freelance writer who co-hosts Sportsnet 360’s Drafted aftershow and appears regularly on Proud FM.

Photography by Ryan Emberley

 

About you…

 

Your major career influence?
There are so many writers that I look up to and I love finding their work in a number of magazines and online outlets. They all influence me because I see them working on incredible things and it makes me want to work harder to try and get to their level.

You’re in the worlds of print, radio, and TV – which medium is your favourite?

It’s hard to pick a favourite. I love print because I’m able to get all my ideas out on paper and then edit them down as I see fit. Radio is so much fun because I get to gab about interesting topics and celebrity drama with one of my best friends. And TV is incredible because every episode of Drafted’s aftershow was live and I would be excited/nervous all day. Plus my makeup was done professionally every week. How’s a girl to choose?

If you weren’t working in writing game, what would you be doing?

I would have really loved to become a makeup artist who dabbles in nail art. I’m always blown away by their skills and would love to have their expertise.

What’s up next?
I have a weekly makeover column with View The Vibe that’s going to start in February, a couple of beauty pieces with The Kit (which run early spring), and I’ll be co-hosting the morning show on Proud FM for a week in February. And there’s talk of a sex column but that’s a secret… for now!

 

Apropos T.O…

 

A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people?
The CN Tower for the Edge Walk. I did it last summer and it’s bananas.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Insomnia (Bloor/Bathurst) has simple dishes that I absolutely love. They make a seafood pasta that tastes exactly like my dad’s… so I go all the time.  It’s become a ‘date night’ staple.

Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?
I live in the West Queen West neighbourhood and I’d hate to leave. Everything I need is in walking distance and I’m surrounded by delicious food and amazing stores.

Least favourite thing about Toronto?
Waiting for streetcars that never come when it’s -30 degrees!!

A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?
It’s a total cliché but since I interned at Fashion Television after university, I can’t help but love how much work Jeanne Beker has put into making Toronto (and Canada in general) a legitimate fashion resource. She put us on the map in the industry and even inspired some of today’s fashion icons like Beth Ditto, who used to watch Jeanne while growing up in Arkansas!

 

Special thanks to the Gladstone Hotel.

 

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This week’s person to know Margot Grant Witz, Founder of The Big Give and Vice President of Creative Global Direction for Elizabeth Grant.

Photography by Ryan Emberley


About you…

 

A typical day?

Every day is different but consists of the same backbone:  Work.  If it’s in the office, there’s a balance of pr projects, r&d development, meetings, etc, for my grandmothers skin care company.  And if work is out of the office, it involves being, more or less, a living informercial. Add drinks and dinners in with my fabulous friends and a gym class and next thing you know it’s time to wake up and do it all over again.

Your major career influence?

My grandmother and my mother. They both took chances and they both committed to working harder than they thought they could, yet were still able to be soft and nurturing.  I find a lot of women feel they have to be aggressive to be taken seriously in business.  I think having the title CEO/President is a balancing act –  being strong and intelligent while still being approachable and likeable.

Best advice you’ve received?

From my grandmother:  Never let the word “no” be what you have to accept… at least without asking “why not” or “how can we make it work?” And if one door closes go through a window!

If you weren’t working at Elizabeth Grant, what w0uld you be doing?

If I was playing it safe I would go with my degree and become a therapist or teacher.  But since I am not one for the safe route,  I would say event planner or personal shopper.

Something only your closest friends know about you…

I will genuinely take the shirt off my back for someone.  I don’t play games and have no agenda. Sometimes people feel it’s disingenuous, but I legitimately enjoy being kind and helpful where/when I can.


The Big Give

 

The Big Give will be the first event at the new Ripley’s Aquarium… what can guests expect?

I’d like to try and redefine the ‘charity event.’  It doesn’t have to be so stuffy or expensive.  We have some incredible  food creations by Barque Events, Oyster Boy, and Yamchops.  On the beverage side, we have some delicious creations by Three Olives, Steam Whistle, and Rosehall Run Vineyard. In terms of entertainment, we have three incredible DJs, a live art performance from Jessgo, and finally our Revlon Beauty Booth – the only place you can get Marchesa Nail Appliqués and the perfect red pout.  On top of it all, guests will have a chance to win some incredible prizes from our raffle table!

