Hot Docs in Toronto, Canada 2016
On April 28th, I boarded my flight to Toronto!
I was on board my flight, and I browsed some Canadian phrases on the Wi-Fi and when the flight attendant came to my row, I thought I would try one out. I ordered a "Double Double," in a rather loud voice because we were on a small plane and the noise was large. When the flight attendant said, "What's that?" I heard about 5 people around me start laughing. I can tell that they were Canadian and getting quite a laugh out of the flight attendant's response. A "Double Double" is simply coffee with two creams and two sugars.
I knew my trip to Canada was going to be a blast!
I arrived at the Toronto International Airport and went into the customs line and there were literally 2 or 3 thousand people in line. This was one big building! I didn't take a picture because most of the signs were in French and I didn't know if any said something like 'photography prohibited' like they do in some places in the USA.
I later found out that our director, David Farrier, was in the exact same room as he had landed minutes earlier, but trying to find him would have been like playing a game of "Where's Waldo" on steroids!
I eventually met up with David the next day at the TICKLED Premier Party before the film showing. It was at a place near the theater, it was a bar with three levels of party!
And there were dozens of TICKLED Cookies everywhere!
This was going to be a great sugar rush for the cinematic roller coaster ride later at 9:45PM (or 21:45 to the non-American viewers).
After a few drinks at the party and some sugar rushed cookies, we went over to the cinema for an experience of a different type.
We rode over to the theater and noticed that we had a line that looked like it went around the block. It was great to see that! I think that Canada likes us! It looks like hundreds of people came out to see, or perhaps, be TICKLED!
After the movie, our director David Farrier was invited to the front to field a few questions about the film. He did so excellently, and even yours truly was introduced and I received a rather massive amount of applause. It felt good to be appreciated for this film.
David and I went to the lobby and we were both swarmed by fans. It was a lot of fun. We both had circles of fans surrounding us in the large lobby. Selfies, photos of us with fans, either together or separate, there were many flashes going off while we were interacting with the fans.
We felt like it was top of the world!
After all the great fan fare and fun, we piled into a taxi to go back to retrieve my rental car at the club where we had the TICKLED Party. Then I got a shock of reality! As we were pulling up, there was a Toronto Parking Enforcement Officer walking right up to my car! The taxi raced up there to try to beat the parking enforcement officer to no avail. She had the ticket giver in her hand and was punching in the information from MY CAR! I tried pleading, David tried pleading, even the taxi cab driver gave it his best shot ... but no luck! I guess out of hundreds of adoring fans that David & I had just finished enjoying speaking to, there was one person -- probably the only person in the whole country of Canada who did not surrender to our charms. Like any parking enforcer in any country, she had a thick skin and has probably heard it all ... but we really were swarmed by fans in a movie theater around the corner.... oh well.
After that, the next day we decided to meet up for drinks and movie. it was a film called "My Scientology Movie," and you would never guess -- David looked a lot like the director of this film, so much so that someone actually made that mistake and it landed on social media. Just like I have always said at almost every festival -- "I always encourage people to see movies at festivals, you just never know who you might meet." They did see a celebrity (David Farrier) but they miss identified him! I guess that's why I always wear the NASA hat that has become my trademark.
The next day we went to the early morning screening of TICKLED. David Farrier was surprised by the massive turnout in the morning for a movie, and on a workday no less (Monday). I was not the slightest bit surprised, if there was an empty seat, now that would be a surprise!
After the screening, once again we were surrounded by fans wanting to ask many questions. We each answered many questions, and I noticed that we were switching fans - one would come to me and ask their question, and then go to David and ask a different question and vice versa. It was a lot of fun as well. They kept us talking until David had to leave to likely attend an interview and talk some more. We said our goodbyes and talked of our next meeting and David departed.
I went off to see another film and encountered a couple of more batches of fans. One group was going down the escalator and just shouted that they loved TICKLED. I told them to share it with their friends. They said they would and eventually got out of range but not without getting a picture of me on the escalator going in the opposite direction. I got my ticket and went into another film, it was just so-so and I only picked it because of the name and the start time. I will not identify it here.
After the film, it was time for me to go to the airport for my flight back to the US. I returned my car and went into the terminal, through security and customs. I thought my Canadian TICKLED Adventure was over. It sure was fun to watch the audiences react to the film and to meet all the interesting people, and to answer fans and taking pictures with many of them. But I was ready just to settle in for a routine flight on a routine plane, with routine airline people.
BOY WAS I WRONG! When I went to check in for my flight, the gate agent seemed to act a bit unusual. Perhaps she recognized me? I didn't really say too much other than that I loved my visit in Canada and told her that I was in Toronto for the Canadian Premier of our movie TICKLED. At this time, a light went off I could tell! She knew me from TICKLED! We completed the check-in, she verified my ticket and looked at my passport, and returned the documents to me. I left her counter to go and have a seat and feed my hungry phone.
A few minutes later, she came over to me and said, "I got you a seat up front, don't tell anybody." She had placed me in First Class! I am so sorry, I couldn't not tell anybody. But I am not putting her name or a copy of my ticket as I don't want to see her get in trouble. My brother (yes, the one from the movie, who worked for TWA before he died) had once told me that "the gate agent is God and they can do anything they want..." regarding upgrades and other things. I pretty much knew she would nothave any trouble if I told just one person, or maybe one thousand people...
I opened up my text message application and sent a short message to David Farrier, it said about how I was bumped up to first class, he wrote back and said, "Dave I LOVE this. Fly safe!!!!!! In first class! This is so superb. What a life we live, david! I love it!" Yes David, it is truly amazing. Thank you!
This is me in the first class cabin and my view from my seat. When I got back to the USA, I was actually the first one off the plane. I love that!
And as they said in TICKLED, thank you for your time and attention to this........