Andre Lalonde - Talkie 1 of 6: Genesis of his Writing

Andre Lalonde - Talkie 2 of 6: Living with HSP

Andre Lalonde - Talkie 3 of 6: Lessons Learned (Part 1)

Andre Lalonde - Talkie 4 of 6: Lessons Learned (Part 2)

Andre Lalonde - Talkie 5 of 6: Living his Ambitions

Andre Lalonde - Talkie 6 of 6: Completing the Journey

Andre Lalonde - Follow-Up Interview: New Adventures

Andre was diagnosed with HSP (Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis) at the age of 17. With his declining mobility he focused his energies into writing, which he already had an ambition for. He's now 37, continues to write everyday and produces his own video blog, Dre's Chronicles, eager to share his writing with anyone interested.

Andre Video Anchor Tag

Andre Lalonde Video Shoot - Dre Chronicles 6

Andre Blog Anchor Tag

Talkie 6: Andre on Completing the Journey

Click here for more on Andre’s Road to Possible!

We’ll announce our next Talkie Series on Friday, November 3.

Talkie 5: Andre on Living his Ambitions

Talkie 6 with Andre Lalonde coming next Friday!

Click here for more on Andre’s Road to Possible!

Talkie 4: Andre on Lessons Learned (Part 2)

Talkie 5 with Andre Lalonde coming next Friday!

Click here for more on Andre’s Road to Possible!

Talkie 3: Andre on Lessons Learned (Part 1)

Talkie 4 with Andre Lalonde coming next Friday!

Click here for more on Andre’s Road to Possible!

Talkie 2: Andre on Living with HSP

Talkie 3 with Andre Lalonde coming next Friday!

Click here for more on Andre’s Road to Possible!

Talkie 1: Andre on the Genesis of his Writing

Talkie 2 with Andre Lalonde coming next Friday!

Click here for more on Andre’s Road to Possible!

Upcoming Talkie Series with Andre Lalonde

Stay linked for our 6-part Talkie Series with Andre Lalonde, starting Friday, September 22 at 5pm!

 April 26, 2016 – by Andre Lalonde

Andre Blog Post

I started the year off by putting out my first book. It’s not the first thing I’ve ever written, but it is what I felt was a good start. ‘Dark matter’ is one chapter of large work known as ‘The chronicle of the naked city’. Of course, that is mentioned in the book. I wanted to keep it as a journal and that’s why it won’t be included in the ‘Vol. 1’ book which, with any luck, should be out by the end of the year. Unfortunately, the shipping cost is quite high, but I have nothing to do with that and I don’t make anything from it. To stick to a running theme I have going on I’ll say, “Buy my product.” matter

On February 12th I was very lucky to have Lesley shoot most of ‘Dre chronicles 7’ while we were at Tim Horton’s. It was fun, and I hope it becomes a regular thing because I think that can only make me better at doing them. What’s really cool is that Lesley shot all of ‘Dre chronicles 7’, and considering how busy she is, I am thankful. That video will be on YouTube today, April 26/16.

And a last quick update: March 1st marked the second year since I quit smoking

More to come very soon

~Each small candle~

Voting – by Andre Lalonde

I met Linda McQuaig on Thursday, October 15 and I didn’t hesitate to shake her hand and tell her that I had already voted for her on October 11. I am a fan of early voting. I have spoken to and told everybody that is eligible to vote to go out and vote, not to sit and do nothing. I’m confident that I alone got twenty people who would normally throw out their voting card to get out and vote. They did. I didn’t tell them how to vote, but just how important it was that they do.

If you can vote, do it. 9:30pm is coming fast so get out there.

BLOG Voting Andre

Ten miles of hard road – by Andre Lalonde

When I was a teenager I wished I could have gotten my hands on some decent gear, and had a couple adventurous friends who were up for a day or two of exploration join me. Join me for what? Join me in doing a walk-through of abandoned structures sporting flashlights, hard hats, and of course a good camera or two. I would have loved to document any place that was easy to get to. That would never happen. Instead, I would get into these places solo and do my own exploration. The biggest and the best has always been the old NORAD radar station in my hometown of Hanmer, Ontario—now demolished. I moved so well through the debris and the busted glass scattered on the floor, my balance, perfect then, too. Now, though, I watch these things on YouTube, recorded in stunning high definition. That is just something else that could have been. This blog, however, is not about these little adventures.

