Monthly Archives: March 2015


Just as I was watching the opening scenes of I,Robot on tv this past week, I got a call from Taylor Martin (pictured below), a multi-talented young woman who had just completed a 1-day shoot with my producer colleagues over at RDG Entertainment Inc. for a short film called “Breadcrumbs”.  On my tv screen, the scene was unfolding where Will Smith’s futuristic cop character was talking about “breadcrumbs…like Hansel & Gretel”, left for him as clues by the James Cromwell scientist character….synchronicity or what?!

Taylor martin 1Taylor told me about her experience of working with a professional crew and cast, seeing/hearing her script come to life, and playing one of the main characters, too.  The storyline is: When Gretchen met Luke everything seemed to be perfect, however, his adoration turned to obsession. She moves on and creates a new life only to discover that he has not. Gretchen is reminded that the past is never far behind. You can almost hear the sinister music playing in the background…dum dum dummmm.  So I asked her about the process and here is what she told me:

Growing up, you’ve been a dancer, model, gymnast, soccer player, martial arts practitioner….so what inspired you to seek a career in film?  I believe it started when DVD’s first came out and they often included a second disc with all the special features and background footage.  I can’t remember what movie it was, but I was completely blown away by “the making of” or “behind the scenes” section.  All of a sudden, my interests started to expand towards the creation side as well as the acting side.

As an actor, writer, director….what challenges you the most and why?  As an actor, if someone isn’t willing to “let go”, “be in the moment” and “be honest” with their intentions in a scene, I find that challenging to respond.  No different then the work of a relationship.  As a writer, it’s making sure everything flows properly, and not quelling too much on one thing.  Everything has a purpose, connects, and catches people’s attention.

11077927_663963547040783_5007723645388393253_nThe 5’11” strawberry blonde enjoys the glamour of acting in her own indie films (above)

For your latest short film, Breadcrumbs, you enlisted the production assistance of Rafael Kalamat and Jason Barbeck of Reel Deal Guys Entertainment ( – what did they bring to the film and how quickly was it made?  They brought everything that is needed to actually shoot the film.  With their persistence, professionalism, team work, and dedication to the overal look and feel of the film, it was shot within one day.  I really couldn’t have asked for a better team, and that goes for the cast as well.  I’m the kind of filmmaker that wants to get things done when it’s that time.  I think that’s why a short film that could’ve been filmed over a two day period was done in one day because it was “GO, GO, GO”.  We ran a tight ship, and the atmosphere on the set actually fit into the filmmaking process.

11062314_663370900433381_5720500104321403121_nAbove, Rafael (left) & Jason (right) of RDG busy working out close-up shots

Tell us about Breadcrumbs – what’s it about, what was your inspiration for writing it and how much, if any, of it is biographical?  Breadcrumbs is about the drama that occurs in complicated relationships that should’ve ended a while ago.  My inspiration for it came from my own experiences and watching friends or relatives go through it.  All of it is biographical, but as a filmmaker I jazzed it up….and changed the names, of course.

10422979_663370860433385_2966626930667701247_n Alexis StaceyWere you involved in the casting process….and tell us a little about your lead actors?  I take charge and will always take charge of the casting process.  They are MY films, and therefore I’M the one who has the last say in the matter.  I will show co-producers the audition tapes from the actors I’ve chosen to play the roles, but that’s it.  I run my own ship but I’ll always need help to actually set sail.  I’ve known my lead actors (pictured above) for quite some time and they both enjoy these types of films.  I had asked for both their demo-reels when I was initially creating Breadcrumbs before I even told them about it.  I knew their acting chops were exactly what I was looking for, for the characters of “Luke” played by Stacey Unsworth and “Gretchen” portrayed by Alexis Uiga, so when I watched their reels, it was thirty seconds into them that I thought “yeah, I want them. I don’t need to watch anymore”.

Once post-production is completed, where will Breadcrumbs be shown? Any plans for the film fest circuit? Yes, we plan to submit it to as many festivals as we can.  The only footage of the film that will posted on social media for everyone to watch will be teaser trailer(s) of the film.  I hope to have, at most, two teasers since the film is going to be around the five minute mark.

11069621_663964133707391_5080895202076369952_nWhat’s next on your to do list?  The RDG guys and I were talking about making Breadcrumbs into a feature length film so I’ve begun the writing process on that – mostly writing down ideas for tying things together, since there will be lots of questions about the short film.  I’m also in the brain storming process with two other films.  So far everything I’m writing is action based, probably due to my martial arts background.

_MG_0528How can people follow your career? You can follow me on Facebook here: 

Taylor Martin 2Good luck, Taylor, I know you’ll have a lot of Canadian film fans cheering you on, wanting to see more of your work and celebrating women screenwriters and filmmakers.



