Travelling from Jamaica to Toronto to the Philippines to visit his terminally ill father, Norm was supposed to enjoy a 2-day layover in Taiwan to visit some friends and enjoy the sights. Instead, after United Airlines lost his luggage and it turned up in the possession of customs agents at the airport - Norm was waylaid in limbo by the Taiwanese “justice system” for 197 days.
After having Norm almost comically search his own luggage in front of them - one of Norm’s pairs of pants was discovered to have both pocket lint and marijuana crumbs. With the politest of service, Norm was quickly processed and put under investigation for drug possession and conspiracy to import and distribute. For less than a sprinkle of weed, this licensed medical marijuana user’s entire life was upended and put on hold as either an epic (or an extremely lacklustre) investigation unfolded.
Released to a friend until his court date, Norm was unable to leave the country until his fate was decided. Left to his wits and the kindness of humanity, he immediately began documenting his exploits as he learned his new home. Navigating a foreign world of food, culture and kindergarten, Norm’s insights as a Toronto kid stranded in Taiwan are both hilarious and very human.
"Turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones", Norm continued to refine his craft - writing and practicing new material on basketball courts, local comedy clubs and in his surety’s apartment.
Home free on Canadian soil, Norm is preparing to share his experiences in a multi-media based one-man show live from the historic Theatre Passe Muraille in downtown,Toronto.
Directed by Brian Gregory, the special will capture Norm’s one-man show in a slick and cinematic way. In addition to the show itself, Brian Gregory flew out to Taiwan towards the end of Norm’s stay there and captured phenomenal footage of Norm in various environments as well as practicing some of the same stories on stage in Taiwan. Further to this, we have tons of first-hand footage of Norm’s exploits via his iPhone including actual footage and quips from his initial detainment and during his incarceration.
Intercutting between Norm’s live show and exclusive footage in Taiwan highlighting and bringing to life Norm’s stories - the final one hour piece will be a rich and textured account of one man’s “fish out of water experience”. An outrageous and sincere ode to all the things that make us different - ultimately, Norm’s odyssey highlights the things that bring us together.
Norm Alconcel: Norm Alconcel, popularly known as “Big Norm” is a modern day renaissance man. Multi-faceted, Norm is by turns a stand-up comedian, singer, songwriter, TV host and chef. Norm’s soulful style of comedy is an amalgamation of life experiences and cultural perspectives gained through his time growing up in Toronto community housing, in a broken, immigrant, Seventh-day Adventist home. His style showcases influences from Jamie Foxx, Russel Peters, Tracy Morgan and Cedric The Entertainer. Big Norm incorporates a hip-hop-Motown inspired cadence and delivery to his stand up and frequently touches base on race, multiculturalism, music, and personal experience to entertain his audience. He has worked and performed all over the world and on many different platforms including MTV, MuchMusic, the Manifesto Festival, Asian-American Film Festival, the Laugh Till Ya Belly Burst Festival in St. Maarten, Toronto International Film Festival and Field Trip Festival to name a few.
He has shared the stage with Russel Peters, Micheal Blackson, Lunelle and has hosted and opened up for countless musicians and performers including the Ghost Face Killa, School Boy Q, Machel Montano, Chronnix, and Jhene Aiko.
Norm can be seen on comedy stages across the world, in pop kitchens across the country and online on his social media, posting hilarious, up-to-date accounts of his daily life.
Director/DOP: Brian Gregory is an accomplished creator and has become a trusted hand in guiding various cultural projects to life. Well travelled, Brian has shot music videos, short film and documentaries in 6 countries. In 2011, Brian was selected to take part in a short film bootcamp in Cannes during the festival there. Winning first prize for his work - Brian quickly followed that up by collaborating with recording artist Ryan Leslie across several continents, shooting and editing the documentary “Black Mozart” for the grammy nominated creative. Since then, Brian has been hard at work shooting videos for the Juno award-winning group Naturally Born Strangers amongst others. His videos regularly show up on Fader Magazine, Noisey & Complex Mag.
Producer: Romeo Candido has worked in film, television, advertising, music, theatre ad digital industries, garnering awards and recognition for each. Having worked as a trusted producer for MuchMusic & the CBC, Romeo is best known for his independent work. Candido directed Ang Pamana: The Inheritance (Reel Asian 2007), the first Philippine/Canadian co-production that was released theatrically in the Philippines to critical acclaim. His directorial feature film debut, Lolo’s Child (Reel Asian 2002), won the prestigious Ishmael Bernal award at the 2002 CineManila Film Festival. His transmedia web series “Prison Dancer” was lauded as an innovative and hilarious take on both web series and the musical genre and went on to win several awards across countries.
Executive Producer: Quiet As Kept