This year’s Big Give has already sold out!  Will you be looking to expand next year?

Every year we expand and grow. But the capacity only grows if we can maintain the level of awesomeness our guests have come to expect. If I can’t match or surpass the same level of experience – I haven’t done my job.  And, of course, if my head chef Alex Burgess says he wants more people – then we grow!


Apropos T.O…

 

A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people?

The AGO is always a good time.  Classy and ever changing.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Flo’s Diner for brunch and Guu for dinner.

Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?

The Beach.  It’s a great place to wander and enjoy a small town feeling in a big city.

Least favourite thing about Toronto?

I find Toronto is very business orientated and I feel we sometimes miss out on the ‘heartbeat of the city’ – something more easily found in other cities like NYC or Montreal.

A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?

I feel there are a lot of people who are redesigning our city (and giving it a heartbeat).  I love Kelsey Cole (Revlon), who wants to make beauty companies empowering for women again.  I love Halla Rafati (Four Seasons), who is such a beautiful person inside and out and makes the business of PR feel genuine, approachable, and obtainable. A,nd above everything, I love Esther Garnick (EGPR).  She’s a force and an incredible supporter of mine, no matter the project. I love these women because they work and live from a place of YES…  it’s infectious!  Change happens when you’re inspired.

 

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People: Jay Meyers

December 9, 2013

 

This week’s person to know is mixologist Jay Meyers, head bartender at Hudson Kitchen.

 

About You…

A typical day?

I get to Hudson Kitchen just after two in the afternoon, perhaps with Porcetta in tow, and spend a couple of hours cooking up syrups, juicing, infusing, or otherwise creating those things that set a bar apart from a bunch of ingredients behind the wood. I like to be ready for service by half passed five and by one in the morning it’s off to the bar or straight home, really depending on the service itself.

How did you get started in mixology?
Rob Montgomery hired me at the Miller Tavern thanks to my pathetic recipe for a Manhattan built using Jagermeister in a pinch and, I suspect, because he wanted to convert a flair bartender.

Best advice you’ve received?
“We [bartenders] are the product.” – Aja Sax

If you weren’t a mixologist, what would you be?
I’d have joined the Canadian Armed Forces for sure.

Favourite cocktail to drink?
Corpse Reviver #2 – classic cocktail combining gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc and absinthe.

Least favourite cocktail to make?
Caesars. If you’re going to pick up six ingredients, make it worthwhile.

Most popular cocktail at HK?
In The Pink” a cocktail with strawberry-ginger infused Beefeater, Aperol, Cointreau, Galliano and lemon with a red wine float.

HK was a TIFF hotspot – what’s your favourite TIFF moment?
We had so many celebrities in during TIFF 2013, but I’ve got to say – Paul Giamatti is the best dude

 


Apropos T.O…

 

A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?

If you mean as a matter of CIVIC pride, I’d probably say Billy Bishop airport. It’s one of few active projects that make our city more practical for business and to keep competitive on an international scale.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Outside of Hudson Kitchen, my favourite restaurant is Le Bremner, in Old Port Montreal.

Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?
I really like the simplicity of Liberty Village.

Least favourite thing about Toronto?
1998 Amalgamation (mega-city).

 

Photography by Ryan Emberley

 

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People: Chad Connell

September 11, 2013

 

This week’s person to know is actor Chad Connell from the upcoming film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

 

About you…

 

How did you get started in acting?

When I’m asked this, I really think it’s less a question of getting started in acting, and more about just not stopping. So many kids put on plays in their living rooms, assemble any family members and make them sit through their little shows – I just never stopped doing that. I guess I was a bit of a precocious kid and, being artistic themselves, my parents decided to help channel my energy through more structured lessons. I took singing and dance classes, and starred in local theatre productions as a kid. My passion for performing grew along with me and by the time I was twelve or thirteen, I was begging my parents to get me an agent– and I landed my first professional gig at fourteen. It’s been a pretty linear trajectory ever since.

Your major career influence?

