Today TIFF begins, which brings us to our very first installment of It’s Going To Be Fine (a series of pep talks).
Like you, I’m psyched. TIFF is great! Movies happen! Celebrities exist! People wear fancy clothes and we all look our best! Other people do not wear fancy clothes (hi!) and still look our best (always)! There are parties! Cafes filled with famouses! Sometimes there are free things! Most of the time there is not! Horray! TIFF!
Which brings me to my next point: calm down, it’s fine.
And I say that because upon the start of TIFF, a strange buzzing descends over our home and native land. Everything becomes a big deal. Every screening is THE screening. Every famous is THE famous person. We all get nervous and we all start peacocking and shit gets way too intense and by noon on the second day, I am all, “Nope stop this I want to go home I did not emotionally prepare for this.” And I usually end up eating snacks in bed and feeling really proud of my decisions as a human being.
But this needn’t happen. We can arm ourselves appropriately. And we will do it by the following pep talk. We can do this.
1) It’s fine. Guys? It’s okay. This is a movie festival. It is a celebration of movies. How cool is that? Fucking cool! We hang out in theatres and eat snacks and maybe go to parties or maybe not. So say that out loud every time you start to freak out. Because when you add “I’m anxious because…” to the top of “I get to eat popcorn and watch movies” it’s almost like, “Wait, why are you anxious?” (And I say this as someone whose anxiety is always trying to sneak up on her.)
2) But I’m serious: everybody’s at work and everyone’s trying super hard to not fuck up. Those celebrities? They’re at work! Those people who work at TIFF? Work! The volunteers? Oh my LORD, so much work. We’re all trying our best. It’s fine. You’re fine! It’s okay.
3) If you meet somebody who acts like a dick, that is on them and not you. It’s embarrassing for the person being rude if they are being rude to you. And if you start being rude to people, that’s embarrassing for you, too.
4) Because guess what: no one is better than anyone. You know? I know we all feel fancy and cool, but we are all just people. At some point in our lives, we have all had to use Imodium. I want you to remember that anytime you think you’re cooler than anyone or if you think anyone is cooler than you. The great equalizer is a stomach debacle. We have all suffered from it. The hierarchy is a myth. Those people on the red carpet? They might even have Imodium in their bags. And I say this because I always do and if you need some, just ask me, I’ve got you.
5) Everyone feels weird at parties. It’s not just you. I haven’t met anyone who feels comfortable at fancy TIFF parties unless they’ve been drunk or may actually be sociopaths. You know why? Parties are weird. They’re so weird! And the sooner we admit how weird parties are, the sooner we will feel comfortable at them because we can stop worrying about what everybody’s thinking and bask in the glow of all being people experiencing a bizarre social situation. No actual parties we go to in our real lives consist of standing around wondering where to look. Normal parties are about knowing most people there and eating a bunch and catching up with whoever and maybe listening to Bruce Springsteen really loud. Or not. I don’t know. But no one is dressed up, I’ll tell you that much.
6) No one is thinking about you. Not in a bad way! But look: everyone is very, very worried about not being an idiot. That means they have no time to worry about you being an idiot. You know how you just told that famous person you saw that you love them and their work? And they were really nice, but now you’re worried that you were super uncool? They’re actually worrying that they weren’t nice enough to you. They’re internally screaming. They are not thinking, “Wow that person was so uncool.” They’re probably like, “Shit! That person was super nice and I was freaking out about what time I have to be at that thing and now I think I was kind of rude to them?” That is what’s happening. Remember: nobody cares. It’s the most liberating mantra of life.
Now go forth, TIFF it up, and for the love of all that is good, order popcorn at every screening.