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Posts tagged “Toronto

Listen to “Spray It, Don’t Say It” – my latest Spoken Word performance

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A couple weeks ago I performed a Spoken Word piece at The Spoke, a live storytelling event here in Toronto, which I blogged about here. The organizers recorded the audio of my piece for their podcast, and you can now listen to it here below! It deals with street art, graffiti, heartbeats, heartbreak, mourning, healing, hope…all the good stuff. Enjoy!

My Soundcloud also has other audio clips from some of my previous Spoken Word performances, so please check it out!

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Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more on my Spoken Word performances, my published articles, essays, short stories, and more!

 


“I’m On My Knees But I’m Not Praying”: my latest short story published in Matrix Magazine

FAIR WARNING this is a rather racy story that deal with some full-on topics. For the record, I’m not trying to say anything about the political issues associated with the themes in this story, I’m just exploring an idea and seeing where it goes. This piece is more about complicated emotions and feelings that are in direct conflict with each other, rather than the politicizing of bodies.

Also, creative writing is rarely sensical haha.

You can read this piece in full online right now and it will also appear in print soon, and I will of course update you when that happens! Enjoy at your own discretion, my munchkins.

 

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A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to perform some of my Spoken Word/Live Storytelling at The Spoke.*

The theme of this night was Heartbeats, so I figured I could speak for 5-10 minutes about that!

I was the first storyteller of the night and it went very well. People came up to me afterwards to hold my hand and tell me they enjoyed my lovely little story. It’s so great connecting with people by just telling some of the fubar stories from my clusterfuck life, haha.


It was such a great night and I’m grateful to the organizers for asking me to participate. They recorded audio of the night so as soon as I have that, I will share it with you. It may also appear on their curated podcast soon.

Speaking of which, if you visit my Soundcloud, you can hear in their entirety some of the audio from my previous Spoken Word performances. I also have on there an Ambient Playlist that I’ve specially curated that is becoming quite popular on there. It’s a great playlist for writing and doing creative endeavours.

Don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com for more of my published works that you can read in full, and also all of the media attention and press my work has garnered!

*fanks to Caron for the pics!


You Will Lose All Your Friends in your 30s: my latest @VICE essay

I’ve had an absolute bonkers week (more on that in a sec) so I’m slow to report that earlier this week, my latest misanthropic, bitchy essay was published in VICE. Once you get on the wrong side of 30, it’s like a plague of locusts descends upon your friendships. You better lock up your besties and buddies in your basement now and make sure they can’t chisel their way out, because your 30s are a barren wasteland.

So, uh, enjoy?

Enjoy!

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The reason this week has been absolutely bonkers is because I took part in an indie theatre fest called Operation 24! Run by Parkdale theatre darlings Unit 102, Operation 24 is a 24-hour theatre challenge where plays are written, rehearsed and performed professionally all within 24 hours! “Each writer stays up until the wee hours of the morning to craft a ten-minute play. The actors and directors take that play and rehearse it all day, preparing to show it to you, our audience at 8pm the next night. 24 hours from beginning to end resulting in a dynamite night of theatre.” As you may have guessed, I was one of the writers!

At 8pm on Tuesday night, each playwright started writing a 10 minute play on our own. After LOTS of coffee and pizza, I finished my play around 3am. I sent it to my director and two actors around 3:30am and was absolutely wrecked.


Some of the other playwrights finished around 5am (and one completely rewrote his play at 7am!). At 10am, the director and actors began to rehearse. Then at 8pm and 10pm, the actors nailed 2 performances of it, memorized, staged, blocked, cued, costumed, and lit!!

It was an absolutely thrilling and brilliant experience. Longtime readers of this blog know that in my past life I was a playwright with quite a few productions under my belt, but this was the first time something of mine had been staged since 2010. I had such a great (albeit sleep-deprived) time and I’d definitely do it again, and recommend it to all the playwrights, directors, and actors in Toronto who want a challenge!

Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my theatrical productions, performances, and more!

 

 


Check me out on @CBC’s show Podcast Playlist!

Last year I performed at GRTTWaK, reading an entry from my 1996 diary which was hilarious and cringeworthy at the same time. It was a great experience where I ended up being included on GRTTWaK’s curated podcast. Well, the CBC show Podcast Playlist got wind of my performance and included it in this week’s edition, “As Seen On TV!”

 

If you want to give’r a listen, click here and fast forward to time index 48:00!

And if you want to watch this performance in full, including me trying to stifle a giggle as the audience laughs, you can watch it below!

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Last week I mentioned that I’d be reading at the Toronto launch of Room Magazine’s 40th Anniversary Anthology. Well it went great! A lot of people in the Canadian literary community showed up and I got to talk books, creativity, and the business with some incredibly talented and accomplished peers!

I’m so pleased that they included me in the anthology. There are more good things like this to come, things are happening and it’s all very exciting. I love being a writer, espesh a respected member of the Can. Lit. community!

As always, don’t forget to visit the official Christine Estima dot com to check out all of my published works, and all of the media attention I’ve garnered!



The #friendzone & dudebros: my latest essay in @Vice

So this is a funny story. Last week I got into a Twitter spat with some jabroni who was going on about the “friend zone.” I was frankly shocked to see it coming from a so-called “gentleman,” (he uses that word in his twitter handle like all gentlemen do, ‘natch) because in the circles I run in, using that term is a laughable offence. Forgot that there actually are people who think that’s a perfectly acceptable term (and the word for those people is ‘nimrod’).

In any case, one of the staff writers at VICE saw my tweets and told me I should definitely turn this into a piece.

See? NEVER SHY AWAY FROM HAVING FIGHTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

I WILL HAVE ALL THE FIGHTS WITH STRANGERS ON THE INTERNETZZZZZZZ.

Kidding! (Not kidding)

Click here to read the piece in full.

As always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published essays, stories, travel writing, interviews, and more.

 

 


The Lovertine: Watch my TV interview on TFO!

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Life is strange and unpredictable. You never know what’s coming for ya. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. A few months ago, you’ll remember I was interviewed and photographed for a Toronto Life feature , which itself was a lot of fun. Well, more people saw that interview than I bargained for.

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I was contacted by the good folks over at TFO 24.7, the Franco-Ontarian TV station here in Canada.  They noticed that I speak French, and that many of my love letters are in French, and they asked if they could come over and film me for a Valentine’s Day segment.

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They came over and interviewed me for 5 hours. The finished TV segment is less than 4 minutes, it’s a lot of work that goes into making a mere 4 minutes!  They filmed me in my bedroom here in Toronto, which I have decorated with the letters, old photographs, antique furniture and typewriters, and then they filmed me at an antique shop and a café.

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I really like the way this came out. The music they use is super sweet and it makes my 9 x 15 bedroom look much larger than it actually is! I’m also a little embarrassed, just because this is my bedroom and I’m inviting all of you strangers into my tiny little corner of the world, but hey…. I WOULD DOOOOO ANYTHING FOR LOVVVVVVVE. Har har.

 

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I think this is my favourite shot in the entire segment.

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Anyway, watch the entire segment below! It’s in French, of course, but you will probably still get the gist of it even if you don’t speak French. Enjoy! Savourez-le!


Video: Watch me perform @RaconteursTO!

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Recently I performed at Raconteurs, a live storytelling event that happens monthly here in Toronto. I’ve performed at Raconteurs before, and as many of you know, lots of other Spoken Word events around the world like The Moth, Spark London, GRTTWaK, and Pressgang. I feel like these events bridge a nice gap between writing and performance. I don’t like to act much, I prefer to be vulnerable on the page, rather than on the stage, but Spoken Word and Live Storytelling are a nice way to meld the two.

