So the Broadway Baby is moving to Calgary! Yes folks… I’m trading in my ‘TO’ for some ‘YYC’ and trying the West Coast life on for size!
I made the announcement on social media yesterday, admittedly ensconced in a Mother’s Day post such that it was easy to miss. Perhaps that was my way of ‘gently’ breaking news that I knew would catch a lot of people off guard, but news which I’m nonetheless very excited to share. So today, much like when I made the decision to leave BroadwayWorld after five years, I’m going to attempt to explain the rationale behind my decision to leave the city and community which has been so good to me for the last number of years. I’m going to try and say goodbye.
The seed was first planted when I read a Buddhist quote about six months ago that resonated with me for many different reasons: “Who you are is not a perfectly measured object. There is tremendous elasticity in who you can be. It is up to you to decide the shape you give yourself”.
For a very long time I have been the ‘ginger theatre gal’ of Toronto. A social media nerd who spends her time tirelessly supporting Toronto theatre, participating in various and diverse social media events and fully embracing my theatre roots and ‘ginger’ persona. It’s been an incredible ride and I have met some amazing people, had unforgettable experiences and made lifelong friends.
It’s hard to believe I started my work in the theatre while still living in London, Ontario – commuting regularly to cover shows, network and begin to build relationships. The community embraced me whole-heartedly even though no one knew who I was, and before too long I was relocating to Toronto, taking on more responsibilities at BroadwayWorld and even writing for The Toronto Star. The entire experience has always felt a bit surreal, as I’ve gone from an outside observer and ‘fan’ to a bonafide member of a community I respect and love so much. The fact that I can count so many talented and extraordinary performers/producers/writers/directors as friends is a true gift, one which I will always hold close to my heart.
With that being said, all good things must eventually come to an end, and I’m a big believer in change being an important catalyst for growth. When I made the decision to leave BroadwayWorld at the beginning of this year, it opened my eyes to many new and exciting possibilities, not the least of which has been this website. I’ve nurtured my personal brand very carefully over the last five years, and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude at the support the community has given this website.
But like the quote says, there is a lot of elasticity in who I am. And while this ‘persona’ has been lucrative, fun and a riotous adventure, I don’t want it to completely define me. I want to see what else is out there, and I want to challenge myself outside of my comfort zone. I’ve never been one to rest on my laurels or stay in the same place for too long, and because of that I truly believe this opportunity comes at a perfect time.
The decision to move to Calgary was not made lightly, and came about due to a wonderful opportunity offered to me by my current employer. Given that it means leaving my family, friends and this community, I approached it with the appropriate amount of caution and hesitation. In the end, I realized that the timing was almost serendipitous and the opportunity too great to even consider saying no. I’m excited and eager to start this next phase of my life, and I am confident that I’m taking a position that I’m not only going to enjoy, but which will allow me to thrive and grow.
As luck would have it, I hear Calgary has a vibrant theatre scene and it is my hope that they will be as welcoming to me as Toronto has been. Ideally I want to continue my website from the West, both to support and promote Calgary theatre and also (with the help of others) keep the Toronto contingent alive and well.
Logistics still need to be worked out, but if the desire is there, I fully plan to keep growing the site. After all, it’s not goodbye forever.
As always, thank you to all my readers for your support, encouragement and love. The messages I have received over the past few days have overwhelmed me in only the best possible way. You certainly aren’t making it easy to say so long, but I’m excited to start this next chapter of my life and can’t wait to see what the Calgarians have in store. For the Torontonians, I expect you all to keep in touch through social media and if any of you head West for work – you know you’ve got someone ready and willing to give your show a shout-out and take you for a drink!
In closing, I would like to credit the incomparable Bruce Dow for reminding me of one of my favourite Sondheim quotes at a time when I needed it most (and for always being one of my biggest cheerleaders). “Move on. Stop worrying where you’re going. Move on. ” Truer words never spoken.