Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rejection and Cloudy Days

It’s a gloomy Thursday morning and it sucks to be at work when you could have possibly been at a shoot. The real question that was on my mind was “how am I doing with rejection?” In the modelling/film industry rejection is part of the job. You go for auditions; you strut your stuff and pray that they call you back and if they don’t call you back you have to learn to know that …it is not YOU…but maybe you just didn’t have what they were looking for. But that isn’t always easy… sometimes you just want to give up and give in.

So a couple of weeks ago I went for a casting call for a female product. I can’t disclose the name or the brand because it is all secret. Two days later I get into the top 30 from 200 ladies…. “Not so bad,” I think to myself. Then 2 weeks later I am in the top 14 call back list from which they choose 10 girls. I thought I was excited at top 30 but wow top 14 I was now over the roof. And not only that…this particular job pays you for the call back, which is good because most of the time you end up taking days off real work to chance it at an call-back (doesn’t guarantee you the job).

Arriving to the call-back was and event in itself. I got super lost in traffic and ended up on the other side of Jozi. The casting director called and said – YOU have 5 minutes. When someone tells you that you have 5 minutes and you still have no idea where you are….. its terrible. In the car I reached that point of - where you know if you dwelled any further on your ridiculous lost ness and lateness – you would probably cry. Two tears fell and I thought this was the last thing I needed for a call-back – bloody red eyes. I started praying and said Lord please just get me there and may they not be mad.

10minutes later I franticly parked and I ran like a mad woman across the studio parking lots. This was the studios where they shoot big Soapies…and here I was running for a bloody call back. The team looked at me and a man said “I knew it was you…I recognised you from the pictures….Dam I am good.” I was panting and almost in tears trying to explain how I had got so lost and how right now I am trying to fight tears, but I understand if they want me to go. A lady said… “Its fine just go with him to hair and makeup.” The man led me to a room and asked me to sit down. I was alone and emotional. How badly did I want this job? Was it worth the tears and stress?

In no time I was dressed in a beautiful dress, had makeup on and was in front of the camera. I wish I could tell you guys what it was about…but I would have to save it for another blog – once the add is out. But it was pretty interesting and strange.I left the studio thinking…I didn’t do so bad, I mean the guy said “good job”..that should count for something…or was he just saying it.

They were supposed to call me yesterday to tell me if I got a role in the commercial. I sat at work staring at my phone like a teenage girl waiting for her crush to call. Every text and every call made me think “Maybe that’s them.” I would think..maybe I am thinking too much… let God do his work.. But the day ended with no call and no text. I tired not to take it to personally and I did have those talks with God “But why God L this would have made me happy..what was the point…am I missing something…what are you trying to teach me here.”

I know rejection is part of life but gosh it sucks. I guess the point is that we shouldn’t take it personally and just trust that God has a even better plan in store for us. There will be other jobs, other call backs we just got to keep our heads up and move forward. Maybe I am writing this just to re-assure/comfort myself. And it has helped.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Perfect Bridal Gown Photoshoot

What would you give if you had the chance to wear beautifully designed wedding dresses, get your makeup and hair done, and have your face in a wedding catalogue? ….. Anything right J. Well that’s exactly why I couldn’t turn down such an opportunity when Perfect Bridal Gown was looking for models for their new seasons wedding catalogue.

Seven girls shot in 30 beautiful dresses from overseas, was the task of the day (October 24, 2010). We began at 8:30am and shot right through till 5pm. But it wasn’t your average photo ..not that I would know what a average photo shoot is like .lol... This shoot was fun and energetic. It was similar to the vibe at the Special K photo shoot. The girls had spunk the photographer had style and Raymond, Tanya, Lizette and their crew had great energy helping us get in and out of our dresses.

The whole experience was like playing dress up except this time you had a real hairdresser, makeup artist and got to wear super beautiful and quality styled dresses. No it was more like a fairytale ….were we were each different types of Cinderella’s with the Fairy godmothers being Lizzet and Raymond. The lights were on us, the bling was on us. If I was a bride to be I would have struggled to pick which dress would be mine. They all had such unique detail. Some dresses were simple and elegant and others were extravagant and sassy.