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I told a story about trying to become the Canadian Amélie with a little help from the Bunz Trading Zone. It’s a crazy story of trying to connect with other people — complete strangers, really — and all the foibles and follies therein. You can watch it below! Enjoy!

In this new year, I have lots of things on my plate! So many upcoming publications, performances, and more! I can’t wait to share the news with you. Even though 2016 was a dumpster fire for everyone, I made some huge advances in my career and I’m so pleased with the direction in which everything is going. Small positive steps everyday lead to big things!

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Also, I have a new adventure on the horizon! On Valentine’s Day, I head to Helsingborg, Sweden for the first time! I’ve never been (even though I lived in Europe for years and years), so when a housesitting opportunity arose, so I had to take it. After Sweden, I’ll be swinging through London, Brussels, and Amsterdam to visit my friends (and celebrate my birfday! What a crazy 3 weeks this is going to be….), so if you’re in Helsingborg and want to show this wee Canadian lass around, hit me up!

As always, don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot CALM (har har) to read all of my published articles, watch my performances, and check out my media coverage.

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Check me out in Toronto Life!

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Recently, Toronto Life, an upmarket magazine here in the 6ix, asked if they could come over to my place and interview and photograph me for a series they’re doing on people who collect weird/wonderful things. So naturally my large collection of old love letters and photographs that I bought form European flea markets had to go into the fold. If you’re a longtime reader of ye olde’ blog, you know all about my flea-marketing-proclivities. This old post from 3 years ago details one of the very first love letters I ever bought at a European flea market. I’ve also sold an article to VICE about the things I collect from flea markets.

Anyway, I really like the write-up they’ve done here on me and the pictures turned out great! Click on the image above or click here to read the article in full!

And don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com for all of the press coverage I have received over the years, I’ve been featured in everything from CBC Newsworld, The Toronto Star, BBC Radio, and more! Click this image!NewWEbSite!


Check out my @VICE interview with #TIFF16 film director Alice Lowe

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The Toronto International Film Festival was amazing this year, I saw so many films (as documented by this round-up I wrote for VICE last week), and the fest is always such an electric time to be on the streets of Toronto. Everything is alive.

Speaking of life, the film PREVENGE is about a pregnant woman whose fetus tells her to kill people. So OF COURSE I had to interview the director/writer/performer Alice Lowe. Check out what she had to tell me about women in the film industry and pregnancy stigmas over here on VICE.

Fun fact: I had first seen Alice Lowe in an episode of Sherlock (season 3 episode “Sign of Three“) and the whole time we were talking, her voice was just reminding me of one of her lines from Sherlock, “A GHOST, MR HOLMES!” and then a drunk Watson saying to her, “He’s clueing for looks.”

I am a gigantic nerd.

Check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my VICE essays and articles, and much more.

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Otherworldly and Vaguely-Threatening

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A couple months ago, I was asked by a longtime photographer collaborator friend of mine to pose for some thematic photographs. We had previously worked together in 2012 for a street art photo series, and last year for a typewriter-beach series, and it’s always nice to work with someone who you’re comfortable with and trust. I like to call this series, “I don’t want to look pretty, I want to look otherworldly and vaguely-threatening,” à la Sue Edworthy.

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I’m not much of a model, if I’m being honest. I can’t say I’m 100% comfortable being in front of a camera. Modelling, despite the hubris and vanity involved, also requires a large degree of vulnerability. I prefer to be vulnerable in my writing and leave everything I have out on the page, not on the stage. Even PP, whom I’m super comfortable with, noticed me squirming and scrunching up my face at the idea of revealing too much of myself. I didn’t have that many inhibitions in my 20s, but now that I’m mid-30s, I’m just not interested in giving all of myself away. You want to see all of me? You gotta earn it.

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I think these photographs are provocative, but also tasteful. That’s also a balance I try to strike in my writing, so as a writer, I can live with these shots 😉

Also, I did all my own hair and makeup. I even put on the fake eyelashes myself! I think I’m ready for my Ph.D. in astrophysics now. Yeesh.

 are you actually reading these things?

