"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

audition

Listen to my interview on CJAD 800 about my reality TV experiences

Today I was interviewed on Montreal’s CJAD 800 talk radio about my reality tv experiences. You can listen in full by clicking the soundcloud above or clicking here

This blog always gets a lot of traffic this time of year because one of the tv shows in which I was cast, First Dates, always premieres a new season around this time. And then this old blog post of mine suddenly is getting a bajillion hits.

After the clusterfuck of death and rape threats died down, and I left the UK for good, I wrote about my experiences for VICE, in a piece which went viral around the world. Seeing as how the producers of First Dates had a duty of care but failed to care for my well-being and best interests, writing this piece seemed to me the quickest way to get to the truth.

This piece regularly makes the rounds every year, and host Natasha Hall of CJAD read it and invited me on for a quick chat. It was a joy to speak to her, her and her producer were lovely and I would gladly go back on if/when invited

Fanks for listening to the interview and for the support, munchkins.

As always, don’t forget to visit the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my interviews on TV, radio, and print!


Confessions of a Reality TV Whore: A Cautionary Tale

vicesecond1

Check out my latest essay in VICE, about the clusterfuck that is reality TV, and how I shit-talked my way onto not one, but two of ’em. Click the above image or click here to read.

If you missed it, here’s my VICE essay from last week about my bushy fucking demon-eyebrows.

Like last week, my essay is one of the most popular on the Vice network.

mostpopularvice

 

Fanks for reading, munchkins!


#FirstDates: That’s a wrap!


As I previously blogged, the second season of First Dates has come to an end, and the entire cast was on hand this past weekend to celebrate it in full-London style at Café de Paris in the heart of Piccadilly Circus. It was such a trip to have been cast in this television show. I found out recently that over 14,000 people applied to be on the show this year, and I was one of 50-some-odd people to make the final cast. That really is humbling. And also, a small source of pride:)

Here are some photos of me bonding with the rest of the cast from the omni-shambolic clusterfuck that was the all-night Wrap Party! In the above photo, it’s me and my harem of bearded men. Jonathan, Ralph, my date Paul, and Steve. I’m sure all of you have already seen my episode (the premiere episode, of course!), but if you want to see the rest of the series starring these lovely lads, be sure to watch them on 4oD!

Me and date Paul. You see, people? Despite what some audiences thought when they watched our date, Paul and I actually got on like gang-busters. We are great mates and we have nothing but love and high-fives for each other. I’m not gonna lie, throughout the wrap party, there may or may not have been some crotch-grabbing on our parts. YOU HEARD ME.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been a party unless Paul and Steve rubbed their beards ALL UP IN MY GRILL.

Here’s Mo (who was also in the premiere episode with me) and Corinne, who was featured in 3 episodes and, memorably, was reduced to tears by the infamous Rajan. Mo is such a great guy, we had such a great time getting to know each other at the party. We’re both Middle Eastern so having this experience was important to us, to show that not all Arabs are terrorists! We can be LUVAS too, ya know. As for Corinne, there was a bit of drama at the party, which I won’t get into here, so that’s probably why in this and the below photo, she’s pulling quite odd and awkward faces.

Uh…. yeah.


Back to the party! There’s Chloe, who also was featured in the premiere episode with me. Remember her dog Bentley? Aw bless. The doggie stole the show.


And there’s Saniya. Who could ever forget her hilarious comment about Mo and, uh, spaghetti. I’m still not sure I understand it.

SNOGGING STEVE. My life is complete.

Sarah Jayne, as you’ll remember from the First Dates commercial, was looking for her Prince Charming. Jonathan, the Alan Carr doppleganger, was on the hunt for a more ‘seasoned’ lady. They were such fun at the party 🙂

And that’s a wrap, people! Thank you for watching and for your support! It was quite  an unforgettable experience, and it reminded me that life is always full of surprises, as long as you keep allowing them in. There is never, ever, any excuse in this life to be bored. This chapter is closed. Onto the next!

And let me tell you, from what I’ve got planned, the next chapter in my life is going to be something else.

Just you wait.