With fear of  sounding bombastic – I’d say my biggest career influence are the people I sit near at a coffee shop, or someone I pass by on the street. I get scolded by my friends pretty frequently; what I call people watching, they call staring. I guess I just can’t help but see a stranger and become so fascinated with them and try to develop a detailed back-story to try to get a peek into their lives. I think the goal of an actor is to open up the blinds to various windows, and let everyone look through. So when I see an intriguing stranger I’d say they have more of an influence on me than anything else.

Favourite actor?

I could give you a list of my favourite performances easier than I could give you my favourite actor. But I’ll give you my current top 3:
Kevin Spacey
Mark Ruffalo
James Dean

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?

I would be figuring out everything I need to know to build a restaurant– or maybe even a Bed & Breakfast– I love hosting people.

Something only your closest friends know about you…

I can’t sleep in a bed that isn’t perfectly made, and I’ll even wake up in the middle of the night to remake it.

How excited are you to be a part of the new Mortal Instruments series?

Scale out of 10… a 10. It’s a pretty cool feeling, being a part of a movie franchise that has had such a loyal fan-base long before the first movie was even announced.

 

TIFF

 

What are you most looking forward to about the festival?

My favourite thing about TIFF is checking out foreign films that might fly under the radar. As fun as they are, I haven’t gone to too many galas. I always figure I’ll end up seeing those films anyway. I love seeing what’s coming out of Argentina, Ireland, or Korea.

What actor, director, or industry folk would you most like to bump into at a party?

There are a couple people I think it would be pretty cool to bump into..  like Sarah Polley, or Xavier Dolan. I really admire both of their work.

 

Apropos T.O…

 


A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?

The island. My heart swells when I think about spending the day there, or sailing out and going swimming. (I didn’t grow up here, so swimming in Lake Ontario doesn’t have the same taboo factor as for someone who did).

What’s your favourite restaurant?

I’m biased, but The Woodlot on Palmerston.

Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?

If you’d asked me this a few months ago, I would have said Yorkville, but recently I moved down to the St. Lawrence Market area and have fallen in love with it. It’s a nice luxury to be able to head into the market on a daily basis for fresh stuff. And there are some great pubs nearby– PJ O’Brien’s & McVeigh’s to name a couple.

Least favourite thing about Toronto?

Transit– trying to get around this city whether by TTC or in a car, will take years off my life.

A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?

I think all the people who work with the Heritage and Preservation Services. I hate seeing Toronto lose one square foot of its history, and even though sometimes it stands in the way of new development, I think the work people do to preserve Toronto’s past is invaluable.

 

 

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This week we’ll be featuring a few People profiles, our first person to know is ‘TIFF Rising Star’ Johnathan Sousa from the film ‘The Animal Project.’

 


About you…

 

 How did you get started in acting?
I’ve been acting my whole life. Just before it was called “make believe “and I didn’t get paid. I started acting on stage in high school.  I played ‘third boy from the left’ in my school production of Macbeth.

Your major career influence?
I remember watching the Film “A Bronx Tale” when I was young and ever since then I wanted to be Calogero (the main character). My main mentor right now is Ingrid Veninger; the way she makes films is how I want to make films in the future.
 
Best advice you’ve received?
Act before you think.

Favourite actor?
Toss up between Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo.

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?
A director or D.O.P. I love film and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

 

 TIFF
 
You’ve been named a ‘TIFF Rising Star’ – how did you first hear?
It’s very exciting! I first heard a month ago. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I checked the call display to make sure it wasn’t a joke.

You’re staring in The Animal Project – tell me a bit about your role in the film..
I play a character named Jason who is part of a troupe of misfit actors. Jason gets thrown into “The Animal Project” when he takes interest in Mira (a girl in the troupe). At first Jason is very reluctant to participate in the crazy project, but eventually he gives in and positive things in his life start to develop.


What are you most looking forward to about the festival?  

I’m excited to meet film makers and speak to them about their development and motivations. That and seeing a lot of Films!

 

 Apropos T.O…

 

A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?
Kensington.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Marinella’s on College or Caffino’s on King.

Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?
Little Portugal. I grew up there. And I love my heritage.