Make sure you follow Preacher_photography on Instagram. He has some super cool photo series in there where he works with actual models who know their shit, and not hacks like me, har har har.

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Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for all of my recent publications, performances…. annnnnnnd maybe a few photos.

 


Check out my interview + photo shoot in She Does The City

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Recently I was interviewed and photographed by She Does The City on the topic of Love & Loss. They selected people from across Toronto to speak about great love, great loss, and what happens when these two opposites collide. I really like what everyone had to say, and I think my section came out nicely. The peeps at She Does The City are super cool and awesome. Shout out to Jen and Becca.

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You can read the entire piece here. Thanks for all the support munchkins, and hope you enjoy!

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Trade safely, wastoids: my latest essay for @ViceCanada

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Check out my latest essay in VICE about potential profiteering, race and gender discrimination, and drug trafficking occurring in the Bunz Trading Zone, Toronto’s rapidly-expanding online bartering flea market where no cash is allowed.

TL;DR – if you think coppers can’t decipher “420” or “smokeables,” think again. Don’t wake ‘n bake in the middle of a trade.

Don’t forget to check back here often, I have many more pieces (both fiction and on-fiction) set to be published soon (in fact, just yesterday I received another acceptance letter from a magazine!)! Yay writing! Yay publishing!

For more of my work with VICE, click on my VICE category, OR visit the official Christine Estima dot com for all of my VICE essays and more of my published work. Enjoy!

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Check out my latest essay in @VICE: Nicole Arbour’s lack of satire

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My latest essay has been published in VICE, about the ragebait videos of Toronto cheerleader Nicole Arbour: we all know she’s racist, misogynist, and a fat-shamer, but she also loves to hide behind the banner of “satire” to get away with her bullshit. This piece is about her lack of understanding of what constitutes satire, and also, why comedy is so important and relevant when done right.

Also, I get to talk about her asshole.

 

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It’s also one of the more popular pieces on the VICE network as of right now, so that’s pretty rad.

Some new details about her have emerged since publishing this piece (which I won’t get into on ye olde blog), and I’m getting a lot of private messages from people who have worked with her and know her, who say they can confirm some allegedly criminal behaviour on her part. Toronto is a massive metropolis but it’s small enough that everybody knows everybody somehow, and if your shit smells, people are gonna talk about it. I don’t address this controversy in my piece, but it’s interesting to note and keep in mind.

Anyway, enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com if you want to read more of my published works, included many more of my VICE essays.

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Check out my #travel writing piece in @VergeMagazine + some travel news!

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My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shaaaades. Another publication, my little munchkins! I wrote about the benefits, the how-to’s, and the expectations/limitations of house-sitting for Verge Magazine, a wonderful, glossy travel mag. I’ve done lotsa travel writing before but not for the past few years, even though those years were consumed with crossing borders! So it was nice to flex the travel writing chops again. Above is a little snippet of the article to pique your interest. If you want to read the whole thing, the latest issue is behind a paywall, you have to buy a digital subscription… or you could ask for my password to my digital subscription … y’know, whatevs. (hint hint wink wink)

 

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Swag.

I just sold another story a couple days ago to another literary magazine, AND I’m currently working on a hard-hitting essay for my old friends at AufBau (wrote for them last year) which will be translated into Swiss German (Ausgezeichnet!), so I’m super excited for the future!

