I can’t sleep well the night before I fly or, apparently, the night before I have to get up early for a big meeting – which is the all the more problematic when your that early wake-up call works out to a 4:30 a.m. rise and shine west coast time.
But I’m not on the west coast. I’m in Toronto where I am enjoying (?) the ear-numbing chill of the type of winter I left behind long ago. Following an uneventful flight (mostly spent reading Jeffrey Steingarten’s immensely entertaining It Must Have Been Something I Ate), we touched down in Toronto early and caught a cab back to the hotel where the gang awaited us. After checking in and dropping off our stuff, we headed downstairs where we joined Rob, Sue, Alex, and Klaus in the lounge for drinks and talk of cars, ice driving, Tokyo, Paris, and, of course, brain ravioli. Paul, my writing partner, belittled my choice of cocktail (the moscow mule), then proceeded to order himself a “Manhattan with a twist”, one of those drinks only ordered by characters in old Dashiell Hammett novels.
After drinks, Rob, Sue, Paul, and I headed to one of my Top Toronto picks: Nota Bene. The highlights of the night…
This morning, we were picked up and shuttled to the temporary production offices located in the far outskirts of the city. It was, I suspected, a place popular with mobsters looking to clean up loose ends and make bodies “disappear”.
We settled in and spent the morning discussing broad strokes: our main character, his backstory, his various relationships, how his past influenced his present, how events in the pilot will influence his future, and network demands. Then, after lunch, we started beating out the pilot, managing an impressive Tease and three acts before running out of steam (due in no small part due being gifted a whack of chocolate bars including some dark chocolate-covered marzipan). As much as I’ve enjoyed my time off, I’ve got to admit – it was fun to be back in a room, spinning stories.
For dinner tonight, we headed to George where we enjoyed another excellent meal…
It was a short, albeit unbearably cold walk back to the hotel where we retired back to our respective rooms to await the coming snowstorm. I hear it’s going to be a BIG one. To avoid having to brave the potentially treacherous conditions, they’ve wisely decided to relocate tomorrow’s spin session from the remote stoolie-silencing fields of Don Mills to the quaint and cosy environs of the hotel conference room.
Pros: Love the show and all those involved I’ve met to date: Fred, Sure, Alex, and Klaus. Would, of course, jump at the chance to work with Rob again. So far, the Toronto restaurants are two for two.
Cons: Toronto aint growing on me. It’s cold and, without a doubt, the ugliest city I’ve ever visited. And I’ve been to Jersey. Also, it remains to be seen whether we’ll be able to make a series deal.
Still, so far so good. Looking forward to tomorrow’s brainstorming. And the brain ravioli at Black Hoof.