Least favourite thing about Toronto?
Toronto “fair-weather” sports fans…. and traffic.

A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?
I would say Jordan Tannahill. His work in the Toronto theatre scene has been so inspiring. I think it’s very important to this city for us to maintain our creative integrity. I also feel the same way about Stephen Dunn. Even though neither is from Toronto they’re both developing their work here. And that’s cool.

 

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People: Cara Gee

August 29, 2013

 

This week’s person to know is actor Cara Gee, a 2013 ‘TIFF Rising Star’ and star of the film Empire of Dirt.

 

About you…

 

How did you get started in acting?

I think my real training began when I was growing up in Bobcaygeon and I participated in the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual public speaking competition. I would write my own speeches and my Mom would help me memorize them. I remember a comedic speech I wrote in Grade 5 about having the worst day ever—late for the school bus, forgot my homework, things like that— and the morning before I presented it my Mom said, “I don’t believe you’re having the worst day ever, you have to make me believe it”. In hindsight, that was my first acting note.

Your major career influence?

My high school drama teacher, Michael Halfin, was the first person I met who took acting very seriously. He showed me that acting could be a career option. He is one of the most inspiring teachers I have ever had and he is constantly encouraging the next generation of artists.

Best advice you’ve received?

My mother always told me not to be tolerant of people, but rather accepting. I think that distinguishing between those two words is an important step towards being able to walk in someone else’s shoes. I highly value the pursuit of empathy.

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?

Homeless?

Something only your closest friends know about you…

How much I LOVE Jersey Shore. I love it. There, now everyone knows.

 

TIFF

 

You’ve been named a ‘TIFF Rising Star’ – how did you first hear?

My agent called me and I ran around my apartment squealing. And then I had to keep it secret for a month until the press conference! It was the hardest secret I’ve ever had to keep.

You’re staring in Empire of Dirt – tell me a bit about your role in the film..

I play Lena, a young mom who is returning to the home she ran away from for the first time in 13 years. She is figuring out how to be a mother and a daughter at the same time.

What was it like working with  Peter Stebbings?

He is a truly kind soul. I can’t say enough about how kind and gentle and caring he is as a human. It’s that love and compassion that comes through in the film.

What are you most looking forward to about the festival?

I am thrilled that I will have the chance to meet so many different directors, producers, and writers. It’s funny because in theatre you can go to a show and then hang out and meet the actors afterwards. Or email the director and go for coffee.  It’s a very accessible community. Film is different— probably mostly because the actors aren’t actually there— ha! But I look forward to immersing myself in the community and seeing what other people are working on.

What actor, director would you most like to bump into at a party?

I am going to have to do my very best to not cry tears when I meet Norman Jewison. Jesus Christ Superstar is one of my favourite films of all time. I’m going to lose it when I meet him, I just know it. I keep playing the scenario over in my mind and I try to visualize myself keeping it together, but I’m probably going to lose it.

 

Apropos T.O…

 

A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?

Buddies in Bad Times theatre. We’d see a show in the main space and then hit the cabaret to drink some drinks and take in a drag show.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

There are so many incredible restaurants in this city. The Guild— where my fiancé and I were engaged and he threw a huge surprise party. Pizzeria Libretto—I used to live across the street so I’d eat there all the time. And I can’t get enough of Sneaky Dee’s veggies nachos—with the guacamole baked in. So good.

Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?

I’m loving Parkdale. Probably mostly because all of my best friends live here too, so we get to hang out all the time.

Least favourite thing about Toronto?

Rob Ford as mayor.

A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?

Brendan Healy as the Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times theatre. He is one of the most intellectually and artistically rigorous directors I have worked with and I am full of respect and admiration for the work he does. Brendan works with such integrity to uphold a mandate based on inclusion AND artistic excellence.

I love this so much—from Buddies’ mission statement: With our art, we simultaneously celebrate difference and question the mechanisms through which differences are constructed and maintained. With our space, we create an accessible, non-judgmental, and inclusive environment for everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, economic position, race, creed, age, national origin, physical ability, or mental ability. With our daily interactions, we foster respect and dignity among all people.

 

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This week’s person to know is Rachel David, host of ‘Your World This Week.

