Posts tagged women
LIFESTYLE | THIRTY
taken by Jasmine Alexander at ‘The Watch that Ends the Night’ , Dartmouth, NS.

taken by Jasmine Alexander at ‘The Watch that Ends the Night’ , Dartmouth, NS.

Thirty.

The turning over into a new decade. Something worth celebrating.

10 new years to sink deeper into who I am, where I am called and discovering gold in the corners of life.

Many things are being left in my twenties, things that made me new and things that forced me to grow despite my own fear.

What I am taking into my thirties.

That seat at the table

I am not questioning the seats that open up for me anymore, and neither am I going to continue doubting wether the fold up chair under my arm will match enough with others at the table. It’s apparent that I have work to do in this world that is uniquely and specifically mine to show up for.

A unique voice.

I am permitting and embracing my own unique voice to exist outside of my own perceived safety zones. Pushing back and letting my voice represent me has been an incredible journey thus far and continues to bring me closer to the One who made me.

A well rounded intelligence

I am celebrating the intelligence that resides within me. I have had incredible experiences so far, both personally and professionally that have led me to where I am. What I add to a team, a vision or just in conversation is so worthy. Each experience grows us when we stay open to it.

Relationships that go both ways

I am lavish and loyal in relationships. In embracing my unique love languages and how I best connect both personally and professionally, I am enlightened to realize that my worn out spirit has choices. Investing in personal and professional relationships that can thrive with a healthy amount of expressive interaction, space and trust is everything for this next decade.

Delicious food both healthy and indulgent

I am healed by the act of taking in delicious food. I have learned that at the dining table I have found an awareness of myself and others that has left me inspired, encouraged and made new again. To share that experiences with those I love and continue to grow my pallet is an exciting adventure.

That comedic take on life

I am anchored by humour through every season. I didn’t realize how much laughter I had been raised on until I started raising my own child. Finding the laughter in even the toughest season is where I am the best of me.

Embracing every inch of my strong capable body

I am incredibly capable as I am. I am daily practicing to love every inch of what I have. Long legs, short torso, aging hands, crinkly eyes, stretch marks, high cheek bones, sharp eyes that disappear when I smile... All of it. It’s mine to celebrate until I die.

All that strong visioning skills

I can see projects, ideas, concepts, styles, etc before they are created. I have an incredible eye for design & creation. I won’t be letting that sit idle. Time to use it with joy.

Gut instinct

I am insightful and it’s easy to disregard when faced to explain it to someone who doesn’t sense the same thing, but enough life has passed for me to realize that it’s a skill to trust and not doubt.

The raw vulnerability

I have journeyed some incredibly tough situations the past ten years and through it all, what does remain is a raw vulernability that I have learned is a strength. Hard to feel strong about that when in the middle of a ‘storm’ but it continues to be what has kept me going, thriving and learning. That raw vulnerability may feel terrible in the moment, but it has moved mountains I am only just now learning about.

& with those tucked close, onward I go, into the next decade of learning, loving and luscious living.

WORK | Women Making Waves Conference 2019
Laughing with my co-creator in Brilliansea & colleague : Claire Fraser

Laughing with my co-creator in Brilliansea & colleague : Claire Fraser

I started going to this conference two years ago upon acceptance into the New Waves Program. At the time I was coming down with a terrible flu-like cold and was down for the count for over a week. Midway through recovery a call came in saying that I was accepted and was receiving free admission to the conference that weekend. I was encouraged to go, so go I went with my herbal tea & big doe eyes wondering what was in store for me there.

This year was no different. I looked around the room and saw many faces I didn’t know or am slowly learning to know & yet also, more faces I now know.

As a writer in the industry, it’s easy to be in your own little world and not notice what is going on around you. This event allows me to meet the people on the other end of emails , phone interviews & conversations being had.

Women Making Waves 2019

Highlights

Screening: Mouthpeice with Q/A with Director / writer Patricia Rozema

This film was beautiful. Lyrical in movement, raw in presence, provoking in layers and utterly captivating. Be it that I am still a fresh new mama heart with an almost four year old (it still feels new on so many respects), that the relationship depicted between mother & daughter felt so uniquely similar to my own with my mother, or that the main characters age is 30 (which I will soon be), it felt so accurate, so real, and so beautifully captured. I would rewatch this again and again.

