Hello everyone! Alexia here, your 2017 Miss Teenage Toronto!
I cannot begin to express enough how honored and excited I am to represent my hometown of Toronto and begin this journey with you! Competing in the Provincial pageants was an experience that I will cherish forever. Meeting such wonderful, kind and welcoming ladies from all parts of Ontario was such a heart filling experience that I will bring along with me to the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant. In this first blog post of mine you will get to know me, what my passions are, and how I plan to make a difference in the world – I hope you will feel inspired and join me and start making a difference today!
I was raised in the great city of Toronto where I attended Rosedale Heights School of the Arts (RHSA), simply stated – a simply amazing performing arts high school. I graduated with Honors and continued on to attend York University. I’m in the AMPD program (Arts, Media, Performance and Design) with a focus on Theatre and Film.
While at Rosedale, I discovered my creativity – with photography and filmmaking. I aim to create projects with the goal of sending an important message to viewers. One of my more recent photography projects was dedicated to my past bullying experience. Throughout my high school years, I quite often felt left out. It was a difficult time for me but with the support of my family and friends I overcame it and focused on excelling in my studies. This was the basis and focus of a photo project I created called “Light through the Darkness”. Through photography I expressed the message of hope and strength using color techniques. The colors represented hope and it breaking through all darkness. I had taken the photos at the beautiful flower exhibit at Toronto’s Allen Gardens.
Another passion of mine is filmmaking. Film can be an extremely powerful medium and transporter of messages. It’s a medium which the entire world can relate to, regardless of any language barriers. To me it also provides the opportunity for expression. One such opportunity arose when I filmed the trailer for RHSA which was based upon the Shakespearean play “Romeo and Juliet”. It was called “After Juliet” and I focused on sending the messages of women’s strength, women’s equality and internal beauty. For this project I was recognized and received the award for “Film and Video Award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking”. It was so rewarding. I have posted a few photos of my photography work and the trailer link for you to enjoy! For you film and montage lovers, there is more to come in my upcoming blogs….stay tuned! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi8kqu556lc
Ever since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed playing sports. I was in track and field in high school and now enjoy running, swimming and tennis. I stay close to my Greek culture and traditions and I’m even pretty good at traditional Greek style dancing! Here is a picture of me when I was little! The sport that I currently have a passion for is fencing. I began fencing in high school and fell in love with it – and I’m now on the York University Fencing team! The most recent fencing competition was quite nerve wracking! I’m still at the beginning stages –yet I did my best and managed to get some points against my opponents! It just proves that if you believe in yourself and with some teamwork you can achieve anything! Fencing is physically and mentally demanding – the main reasons why I love it so much. It’s pretty cool to also hold a sword! It’s very empowering, especially for women! My dream and future goal is to compete in the Olympics for Team Canada!
I’ve always found volunteering for amazing organizations, increasing awareness and helping individual people personally extremely rewarding. My volunteering journey began with Ryerson University and their children’s summer theatre camp. I assisted the Director with managing activities and a musical production of Shrek for children ranging from ages 5 – 13 years old. I lead activities with children which required superhero organizational skills! My priority was to ensure no child felt left out. It was very rewarding as all the children departed the camp with a new sense of belonging and confidence. It was such a wonderful experience spending time with children that shared a common interest with me – a love and appreciation for the theatre and the arts.
Making a Difference through Theatre
I’m currently in York University’s Theatre program. Since high school I discovered my passion for the Arts and Theatre. The roles I select to take on in plays usually have a theme and significant message to relay. They have a lasting impact to the audience; and are very relatable to the audience – even to myself. A couple of particular plays that “stayed” with me were “Blue” and “The Vagina Monologues”. It was with great pride that I partook in them as the monologues were spotlighted in support of Women at York University.
While I was in high school, I performed in the Paprika Festival which is held here in Toronto. The festival provides high school students the opportunity to create their own plays from scratch. I teamed up with my classmate who was directing and writing. After analyzing my character and understanding the message of the play – I was immediately drawn to it. It sent the message about society and mental depression –how it can easily be undetected and how it’s not taken seriously. My character was a young woman drowning in depression yet wasn’t reflected her appearance and her battle to overcome depression. The play reminded us all about how we should not judge and how a little kindness and understanding goes a long way. It reminded us about our inner strength, that quite often we don’t even know it’s there.
The Vagina Monologues. It was breathtaking. It was shocking – it was empowering to all women. It was amazing to see such support at York University on Women’s Day – what an amazing experience it was for me to have the privilege to present such brilliant writings. If you have never read them – you should! The monologues are based upon women from around the world – they shared their life experiences and we are transported to their world through their eyes. I portrayed a Bosnian woman nostalgic about her past life and the happiness of being a woman. She takes us to her heart wrenching war experience in Bangladesh. She expresses her experience of rape. Such monologues remind all of us and increase awareness of what women across the world are faced with – even today. It reminds women how crucial it is to support each other and find strength in each other. The event was hugely successful and raised funds for Women’s shelters.
As Miss Teenage Toronto 2017 I aim to increase awareness and raise money for research for the fight against breast cancer. I would like to empower women going through the toughest battle of lives; to give them strength; to give all women strength; to encourage women to support other women; to be united; to be confident; to never give up; to believe; TO BE FEARLESS.
Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my blog! I look forward to taking this journey with you all – stay tuned for blog posts!