Say What?

Growing up in London Ontario was difficult as a little black girl

In July 2016 I was asked to write a short essay about being a black writer in Canada. As it is Black History Month and I'm still a writer it feels fitting to post this on my website.

Thank you Michael Wheeler and Sarah Garton Stanley for giving me this opportunity.




Why Not?

I have been told for years that I should have a blog. I have resisted since I really don't think that I have that much to say about an industry that I am still figuring out. But, I think this is going to be an interesting year and this would be an ideal place to capture the ups and downs and ins and outs. I was pretty sure that blogs were no longer a THING but, alas, they are. So, I am going to do my darndest to write a little something about being a writer, a producer, and an occasional actor in this city called Toronto.

Let's start with something banal: a rejection. I applied for a residency at a major theatre company, made it to round three (there are four) and was sent a brief 'not gonna happen' email. I was strangely non-plussed. I'd applied for the same residency the year before and gotten all the way to the minotaur but was roundly defeated. A year later, I figured, I knew what I was doing and applied again. But the circumstances of my life had changed since January 2017, I was feeling good about the adventures of 2018, and I wasn't entirely sure I loved the theatre company as much as I used to; it was definitely like when a boyfriend hints at marriage and you realize that you hate their weak chin. I mean, can I continue to look at that weak chin for the rest of my life and not want it to change? Probably not. So, shortly after jumping the third hurdle I gently divorced myself from wanting the residency. Oh, don't get me wrong, it stung to be summarily dismissed, because, I love being wanted. But...I wanted to be TRULY wanted and I that was not the vibe I'd been getting for awhile. Besides, you know that saying, 'when God closes a door, he opens a window?' (is that right? Because I'd think opening a window after shutting a door in my face is asking for a felony to occur...but  digress). Anyway, right after I was told no from one company I got an enthusiastic, welcoming hug from another hours later. Our industry is like the weather in Calgary, don't like it, just wait, it's bound to change to something very interesting and unexpected.