Being in front of the camera required confidence which at first I was scared I wouldn’t have…because 1. My braids ssooo needed to be taken out and 2. I was almost as sick as a dog. But somehow somewhere I got the energy to smile and pose. My advice for those of you who may ever go to a photoshoot. ..... try to stop taking yourself too seriously and relax…if it’s a bad photo they can take it again. For me I would pretend like it was a Vogue photo shoot and I was a some big shot model who travelled on first class to shoot here.. and there was no time to be SICK. ….even though I was far from a Vouge Model …it helped me relax J. But I also tried to be myself…because the camera can see that too...there is a fine line between fake and genuine smiles. Being yourself also helps you enjoy the whole experience because its fun…Relax…dance… pretend the camera is not there and you are just in the bathroom naked making yourself laugh. ….Oh there is a word of advice - If you ever feeling down…take all your clothes off and dance in front of the mirror….ITS Hilarious!

But like any fairytale the ball had to end so when 5pm came we all turned into pumpkins, out of the beautiful dresses and back into the scummy cloths we arrived in. If you are looking for a wedding dress…please stop by Perfect Bridal Gown on Beyers Naude, Johannesburg. You are sure to have a wonderful experience and find a equally beautiful dress. Or just call them at 011-794-7101 and book an appointment

29th Birthday with Family

My birthday weekend had me really thinking, what is family, who is family and can we actually put boundaries and define family. I think this old age has me really looking at my life, the lives around me and the lives to come.

Seeing everyone seated around the table at my birthday breakfast bash made me think wow it’s amazing the new lives that have now become family and the family that has always been family. Regan was Avons best friend as one point but here he was now our brother inlaw. And here was Yash who might as well be family too since he has been Avon and Reagans friends since high school. Being with mom and dad on my birthday was extra special since we hadn’t spent it together in over 12 years.

At Chang and Bianca’s wedding, I got the sense of community and love present in a not so typically structured family. I say not so typically structured because typically would be – each child being brought up by their biological parents. But this was not the case for both Bianca and Chang as they had been brought up with fathers that were not their biological fathers. And although most of us would think …”gosh it must have been hard not being brought up by your real dad.” And I am sure they probably dealt with their own internal searches and battles of who their biological father was. But what we really should be thinking about is how God actually gave them a real father to look after them. After hearing both uncle Howards (Avon’s dad) and Chris (Biancas.. step dad) speaks I got a strong sense that these were the Dads that were destined to raise these children up. Both of the fathers were good examples to them both and you could just see and hear that they loved their adopted child as if it were their own.

But my thoughts didn’t end there… I was also moved when I went over to chill with my brother and sister inlaws..Micheal, Erica, Amanda and Lucile. These young adults are 4 of 5 children who Auntie Ethel took into her home, when their parents abandoned them. At this moment I, for the first time, sensed a strong bond amongst the siblings. Similar to the bond I felt when I was with my siblings. Maybe I hadn’t sensed it before because I hadn’t observed them much when they were all together. But I realised then that if it wasn’t for Auntie Ethel and Uncle Howard (my mother in law) opening their home to them.. this bond of love wouldn’t be present. It hurt me to think of where in the world they would have been. But I was so comforted when I saw how happy they are now.

Afterwards I went over to chill with Dad maybe he had answers to my curious wonder of family. Without even saying a word to him he turned to me and just said “Kanya you are the head of the herd now.” He put his hand over my shoulder. “This is your family now and you need to lead them, be there for them care for them, be an example to the children that come after you.” There was a long pause of silence and I let the words sink in. I thought of my new family, my inlaws that I will one day be looking after, my new siblings that would one day follow in Avon and my footsteps. Gosh the thought of where life puts us just fascinated me. Who knows what is to come, where we would be headed who we would be families too. We don’t really have a choice of who our family would be….God places certain people in our lives …be it biological or not. I wondered if I would even manage with the family that would come our way. Then my dad said “and He will be there for you!” And I just took the words all in my mind I repeated those words “and He will be there for you!” And thought “Lord may I not forget these words.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Baby Question

The approaching of my 29th Birthday has me really contemplating on the season ahead of me, the baby season. Almost 80% of the women I associate with these days are either pregnant or have had a child and the question always comes up, “So when is yours coming?” It’s not that I don’t want kids, I really do, but I am really beginning to ask myself the internal question of “body are you ready, mind are you ready, heart are you ready.” My thought was that when all is in check then I would have the green light; but is that ever the case.