Workshop: Observationsal Documentary: Pay Attention. Be Astonished. Tell About it. with Robin McKenna

This workshop was invulable. As Claire and I are working on this doc concept & learning how to interview our subjects to gain that authentic capture, hearing from a professional in the field about different ways to be ‘aware and mindful’ has given us a lot of food for thought on how we approach our projects.

Out of the Box Networking Lunch

This year they gave you two cards (randomized) as you walked in for lunch, each with a colour and a number which told you which table you would sit at for the first half of lunch, and which for the second. This idea was INGENIOUS! It acted as a professional speed dating opportunity in which you got to not only say who you are and what you do, but were able to hear the same things from the faces around your table. I had one of two very deep and inspiring conversations from my time at the conference at one of those tables and I am so glad I was there to have them.

I often feel like an unconventional duck at film and television events, as my way into the industry has been unique and ‘untraditional’, but despite my own ‘imposter complex’, these events continue to be where I find the deepest women, the best professional development opportunities and a community that seeks to create improvements in the world they live in by the stories they tell.

SPOTLIGHT | Kothai Kumanan
Kothai.spotlight.

I’ve known Kothai over a year now and although our lives are each uniquely full, every single conversation we share has been one of depth, encouragement and intelligent inspirations. What she has to share is true and deep insight to reflect and soak in.

How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as creative, passionate and spontaneous. I don't work on a daily basis in the traditional arts community, nevertheless creativity is an important part of my life.  It is a lens I see life through, whether it's to instill an appreciation of the esthetic in my children, to centre myself by engaging in the creative output of others , or to use creativity in my work, which likely appears rather removed from the world of creativity!  Passion is one of my favourite words- my mother used to say that if you're going to do something, do it fully. I think she was describing passion to me.  Whatever I jump into - mothering, a business opportunity or my everyday work, I think it's important to be driven by a higher purpose and to engage in what you do fully.  And finally, spontaneity is a way of embracing change and being resilient in life. To have a gypsy approach to life and to embrace opportunities as they arise is powerful to me.

What role does creativity play in your life?

I touched on some of this in my previous answer, but I do think creativity is foundational to having a healthy perspective in life. Even in the most mundane things- like cooking a meal- creativity is nourishing to the soul.

What are you currently working on?

My professional and mothering life doesn't leave me a great deal of time to work on the 'extras'- yet these two things offer me many creative outlets, too! Outside of that, I am currently working on consulting work  that touches on how palliative care services can best be organized in Nova Scotia. For me research is a highly creative endeavor that also engages my need for critical thinking. While I typically engage in the arts- music, dance, theatre, exhibitions and art shows- as a consumer, I am trying to get back to my first love- Indian classical dancing!

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

I recently saw the movie, The Wife, starring Glenn Close.  In it, she is the supposed muse of her husband, whose literary genius has earned him a Nobel Prize.  As the story unfolds, we learn she is so much more- and so much less.  It left an impression on me as a woman and a mother of daughters: what we are taught to value in society as women and in particular, creatively driven women. As Glenn's close's character, Joan, does, I , too, have considered my decisions and thought more deeply about choices I've made and have yet to make after I saw this movie based on Meg Wolitzer's novel.

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

I'm not sure that I would be qualified to give advice, but from my own experience, what I'd offer is don't let the world or society or others define what creativity means to you and where its outlets are for you that give meaning and depth to your own life.

WORK | Striking Gold

Striking Gold is a long term project that has evolved and continues to find it's place in this world out of the souls of two friends.

Jasmine Alexander & I have been forging through friendship, faith, creativity and life's intricacies together for years now.  Heading into our thirties (me, sooner than later...) we have realized that our friendship, conversations and discoveries go deep and we have found a thread of connection and relevancy within our friendship that has surpassed our own understanding.  

Watching and experiencing her discoveries are as awing and moving as if they were my own. And so we go forth, at a distance, discovering together, and discovering apart.

Our journey as friends has brought us and continues to bring us to a place of grace, celebration, empathy and mindfulness.

It's that thread of friendship tangled up with our passion for creativity that has urged us to continue to find ways of creating together, albeit a country wide apart.

We don't know the future of Striking Gold, but what we do know, is that our love for sharing deeply, listening intently, seeking wildly is something that continues to give us great passion and joy....

Join in following our project on instagram:

Where words & imagery collide

WORK | The Creatives | Summer 2018
Danielle Doiron - Actor, Performer soaking in the salt ocean air.