 

Photography by Ryan Emberley

 

 

A typical day?

A typical day involves me either producing a segment, interviewing a celebrity, attending a screening, shooting links on camera, memorizing lines, writing a script or building a custom Facebook page for upcoming contests… it’s always different but I believe variety is the spice of life, so I’m happy.

 

How did you get started in TV?

It was really random actually.  I was a pure musical theatre nerd and was on a CBC musical theatre reality show called “Triple Sensation.”  Once I was eliminated I was contacted by Shaw TV to host a youth segment called “Generation Why” On “The Express” So I gave it a try!

 

Your major career influence?

Right now – Chelsea Handler. She’s herself and she owns it.

 

Best advice you’ve received?

A few things:

Stop, Think, Speak… Passion, Perseverance Patience…  Work hard and be nice to people… Always remember to have FUN… Everything is a stepping stone….

 

If you weren’t a TV host, what would you be?

I would probably start up a P.R firm. I need to be in a field that is social and creative.

 

What’s up next?

I am in a very good place in my life right now – I love working for Rogers, they’re very good to me.  I’d want to stay with Rogers and advance onto one of their other networks/programs (like City TV or Breakfast Television) one day.

 

 

Apropos T.O… 

 

 

A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?

My home.

 

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Chipotle…haha.  I know it’s probably not the fancy answer you were expecting…

 

Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?

I don’t have one particular one right now.  There’s so many great spots in Toronto.

 

Least favourite thing about Toronto?

Smelly vents… whats up with that? You’ll be walking down the street and all of a sudden walk face first into a wall of stench… gross!

 

A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?

I would say Pete Bombaci the president of Movember – It’s been incredible to see what an impact that organization has had in Toronto the last few years under his leadership.

 

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People: Alen Sadeh

July 18, 2013

 

This week’s person to know is Media Profile’s Alen Sadeh.

Photography by Tyler Rumi

 

About you…

 

A typical day?

My typical day starts with a battle against my alarm clock. I do my best work well after midnight, which makes for rough mornings. My walk to work usually involves a tall dark roast coffee while reading emails, tweets, and posts before getting to the office. After that my day is mayhem. Every PR pro I know always says there is no typical day in our industry because it’s true.

How did you get started in PR?

Growing up, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. Sharp suits and courtroom dramas always appealed to me. After I graduated from the University of Toronto, I did what most my friends were doing and took off to Europe before writing my LSAT. I met up with my brother’s best friend in Greece and he started telling me about his PR career. The more I listened to him speak the less I wanted to to pursue law. When I got back from my travels I went to Humber College for an informational session. Within ten minutes I realized that PR is what I wanted to do. The Humber program gave me a strong foundation and helped secure an internship at RBC. Cutting your teeth in the PR world at the country’s largest bank, immediately after the worst financial crises in modern history, was certainly a learning experience. I was fortunate enough to work with incredibly talented people who challenged me at every turn.

Favourite account to work on?

That’s easy. All of them. For real. Media Profile has an impressive roster of clients and I’ve been fortunate to work on variety of them including RBC, CBC, The Source, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Collingwood Whisky and Olympus.

Right now my time is split between Google and Honda. While these clients might seem completely different on the surface, they actually have a lot in common. Both are established brands that have planted deep roots in Canada. Both companies pride themselves on fostering technological innovation and both companies have invested resources to give back to the community through partnerships at the national and local level.

The size and scope of work also provides a fun mix of projects. I’ll fly to Montreal  to teach a group of media how to drive stick at Honda’s Manual Driving School one day and come back to pitch Google’s latest street view project to map Parliament Hill the next! There’s never a dull moment.

Your major career influence?

Michael O’Connor Clarke.

Michael was the VP of Digital at Media Profile before he lost his battle with cancer. I had the pleasure of working closely with him from the moment he walked in the door and his impact is still felt in the office today. Michael was the perfect communicator. He had big ideas, which he executed with accuracy. His writing was closer to literature than marketing. He was charming, personable and a phenomenal presenter. He was small in stature but a giant in character. He set the benchmark for which I constantly strive.

Best advice you’ve received?

