Chasing My Dreams...at 90km an Hour - Uncover Ostomy
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Chasing My Dreams…at 90km an Hour

This summer, I decided that I was going to dip my self back into the whole acting thing.

Why would someone who just completed her Masters degree do such a thing, you might ask?

Because it is my dream.

I began acting when I was really young, around the age of 8 or so, if I can remember. My grandmother, a prominent Canadian actress (Goosebumps, Hey Cinderella, Billy Madison, various theatrical productions, etc) had pushed me into the acting thing to follow in her footsteps; and I loved it.

Something about taking on the thoughts, behaviors, and mannerisms of another person gave me such a rush. Being on stage or behind the camera as a character and completely leaving myself behind was almost a way of meditation and self reflection. Not only that, but to be able to be on set or on stage for hours upon hours a day was actually something I much preferred to do than to sit behind a desk and a computer. I had always wanted acting to be my full time job, not for the fame, but for the ability to support myself doing something I loved.

My parents, being wise and smart, however, suggested that before I took on this career choice that I complete school. Not everyone can make it as an actor and I needed a back up plan. I completely agreed and put my acting career on hold. There was no way I was going to be able to run to auditions in Toronto and be on set while I was trying to attend classes and do exams in London, On and there was also no way I was going to attempt to act in New York without having any connections there. So, education took priority.

Now, at the age of 23, I am done all of my schooling with a great and flexible job. I am at the age where I can play a 15 year old or a 25 year old.  I have some sort of talent (I think). I am in the perfect situation to try and get back into acting and that is why I called my agent up to get me back into the game.

Last Sunday, I was sent to the first audition I have had in years. It was for a commercial for Canada’s Wonderland with a huge pool of around 6o0 people to choose from. I went in doubting I’d get a part but figured it was great practice to get myself back into the industry. I was shocked when my agent called me on Friday and told me that I had landed a principle role.

I was unbelievably excited to have landed the part simply because it gave me a bit of hope that I wasn’t some silly girl just trying to be an actress. Unfortunately, that excitement came to a screeching halt when I got a call yesterday asking me if I was ok to be on rollercoasters.

UM. Sooo, no one in the audition mentioned needing to actually ride a rollercoaster.

If they had, I would have left.

I never go on rollercoasters.

I hate rollercoasters.

But of course, when I got the call, my answer was an exuberant: “oh yeah no problem, I can TOTALLY do rollercoasters.”

There was no way I was going to give up my first principle role in my new acting career! I was going to make a sacrifice in the name of my profession. It had to be done.

So today, bright and early, I arrived at Canada’s Wonderland. Shaking. I was beyond nervous for what was to come.

After being made up and dressed, the production team walked me and the rest of the cast and crew to our first location:

Flight Deck. For those of you who don’t know about this rollercoaster… it goes upside down. And at 80km/h. I have never been on an upside down rollercoaster (by choice) and this was how I was going to spend my morning. It didn’t help they decided to put me at the front of the ride. Literally convulsing in the lineup before they loaded us on, I kept imagining myself passing out on the ride.

Somehow, in a way that I cannot even comprehend, I made it through one ride and that was certainly enough for me.

I was able to get off Flight Deck for the rest of that location shot so I could collect myself for the next coaster; the Vortex.

I had been hearing this coaster was a little easier to take so I was able to calm myself down a tiny bit. We made our way to that coaster and I managed to control my shakes until, once again, they loaded me into the front seat. Before I knew it, we were speeding through the ride at 90km/h. Not only that, they made us do it 2 times without getting off, twice. I felt sick.

By lunchtime, somehow, some way, the shoot was over and I had made it through this day.

Maybe it was a little part of me saying that I should try something new. Maybe it was something inside of me saying life is too short to be afraid of a silly rollercoaster. Or maybe it was the voice in the back of my head saying “THIS IS YOUR DREAM, JESSICA, DON’T EFF UP.” Whatever it was, I did it.

I am so happy to have the chance to do what I want to do with my life. While I love the job that I am doing now, I made my decision to get back into acting because I know that you can really only enter the industry successfully at certain age. Grabbing life by the horns, I figured why not. And so far, it’s speeding by quite well.

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Jessica Grossman
info@uncoverostomy.org
5 Comments
  • Cristian Xavier
    Posted at 23:18h, 21 August Reply

    Keep doing it! I started a few years ago and since then, have gone thru surgeries and have used my ostomy to help build a character or two

  • Carrie
    Posted at 23:25h, 21 August Reply

    Glad to hear you conquered a fear to carry out your dreams!

    The first day on a dream job for me was spent on a float plane with the entire Board of Directors I would be working for……same situation…I may not have taken the job as I had a fear of flying….I shared the fear with my Managing Director and she told me to ‘fake it till you make it’ ….I faked and now LOVE those little float planes

    And no…I have no idea how those little balls inside a hacky sack ended up all over the floor ; )

  • Chloe
    Posted at 23:54h, 21 August Reply

    im so glad you’re chasing your dreams! ive always believed that just because you have a disease or an ostomy, it shouldnt stop you from being yourself.
    im so glad the rollercoaster ride went well! i used to LOVE rollercoasters, but there was a recent incident that happened to me on one of them, and now i dont think i will ever go on one again, especially one that goes upside down and backwards… but im glad it didnt happen to you!

  • Vanessa Brannan
    Posted at 00:06h, 22 August Reply

    Wonderland!! I haven’t been in 15 years, but it was my favourite place as a teen. I still remember when I was 13 or 14 and my brothers convinced me to try the roller coasters (my parents always had to split up so I could ride the tame stuff). First was Mine Buster. they down played it– oh, it’s just a little wood one– it doesn’t even go upside down. Afterwards, they told me it has the highest drop in the country. It made me feel quezy, but I also felt like I could do anything. Vortex next, then the Bat and Dragon’s fyre (I think that’s what it was called.). I love roller coasters now ans have been in every one in every park I’ve been too (significant since u lived in FL for 7 years!). There are only 2 I hate: Top Gun at wonderland (is that the same as Flight Deck?) And Manta at Sea World Orlando (same seat style–hanging, but it flips you into you stomach for the whole ride, so every time you’re going down, it’s face first like diving, but all your weight us on your chest. Impossible to breath and really painful!)
    I’m glad you toughed it out! I’m also glad to know my ostomy won’t keep me from the coasters (though I suspect chemical might have screwed up my senses so I won’t actually enjoy them anymore. I get dizzy now.)

  • PaulO
    Posted at 09:15h, 22 August Reply

    About a month ago I was in a rollercoaster for the very first time. I was there with a friends doughter and my son (7). My son chickend out and I didn’t want the girl to go alone, so … on board I go.
    I survived, of cource I survived. But, this was also the first time I was happy to have had an anal amputation early this year …

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