When I do ask myself the baby question it’s almost like each component has a worry of its own. The first question I ask “Body are you ready?” the body would reply “Um, you know what Kanya I don’t think so…I mean not now let me just work on the abbs, do more boxing classes, run a marathon. You know how you tummy can get really thrown out of whack after them kids start coming…and you may never run anything once you have kids.” The second question “Mind are you ready?”…The mind is always trying to think logically and would reply “Ya you are the right age, you eat healthy, you just need to take some vitamins and you are good to go.” Then I took my co-worker to the doctor after she had a down syndrome scare. This really threw the Mind out of place. The Mind researched the symptoms and thought about aunt Connie and cousin Itai who has down syndrome. And well ….. “Mind are you ready???” I would ask again. “Aaa, no, no I don’t think I am ready Kanya, what if there are complications? I haven’t read up enough to get my mind mentally around pregnancy?” the mind would reply timidly. The last question would be “Heart are you ready?” and I would always ask this one softly as the heart was the most delicate of all the components that make Kanya. The heart would reply confusedly “Ya, the heart is ready.” ….. Till I get home and hear the neighbour shouting at her 3 year old child. “I TOLD YOU TO PUT THE F-#(&$( thing DOWN!!!” the mother of two would shout. My heart would get so stirred up and scared. My heart would ask, “Kanya what would cause a lady to shout so profoundly to a child who could barely talk? Was it the child or was it the lady? I am not sure the heart is strong enough to endure such!” And these would be the internal battles of my Baby question of life.

Then there are the insecurities of when you are actually trying for kids. When really is the right time? Everyone says you can’t wait till you are debt free or till the perfect moment comes for you to have kids, only God knows; but somehow I feel like I put Gods plan in my hands by using contraceptives. There is no guarantee that you will fall pregnant as soon as you stop taking the contraceptive.. but you could. – only God knows. Now what if you don’t fall pregnant? Sho that works on my heart even more as this won’t be an internal question but an external one. Would Avon and I be able to handle what ever comes our way.. what about compatibility and blood types? That scares me too. I get even more scared and frustrated when people put expectations on us….. we expect you to be pregnant by this time! What if I also wanted to be pregnant at that time…All of a sudden I begin to question whether I am doing it for Us or for them (the others) and get put off the whole having kids thing. Or maybe since everyone would have such high expectations my internal body would just stop functioning because of nerves.

Given all this I still use my mom as a benchmark for all my Body, Mind and Heart insecurities. My body reassures me by saying “ Yo, Kanya, if she had 4 kids after she was 30 and still has a body like she does today at 61. Don’t worry Kanya the body is ready.” My Mind whispers, “Listen Kanya you have your mothers genes, you are still in the safe zone. When you turn 30 then maybe you can start stressing.” And my heart says comfortingly, “ By Gods grace is more than enough for you. Just trust in Jesus.”

But honestly speaking…it doesn’t matter what our body, mind and heart thinks…when God is in control anything is possible. He can change the bodies, hearts and minds of all those who turn to him. I have seen him give twins to a couple that were told they could never have children…all through the power of prayer. God has even been there in situations where the pregnancy was destined for death for both the mother and twins she was struggling to deliver while travelling in a taxi in Swaziland.. Everyone ran out of the taxi in fear of cultural curses of being present in such a situation….God placed my mom (trained midwife) right there at that time and rescue the breached child … any minute later the situation could have been terrible.