Speaking of my Verge travel piece on house-sitting, this blog will be quiet for the next little while because I’m going to be house-sitting in Miami for a while, and then directly after that I’m flying down to Central America so I can backpack across Mexico, Guatemala and Belize! All year Central America has been calling out to me. I’ve done South America and I’ve done the Caribbean but never Central America so I really wanted to make it happen. When I was offered the house-sit in Miami, I thought to myself, “Hmm, flights from Miami to Mexico are much cheaper than Toronto to Mexico…” And all of this really isn’t costing me much! Since I’m house-sitting, the Miami accommodation is free. And the home-owner is most graciously and kindly covering my groceries and metropass whilst I’m there. But most of all, my flight was FREE because I had enough Air Miles!!! And I have lotsa remaindered American dollars lying about from my month in NYC earlier this year, so any excess costs are covered! So all I’m actually paying for is the cheap $125 flight from Miami to Mexico, and whatever minuscule pesos I blow on my travels!

I literally am the Queen of Frugal Travelling! Adventures need not break the bank!

So while this blog will most likely go dark for a bit, my Instagram and Twitter will definitely light up so follow me there!

After that, preliminary plans are in the works for me to reunite in Amsterdam with dis guy:

Amsterdammage awaits.

Don’t forget to check out the Official Christine Estima dot commmm for all of my published works, appearances, performances, and more!

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TorontoVerve featuring my Resting Bitch Face

As I hinted at last week, I was recently interviewed and photographed for fashion blog TorontoVerve and the post has gone live. I talk about my love of typewriters, and also about my writing philosophy: what motivates me, what I like to write about it, how it provides catharsis, and how all writers need to HUSTLE! And it features my beloved 91-year-old typewriter that I blogged about here.


The photographs are pretty punk-rock. I know I’m not perfect, but hey, LOOK AT ALL THE FUCKS I GIVE.

Check it out over at TorontoVerve, and also check out the last time TorontoVerve profiled me back in 2012.


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Last month I did a wee little photoshoot with TorontoVerve at Ashbridge’s Bay. We collab’d on a previous shoot back in 2012 and it was nice to reconnect. We both had some great ideas of what kind of themes and images we’d like to explore in this shoot, and we brought them together: typewriters and lakes! Fun fact: the water was so icy cold, we had to keep running to shore every 5 minutes because our feet were going hypothermic. Here’s to fashion, err’one.

I like to think my face in the above photo says, “You interrupted me.”

Or perhaps, “I give zero fucks.”

And this one says, “Enjoy my resting bitch face.”

The full post with all the images is coming soon but a preview-sneak-peak has just been posted. Head over to TorontoVerve and check it out, and also all the other great content posted there daily!


My Writing Space

I once blogged about my writing practice and process, and I feel this is a nice dovetail: my writing desk and space. We all need to carve out our own little nooks in this world, and this tiny corner is mine.


This where I do all my writing: all my short stories, all my blogging, and all my freelance articles are done here, including a little doodling and reading now and then. I decorated it like this because I think it reflects me and my personality best. Some people prefer really modern, sleek, office-y, stainless-steel-type designs, and others prefer a kind of non-descript, antiseptic look. But I wanted my space to be peppered with all of the things that inspired me, visually and spatially, and all the things that really mean something to me.


For example, these are my Lebanese grandparents making-out on their front porch in Montreal circa 1948. I typed out that Bukowski quote on my typewriter. All the picture frames were bought from London flea markets, but a few I found discarded on the sidewalk. Who throws out gorgeous picture frames?!


That photograph in the foreground of the two 1920s women pushing the pram: I have no idea who they are. I found them discarded on the flea market grounds in Brussels right before the sky opened up and an incredible tempest washed everything away. I feel like I saved them.


Those are Belgian telegrams, and also some French postcards ad German letters, which I bought from their respective flea markets. I typed out the quote at the bottom, and I found the image of the typewritten quote at the top online and then printed it out on photographic paper at a pharmacy in London.


I got the antique iron keys from a friend who bought them for me when I was living in Copenhagen. I typed out the Dumas quote, and it sits on a small blue photo album from the 1940s that I bought in Paris. The vase & saucer I got at a London flea market, and the typewriter ribbon tin I bought at the Brooklyn flea.


