Thursday, September 23, 2010

TIFF: Day Eleven (Last)

(sorry. I've been doing a lot of decompressing. of my vertibrae)

Celebrities spotted: None. Next year, I should volunteer at different theatres.

Duties While Volunteering: Play traffic cop in the middle of the hall orchestrating human flow. Rip patrons' tickets as they enter the theatre. Sit outside theatre waiting for movie to end while watching the tumbleweeds roll by.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: None.

Something else you should know: (1) Working the last shifts of the day is like guarding a penny on a floor. Sure, it is within the realm of possibilities that you'll be called into action ... but even so, is it worth it? (2) "Easy A" and "Casino Jack" were clear winners. "Beginner" and "Jucy" were a good time. I didn't get the draw of "Stone". "Henry's Crime" was quite who cares. "John Carpenter's The Ward" was a good scare.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

TIFF: Day Ten

Celebrities spotted: None. Yup. Wrong theatres.

Duties While Volunteering: Sit outside theatre waiting for movie to end. Get approached by patron who has "lost" his girlfriend. She left to go to the bathroom and never came back. Wonder if he ever found her. Stand inside the theatre watching people watch movies. Try to ignore back pain. Not all that easy.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: None.

Something else you should know: Got to go home early because all shows ended prior to shift end. Thankful because back is now preventing me from walking right and sitting down is torture. Coughs from cold feel like my back is going to snap in half. Hobbled home like 90 year old woman. Discovered transit drivers are pretty patient if they think you are disabled. Fear the words "strike the theatre" overhead by staff in reference to tomorrow's end of the festival shift. (editor's note: "strike" anything in reference to a production means take down anything that has been put up, and move out anything that has been moved in. Basically, the manual-est of labours. Will have to beg off lifting and carrying, and will look like a lazy ass.)

TIFF: Day Nine

Celebrities spotted: None. Apparently I volunteer and see movies at the "wrong" theatres.

Duties While Volunteering: Didn't volunteer today.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: One. ("Easy A" -- easily watchable)

Something else you should know: Back hurt so much when I got up today, I wasn't sure I could even get to the theatre to see the movie. It was slow and painful going. I think the heels I wore on Wednesday after a week of standing around did me in.

TIFF: Day Eight

Celebrities spotted: None.

Duties While Volunteering: Sat in the volunteer room and sat and sat and sat while awaiting something to do. Got an assignment at one theatre, but was false alarm and was sent back to the volunteer room to wait some more. Considered switching the rest of my shifts to a different time of day. Finally told to go downstairs and hold door open for exiting patrons. Ended up having to deal with the drunk university students in line outside the building waiting to get into the nearby bar's toga party. Snotty snockered sluts in stillettos try to slink past me into the theatre, and almost convulse in shock when I stand in front of them to prevent their entry. Do I not see they are hot and barely dressed? Do I not understand the hot and barely dressed have carte blanche in life and allowed wherever they wish to be? Yeah, back it up, little girl. I'm tired, I'm bored, and I didn't suffer pushy drunk university students when I was one of them so you can just reverse that caboose and move it on out.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: One. ("Henry's Crime") The alarm rang for the first one, and I just hit the snooze button.

Something else you should know: Starting to look forward to the festival being over. Wouldn't want to be an usher as a career choice.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

TIFF: Day Seven

Celebrities spotted: None.

Duties While Volunteering: Didn't volunteer today.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: None.

Something else you should know: Today was the Women in Film and Television reception for TIFF ... a hotly sought after ticket. It was okay. I think I was overdressed, which hardly ever happens, but I can't blame myself because when you hear "reception for TIFF" you think high heels with stockings and little black dresses and chunky statement jewelry and gauzy shawls. How was I supposed to know that hardly anyone else thinks that? They're so obviously wrong. Tried some cold medicine -- made me feel even heavier. Which is why I was late for the reception and left "early". Could sleep in because not volunteering tomorrow until late, but two movies I have been looking forward to seeing all week are on tomorrow. Will see how I feel when my alarm rings.

TIFF: Day Six

Celebrities spotted: None.

Duties While Volunteering: Manually shuffle and deal incoming patrons to appropriate theatre line ups. Take quiet satisfaction in discovering that some people who barrelled past ignoring me were in fact in the wrong building and had they allowed me to help them they may not have ended up being too late to make it to the right building. Draw freehand sketch of Martin Scorsese from a nearby poster on a discarded ticket sleeve to pass the time while sitting quietly outside a theatre waiting to collect completed ballots from exiting patrons.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: One. ("Beginners" ... my favourite so far. Ewan MacGregor with a dog who gets his own subtitles)