So I surrender my body, heart and mind. ..I surrender my angers, fears and frustrations with others; I surrender my timing to His timing and my questions for His answer.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Canadian Thanksgiving in Another World

The Canadian Thanksgiving was this past weekend and it didn't even occur to me till I spoke to my sister over skype in Canada on Friday afternoon. She talked about how she was going to aunt Claire’s, her home was the perfect spot for thanksgiving, and the conversation took me back to the times I lived in Canada. The fact that I had forgotten that it was thanksgiving almost scared me. I really questioned who I was? Was it the fact that I was in a different world now? Was I really Canadian? Where had time gone? So my sister, Maita, who had also lived in Canada for 6yrs, and I decided we had to celebrate thanksgiving somehow.

On Saturday afternoon Avon and I strolled down the isles of Broadacers Spar looking for the ingredients to our first Johannesburg thanksgiving dinner. We were sure we were going to find a turkey there; however, when we saw the size of the turkey we got very intimidated. Who was going to eat it all? And I wasn’t sure if I would cook it good enough for anyone to like it. Suddenly the look of the huge turkey drum stick seemed like a better option.

That evening I figured I could apply the same turkey recipe to the massive drum stick instead of the whole turkey. “Rub turkey with seasoning (sage, garlic and salt)”… I thought not a problem. Stuff turkey with whole apple – mmm a slice would work and I stuffed it under the skin of the turkey…stuff is stuff right. “cover turkey with champagne” …mmm apple cider should work just fine, although Avon had to rescue me coz I thought beer would work better. I then placed carrots sweet potato and potatoes around the turkey drum and covered it all with foil. “Dear God please may this turkey taste good.” While I was cooking the turkey Avon cooked the Lamb curry ..our back up plan just in case the turkey tasted crap.

The thanksgiving dinner turned out great. We decided not to go too hectic in who we invited (I was more worried that people would think the whole thing was strange). The turkey turned out so tasty…we actually wished we had bought the whole darn thing. Maita made rhubarb pie which was amazing …especially for her first pie. Reagans Banoffee was delicious; Avon’s Lamb curry spiced us up with flavour.

As much as thanksgiving was supposed to be a joyous occasion, a wave of depression came over me this past weekend. The whole thanksgiving experience made me really miss Canada in a strange and confused way. I thought of my Grandmother and my whole other half of my family in Canada, the white half. I thought of how the weather was right now and my friends which I had left behind. I was beginning to realise that the more I got involved in my life here in Johannesburg the more my memories of Canada almost seemed foreign. Not that I don’t like the season I am in now, I love it in fact, but how do we live in the present without loosing the good memories of the past? To they just remain memories….only time will tell. ..I will just continue to give thanks and thanks for thanksgiving.

Friday, October 8, 2010

God are You here? (Reflections from the movie Eat Pray Love)

Last night, October 7th, my good friend, Parusha Naidoo (Goodhope FM, DJ) and I attended the premier for Eat, Pray, Love, and what an enlightening movie it was.

The movie wasn’t a typical happy-go-lucky kind of a movie but a deep spiritual search with its highs and lows. The movie really shows how it isn’t always easy trying to listen to that inner voice, it isn’t easy to find your self (and do we ever really?), it isn’t always easy to forgive ourselves or others and it isn’t always easy to find God and peace in this world. But it does require a search as it so clearly shows in the movie.

Eat, Pray, love ignited moments in my life when I was searching for the deeper meaning and purpose; when I was trying to figure life out. I remember going up to “Gods Window” in Grasskop thinking maybe I would find God there. It was the most gloomiest days of that summer and I hiked right up to the top of this mountain alone…thinking for sure I would find God or God would find me. As I hiked up, the clouds came down and it became dark as I walked through the rain forest vegetation. I started to feel like I was not alone, yet there was no one around me. I got to the edge of the mountain where you supposedly would look over the clouds as if you were looking out of Gods window.

