- I have scored a game winning goal at Maple Leaf Gardens
- I have assisted Penn & Teller on stage with one of their tricks (Mofo the Psychic Gorilla)
- I have been paid as a freelance writer to provide original content to a video game
- I have had a 1 minute conversation and spoken five scripted words on a nationally broadcasted television show (US and Canada)
- The episode aired more than once and I have been recognized by at least one complete stranger for this appearance
- It was 20 years before I saw it
- I have played, and won, hockey games on both the 1932 and 1980 Olympic hockey rinks in Lake Placid New York
- I have had a 500 word anecdote selected for inclusion in a Darwin Awards book
- I have stood in the room where Winston Churchill was born
- One summer in Europe was spent working as a groundskeeper for a Canadian embassy
- I have had a 5000 word short story selected for inclusion (and soon to be published) in an anthology
- I have appeared as a street fighting bum in a rap music video
- I have eaten snake soup
- I was once qualified to instruct both flat water canoeing and small vessel sailing
- I once stayed awake for over 100 consecutive hours
- I have appeared in a TV commercial for a financial institution (singing & texting – but no talking)
- I have been a teacher’s assistant for English as a Second Language children (ages 6-10) with behavioural problems
- I have broken or cracked the following bones: toe beside the big one on the left foot, left foot, left ankle, left tibia, left arm (radius AND ulna), left pinky and middle fingers (separate breaks), several ribs, right ankle, right wrist, right pinky finger, nose, head (stiches), and brain (more than 4 concussions)
- I have driven my car to the publicized geographic longitudinal centre of Canada
- Last year of high school I did not take notes or use anything but a pencil to write assignments/tests in calculus. I got 94%. Last year of university I studied more for my Calculus 3 course than any other subject. I got 51%
If you read this blog you know about my history with the writer/director Kevin Smith. It’s been a hot & cold, up & down, tumultuous & tenuious “relationship” that has been going on for more than a year. Well, last night in Toronto, in front of 500 die-hard fans and countless thousands of others on the big screen in over 500 theaters across North America, Kevin and his organization did what they do best, and in the process provided me with some much needed closure.
Upon hearing of his live show in Toronto I sent Jordan Monsanto and Meghan Quinlan an email asking if my art swap deal could be realized. In what can only be described as “lightning fast” reply Jordan indicated she’d put the request in to the venue to have myself +1 put on the guest list. That was Monday. I was assured a response by Friday. It came and a friend and I were off to the show.
Trying something different, Kevin was doing a live podcast with Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob Get Old) at a movie theater and simulcasting it to theaters all over North America (I’m told over 500 screens). After the hour long podcast Kev and Jay would do a Q&A taking questions from Twitter as well as the live audience.
A few weeks before the show I received an email from Jordan indicating that the venue had oversold the show and were eliminating everyone’s +1’s from the guest list. At first I was a little miffed, but I still had a ticket and I had a friend who was already going (more on that in a second) so I wouldn’t be flying solo. Arriving at the theater I realized something: the venue has control. The bag check, pat down, electronic wand treatment they were giving people was ridiculous. According to Jordan, they weren’t even allowed a merchandise table, which is unfortunate as I was going to leave Kev a gift that I made from my alphabet photography:
|“SMOD” by Andrew F. Butters
I lied and said I was only in the possession of a cell phone, and no camera and took my seat. Front row, just to the right of center:
|Row AA is good, right? Why yes it is!|
|Kev doing his thing. Mewes lounging on the couch.|
I decided in advance that I would not go to extraordinary lengths to get Kevin and Jay my photography, or to get to the mic to ask a question. I was going to just sit and enjoy the event, and am I ever glad I did. I had a front row seat to a one of a kind event surrounded by TV cameras and hundreds of other great fans. My friend, who recently quit his job and is now writing full time had other plans.
Robert Chute wrote a book, Self-help for Stoners, and really wanted to get to the mic and give Kevin the book (to whom he had dedicated it, along with Joe Rogan). Well Robert had his moment, and he didn’t make a giant douche of himself (which is easy to do when your host does a lot of poop jokes). I completely failed Robert when I didn’t get a picture or video of it! For this I completely apologize and can only say that Kevin was completely gracious upon receiving the book. I was so close to the stage that when Robert handed the book to him I could see Kev off point to the cover and then hear him say, “Oh yeah, I know you!”. So, go read this book (I’m talking to you too Kevin!) Don’t let the title fool you, even if you’re not into smoking pot, the book is great.
So one thing Kevin wanted to do with the show was get in a lot of questions. This would probably be the only downside I saw to the event. Personally, when I go see Kevin Smith I go because he often answers a question with a 45 minute anecdote that leaves you gasping for air, holding your sides, peeing your pants laughing. Because he was answering rapid fire questions in an effort to get as many in as possible (presumably to ensure interaction and continued interest from the remote theaters watching) the responses, while well put together, genuine and honest, just weren’t the type that are in Kevin’s wheelhouse. As such, moments felt rushed, which is hard to do for a 3 hour event, and he didn’t get the chance to really work up the audience and deliver many “hit ’em out of the park” punch lines.
All in all though, it was a remarkably enjoyable experience, and Kevin’s love for Toronto and Canada in general comes through quite naturally, even when he’s not plugging his final movie, a Canadian tale about hockey titled “Hit Somebody”. I can say for sure I’ll go see it, and so will at least a few thousand other Canadians who watched Kevin and Jay rock the stage at the Scotiabank Theater last night.