Monthly Archives: September 2012

So you want to be in the movies? (Pt. 2)

I find it a shade ridiculous that I completely and entirely forgot to mention one of the most important and intriguing facts of my life these days.  Let me explain:  this is my second store.  We closed the first one in 2003 and opened this one in 2005.

That’s all you need to know before I tell you…  we have another film shooting at our store!  Just over a decade later, and history is repeating itself.  I find that to be almost too cool for words, but since this is a blog I’ll make it work.

For True Blue things played out as aforementioned:  we were paid $1000 for use of the store for one day (that’s a month’s rent!), they broke a LOT of stuff, and also the crew found so much of our stock incredibly intriguing enough to purchase for themselves and families.  This is what happens when you work with an established company.

Sandstorm Films produced the movie, as well as other recent films like Wicked Little Things, Sniper 2 and 3, The Covenant and 8MM 2.  Okay, I’ve not heard of any of these movies (they’re pulled from the IMDb website), however just seeing that the company has upwards of 10 films under its belt leads me to believe that they’re doing something sort of right (or maybe so extremely wrong, I don’t know much about production, granted).

Anyways, with these new guys, 2012 Beyond Productions & Moon Valley Pictures, things are so entirely different.  They’re fresh out of college. Seriously.  They JUST finished their film/media/production courses that one needs to take in order to make movies, or something.  Please tell me, anyone who is reading this, what is the common theme with all post-grads fresh out of college?

Mmmmhmmm.  So guess what?  We’re offering up the use of our store for FREE.  We’re cool that way.  I know how hard it can be to make it anywhere in the film industry, and these guys could use a little help getting a foot or three in the door.  That means we’re stepping up.  Know why?  We support the arts, especially in Toronto.  Think of where else this could lead me, though.  Here’s what we are getting:

1.  Credits

Extremely important if you want people to know that you even exist.  For anyone not reading this blog, go watch that movie when it comes out, sometime in 2013!  The thing is, the first people to see those credits (besides anyone working on the movie) will be others in the film industry, after having watched it at the:

2.  Screening

We’re invited.  Cool man!  So we get to rub elbows with people these guys have worked with, mostly actors and friends who live in Toronto.  Guess what?  That’s where my store is!  The more people I schmooze with, the more likely someone is to come by the store and check out what we’ve got.  And who knows, maybe I’ll have already met them through my…

3.  Role

That’s right.  I’m really going to be in this one!  I’ll have a picture from my childhood in one of the shots, just like last time ’round, but I’ll ALSO be a passerby, or something.  Most likely you’ll see 3/4 of my head as I walk past the window, but who cares!  I’m totally going to be famous.  THEN we’ll see how many followers I have (but my favourite will always be Justin, mosrur07, Patrick Latter, thevintageporch, and egrizzly305, my first five)!  If any of you guys are in the city, you’re more than welcome have a slice of

4.  Pizza

They’re going to buy us lunch.  I’ll make sure of it.

So I’ve had to mountain-climb out of bed this morning (SO not a morning person) because I didn’t find out until 10pm last night that they’ll be dropping by today to take measurements and decide on angles and whatnot.  Yeehaw.  Okay, I’ll stop complaining.  There guys are going to make me famous, afterall.

Oh, and if you’d like to watch the (EXTREMELY) teaser-trailer for the film, here it is:

Watch it and let me know what you think!


PS.  I get a copy of the movie this time ’round.   Still waiting to find True Blue!


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So you want to be in the movies?

…or how about appear in a TV series?  Infomercial?  Short film?

When I was younger, just like many other little girls, I wanted to make it big!  I’d dream night after night about my escape to California, and how I’d have to wait tables to get anywhere in the business.

As it turns out, the best possible way for me to make it big was for me to stay exactly where I was.  Here’s why:

This is the second store I’ve lived in- it’s on a shorter avenue with mostly through traffic and no parking.  The first store, however, was on bustling QUEEN STREET in Toronto!  Marked as one of the longest in the city, it is also one of the major arteries.  Think of it as the aorta, if you will (Yonge Street is the vein that keeps blocking up after 50 years of bacon).  With a streetcar stop right outside our front door, we had EVERYONE coming in, including celebrities.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Kate Winslet?  Kate Beckinsale?  Kate Hill?  Okay, I made up the last one, but Bernard Hill has also come in!  The only problem is, they all came into that magical store *before* they made it “big.”  That means I didn’t recognize any of them.  Drat!  However proper salesmanship, a sparkling personality and working in the best dang store in Toronto means they’re not sure to forget.

