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  • Writer's pictureBrian Martin


Dec 4, 2019:

I’m nothing if not flexible.

Ever since those 5am wakeup calls during the school week so as to hit the pool for 6am, finish at 8am and be at class for the 8:40 bell I’ve never had a problem working shift work, or conforming to an odd schedule that I could see would further my agenda in the long run.

I worked abnormal hours all my life, with Air Canada, the Coast Guard, and Air Traffic Control. The price I paid for early retirement (if you will) was finding the sort of work that was 24/7/365. I’m not suggesting that everyone has to pay that price but that’s where I found above average wages and very attractive benefits for non-post-secondary types such as myself.

Shift work though is demanding, not only on the body and mind, but also in the social life department. When you’re off most people are working and vice versa (meaning a little less group interaction). Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, well…maybe a little, but I still managed to stay active (sports wise), and a side benefit was being able to take care of things like car maintenance or shopping during the weekdays when it wasn’t nearly as busy.

I picked up my first acoustic guitar right out of high school (along with a cigarette and pot smoking habit). The guitar was a real piece of shit with a super narrow neck and bad action that I got for free from somewhere. I learned a couple of chords on it before my dad tossed it across one end of the basement to the other one night over something to do with getting a job and getting out. Ah, the life of a rock and roller.

So, I got a job in security working straight midnights at just over minimum wage guarding some Armenian Consulate (located in those days behind the Rock Palace on Davie Street) from the Russians or something equally as silly, moved out of the house, got fired for sleeping on the job (it’s possible that bringing my own pillow to work didn’t help my case any) and found myself on the welfare line. Like I said, the life of a rock and roller. I guess that rock and roll lifestyle wasn’t really working for me anyways as I found eating decent food and sleeping in a warm bed to be more inside my wheelhouse.

Back in the eighties my buddy Dan and I became proficient enough singer/songwriter/musicians to record a three-song demo of original material (one of those songs being We’re Worth Saving on my NFA page). We went down to LA and hit every major label that was around back then but were met with an equal amount of thanks but no thanks letters in the end. An experience I revisited trying to get my first novel published. As I’ve said before I’m a no talent hack, but I do have some redeeming qualities, which will hopefully come to light at some point.

Needless to say, the guitar took a back seat to working for a living as my Freedom 55 plan began to take hold. I did dabble here and there and of course continued writing sporadically as well just to try and keep the creative juices from freezing over, so to speak.

I did get a nasty gram from Revenue Canada in the nineties telling me that I owed them some back taxes for a song I wrote that generated some income from somewhere back in the eighties. I got a hold of SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada) and they explained that they had been trying to get a hold of me for some time as they had collected some royalties on my behalf, but they had lost my address when they transitioned from paper to computer. To this day I still have no idea which song of the ones I registered with them generated the income, but had it not been for Revenue Canada wanting their cut I would have never known about it.

I just wrapped up on the set of Who’s Calling. What a great group of young millennial up and comers to work with for my first ever acting gig (I posted some pics on my IG). Lots of positive energy and enthusiasm during the whole process, and yes, avocado and toast for lunch and the occasional “Ok Boomer” shot from my acting partners. All good cracker.

When I left the set at eleven on Sunday night, I was exhausted and yet I was fairly certain the crew still had a couple of hours of clean up in front of them as well as class to make the next morning. A dedicated bunch to be sure.

I also received a call from the director of the cold read audition that I had done a little while back. She said nice things about my versatility to not only do the read in the way that I had thought it should be presented, but also to be able to adapt to the type of character that she had envisioned as well, but in the end, I got chopped.

I received a notice from my family doctor that the ortho needed x-rays of my shoulder to go along with the MRI. Sounds kind of ominous to me (I’m hoping to sidestep surgery), but I am rehabbing and strengthening my shoulder with physio and a new gym routine involving bands and TRX straps. Sounds kind of kinky I know, but hey as I said, I’m nothing if not flexible.

Until next time.

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