BIG NEWS: Watch me in an episode of Channel 4’s #FirstDates !

I’ve been sitting on this news since OCTOBER you guys. I’ve hinted at it in the past, but couldn’t say a word until now. I was selected to appear in an episode of Channel 4’s documentary series First Dates, a fly-on-the-wall documentary show about singletons going on first dates in London. They’ve featured me in the commercial advertising the show, which you can watch above.

My episode, where I went on a lovely date with Paul, will air this Wednesday, February 12th at 10pm on Channel 4 in the UK and Ireland. After, it will be available to watch online on 4oD. I’m afraid it won’t be broadcast internationally, nor is 4oD available internationally, so unless someone uploads a torrent of this, you won’t be able to watch it unless you live in the UK or Ireland. But hopefully a bunch of my British munchkins will watch and enjoy and share!

EDIT: They’ve also uploaded my “dating profile” to the First Dates website, check me out here!

firstdatesprofile

Since the commercial started airing, I’ve been inundated with messages from people asking, “Did I just see you in a commercial for First Dates on Channel 4?!”

Haha! It’s nice to know that even though I have 2 seconds of air-time in this commercial, I’m instantly recognizable . . . The Canadian accent must be the give-away.

firstdates

I’m really excited about this because I feel like I’m starting 2014 off right. First, I am invited to lecture at an academic conference, then I am invited to do a spoken word performance at Spark London (which you can listen to here on their podcast, I’m the first performer on it!) and now I’m featured on a brilliant documentary series about love.

That’s what I love about life: it is always exquisitely unpredictable, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There are no rules to this thing, go out there and live your life, make it your own, fill it with adventure and extraordinary experiences until it’s bursting at the seams, and never look back.

Onward and upward!


if you’re the chosen one, how does it feel to be loved by no one?

  
Twestival Toronto . . .  all my last minute decisions are usually the best ones. 

laundry day necessitated the wearing of an American Apparel onesie bathing suit under an Asos black skirt. prêt à porter stroke of genius. 

 love my boyeeeeez 

the great thing about tweetups is that not only do you get to hang with your favourite tweeple, you get to meet so many others, and your corner grows. finally met some contacts in person for the first time, and i had several followers come up to me, exclaiming, “you’re christine!” with a handshake and a hug. others told me they saw me but didn’t have the balls to come say hi. tsk tsk my tweeple! it’s a tweetup!  never be afraid to say hi. 
i should preface that by saying that i have a horrible memory and won’t recognize you unless you tell your name right away….and if we’ve met once before, just remind me of that….seriously….it’s kind of stupid. 

canadian election time. i think the winner should be determined by robot wars.

i auditioned for the American Idiot broadway tour this morning, loaded with so many babies fresh outta high school with loads of talent being suppressed by their insecure body issues and fear of charisma that’s instilled from the annals of high school. being probably the oldest there gave me a sense of security and confidence that clearly others there didn’t have, but i’m not a trained singer. i think i have a kickass singing voice, however, but i’m not trained in breathing or scales or octaves or whatever operatics are comprised of. so i just chose a song i enjoyed in my range, picked a fun outfit, and showed up super early to avoid freezing in the long lines. they said auditions would begin at 11am. i was in line at 8am.

Gif Created on Make A Gif

when you make the decision to go to a cattle calls   open call, you are accepting the fact that you will be treated poorly, wait outside in the bitter cold, and basically be reduced to a number in the herd. but i still saw a few friendly faces i knew from around the theatre scene, and out of the hundreds that turned up, i was lucky number 50 to be seen. was done my audition by 11:08am. i’m proud of what i did, hit all my notes and gave ’em a go.

i sang this song because it has a punk rock message….and also because it’s what i secretly wanted to say to the auditioners for being twats. as i sang the chorus, i pretended i was mocking the lady behind the table. that felt good.

not holding my breath for a call-back. but hey, i had a giggle and a good time.

my bus to NYC leaves at 6:15am tomorrow.

here goes something.


>if you’re the chosen one, how does it feel to be loved by no one?