PHOTO Ten Miles of Hard Road by Andre Lalonde

My mom got into Toronto on February 25 accompanied by my two nephews and my young third cousin. For the past couple of years she’s been making the trip to the city to have dinner with me on my birthday—which is on the 26th. Usually, it was only her and I, but I was ok with her wanting to take the kids on a little trip.

On my birthday, the first stop was a lunch buffet at Mandarin near the Eglinton subway station. It was a bit of a different experience now having three kids in tow, one of which had never been on a subway train, but it did show me the level of laziness of this current generation of kids: everything seemed to be too far, too much of a walk, too much work. Stepping off the train to the platform is a chore; cane comes down, mind the gap, and then I step out, left foot first and then the right. For a slow walker these structures are enormous, and I am quite a bit slower now even though I’ve only used the cane since 2010. I hurt my back in 2013, and it still hurts, every step now is agony. I suppose I am one of the most brilliant performers ever. Making our way through the station and finally getting topside, the question was asked as soon as daylight could be seen, “How far?”

The next couple of days were full of walking: down Danforth, through Union station and the skywalk to the CN Tower, and into Ripley’s Aquarium. There were complaints for sure, none from my mother, but I was the leader, out-walking any of these kids, no problem. In fact, I could have done so much more. Walking is independence I always thought, it makes me feel like the explorer I always wanted to be. I have no more delusions however of strapping on a hard hat and walking through some dilapidated place, but I still see it sometimes.

To all of this, I add, that I do pretty much everything on my own. Things are getting harder every year just as my ideas are getting better. I plan on doing it all; I have to do it all. This is not a ‘woe is me’ post, this is only my perspective and I would never speak of all the difficulties, struggles and triumphs being experienced by all the others who have lost all mobility. They are in fact my heroes. These are the challenges that are now the obstacles I either bypass or tear down just to do what I love to do. It is all difficult, believe me. I get the sense sometimes that my journey has weaved here and there, through alternate routes, a new path, another direction, and now, across ten miles of hard road.

~Each small candle~

Behind-The-Scenes: Dre Chronicles 6 – by Lesley Apelbaum

I got the chance to accompany Andre at his latest Dre Chronicles shoot. It was very low-key, but a lot of fun.


It never occurred to me how difficult it must be for Andre to make his vlog. It’s true he does most of the work on his own, but the fact that he has physical disability really slows down the process. Moving from location to location, setting up equipment, getting into position, it all takes a lot more time, effort, energy and planning. I know he wants to expand his vlog and do more frequent postings, so I really hope he can get a solid team of people together to help out.

I think what Andre’s doing is really important. People with disabilities are highly underrepresented in media, TV and film, on camera and behind the scenes. I believe that through Road to Possible we can bring awareness to the challenges and risks that people with all types of disabilities and conditions face and the courage it takes to pursue their ambitions day after day.


August 18 Update – by Andre Lalonde


I’m still working on the new short, titled, ‘The boy who stole the moon’. If anybody here has been reading and keeping up with my posts on then you’ll know that it is part of “The chronicle of the naked city’. There have been quite a few delays in the writing of it because I still have trouble staying focused on things. That is of course another thing about me that is work in progress. 

After a really long delay, “Dre Chronicles’ 6 is almost done. All that’s left is some final tweaks on the end credits. It will be the shortest one so far at just under 15 minutes. The very first shot for it was done in February, just after my birthday. It will be available very soon.

March 21, 2015 – by Andre Lalonde

PHOTO all blog posts by Andre Lalonde

On Thursday, March 19, I chose to volunteer for a show called ‘Hammer’. When I looked at the list of upcoming shows at The Theatre Centre I chose that one just based on the name. That is how I choose what to volunteer for.

I thought of my upcoming meet-up with an old friend of mine. We are supposed to have an entire weekend together to work on some project ideas—truth be told I already have the idea, and have for quite some time.

I arrived on time and sat in the office with one of the regular staff. When the time came I took my place at the door, took the tickets and greeted the guests. The performer shook my hand and I then joined the small group inside. The performer was Cathy Gordon. I had no idea that in the next ninety minutes, most of the ideas I’ve ever had about art, expression and performance would be vindicated. It was indeed all possible.