Breathless and tired I sat on the damp rock with the mist surrounding me and talked to God in my mind. I said “Okay God I am here. . . You could have at least have removed these clouds for me. I can barely see you. I have driven 3 hours alone…Where are you?” Still there was nothing. Isn’t it sad that we expect God to do some miracle to prove himself to us as if he is on our time and that we are not on his. I waited for God and soon my fears came to haunt me. You are alone Kanya…if you died right here no one would know.Do you really think people care about you? My mom had already said it was a stupid idea for me to be in the mountains alone. Suddenly I felt like she was right. I got scared. “God remove these fears.” I got a brief moment of suicide which had never crossed my mind. I panicked and began to run down the mountain, like a child that had just seen a ghost. I ran as if my life depended on it. As soon as I came to the open path, a busload of tourists were right in front of me. I stopped dead in my tracks and began to walk as if nothing had happened.

Although I was mad that I didn’t feel Gods presence or didn’t have that Godly moment which I was so searching, I realised that when we begin to search for God – the devil searches for us. The devil loves it when we are unhappy, when we are senseless and engulfed in unhealthy relationships, money and greed. These are the false illustrations of happiness and our inner being screams until it isn’t heard anymore. God rescues us by saying “Wake up there is more to life!” hopes that inner feeling will move us into a search for Him.

I think we all have different paths that God has called us to walk on.- when he calls us or when we realise He is actually real. It could be to leave all your treasures and find Him? It could be to leave the person you love in order to find the maker of Love, it could be to be in a place where you feel the presence of evil and realise then there must be a God. Whatever it is and whenever it happens you will know…your heart gets stirred up and you acknowledge this void that only God can fill. When it does don’t think about yourself…you will be just as confused. Just like the beginning of the movie, she got on her knees and prayed and God lead her step by step. Just get down on your knees and pray, and the light will begin to shine through the darkness.
God hears every prayer and counts every tear that falls J.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Opening of Mamma Mia

If you are debating about going to watch Mamma Mia….stop debating and just go and experience it for yourself. I was never a Mamma Mia fan, although I knew a lot of the song, I just found the movie really boring and really didn’t have any particular excitement for it. But this all changed after watching the musical last night at the Teatro Theater at Montecasino.

Since I wasn’t too hyper about attending the opening of Mamma Mia I felt a bit out of place because the opening is usually when you get the real fans of a show and also happens to be when all the famous people show up. I rocked up in an African dress that was older than me and flip flops, I wasn’t a fan and for sure wasn’t famous. He he he but we still got pictures taken as if we were famous.

The show was fantastic, the energy, the vibe, the colours and the characters all screamed Mamma Mia. I sat next to a gay couple and it actually was kinda funny coz I could tell the guys just wanted to get up and dance and show his flamboyant side. Avon and I didn’t hesitate…we sang out loud where we could and jived when we could. By the end of the night the whole room was just giving it their best moves and voices, and the guys next to me were busting moves with us .

I don’t want to give too much away about the show….but my favourite part was the dancing. It wasn’t your typical ladida dance from a musical because they added a bit of local moves here and there which really got the crowd laughing. My favourite character was the shuga mom because although she was older she was busting moves like no mans business.

Even though I enjoyed it I could see how the show could have certain people putting it on their …not to whatch list. As the main story lies around the whole idea that a daughter who doesn’t know who her father is since her mom was a bit of a wild one in her days. The characters go from gays, to shuga moms and the songs and gestures are can be a bit sexual. But as is life really and the people you meet on your way through life and trying to understand it.

I enjoyed the show because it put a lighter heart on a pretty serious situation. I mean imagine if you didn’t know who your dad was, or if you were the Mother who’s past came to haunt you, or the dad who didn’t know if he really was the dad. The light heartedness of the show is probably what a lot of people need, when the drama’s of life come their way.

Not only does the show lift you up I think a lot of people could relate to someone in the show. It wasn’t just some HOT cast of youthful people (but note there are some good looking girls and guys), but there were old and young, happy the sad, sexy and not so sexy, lovers and haters, married and divorced, gays and the straights, crazy and serious, black and white….characters. And each character played their role exceptionally well. …When you watch it just look at each character even if they are not in the spot light.

After watching the show I left the theatre realising why people loved Mamma Mia so much. If you go and watch it you will find that it is so hard to be in a bad mood after. When we left people where humming and dancing as they walked out. …Mamma Mia Here I go again….. Just watch it guys and see and feel for youselves!