Something else you should know: I'm fighting off a cold. A wake up in the middle of the night with a dry sore throat, feel lethargic and 750 pounds heavier during waking hours, coughs and sneezes that threaten to turn your insides into your outsides, and stare at food wondering if anything on the planet is appetizing, cold. I obviously picked something up from someone. Stupid humans. (Just have to hold out for five more days.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TIFF: Day Five

Celebrities spotted: Three plus a bunch of horror movie chicks basically in their underwear and spiked heels (Hayden Christensen, Tandie Newton and Danielle Panabaker -- who technically was one of the horror movie chicks in her underwear and spiked heels, but she has done other things as well)

Duties While Volunteering: Once again, stare at people from the front of the theatre while they are minding their own business watching a movie. Show people into an empty theatre that is standing in for a line-up, where you sit down in the order in which you arrive, thereby being "in line" but being able to sit down while you wait ... a concept that was not as welcome to others as it would have been to me if I were told that instead of standing in line I may sit in a cushy theatre seat. Hand out ballots for audience voting.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: One. ("The Ward" ... thus the horror movie chicks in their underwear)

Something else you should know: The theatre I worked at today lets volunteers bring their own vessels, which concession staff shall fill with popcorn and pop (in separate vessels, unless requested otherwise) for free. Nice. And while I waited in the rush line for tonight's movie, a line volunteer asked if anyone in line was on their own. I was the first in the line to be on my own -- so I got a free ticket for reasons that I do not know. I was also allowed to just bypass the ticket holders' line to enter the theatre directly, for reasons that I do not know. Then on the bus home, I found a copy of Entertainment Weekly. Good day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

TIFF: Day Four

Celebrities spotted: None

Duties While Volunteering: Watch more people watching more movies. Shine flashlight at bottom steps for mid-movie-movers to reduce incidence of them landing flat on their faces.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: Two. ("Casino Jack" and "Jucy")

Something else you should know: It was a looong day. One of the perks of volunteering is you get vouchers that you can exchange for tickets for public showings OR you can stand in the Rush line for Press and Industry screenings. Because the P&I screenings aren't open to the public, in general there are fewer people at each showing (except for movies with huge buzz where every press and industry person climb over one another to get in), so by sheer logistics you have a better chance of getting in with less hassle (as opposed to standing in the box office line for 90 minutes only to discover the show is sold out, or rushing the public screening of the movie with every other Tom Dick and Harriet). So today I went to two P&I rush movies in a row, starting at 11:00 a.m. ... then had approximately four hours to kill until my shift at the theatre started. First I roamed around the block party being thrown by TIFF's new and permanent facility, but then I just had to check out Wayne Gretzky's. Had the most marvelous dessert -- the "99 Double Chocolate Hockey Puck": a chocolate cookie crust puck filled with chocolate cream, served next to a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Mmm mm mm mm mmm!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

TIFF: Day Three

Celebrities spotted: One (I don't know his name, but I could pick him out of a lineup. I just don't know where/how I know him. We exchanged smiles, though)

Duties While Volunteering: Stand at the top of the escalator repeating over and over "LittleWhiteLiesTheatreOneLittleWhiteLies TheatreOneLittleWhiteLiesTheatreOne..." Stand in a dark theatre watching the people who are watching the movie to make sure a UFC grudge match doesn't break out in the darkness. Stand at the front of a line outside the theatre explaining to people that I am very sorry that a scheduled film has been moved back 90 minutes and that standing nose to nose with me waving your ticket and calling me stupid just can not change my answer from that I am very sorry that a scheduled film has been moved back 90 minutes. [It can, however, serve to summon my nearby supervisor to lead you politely out of line while telling you that he too is very sorry that a scheduled film has been moved back 90 minutes]

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: None. Other than the one I wasn't watching while I was watching those watching it. An Australian superhero movie. Sounded okay.

Friday, September 10, 2010

TIFF: Day Two

Celebrities spotted: Five (George Strombolupagus [not pictured, duh], Frances Conroy, Milla Jovovich, Edward Norton, Robert DeNiro)

Duties While Volunteering: Stand at the top of the escalator, startling people with "May I help you?" when they are not looking. Stand outside and open doors for patrons with a cheery "Welcome to TIFF" -- reserving the cheeriest for those who are on their cellphones without a glance to the door that mysteriously opened in their path without any human assistance.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: One. ("Stone") But it wasn't easy. Stood in line for an hour and forty five minutes to get in the theatre ... finally got in fifty-five minutes after the movie was slated to start.

Something Else You Should Know: My feet hurt. And my posture is nothing to boast about.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

TIFF: Day One

Celebrities spotted: One (Roger Ebert)

Duties While Volunteering: Ask people who are exiting the theatre mid-movie "Are you coming back, sir/madam?" If the answer is in the affirmative, hand them a small ticket to hand back to me when they return, thus ensuring we do not count them twice when determining the head count for the movie.

Movies Watched By Me When Not Volunteering: None. But ticket for one on Friday purchased.