I’m excited to hear about the success of Claustrophobia’s launch week, covered by the Ottawa Citizen, KISS-FM radio hosts Carter & Sandra, and hundreds of social media and blog posts from the first players in the rooms.  Earlier this week, I spoke with Claustrophobia’s founder, Jennifer Schnare, and asked her about the game venue’s opening week and how business is growing.

Now that you’ve been open for 10 days, how has Ottawa accepted Claustrophobia?  It’s been an amazing response from the Ottawa community. Many people haven’t heard of real escape games and are just discovering it for the first time. They are falling in love with the concept, especially thanks to interviews with KISS-FM radio and the story in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper (photo of Jennifer below).

0313 escape room1.jpgHave people been spreading the word and bringing in teams of friends and family?  Yes! The word is definitely spreading in the community. People are telling their colleagues and their friends and thanks to sharing team photos and results via social media, more and more people are contacting me to ask about reservations.

SatMar21 47minslabDid you have many March break teams in?  Yes, I had quite a few families come through during March break as they found new activities to do with their ‘tweens and teens. The kids would sometimes solve the complex puzzles before their parents…we even had a mum-to-be play. Maybe her baby picked up some “escape clues” that will help on his/her actual birth day!! LOL

Sat team 1What has been the fastest escape time so far and which room?  The fastest escape time has been 40 minutes from the Hostel themed room…and without asking for any clues! The team was a group of four individuals (pictured below) who had some previous experience with escape rooms.

40 min teamWhat sort of feedback are you receiving?  People are having a lot of fun; there is amazement at some of the puzzles and clues, and many people walk out of the rooms after their 60 minutes game-play are up thinking “if only I had tried that…”

Some of the great feedback from players can be found on social media, including these:

Had an awesome time tonight! Thank you, Jennifer.  Jana K.

Awesome puzzles & great overall game. Finished the Lab, can’t wait to give the Hostel room a go.  Anthony R.

Super fun experience! Totally worth checking out.  Stephanie W.

Jennifer is now preparing a special promotion where players can make suggestions for the theme of the new 3rd room and win free gaming sessions. Make sure you follow Claustrophobia on Facebook and Twitter (linked on website).   Why not try escaping from one of Claustrophobia’s rooms yourself. Visit the website and book a session now.

trapped3 unlock


For a second year in a row, the next generation of emerging artists from the Centennial College Fine Arts Studio Program are showcasing their work at Urban Gallery at 400 Queen St East, Toronto, in a vibrant exhibition called VERGE: On the verge… of GREATNESS!  This year’s exhibition runs Thursday March 19 to Saturday March 28, 2015, and today I attended the opening reception for students, instructors, friends and family.

20150321_150706Above, Zoe Son poses for SNAPd newspaper photographer in front of her soft sculpture titled Frightened Zoe

Professor/Co-ordinator David McClyment (below r) welcomed the student artists and their guests, acknowledging their hard work as well as the efforts of gallery curator, Allen Shugar, who helped the students plan and hang their work, Calvin Hambrook, gallery director and Kaspara Albertsen, Urban Gallery’s event coordinator.

20150321_145026 20150321_144231 20150321_143302 20150321_143427 20150321_143517 20150321_150758 20150321_145015The talented young artists had a lot of fun posing for photos next to their works, including Zoe (below)….and fellow artist Sara Vargas Nessi, also with her own work ConVERGE……

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20150321_150849….and Sara Pohner (below) with her light sculpture Verge of Spring pictured with gallery curator Allen Shugar and a friend who came out to support the show.

20150321_151159 20150321_151139 20150321_151133The young artists mixed and mingled, and established artist/poet Brenda Clews, who’s hosting next Saturday’s poetry salon at Urban Gallery, was transfixed by one particular work (bottom pic)20150321_143448 20150321_14333320150321_145046Lots of non-alcoholic bevvies as well as wine and cheese & fruit trays catered by the adjoining UrbanSource Catering were enjoyed by the guests…perhaps my 1 single glass of wine prompted my crazy selfie with event coordinator, Kaspara!20150321_143244 Kaspara & MEIf you would like to view “VERGE: On the verge…of GREATNESS” please check gallery hours at:

And if you would like to support the students, most of the works are available for purchase ranging from $250 to $500.  Why not collect a future Canadian art star now?!


I’m heartbroken….my sports hero has retired from international tournaments and I doubt I will get the chance to ever see him play in person.  Kumar Sangakkara, the legendary Sri Lankan wicket-keeper and batsman has become one of the greatest ambassadors of cricket, a sport most North Americans don’t understand or sadly don’t even care about. So please consider this fan-girl blog a quickee intro to Cricket and to one of its most exciting players ever to take the field.

