Hi everyone! I posted this on my facebook page but I will post again here in an effort to keep up with the blog.
I hope you've all had an amazing summer! Life for me has been very busy. I now understanding why maternity leave is so important BUT being self employed I didnt get one so the past few months have been all about finding the balance. I'm grateful for my support system, my partner and family for making this work. That being said, I feel like an ass for not responding or writing in a long while. In an effort to maintain the flow, I've set up a twitter account. I'm podemskichick in case anyone would like to follow me.
Other than that I would like to thank you all for your comments. I DO read everything, sometimes more than once.
On the work front: i just wrapped Sarah Polley's new film Take This Waltz starring Michelle Williams, Seth Rogan and Sarah Silverman. I had so much fun and feel so blessed to have had the chance to work with such a talented team! I will keep you posted in regards to release date. I've also signed a book deal with Fifth House for my book Tales Behind the Loincloth. I will also keep you posted on that as we get closer to the release date.
I send each and every one of you beautiful thoughts and good vibes. Regardless of who you are, where you're from or what you do, we are ALL an essential piece of this big puzzle we call life. May your piece be filled with love, laughter and good health.
Peace and Love - see you on Twitter!
Hi everyone! I posted this on my facebook page but I will post again here in an effort to keep up with the blog.
Here is a simple and easy explanation of Karma - I do my best to use this system and I find it works. Let me know how it works for you. Thank you to Deepak Chopra - his teachings and books have helped me change my life for the better!
The Law of Karma or Cause and Effect
Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind . . . what we sow is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.
I will put the Law of Karma into effect by making a commitment to take the following steps:The Law of Karma or Cause and Effect
1. Today I will witness the choices I make in each moment. And in the mere witnessing of these choices, I will bring them to my conscious awareness. I will know that the best way to prepare for any moment in the future is to be fully conscious in the present.
2. Whenever I make a choice, I will ask myself two questions: “What are the consequences of this choice that I’m making?” and “Will this choice bring fulfillment and happiness to me and also to those who are affected by this choice?”
3. I will then ask my heart for guidance and be guided by its message of comfort or discomfort. If the choice feels comfortable, I will plunge ahead with abandon. If the choice feels uncomfortable, I will pause and see the consequences of my action with my inner vision. This guidance will enable me to make spontaneously correct choices for myself and for all those around me.
Please watch the Gemini Awards on Saturday November 14th at 9PM ET/PT on Global or Showcase. Two shows that I produce are nominated! The National Aboriginal Achievement Awards - Best Host in a Variety Show for Adam Beach and Tina Keeper AND Rabbit Fall - Season Two Best Performance by and Actress in a leading role in a continuing drama - Andrea Menard!
My name is Jennifer Podemski and I am 31 years old. I am an actor, writer, producer and entrepreneur. I am Saulteaux (my mother is from Muscowpetung First Nation) and Israeli, my father is from Israel.
I grew up in Toronto, in a middle class home torn apart by alcoholism. Growing up I had a very weak sense of self, little self-esteem and I felt shame about who I was. To say the least, I had serious identity issues. When I was a child, I remember looking in the mirror and hating what I saw, my slanty eyes, my wide face, my hair, my skin colour. Everything. When I was around my fathers people I felt out of place, when I was around my mothers people I felt out of place, when I was around, I simply felt out of place.
I can’t tell you where those feelings came from, or why I felt them, but I do know now, that I am not the only person who felt those things, who feels those things.
A part of it may have been that I was different and didn’t really fit in, and a part of it may have been passed down to me through genetic memory. My mother, her parents and grandparents, were systematically broken down by federal policy, racism, residential school and disenfranchisement. My father’s father persecuted for being a Jew, lost his family and spent five of his teenage years in concentration camps and the rest of his life disconnected from his religion. I believe that all of these memories are inside me. Some refer to this as multi generational grief or trauma.