>

  
Twestival Toronto . . .  all my last minute decisions are usually the best ones. 

laundry day necessitated the wearing of an American Apparel onesie bathing suit under an Asos black skirt. prêt à porter stroke of genius. 

 love my boyeeeeez 

the great thing about tweetups is that not only do you get to hang with your favourite tweeple, you get to meet so many others, and your corner grows. finally met some contacts in person for the first time, and i had several followers come up to me, exclaiming, “you’re christine!” with a handshake and a hug. others told me they saw me but didn’t have the balls to come say hi. tsk tsk my tweeple! it’s a tweetup!  never be afraid to say hi. 
i should preface that by saying that i have a horrible memory and won’t recognize you unless you tell your name right away….and if we’ve met once before, just remind me of that….seriously….it’s kind of stupid. 

canadian election time. i think the winner should be determined by robot wars.

i auditioned for the American Idiot broadway tour this morning, loaded with so many babies fresh outta high school with loads of talent being suppressed by their insecure body issues and fear of charisma that’s instilled from the annals of high school. being probably the oldest there gave me a sense of security and confidence that clearly others there didn’t have, but i’m not a trained singer. i think i have a kickass singing voice, however, but i’m not trained in breathing or scales or octaves or whatever operatics are comprised of. so i just chose a song i enjoyed in my range, picked a fun outfit, and showed up super early to avoid freezing in the long lines. they said auditions would begin at 11am. i was in line at 8am.

Gif Created on Make A Gif

when you make the decision to go to a cattle calls   open call, you are accepting the fact that you will be treated poorly, wait outside in the bitter cold, and basically be reduced to a number in the herd. but i still saw a few friendly faces i knew from around the theatre scene, and out of the hundreds that turned up, i was lucky number 50 to be seen. was done my audition by 11:08am. i’m proud of what i did, hit all my notes and gave ’em a go.

i sang this song because it has a punk rock message….and also because it’s what i secretly wanted to say to the auditioners for being twats. as i sang the chorus, i pretended i was mocking the lady behind the table. that felt good.

not holding my breath for a call-back. but hey, i had a giggle and a good time.

my bus to NYC leaves at 6:15am tomorrow.

here goes something.


>tits out, pants down, overnight to london

>

i’m back, munchkins.

incredible experience.

and i legally can’t talk about it until it airs at some yet-to-be-determined date in the future (probably a few months). so don’t ask.

until that day dawns, i’ll just say that this was a great way to start off the new year, i’ve met some incredible people, had a truly emotional experience, learned so much about myself, and somehow came out shit-kicking on the other end. i hope to keep up the momentum this experience has built in my life, to dove-tail off whatever it brings, and to continue to live life like there’s a riot in my heart.

i’ve only been back for a few hours though, and people keep asking me about money. did you earn? did you win?

again, i can’t talk about that either. but that also seemed to be a recurrent theme of this experience.

so i’ll just say this:

money does not determine what you’re worth as a person. money only provides you with expensive enough clothes to cover up the fact that you’re in love with a lie.

and that’s probably the biggest lesson this project has taught me.

unless i’m needed for anything related to this show for the next few months until it airs, i think i’m going to disappear again for a while. eastern europe and then australia. i’ll let you know which part of the world pulls me in….

okay, i’ve been traveling for over 24 hours and my luggage is still hanging out in paris somewhere. more updates later.

p.s. I’M TANNED. YOU WILL BE JEALOUS.

p.p.s. happy valentines day bitches!