000_DV1762576Cricket is a team sport played in countries that were once part of the British Commonwealth including Australia, South Africa, the West Indies, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, India…and Sri Lanka, and it’s faster than baseball. And as a female fan with a healthy respect for sports machismo, it has some of the sexiest and handsome players – you can actually see what they look like which makes watching them run, catch, bat and bend over so much more enjoyable, especially watching Sanga on TV!!!

thCAX132AZ 2014 SangaKS4But regardless of my hormonal reactions to the man (!), Sangakkara has brought a new level of skill, passion and commitment to the game and he has become a role model for millions of young men and women around the world who play & love cricket. He’s been the ultimate team player for his country’s national team, as well as his regular season team(s) – I remember watching him play for Sunrisers Hyderabad (part of the Indian Premier League, or IPL) a couple of season’s ago, where he played with such determination and flair. (below)

970489_474519795951820_1618334376_n thCAH1U50Z

This month, during the ICC World Cup of Cricket tournament played in Australia and New Zealand, I’ve watched Sanga play the matches of his life batting 4 back-to-back centuries (100 runs) and taking countless wickets against opposing teams, setting both batting and wicket-keeping records. The quarter-final game between Sri Lanka and South Africa was expected to result in more glory for the SL team and Sanga, but the fates dealt a cruel blow and the Sri Lankans couldn’t get their gears in motion – they went down ingloriously to the underdog Proteas team (SA). But the South African players, the crowds in the stands, the media and his teammates cheered as Sanga and his best mate and fellow SL player, Mahela Jayawardene, who also chose the World Cup to retire from competitive cricket, left the field.

10996384_10153110462542114_2136538099059404616_n18TH_SANGAKKARA_2345174f10659414_10153110437882114_4730005518579715330_nI watched the match live on the internet then again on TV when the highlights were played back late last night.  I can’t imagine watching cricket now without seeing my Sanga, but he took to social media to share his feelings and thank the fans:

Hi Everyone – I just wanted to say thank you for all your messages of support during the World Cup. We are all disappointed with the loss to South Africa. We played poorly and South Africa were deserved winners. Strange to wake-up this morning as a former ODI cricketer, but it’s been a great honour and privilege playing for Sri Lanka during the past 15 years. At the end of the day, I am very fortunate to have enjoyed a long career playing with and against some great players. Thanks for all the encouragement and support over the years. Cheers, Sanga

590_Del6232270Having retired from the T20 International tournaments after Sri Lanka’s exciting WT20 win last year, Sangakkara is expected to play his final Test series against India in August, after which he will retire from all forms of international cricket. So we’ll have just one more brief opportunity to see Kumar in action, and although he encourages his fans to look to the future and not dwell on his departure, I know we all feel the same: farewell to the King…long live the King!



A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the taping of IN THE ROOM (above), a new actors’ round-table style chat show soon to be on television, produced by Jason Barbeck and Rafael Kalamat of RDG Entertainment Inc., a new Toronto-based film and TV production company.  I spoke with both partners, asking them about their inspirations for launching their company and Jason’s interview was published on my blog back in late February – here’s Rafael’s interview where he shared insightful comments about the Canadian TV-scape and his aspirations for RDG.

What first inspired you to become an actor?  My parents told me that as a child I was always impersonating other people. They supported me and my ambitions by enrolling me into acting classes at 8 years of age – I was already on stage and auditioning for theatre and film. I will never forget auditioning at the age of 10 for Roman Polanski’s “Pirates” in Montreal; at the time I had no idea it was a big deal, however, I will never forget the process and what I learned on that day…I use that experience 30 years later.

piratesWhat was your first paid acting job?  I did a number of travelling theatre performances from the ages of 14-17 when I attended the Thomas D’arcy McGee Centre for Fine Arts and Performing, where I studied theatre with Ted Cooney and Virginia McGrath. We studied and acted on stage and had our expenses paid – I guess that was the first time I was given money and thought to myself I could make a living. It was a tremendous learning experience being exposed to the arts and studying art, theatre, dance and music. Theatre being my major and moving on to Film and Communication studies at Dawson College.