‘Things don’t have to stay linear’, I explained to my friend. 

It was a participatory show. The two with the worst handwriting—one of which was yours truly—were given blue markers and small white cards with quotes which we had to be written down on large brown pages. Before we wrote, Cathy told us she would leave the room and when she returned, everybody must stop doing what they were doing—their tasks—and look at her; she did return, and we all stopped. She stood there and removed all her regular clothes; she wore her naked body like it was another costume, and finally, put on a tight black, comfortable looking PJ thing.

The show begins with all of us standing around a table with a hammer made out of soft clay sitting on top of it. Cathy broke off the first piece then invited all of us to tear off chunks until the hammer was no more. It was now our job to hold our bits of clay for the entire show. The show was, in fact, six ways to sublimate anger. Anybody who has ever read anything I’ve written, and certainly, if you have read these blogs, it’s clear that I talk often about my failures. I do have a lot of anger, but standing there holding my chunk of clay, I knew that a lot of it was well used.

I still have my piece of clay, and when the time comes, I will tear it in half as I sit there with my friend as we create. Again I will say to her, ‘We can do whatever we want, because it is all possible’.

-Each small candle-

Untitled 4 – by Andre Lalonde

PHOTO all blog posts by Andre Lalonde

I’ve never felt further away from one of my dreams until I stood right on it.

Let me back up a bit here. Early in December 2014, my friend brought me as his guest to a volunteer appreciation party. This pot-luck style party was held in the Cabaret section of this particular theatre. Free food, free booze, I couldn’t believe it. He told me that all these places have these parties for their volunteers. It’s true; you do learn something new everyday. When he told me about being a volunteer here, and at many other places, I told him I wanted in. Why? Because I get to see the shows for free. It was a good deal all around.

In December, I wrote a new poem which will be part of a five or six piece series. The idea for it came from a reccurring dream I’ve been having since the end of May 2014. I wrote other things and worked on other projects, but did always have that dream stuck in my head. When December came around, I decided it was the perfect time to get that down on paper. I really wanted it written down before the year ended.

The second time I ushered for ‘HER2’, I stood at the edge of the floor-levelled stage with a pack of programs, and made sure nobody else walked on it or touched the bags that were placed there. I smiled at guests and let them know the duration of the show including the twenty minute intermission. I knew the show now, of course, and I was happy to see it again. Standing there for an entire thirty minutes, I watched the empty seats being filled and realized, I could be seen by everyone.

There were moments at the end where I closed my eyes as I stood there again. The silence is what I loved. Standing in the empty theatre before I would collect leftover programs is when the thought occurred to me. ‘That poem is a play’. I had felt the actors move the air; I sat so close in my reserved front-row seat. I knew right there what it had to be. It had to be what the dream was. That was the show. Feel my anger, see my real failures, dedicated to all those who have tried and never succeeded. If you asked me now what I thought my chances were of getting this done, I would refer you to the opening line of this blog.

Untitled 3 – by Andre Lalonde

PHOTO all blog posts by Andre Lalonde

Sitting here with Lesley and Ed, I was shown articles about the recent rallies in France and all over the world. The picture of the mass of people caught my eye, it was beautiful. As Ed went on, he asked if I’d like to write something from a writer’s perspective. I sat there, staring at the picture with an untold amount of ideas popping and flashing through my mind; and the truth that I mostly feared what I would write, jumped to the front of the list of ideas. ‘I wouldn’t even know where to begin’, I told Lesley.

I love the solidarity of the French. I love that they won’t cower in fear and trade away some rights with the hope that, just maybe, another incident may be avoided. Most of all, I love that this has nothing to do with any of that. World leaders marched together, set aside their differences— for how long who knows– and people locked arms, filled the streets and presented the clearest image of what it is to be free.

I was reminded of how much this resembled the days after 9/11 and how those events gave me a little bit of hope for the future of this race. That warm, fuzzy feeling of course did not last long then, and I think this one is fleeting also.

I still fear. I fear the coming erosion of freedoms as much as I fear my own ideas about all of this. I have learned to self-censor and very often speak meekly and hold back. To censor an idea, however, is what scares me most. I haven’t even begun to use my voice, and I have no doubt that that voice will get me into trouble in the coming years.

