The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is invading the entertainment district right now and the streets are filled with wild and crazy star gazers. It was a challenging walk last night along King Street trying to avoid all the human drool on the sidewalk. People fly in from all over the world to participate. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few even flapped their wings across the pond just to experience red carpet fever. When Ducks Get Curious they seek out new adventures.
I must admit that I had a dream of walking the red carpet myself but not as a giant face on the sliver screen (Eech! That thought gives me chills) but as the artistic talent behind a visual masterpiece that ensnares the senses of the science fiction/fantasy aficionado.
I fancied myself as the Leonarda Da Vinci of the costume world, or the one who melded beauty and culture to create Queen Amidala of Star Wars: Episode 1, or the one who squeezed every evil cell out of Shinzon in Star Trek Nemesis (Tom Hardy is positively delectable in that role…whoops…the little Goth in me peeks over the popcorn), or the one who revealed the seductive power of Dame Vaako in the Chronicles of Riddick (If I didn’t like snips and snails and puppy dogs tails…hot), or the one who released the eternal elegance of the wood elves in Lord Of The Rings, or the one who gave Neo that awesome coat and Trinity that kick-buttockses catsuit in The Matrix, or…
I’d better stop because you’ll be here for a week.
Every movie I saw where the costumes were simply incredible made my heart soar. I believed in my very core that I was every bit as imaginative and capable as any of those designers, yet here I am with the dream as yet unrealized and a 7-year journey into the world of Haute Couture that had left me with a debt well into 6 figures (ouch!).
Excuse me. I need a Mugatu moment right now:
“I invented the piano-key dress! I invented it!”
OK. Moving on.
The details of what went wrong are still a painful memory…all those years with only a closet full of silk masterpieces as evidence and golden eggs incubating inside the Gangnam procession of my mind. Of all The Ducks that Are Quacking, there is but one duck who holds the answer to the question. You know the question.
If I have one single request of The Great Duck In The Sky (The GDS) it is to meet that one duck, the Haute Duckourier, and ask her:
“Is it too late?”
It was the year 2007 when the challenges overwhelmed me and I retreated. I shrank my vision into something more manageable, more practical, and unfortunately more uninspiring. As my left brain subdued my right brain into being “realistic” my passion died. They were dark times filled with self-loathing and feelings of insignificance.
It was Time To Pluck The Duck but I hadn’t the inner strength to do so. I was still holding on to a past I felt I needed to remain whole. A past where I believed that I had to work twice as hard as everyone else to get noticed because I wasn’t beautiful enough. Pretty fracked up, eh?
Did you hear that? Oh never mind. As I was saying…
…But everywhere I looked around I found validation for those beliefs. I was so wrapped up in my own twisted logic that you are either beautiful or smart, not both, that my fate was cast into the Fraser river as I swam upstream. I was smart but was not looking good enough to get to the spawning ground in time.
Gratefully, a few fwap-fwaps in the head from a mob of webbed feet got me looking around at my fellow swimmers. They weren’t in any better shape than I was yet they were moving fast towards their dreams.
Thank the GDS for those little yellow feathered angels!
“Qua Qua Quack!” (You are welcome) It’s coming from my closet.
I pull open the drape handcrafted with my original Yorkville boutique logo to reveal two little black eyes peering up at me through the gowns. The head follows next, then the pudgy little body dragging a sewing machine behind her. She pulls the Janome into the centre of the room, wipes her forehead with her wing and plops her tooshy down.
Out comes the measuring tape, the chalk, the muslin, and the pins and she gets to work. I watch her intently as she Quacks Like No One Is Watching while she crafts design after design and sets them up on imaginary mannequins floating in my living room. I stand there in complete amazement at what I am seeing. Could it be?
She flies to the bookshelf and returns with a gold status of Osiris, shoves it in my hands, positions my body in the centre of the suspended creations, holds a vertical wing to my face, then flies out the window.
I think she means for me to stay. My mind drifts to the collections that live trapped inside my sketch portfolio and the ones not yet committed to paper tucked away in my imagination. Could she have found them?
The Haute Duckourier arrives half wobbling and exhausted carrying a 6-foot wide cylindrical package. She flops it onto the floor and gives it a swift kick. It rolls towards me like a wave of hope, red and plush. I step onto it by her command and the muslin mannequins magically transform into a crowd of people walking down the central corridor in the majestic futuristic city of Eadonberg.
Nemecene has come to life.
My waddling messenger claps her wings with so much excitement that she drops a golden egg. The egg opens to reveal a polaroid inside. She picks it up, quacks me to hold up my Osiris, snaps a picture, blows on it for a bit, then hands it over to me.
Osiris winks at me and whispers: “You can call me Oscar.” The picture becomes a MIME worthy of the years of sacrifices and disappointments.
“It was too early. NOW you are ready. Go for it!”
What dream inside you do you need a little help resurrecting? The GDS awaits your request.