The pill bottles in the foreground I got at a flea here in Toronto. The red-cover books in the background are all travel guidebooks from the 1920s, 30s, & 40s. It’s so interesting to read about “where to find a public bathhouse in London,” or about how many Francs you can get for your Crowns, Half-Crowns, Shillings, and Sovereigns. There’s even a section on why French customs strictly prohibits British matches from entering the country, but you can bring your own cigarettes. Also, air travel was so new, that they don’t really mention it. They only mention taking the ferry from Dover to Calais! The guidebooks have fold-out maps and even photographs. Looking at Amsterdam then and comparing it to now is such a mind-fuck.


That’s a Bukowski quote.


I bought that cigar box from a flea market in Düsseldorf. I put all of the small monochrome photographs that I bought from flea markets around Europe in there. A note about the photographs: I don’t know the people. I am assuming they’ve all passed, seeing as how their personal family photo albums were for sale on flea markets. I buy them because they look so happy. I like their faces. Also, sometimes going through private photos reveals some interesting secrets, as I wrote in an essay for VICE recently … And if they’re not in the cigar box….


… they’re hanging on my wall. From left to right, I bought him in Brussels, him in Copenhagen, and her in Paris.


That babe second-from-right is my Mum when she was 18. The rest, left to right, Brussels, Brussels, Berlin, and the child on the right is from Amsterdam.


These ladies are so old, they’re beginning to fade, but I love them all the more because they’re so bad-ass. On the left, I bought them in Paris and on the back it’s dated June 18, 1929. On the right, I bough her in Brussels, it’s dated August 18, 1922. She’s so fucking cool, I can’t even. I’m all out of evens.


Bought both from Brussels. Street scenes and street photography from the early 20th century are so amazing to me. I love the composition of the left photo! Right photo on the back is dated May 1942 and it says they just returned from shopping.


There’s my gorgeous bee-yooot. Read this for the story behind the provenance of this baby.


Some of the books that really moved me that are resting on my desk are All That I Am by Anna Funder, The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway, The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert, and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières.


I feel like I become a different person when I sit down at this desk. Outside, I’m gregarious and silly and hungry and moving and yelling and dancing and what not… but here, I am something else.


I have a lot more upcoming publications yet-to-be-announced, but now you know where I was when I wrote them.

Remember to update your links and visit the new home of ChristineEstima.com!
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Defiance

Last month I performed at Raconteurs here in Toronto. Raconteurs is just like The Moth or Spark London, both of which I have performed at before. Live storytelling, and spoken word, my friends. Get on it.

I had suggested to the organizer that we try the theme Defiance, so of course I made sure I was one of the speakers. My story basically was the inspiration for this VICE article that I sold that last month.

Fanks for supporting my Spoken Word endeavours over the years, munchkins.

Want more? Here’s my Moth StorySlam piece that has garnered over 700 views in just one week!


The Brow Game: my latest essay published in Vice

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I have had so many interactions with people lately based solely on the furry situation happening north of my eyes that I thought I’d write an entire think-piece on it. I sold it to Vice because, as you know, they love a good eyebrow think-piece. I mean, who doesn’t? Amirite? Click on the above image, or click here to read it.

I’ve been reading Vice since 1998 and am a long-time subscriber, so it’s nice to be included in their canon. Back then the only place in Toronto you could get Vice was in the entryway to Suspect Video at the first of the month, and you had to scramble because everyone was snatching them up. When I was living in London, I found a record shop on D’Arblay Street in Soho that stocked Vice waaay in the back, so you wouldn’t know they had it unless you were a regular.

I remember years ago reading this particular Don’t from their Do’s & Don’ts section and pissing myself with laughter. Satire at its finest!

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You laughed. Admit it.

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Looks like Buzzfeed got wind of it.

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And it was one of the Most Popular articles on Vice too. Not too shabby.

I’m getting lotsa great comments from women on this piece … and lotsa “fuck-your-eyebrows-and-fuck-you” comments from aggro white dudebros.

Hail Hydra.