When did you realize you could actually make a living as an actor & why? I never realized I could, to tell you the truth, but when I moved to Vancouver in 1994 and started working in film, television and commercials via a principal agent, things seemed limitless when you are 20+ years old! However, it was great seeing actors on set such as Christopher Walken on Excess Baggage and David Duchovny on X-Files…it certainly was where the original tag line of “Hollywood North” was introduced as it seemed that every week there was a Hollywood feature being shot there. It was a great time of growth for me as I made my way down to L.A. – only to have all my dreams crushed. From 2004-2006 I was in talk radio for CJAD on Montreal and finally moved to Toronto in 2006 to rekindle my career. (Rafael pictured below, between shooting scenes)

rafaelWhat prompted the move to found RDG Entertainment Inc. and what brought the two of you together? Over the last few years, Jason Barbeck and I have crossed paths many times in the film and television industry as actors, stand-ins, drivers. Actually the first time we ran into each other was on the set of Flashpoint when we were actors’ doubles working as driving specialists. Later, we found ourselves cast as constables on the award-winning Canadian drama Murdoch Mysteries. It seems Jason and I had a lot in common and we were tired of waiting for the phone to ring. We both had many industry connections and access to scripts, talent, producers, cinematographers, crew and mostly we had a common vision of building a production company from the ground up and being able to one day produce a feature. In less than one year, it looks like we will be shooting our first feature this summer, not to mention countless other projects which include our original Canadian television series called In The Room which features Canadian actors and film & television professionals in a roundtable conversation. These casual conversations were put together to showcase Canadian talent and help build and support the Canadian star system, educating while entertaining the viewers.

How do you see RDG impacting the Canadian film & tv scene?  I don’t think we’ll reinvent the wheel, however, we hope to create quality content and bring like-minded people together to develop projects that are not only Canadian but also have an impact on how film and television is seen. With today’s viewing market changing, there are so many multi-media platforms and we intend to use all of them. In addition, Canada and the United States are great markets for content distribution, but our mandate since our inception is how we can showcase our product to the whole world. The global market is a great place to show that Canadians make amazing stuff too!…and we are on our way.

IMG_20150201_214313What are your current/upcoming projects? Currently, we have an original round-table series called In The Room (recent tapings pictured below), we’re always working on the indie level helping everyone who has a script or a project to get off the ground. Our grass roots understanding of production has helped us develop several teams of production so we can help someone’s short movie come to life or can even produce someone’s demo reel. I think no matter how large our company gets, the core vision is to help kick-start indie projects, just as others in the film industry have helped us get started – it’s all about giving back. Our first feature, called Adam’s Testament, is slated for the summer of 2015, and we have several other projects in the works including an untitled Toronto television crime/drama series.

Roundtable guests 20150308_140111What are your dreams and aspirations for RDG’s future as well as your own? Our dream has always been to make features and being able to travel the film festival circuit. That being said, as a struggling artist for so many years, I am grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to pursue my dreams. I would love to leave a legacy for my wife and son and to me, family always comes first. Jason and I are both husbands and fathers first, yet everyone we work with becomes our extended family and treat them with the respect they deserve; as this industry is very difficult, we strive to keep a positive atmosphere and want people to be creative and be able to showcase their ability as artists and human beings through their work. (below…Jason & Rafael flank actor Philip Moran)

20150308_135656Are you looking for new actors, writers, directors and if so, how do people reach you? We love networking with like-minded people. I personally love reading scripts and trying to make connection with the right people if RDG can’t help. I came from the mindset of always searching for work as an artist, and now that my cup is overflowing, I find that paying it forward is very gratifying.  (Below, Rafael and RDG biz partner Jason storm the beaches of LA and dine at famed Yamashiro’s in the Hills)

IMG_20150202_110415 Yamashiro's LA

Over the past 25 years, Rafael has worked in all areas of the film and television industry – as an actor, stand-in, photo double, background, stunts, special skills performer, voice, transport driver, locations, writer, producer, director, casting, wrangler, wardrobe, etc.  Focusing now on producing, writing and acting, the future offers more directions and his life and business experience has allowed him to find an exciting niche in the film and television scene.

You can follow Rafael and Jason’s upcoming production news via their website:

New hair do, new web do!

So after getting my hair chopped off and restyled a couple of weeks ago, I thought…why not do the same for my website which was about as tired as my old hair ‘do.  So thanks to Purvin Wai of EZ-Link Solutions, here’s my new fancy-schmancy website. Still easy-to-read and keep-it-simple-stupid in format so even an old blondie like me can add stories, photos and links for clients, post event coverage and newsy content. Just a little more streamlined and, as Purvin says, “welcome to 2015, Glenda”. LOL

I have some great news coming up from RDG Entertainment as well as updates from the ICC World Cup of Cricket being held this month in Australia and New Zealand – my beloved Sri Lankan team plays an important quarter final match tomorrow against South Africa so fingers crossed that the mighty Kumar Sangakkara (below) hits another century and sends the Proteus back home with their tails between their legs!!


So please come back and visit for upcoming news, and feel free to visit all the past blog stories under the tab “Previous Blog”.