Having said all of this, I consider myself one of the lucky ones. At the age of ten, I found the stage. Or should I say, the stage found me. Somehow, and I can’t remember the events leading up to it but I found a great love of performing. At first, it was the permission to be someone else for just a little while, but then it turned into something greater, something profound. I discovered that I could use all of the ugly feelings inside me and turn them into something good. Like Rumplestilskin did with straw, I did with my anger, fear and self hatred, turned it into gold.
I joined dance classes, choir, school plays and community theatre, I was relieved to have found an outlet where I could express my self freely and feel a part of something, like I belonged.
I recently read somewhere that the antidote to Repression is Expression. And that’s when it hit me. Performing saved my life.
That is a huge part, of why I stand before you today. I followed something in my heart, my gut. A feeling that, once I really paid attention to it, guided me to where I am. That is not to say that the circumstances of my life became better; it was when they were the most challenging and difficult that my drive became greater, my dreams became bigger. I did slip and fall along the way, but somehow, I was able to get up and begin again.
In grade 9 I was accepted to a performing arts high school in Toronto as a dance major. That is where I learned that the arts is much more that feeling a part of something and expressing your self, it a discipline. It’s hours upon hours of rehearsal and technique every day, it’s theory and history, it working harder than I had ever worked before. It was almost not fun anymore. By grade 11 I was suspended from school for missing the most classes in out of anyone in the 2,000 student school. Somewhere I stopped caring. I allowed my insecurity to get the best of me, telling me I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t compete with the best, that it would never happen for me. I spent so much time looking at everyone else, how easy they had it and how crappy my life was.
Until - one day a casting director came to my school and took pictures of students who were interested in becoming background performers in television and film. I go my picture taken. I don’t know what possessed me, but I did. Only a few short weeks later, I found myself working 18 hour days on the weekends on movies and television series as an extra. I had a renewed sense of life, of purpose. I began studying hard, taking night school and graduating one year early with an A, and I was on my way to becoming a professional actor. I couldn’t believe it.
Now, my life went on, with many ups and downs, I struggled and worked as a small time actor for many years and paid my dues, as they say. I worked so many side jobs to support myself, had a brief two year encounter with university, film school, LA and New York city.
One of the most profound moments in my life, Oprah would call this an AH HA! Moment, came when I was 25 and living in New York City, broke, sleeping on my sisters couch, out of work, and out of sorts. I remember feeling so alone, in such a big city, feeling like my life was a joke. I grabbed a newspaper called Backstage, New York’s actor magazine, I sat down with a coffee and started looking for auditions. I could not have felt lower, when suddenly I turned the page and there was a huge picture of me! As it turned out, a New York critic had seen a small play I had done in Toronto, wrote a smashing review about the play and my performance.
At that moment I realized something very important about life. It is full of signs. Some are blatant in your face kind of signs and some are silent and mysterious, some are a gut feeling or simply instinct. But I believe all of them are given to us as a gift by a divine force.
When I saw that article, something inside me changed. I took a breath and realized that I had to trust myself, go with my gut and take responsibility for everything in my life. That was when I decided to take a break from acting, get a regular minimum wage job in New York and spend some time percolating.
I began thinking about my ancestors. All of them, dating way back in time. The more I thought about it, I realized that I am here, on this earth, because of them, because they survived and persevered and left a legacy for me to continue. I came to understand the great responsibility all of have on this earth. We are all living legacies.
We are here to leave something behind, to continue our culture and languages and keep our communities alive and strong.
Once I started thinking I couldn’t stop. Then it hit me, it was if in one moment everything made sense suddenly.
When I was growing up I watched a lot of television. I was a product of pop culture. But I never ever saw anyone who represented me, or what I looked like on TV, in magazines or on much music. I came to the realization that if a people, a community, are not reflected in media and popular culture they are invisible to the world and when they are invisible to the world, they become extinct. Growing up, I never saw images I could relate to in the media. It made me feel invisible. Alone.
When I came back to Toronto, I had a mission. Somehow I wanted to use the skills and training I had to provide a platform for aboriginal youth to tell their stories of trial and triumph and share it with other kids who have no representation otherwise. I wanted to participate in making sure that a young child, like I was, doesn’t have to feel invisible ever again.
