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An Introduction to Interning at OBJX

OBJX Studio is an events and photography studio located at 100 Symes road finding its home the heart of the Junction.



My name is Jennifer Merchant and I moved from Ottawa to Toronto in 2013 to become an actor. I’m Jamaican by birth, Canadian by choice, moving to Canada as a teenager. Last year, 2022, with the help of a solo show workshop, the fringe and wonderful friends, I wrote and performed a solo show at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Immediately after it, wanting more, I enrolled in the Professional Writing and Communications post-graduate program at Humber College. The final part of program requires completion of a field experience or internship. OBJX is one of the many companies I applied to, they offered me a post. Before this I had not heard of the studio.

I’m in the Professional Writing and Communications post-graduate program at Humber College and the internship or field experience is the last part of the one-year program.


As an actor working on and off in Toronto for about nine years now, I find it astonishing that I’d never heard of OBJX before!


It’s a bit out of the way, but worth the trip.


OBJX is so wholly artist centered. Artists come from all parts of the GTA to make their way to the studio, and it does not disappoint. Those who find us -through the maze of stairs and hallways - find home. This idea is at the core of what OBJX is about.


I found myself lost when I arrived that first day for my interview. However, once inside, it’s a different world. I could feel the love, the art and the energy that goes into making OBJX Studio what it is. A place for artists of all media and mediums. Once I got used to getting here, it doesn’t seem out of the way at all anymore. On the TTC, it’s line two to Keele, then the 189 which drops you almost at the door or the 89 will take you to the corner of Keele and St. Clair West. From there it’s a 13-minute walk to OBJX.


A lot of love and heart here.


On arrival for my interview, I accidentally went to the neighboring company, but they were so gracious and friendly that I didn’t want to leave. I found my way to OBJX across the hall and was greeted and interviewed by Vini and Megan, two of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Both artists in their own right. They had official interview questions for me and I was surprised it was so formal. I believe they wanted to make sure to get someone who would be a good fit with their little group.


For me, the décor and atmosphere of the place was intriguing, it felt like an artist decorated it. It turns out, Ben, the owner of the studio, is not only a photographer, but a mix media artist as well. Meeting the rest of the group when I arrived on my first day, Bodeen welcomed me home. I’ve always loved being welcomed home, especially because when I visit Jamaica, my original home, they say it to every visitor.


Jotam, Arrun and Dave round out some of the rest of the crew. That first day of work I also met Rose, Ben’s mom. She is hip, adorable, welcoming and loving. It is a home away from home for the next few months. It is hard work running a studio, but I get the impression the ability to help others create and share in their joy during a proposal or wedding is rewarding. Added to that, every event at OBJX is unique, never to be repeated, this has to help keep the staff in the now, on their toes and never bored.


OBJX is a community-based, artistic hub that is ever evolving, but always welcoming.


A Few Events that Take Place @ OBJX:

Whether it's a proposal, a wedding, a film set, a music video or photoshoot, a festival, or celebration; OBJX has you covered.

- They’ve hosted an event by the Canadian International Fashion Film Festival: https://www.canifff.com/.

- Every Sunday, the appropriately named Sunday Sessions happens. It is an Open Mic and Jam Session. Here is the Eventbrite link:

OBJX is always looking for all kinds of artists to sign up and participate. Currently, it’s mostly singers, rappers and spoken word artists who perform. It would also be a great venue for actors to practice their scene or monologue skills. Here is an episode from OBJX’s YouTube:

-OBJX also has a program called No Curtains, where a performer or group creates a YouTube worthy live performance video with or without a band. Bitter & Broke, a local Toronto band, made up of incredible musicians, partners with OBJX on these No Curtains sessions. Check it out here:

OBJX is more than just a studio


The vision and mission behind OBJX are for another time, but the goal of the studio is that of a hub for creatives. They also have co-working onsite. The atmosphere at OBJX is inviting and cozy, even with the high ceilings in the loft-like space. There are big, floor-to-ceiling windows, which makes for lots of sunlight and is great for pictures. It is filled with items and props for photos in a way that makes one feel like they are in their own living room. The comfy, bright yellow sofas are inviting and the seating areas allows for sitting by yourself or having a group chat.

There is a lounge area which has one of the prettiest chandeliers I’ve ever seen. Not far away from it, the cafe serves snacks and drinks. Local food truck, Fuoco Mio, is just outside the door. The sign at the top of the truck says it has the best french fries in town. They ran out last Thursday when I went to get some, but I will have to find out if they are indeed the best french fries in Toronto for myself.


Update: I’ve had the french fries and they are indeed the best in Toronto!


Signing off,

Jennifer


Blog edited and curated by Claire Stacey


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