After work on GIRLFRIEND was complete, and a little waiting time, you can imagine how excited everyone from the film was to learn that GIRLFRIEND was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival!!!
But before I write about TIFF I want to tell you a story about a hard time for me.
SHAUN (my man) AND ALOT OF REALLY NICE PEOPLE
Long after filming ended, when the GIRLFRIEND trailer was first up on YouTube, I read some very nice comments and some not very nice comments about me. One night after seeing a lot of only mean comments I called Shaun O'Banion (my man) because I was very upset by these mean comments about me. We had a long talk on the phone and Shaun helped me so much. After I spoke to Shaun I felt much better. I also spoke to Jeff Castelluccio (my friend) who made me feel better too. I feel very close to both of them. They are such good friends to me. This time was very difficult for me, but I learned that with friends like Shaun, Jeff, Justin, other people from the film, friends and family that were loving kind and supportive to me, I know I can get through times like this. But even more kindness was coming my way.
After this experience, Shaun spread the word about what I went through reading the mean comments about me on YouTube, and took the time to collect encouraging loving messages from around the world (some from many of you) and created an amazing scrapbook for me. Shaun wrote me a letter that I treasure, and filled this scrapbook with the wonderful messages he collected from so many kind and loving people, complete strangers and family and friends. I even got a message from Sylvester Stallone!
Shaun also included photos from filming and all kinds of scrapbook film decorations. He never told me about this because he wanted it to be a surprise. Late one afternoon, when we were all in Toronto, resting up before one of our screenings, Shaun called to see if he and Justin could come to our room because they had something for me. That's when Shaun gave me the amazing scrapbook (and one of the movie's posters!). Shaun told me he wanted to use the same internet that caused me pain to help make me feel better. I thank Shaun so much and want to thank all the people who took the time and sent wonderful comments to me. It really means so much to me and helped me so much. I treasure the scrapbook and Shaun's and everyone's kindness. This experience taught me that although there are many mean people in this world, there are many more nice people. I just wish everyone would be kind to each other.
TORONTO AND TIFF
All I can tell you about Toronto and TIFF is that it was AMAZING! If you haven't read Shaun's 3 part blog about this experience yet, please read it. You will get to see and read about what a wonderful fun time it was in Toronto. If you go to his September 2010 archives Shaun does a wonderful job telling a lot more details (like when I met Harvey Weinstein!) and has photos you won't see anywhere else.
Besides all the interviews, photo shoots, parties and of course the 3 screenings, it was so much fun to get to see so many people I had worked with on GIRLFRIEND again. It was such a fun reunion with everyone. I also met new friends Jeremy and Judd who worked on PR for the film. Of course I loved being so busy with so many interviews and all the attention, but the reason we were at TIFF was for GIRLFRIEND's premiere.
All three screenings were SOLD OUT, we got standing ovations, and positive reviews. How perfect is that?! It was a lot of fun doing the Q&As after the screenings too. I loved when I made people laugh. It was a long but really fun day when reporter Steve Pond, from 'The Wrap' entertainment website, followed me throughout my day. He also interviewed me and called me "TIFF's New Star!" He is a really nice guy.
It was so hard for me to leave Toronto, but I think it was hard for everyone. We all had such a wonderful time and everyone loved our movie.
CHECK BACK SOON FOR PART V!