I wonder if these people will remember, I wonder if the artists will make their stand. I hope in the very near future that I find that voice that few have really heard. I stand with every person who locked arms in cities all around the world and hoped that just maybe, the world will change. I hope I look at this someday and think, Yeah, I know where to begin; I am Charlie Hebdo…

Walk your road..

Andre Lalonde

February 26, 2015 – by Andre Lalonde

PHOTO all blog posts by Andre Lalonde

I sit here writing this in the very early hours of February 26, 2015; and yes, this happens to be my birthday. I spend a lot of time reflecting, and thinking back on choices I’ve made many years ago. On every birthday, of course, I think back even more. I have learned quite a bit about myself the past year. I never do stop learning. I am thirty-eight years old now and hope to keep learning. I can always do more and frequently catch myself trying to do just that. This has been a problem most of my life—the trying anyways. The problem with doing more has been, of course, not finishing anything. Taking things from idea to project to completed work has been a challenge so often; I have a box of stuff sitting in my closet to prove it. I am learning to be confident again, though, and think that that will make all the difference. No matter how many ideas I have, creating, and completing, is possible even if I still have certain doubts and fears.

-Walk your road-

Untitled 2 – by Andre Lalonde

PHOTO all blog posts by Andre Lalonde

In my last blog I mentioned a new batch of friends. Some recent experiences could have only come from knowing them.

On Christmas Eve—even though I am not religious—my friend bought me a ticket for the annual MCC Christmas eve service at Roy Thompson hall—even though I am not gay. At one point they asked that people in the audience speak out loud the names of those we pray for or those who we’ve lost. I would have normally let others speak and remained silent, but I didn’t. My voice boomed in that place when I said, “My father, Paul.”  I have a few social anxieties which I rarely ever disclose. Speaking is not one of them. This room was packed. Among those present were, Olivia Chow, Bill Blair and Kristyn Wong-Tam.

I begin this new stretch of my journey without my dad here in the physical, but I carry enough in my memory to remember and look back on all the things he taught me; even if none of those things were related to writing, it all can be made to fit.

Walk your road.

The New Batch – by Andre Lalonde

PHOTO all blog posts by Andre Lalonde

Looking back now on the month of May which started out like almost every other month did — That is to say, uneventful and uninteresting — I pushed along. I had not yet started the main location shoot for “Dre chronicles #4” since writing kept me busy. On May 10th, I was recorded reading the first paragraph of one of my new short stories on Yonge Street and at Yonge/Dundas square. It seemed to me that day that something was beginning. On the morning of May 14th, my father passed away. This loss made me look back even further.

The original group of friends I had were never interested in writing or that it was almost all that interested me. Very rarely would I share my ideas with those I called my friends.  I touched on this briefly in “Dre chronicles #1” and it is a subject that will come up again in writing.  

Four days before my dad died, I wrote the eulogy, just in case. The next day was of course the small shoot for the Road to Possible project. I kept that first batch of friends in my head the whole time. One week before my father died, I wrote the intro to my first book, a memoir.

I’ve become friends with a new batch in the months after giving the eulogy. New people, who are interested in writing, interested in videos and are artists of every kind. Even an old acquaintance of mine has recently started writing her first book. According to her, I’m her #1 source for ideas and help even though I have yet to make a dollar with my own writing.

In November, an independent actor from the U.K who has already memorized my words will be turning a monologue I wrote in 2013 into a short film.  That’s pretty exciting. For those interested in seeing me give the eulogy, that clip will be in “Dre chronicles #5”.  More on this later.  

-Walk your road-


Untitled – by Andre Lalonde

PHOTO all blog posts by Andre Lalonde

With “Dre chronicle #5”,  more short stories and a book in the works, I find myself busier than usual. Although it’s true that all I’ve ever wanted to do was write, I found myself in 2012 shooting video logs that would become the NEW Dre chronicles. I Never would have thought that links to my YouTube account would be posted on a site, or that I would be one of several talents participating in this wonderful project. I do now enjoy being my own videographer and I pull no punches in the chronicles. They get better each time people have said which has made it worthwhile even without the viral status. 

It’s a pleasure to be a small part of this. Let’s keep on dreaming. 

-Walking the road to possible-