>ok, last quickie update, i swear…

>i just got a phone call from the people at Big Brother.

they wanted me to come in for a secret audition for the show to go on this summer. the guy on the phone really seemed adamant that i audition. but i’ll be filming this other show when the audition was scheduled for. so i can’t.

now i’m wondering….and second guessing….which show would i prefer to be on?

the one i’m one = progressive social experiment.
big brother = massive fame.
the one i’m one = being able to maintain my sense of self
big brother= ridiculous media attention, speculation, audience-approval, invasion of privacy, constantly in front of cameras 24/7 for 3 months, not being able to take a dump without it going out on the AP wire
the one i’m on= adhering to my feminist and social-revolutionary ideas
big brother=money money money money

fuck.

i know i made the right choice.

but still.

oh well, big brother will be on for years to come. i’ll do it another time. NEXT!

oh i forgot to mention: yesterday was the one year anniversary since i moved to london. all the canadian girls who came to london with me on this programme have since thrown in the towel and gone back home. i’ve fucking survived it, and am still ready for more.

yay me.

okay, for reals ya’ll.
i’m out of here, i swear.

love youuuuuuuuuuu


>quickie update

>

you wouldn’t believe all the things i’ve had to get done in this short period of time!

-signed contract after contract after contract, filled out countless forms
-endless talks and meetings with producers
-been fitted for certain costumes and outfits
-had a police background check done
-filled out psych tests and been interviewed by a psychologist
-been advised on the possible negative outcomes in relation to the media from appearing on a reality tv show
-provided references after references
-provided letters from previous employers confirming they know me
-informed my current boss who took the new quite jovially & will hold my position for me until i get back
-provided documentation proving i am who i say i am
-gotten immunized for a shitload of diseases (hepatitis A, typhoid, etc)
-started taking malaria pills
-paid my rent all in advance
-gone shopping for some exotic clothes to wear on the shoot
-haven’t even begun to pack

maybe it’s best that i was cast last…that i haven’t had much time to ruminate on what i’m about to undertake. i haven’t had the time to get excited or nervous. my plate is too full.

this will probably be my last blog update for a while. for 3 weeks to be exact. expect me back in the UK sometime around Feb.13th.

if you get restless for more chrissy, there’s always my archives, i guess….

anyway, they’re putting me up in a hotel near the airport the night before we fly out. a hotel room all to myself….and i need a good, healthy, boink-fest…any volunteers?

xxxxxxxxxx
ciao


>untitled

>

i just had a meeting with the producers.

i got cast in the tv show.

i fly out to film on location in about a week.

i’ll be gone for 3 weeks.

no email, no phone calls, no facebook…and no blogging.

i’m nervous.

and the one person i wanted to share my excitment with the most… didn’t care. at all. no tv show can mend my heart.

thanks for all the love and support throughout the years guys. i love you all so much. a million kisses.

see ya.


>sweetheart, bitterheart, now i can’t tell you apart; cosy and cold, put the horse before the cart

>
remember last month when i mentioned a tv network here in london was interested in casting me in one of their shows

i thought i didn’t get it because i didn’t hear back from them. oh well. i did my best. life goes on. NEXT!

got a phone call from them yesterday afternoon.

their executive producers wanted to meet with me.

rushed to their studios after work . . . this time the interview wasn’t filmed, all very relaxed, just a chat about the show and a bit more about myself . . .

so here’s the deal – the producers and the production company love me . . . but the final say goes to the big-wig top execs at the major tv network that will air the show. and their criteria for choosing the cast depends, quite frankly, on their mood at any given moment. they may not want to choose me for several reasons – because i’m canadian and they want an all-british cast . . . because i may have a look/appearance/features/ethnic-origin similar to someone else they’re casting in the show and they don’t want to double-up . . . or simply because they don’t like me.

the meeting was really positive and the producers have all expressed a desire to work with me. they say i’m one of the strongest candidates they’ve seen, and they think i would stand out and really have an impact on the show. they’ll make a case for me to the network and assured me that even if the network decides not to go with me, they still produce many other shows and will definitely keep me in mind for other projects. they’ve all been so great and warm, and this has been a fun experience:)

i can’t divulge what the nature of the show is or even what network it will be airing on. i have signed a confidentiality agreement. they even have to do a police background check on me and i have to be assessed by their psychologist! fun!

i’m supposed to find out in about 1-2 weeks what the network has come back with. so once i know, you’ll know…

but if i do get it: filming takes place on the other side of the planet, and i’ll hafta disappear for about a month. no phone, no internet, probably have to quit my new job.

i love the idea of disappearing.

i want to be your ghost.

keep your fingers crossed for me.