Shortly after that epiphany, I met my producing partner, Laura Milliken and together we created the first aboriginal youth role model television series, we called it The Seventh Generation to honor the legacy that our grandmothers and grandfathers left behind.
In closing I would like to say that:
I am here today because I wanted to share my story with all of you. Mine is only one, I encourage all of you to think about your own stories, share them with your friends and families, and if you are so inclined, write them down and share them with the world. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a divine purpose in this thing we call life. Everyone deserves to be loved and to love themselves and everyone here is a living legacy.
Life is always changing nothing stays the same. The best we can do is live our best life. When the good times are good, let them be good, when they’re bad, let them be bad. But always know that there is no bad without good, there is no light with out dark and life is all about balance.
I encourage you all to follow the voice deep in your heart and watch for the signs. I assure you that in doing so, you will unleash your limited potential in life.
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
If you say you can or you can’t you probably will.
Jennifer Podemski – Producer Resume & Corporate Client List
2008/2009 Co-Creator/Producer/Writer Cold Medicine – TV Series
Development – APTN
2008/2009 Producer Sight Unseen – Feature Film
Canadian Film Centre – FFP
2009 Co-Executive Producer The 16th Annual National Creative Director Aboriginal
2008 Creator/Producer Extreme Radio Challenge
Careers in Radio (NAAF, Astral Media) Training video (1/2 hr)
2008 Creator/Producer The Granny Chronicles
Careers in Film and Television
(NAAF, Canwest Global) Training video (1/2 hr)
2008 Creator/Producer Sit By My Fire – Song & Music Video VideoFact
2008/2009 Creator/Producer/Writer Honeyland (Comedy Series)
In Development (Showcase Television)
2008 Producer “Grateful” Music Video
2008 Producer/Writer Rabbit Fall (2) Drama Series
2008 Co –Executive Producer 15th Annual National Creative Director Aboriginal
‘07/’08/’09 Writer/Producer Commercial – Ft. McKay
Group of Companies
2007 Producer Rabbit Fall (1) Drama Series
2006 Producer 14th Annual National
Aboriginal Achievement Awards
Oct. 2005 Producer “Meegwetch” Music Video
Tamara Podemski BravoFact
July 2005 Executive Producer/ Creator Moccasin Flats (3)
July 2004 Executive Producer/Creator Moccasin Flats (2)
June 2004 Writer/Director/Producer And Silence Fell – Short Drama
Mar ‘99- June ’04 Co-founder/President Big Soul Productions
2004 Director/Writer/Producer Hollywood Indians
2003 Exec. Producer/Co-Creator Moccasin Flats (1) Drama Series
(APTN; SHOWCASE; SCN)
2003 Co-Executive Producer I’m A Lucky One: Music Video
2003 Co-Executive Producer Music Is the Medicine: Music Video
2003 Writer/Director/Camera/Editor Pamieci: Doc. (CBC)
2003 Co-Creator /Producer Future Nation: Short Film
2002 Co-Executive Producer Moccasin Flats: Short Film (APTN, SCN)
2002 Director/Producer The Gift of the Creators Game
Documentary (APTN, SCN)
2002 Executive Producer Laurel: Dramatic Short (30 min)
2001 Co-Creator/Producer Into the Music: Eps. 1 –13
Aboriginal Music Series
1999 – 2003 Producer/Host The Seventh Generation: Ep. 1–39
Hosted Variety Series
(APTN, SCN, ACCESS, CLT)
Redcloud Studios Inc.
Selected Client List – 2008/2009
P.E.I Screenwriters Boot Camp
Government of Ontario
Native Canadian Friendship Centre – Toronto
Ve’Ahavta International Humanitarian Organization – Toronto
SAIT – Calgary
NAIT – Edmonton
Let’s Find a Way Foundation
Reel World Festival and Foundation
Walpole Island First Nation
OVN TV – Adam Beach
ImagiNative Film Festival
AVR – Aboriginal Voices Radio
Fort McKay First Nation
Public Theatre - New York City
American Indian Youth Academy – USA
North American Indigenous Games
Native American Image Awards – Albequerque
Labels: new label