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The Essential List: Aleysa Young


The Untitled Films director blogs about her favourite Craigslist finds and stockpiles her favourite bagels in her freezer

The Essential List: Aleysa Young
Aleysa Young’s obsession with the classifieds website Craigslist is so strong that she created a blog to aggregate her favourite finds on the platform. ‘The Listings List’ is “a curatorial peek at Toronto’s online classifieds” and, frankly, we just wish we lived in Toronto so we could take advantage of some the gems she unearths. Seriously, check them out ( ). 

But when she’s not scouring Craigslist for design-led bargains, you can find Aleysa directing ads and, more recently, TV shows - her hit ‘Baroness Von Sketch Show’ received five Canadian Screen Award nominations including Aleysa's nomination for Best Direction in a variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series. Prior to life as a director she was a casting director, a producer of RESfest Canada, which used to showcase digital filmmakers, and a blackjack dealer in Dawson City in Canada’s far north (close to the Alaskan border). 

We tapped Aleysa for her Essential List.


o Place of birth: Vancouver
o Hometown: Toronto
o Staycation: I will befriend anyone with lake access

A friend's cottage

o Vacation: Oaxaca, Morocco, or anywhere with an infinity pool


o Place of work: My kitchen table or on set
o Place of workout: I should really start working out…
o Mode of transport: Bicycle, Lyft, or borrowed car
o Bonus Travel Essential: Portable battery charger


o Artist: Olaflur Eliasson to experience, Alex Colville to inspire

Olaflur Eliasson

o Musician: Currently – Vince Staples, Charlotte Day Wilson and a lot of Ethiopian Jazz
o Commercials / music video director: Keith Schofield, Hiro Murai, Spike Jonze
o Film director: Paul Thomas / Wes / Roy Anders[s]on
o Photographer: Martin Parr

o Film: Rushmore, Boogie Nights, Frances Ha
o Series: I watch a lot of TV – Atlanta, End of the Fucking World, High Maintenance, Fleabag, Documentary Now, Nathan for You, Vice Principals, Broad City…
o Commercial: These

o Music Video: Old – The Notoroius B.I.G. ‘Sky's The Limit’. New – Oren Lavie ‘Second Hand Lovers’  

o Video Game: I was so addicted to Guitar Hero I had to get rid of my Xbox
o Board Game: Secret Hitler (not as bad as it sounds), Settlers of Catan

o Book: I watch a lot of TV
o Graphic Novel: Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth

o Podcast: Dinner Party Download
o Newspaper (off or online): Twitter
o Magazine: New Yorker
o Bonus Culture Essential: TIFF Bell Lightbox

Food and Drink

o Breakfast: Shakshuka
o Restaurant: Grey Gardens 
o Cheap bite: Pho bo kho at Pho Linh
o Working lunch: Paris Paris
o Dish: Stuffed squash blossoms
o Snack: Fairmount bagels from Montreal that I have stockpiled in my freezer. (Debatably, St. Viateur bagels are better fresh, but Fairmount’s freeze better.)

o Guilty Pleasure: Instant noodles, with butter
o Bar: Communist’s Daughter
o Booze: Mezcal
o Not Booze: Sodastream
o Bonus Food: My grandma’s sticky rice
o Bonus Beverage: Natural wine


o Phone: iPhone
o Computer: Macbook Pro
o TV: Sony (but I really want that Samsung Frame TV)

It's art AND a TV

o Headphones: Apple
o Camera: Fuji X-T20
o Soundsystem: JBL Bluetooth speaker
o Pen / pencil: Mechanical pencil necklace. It’s great for making script notes on the fly and it looks classy AF

o Where you document an idea: Notes (for Mac). Side note: Reading random notes aloud always makes for an entertaining parlour game

Some random notes that may or may not make sense

o Casual Clothing: I have a robe problem

o Smart Clothing: Nobis jacket for shooting Canadian exteriors
o Footwear: 3 x Adidas Clean White Stan Smiths: one to get dirty, one to keep clean, and a backup for when the other two die

o Watch: iPhone
o App: Artemis
o Website: YouTube
o Blog: Craigslist (My Craigslist obsession forced me to create a blog of my own:
o Work program: Self-Control (limits my online procrastinating)
o Digital work tool: iPad
o Analogue work tool: Moleskine notebook
o Morning grooming / makeup essential: Eyelash extensions
o Bonus Kit Essential: Mini American Girl dolls from the Dollar Store that I use to workshop storyboards and blocking

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LBB Editorial, Mon, 23 Apr 2018 16:12:15 GMT