During my first PR job at RBC, I had a coffee with a senior government relations manager who had a very impressive career. He sat me down and said “Kid, in this business, you eat what you kill. If you want something you go and get it.” Those words sounded morbid at the time but they’ve resonated throughout my career and remind me to stay hungry.

If you weren’t a publicist, what would you be?

I’d finally take the LSAT.

 

Apropos T.O…

 

A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?

I’d take them to Lost & Found on Dundas and Dovercourt. It’s an amazing little hybrid of coffee house meets mens boutique. It’s easy to spend hours sifting through the racks, listening to music or chatting with anyone who happens to be there. The guys who run the place are awesome and I always manage to find a gem while I’m there.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Sit down: Playa Cabana

Take Away: Chino Locos

Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?

My neighbourhood. I live at Queen and Spadina, right in the heart of the city, so I’m just a quick walk/drive to everything.

Least favourite thing about Toronto?

A winning sports team would be nice. I also wouldn’t mind being able to have a beer in the park.

A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?

Karen Stintz, Chair of the TTC. She’s shown her tenacity and fearlessness by  taking on one of the most polarizing issues that affects everyone in the city. The TTC is nowhere near where it should be for a world-class city, but it’s certainly getting closer under her watch.

 

 

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This week’s person to know is actress Lara Jean Chorostecki.

Photography by Ryan Emberley

 

About you…

 

How did you get started in acting?

I saw Les Mis when I was 8 at the Royal Alex. I went home, drew a storyboard of the show, and performed the show, lip-synching for my family. I never looked back.

Best moment of your career so far?

It’s an early moment: My first professional job was as an apprentice at Stratford. I was in the chorus of The Threepenny Opera. Susan Gilmore was starring in the show. She also played Fantine in that production of Les Mis I saw 9 years before. I had a picture of my “lip-synched” performance in which I was singing Fantine’s Death, in a bathrobe, with a bonnet and blanket, reaching out to the invisible Cosette. Sharing that picture with her, and being able to speak, in my first professional job, to the woman who inspired me to be an actress: that was pretty special.

Your major career influence?

Too many mentors over the years that I am grateful to, and that I admire and respect. Martha Henry and the late Richard Monette greatly influenced the beginning of my career. I also have huge admiration for the career and work of Amy Adams. But ultimately, my biggest career influence is my insane and wonderful support system of friends, family, and my agent. Without them, I wouldn’t survive this business.

Best advice you’ve received?

Ask questions, listen, but don’t be afraid to trust yourself and throw out any advice that doesn’t help or improve you. Not all advice is good advice.

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?

A psychotherapist perhaps. The human psyche fascinates me, and I’ve always been drawn to psychology. But honestly, if I wasn’t acting, I’d probably focus more time on poetry and writing. Another passion filled yet unstable vocation!

What’s up next?

A few more episodes of BBC America’s Copper, the Toronto theatre release of the romantic comedy film Please Kill Mr Know it All during the May long weekend, and a summer trip to Poland (my ancestry, and I’ve never been so I’m very excited).

 

 

Apropos T.O…

 

 

A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?

The islands. In fact, when I’ve had international visitors, I’ve made a point to take them to the islands. Watching the skyline from the docks on Ward Island, or the boats walking down the boardwalk, I think is a favourite Toronto moment for locals and visitors alike.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Live at Spadina and Dupont. It’s a vegan restaurant with raw and cooked food. I have a terrible sweet tooth, and their black forest raw cake is divine. Really anything chocolate there. Or anywhere for that matter.

Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?

I’ve lived in various areas of Toronto since 2008, and there is something to love about all of them. I’ve lived near Forest Hill Village for a few years now and I really like the area. As I love the outdoors, I am partial to the Belt Line that runs midtown. It’s a great place to escape from the city and you can follow it through to Mount Pleasant Cemetery (which in itself is beautiful), all the way to Don Valley Brickworks.

Least favourite thing about Toronto?

Traffic.

A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?

Anyone who is working tirelessly to support the arts in our city. We have such a vibrant community of artists here, and I am always in awe of the work of those who promote, attend, maintain, inspire, and create art in Toronto, in all its forms.

 

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