Steve has been in the vintage industry since 1979, and he’s met more celebs than I care to not-be-jealous of.  Brad Pitt?  Tom Hanks?  For crying out loud, PICASSO?!?  Okay, I made that one up too.  We had a sketch by Picasso, but really it turned out to be a work by John Lennon.  So we haven’t met him (he was killed 9 years before I was born!), but just having something of his is tres cool (not Tre).

Anyways,  not only celebrities have braved the antiquated elements in order to enter my first store:  set designers, set dressers, props masters, costume designers and location scouts have all found themselves in the shop.  Who are these people?  Oh yeah, they’re part of the film industry.

In 2001 we had some important people come in and browse, then one, obviously the alpha male, yelled “Perfect!”  As it turned out, they wanted to film something IN our store.  And that they did.  True Blue didn’t become a big hit or anything, but MY store is IN THAT MOVIE!

If you have the chance to watch it, skip forward to the pawn shop scene;  that’s my old shop in all its splendor.  Perhaps you’ll notice the picture on the cash register?  That’s me.  🙂  So, I’m in a movie.

The best way to get started in the film industry is to not pursue it at all.  Establish a semi-successful business and let everyone come to you!

(What, did you think I was an agent or something?)


PS.  I haven’t actually seen the movie.  If you live in Toronto and have a copy, please let me know!

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Will all the real neat-freaks please clean up?

The UTTERMOST problem I’ve encountered during the… 17 years (WOW!) of in-store living that I’ve had to contend with is the boundary between store and home.

When I say I live in a shop, I really mean I have a small apartment attached to the rear of the storefront.  Because I have SO MUCH STUFF, however, I find it hard to keep up with organization.  I can’t go 5 seconds without laying eyes on something that doesn’t belong.

Mary Poppins, Mrs. Doubtfire and Lunette the Clown would all suffer heart pains should they step into the inexorable chaos that is my store and home.  Right now I have jewellery, 2 radios, stained-glass art and some vintage leather shoes all sitting in my kitchen.

Also, I’m a Gemini.  We’re indecisive, scatterbrained creatures.  How can I possibly get anything done if those are two of my dominant characteristics?  Well, Lifehacker is helping, for sure:


You see, we all need help every so often in rethinking the items we have- we’re not all creative enough to think of mounting baskets sideways and using them as shelves.  This helps me in TWO ways.

1:   I use the idea in the home.

Perhaps not with towels as I already have a handy-dandy towel holder, but I’m always struggling to find ways of displaying my gadgets or trinkets in my bedroom.  Once I mount some baskets on the wall next to the TV, I can display some of my favourite DVDs and other film-related collectibles.

2:  Selling stock.

How?  Well, perhaps you’ve heard about the “distressed look.”  This is not for fashion;  please don’t walk around Toronto (or anywhere for that matter) with distress on your face thinking it’s the latest trend.  No, we’re talking furniture and decor, here.

And the coolest item you can find with the distressed look is the much-beloved Coca-Cola crate.   While baskets might be sturdy enough to hold bathroom linens, Coke boxes can hold books, paperweights, even a baby (please don’t put your baby on the crate), so long as you mount it properly.  Any handy DIYer can help.

Anyways, here’s my favourite picture of the Coke shelf:


This is by no means my picture, nor is it my idea.  BUT I do sell these at my store;  sites like Lifehacker introduce me to the ideas I can apply to stock.  When I pass the idea along to my customers, they remember not only where they found the idea, but also where they can go to see it through!

Maybe I’ll start thinking outside the Coca-Cola box now.  🙂



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I’ve never been stellar…

…at introducing myself in type, but it seems somewhat necessary for this.  I mean, why would anyone want to read this without knowing a timbit or two about the author?

My name is Katrina and I live in a store;  in fact, I’ve lived in a store since the age of 6, and I’d like to think that makes me pretty special.  This isn’t just any store either.  I live in a cave of wonders that would put Ariel to shame.

The real shame, actually, is that I haven’t been chronicling my thoughts and experiences during this entire adventure, for I am so fairly certain someone, somewhere, would find these stories entertaining, thought-provoking, moving, heartbreaking, and a smattering of everything in between.

I’m quite poor in maintaining an online presence, but it’s something I’d really like to work on, mostly for my own sake.

We’ll see how this goes.


PS.  It’s an antique store.  🙂

PPS.  Here’s a photo of some of the small things I carry in the store:




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