Toronto! The city of dreams, as they say. (Note: they might not actually say that.) Veterans of the Toronto International Film Festival -- or TIFF, for those in the know – have the hustle and bustle of how this event works down to a science, winding their way through a gauntlet of screenings, interviews, events and press conferences with a smug "I've been here; I know what I'm doing" look plastered on their faces. Then there's me -- at the prestigious festival for the first time with the opposite of that look. What did I learn in my first 24 hours here? Quite a lot. Ahead, 25 tips on how to get absolutely nothing accomplished in your first day at the Toronto International Film Festival.

DO wake up an hour before you have to on the day that you are flying to Toronto -- just so you have that "extra tired" look and feel by 6:30 p.m.

DO get to LaGuardia airport in New York with 95 minutes to spare just so you can sit at a gate, with no Internet, that looks like it was a leftover set from 'Contagion.'



DO attempt to go through the "crew members only" line at customs.

DO book your hotel room late, so you have the one directly overlooking the pool and directly outside the elevators.

DON'T take a cab across town to save much needed time because Toronto is bigger than you thought.

DO walk three-fourths of a mile in the wrong direction after deciding to not take a cab.

DO eventually hail a cab after walking three-fourths of a mile in the wrong direction.

DO, after all of this, give the cab driver the wrong address.

DO, when explaining your tardiness, use the term "lickety-split" unironically.

DO refer to the Toronto International Film Festival as "Tribeca" in conversation.

DO go to the completely wrong theater when trying to see Alex Gibney's 'The Last Gladiators.'

DO see an Irish film called 'The Other Side of Sleep' instead when you, too, are about to fall asleep.

DO watch a film that is in English, but also has English subtitles, so that you are left confused as to if you're supposed to be reading or listening.

DO order a glass of water with a fly in it.



DO become the only person in the history of life to get a nasty look from a Canadian waiter (these are nice people!) because you're taking a picture of a glass of water with a fly in it.

DO spend 15 minutes trying to get a photo of U2 lead guitarist The Edge's skullcap.

DO fail at getting a picture of The Edge's skullcap.



DO see Gus Van Sant's new movie, 'Restless' -- which completely lives up to its name -- instead of seeing the George Clooney/Alexander Payne collaboration 'The Descendents.'

DO listen to a colleague talk about how great 'The Descendants' is, and how foolish you are for missing it.

DO say "yes" when the hotel asks if you'd "like a juice," only to the receive a $6.00 bill for that juice.

DON'T take the very efficient Toronto subway system because it "looks scary" – even though you ride the New York City subway every day.

DO make sure your cab drives through a construction zone when you have to be at a Brad Pitt video shoot.

DO foolishly exit your cab right before the construction ends so, instead, you can sprint down the street in an effort to not be late for the video shoot with Brad Pitt.

DO show up drenched in sweat when you meet Brad Pitt.

DO wallow in self-pity with two pints of beer.

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.
Follow Moviefone on Twitter.