Danielle Doiron - Actor, Performer soaking in the salt ocean air.

The Creatives began with a few women I knew & a few women Jasmine Alexander knew.  It was a meet up that multiplied overtime.  

As seasons do, they change and many of these women, including Jasmine Alexander moved away a couple years ago.  Being in the throws of new motherhood I decided to take a break from arranging these meet ups. 

But I find myself missing that simple excuse to connect with other women and create space for inspiration, collaboration and solidarity. 

So here we are back again.

This meet up was an impactful gathering of three.

It proved the point for me, that no matter the size, the location or the reason, anytime women gather to connect and appreciate each other is a time where solidarity and compassion resides.

During this meet up:

We reconnected, deep dived and snacked on food while the temperature dropped.  We chased a seagull, expressed thankfulness for one another and encouraged each other to keep going.

Keep doing.

Keep showing up.

Keep being you.

& that is why these Meet Ups, big or small will continue!

Until Autumn,

- Amy

SPOTLIGHT | June Zinck
June.zinck.spotlight.

Some people have a light that comes off of them.  June is one of these people.  We've only had the opportunity to 'in person' connect a handful of times, but every time I am struck by her joy, her passionate nature and her easy humour.  

How would you describe yourself?

 

Passionate, funny, loyal, creative, spiritual


What role does creativity play in your life?

I grew up in a household with a musician and a painter, so creativity was a central pillar for me then and continues now as an adult. I may not have skills matching my parents respective talents, but I value my time either playing and writing music, or doodling for fun! It brings a necessary balance to my life!


What are you currently working on?

I’m currently on the road, taking Neptune Theatre’s production of Mamma Mia to the Savoy theatre in Glace Bay, and I am starting work on the sound design for an upcoming production with Theatre Baddeck called Pocket Rocket.


What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

I am transcribing interviews for a PhD student on the topic of social justice in our city, and I have learned more from those interviews than I expected!


What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

Always make the time for your creative outlet. It should always be a priority, cause that’s the thing that seems to drive us the most.

 

LIFESTYLE | 29
29.byamygrace

No one tells you that the older you get the more you love yourself and the better life can be. Sure, there are always battles, trials and heavy situations to journey... but just having the opportunity to wake up and inhale a new day and get at life is an incredible honour. To live and breathe in fresh air is the biggest gift. 

If anything, I am journeying this last year in my twenties with a deeper sense of awareness of how much I have changed and become since turning 20. Amy then in many ways is foreign to me, and yet, the Amy now still has that core within her. I am still addicted to stories, musicals, raw emotional music and driving solo with the windows down and the volume turned on the loudest notch. I still dance and organize every inch of my life. 


Yet. 


I have shifted and learned more about what it means to be Amy. All of her. As she is. Without approval, affection, adoration. 


I have learned what it’s like to walk alone and yet not feel alone. I have learned to breathe and I have learned what my middle name really and truly means.  

Here’s to this last year of my twenties and whatever else they have left for me. 

WORK | She Is
IMG_2778.JPG

This Sunday I presented a short piece that I was commissioned to write for a Sunday morning service.

Attending Bedford Baptist Church has been a nice shift for our little family.  To attend a church in our own community is new for us and we love how connected it is making us feel. 

'She Is', in my mind, an attempt to capture the life stages of women and present them with varying degrees of perspective.  It's easy to look at youth, middle aged and senior and leave it at that. But what happens when we truly look at a woman in each stage at all angles?

Depth.

In this little piece I attempted at showing the varying depths of a woman.  I was blessed to have  five women stand as representation while leaving an empty chair representing the indigenous women who have been missing figuratively and literally from our societal conversation. 

Even after presenting this, it is not lost on me that I could only present a limited amount of angles on women and there were and still are so many more I could have touched on.  

This piece has me meditating on that depth that is seen and unseen.  We are programmed to see something in others because we personally decide that is what we are seeing based on our own life experiences.  But there is always more.  More we don't know, can't know and won't know unless we get closer and ask each other, spark conversation and dare to get more intimate with one another.  Relationship with eachother, especially as women is, I believe, the main way we find solidarity and peace within ourselves.

bedford.baptist.
SPOTLIGHT | Amy Trefry
spotlight.amy.trefry

I met Amy just over a year ago now and something about her tenacity was hard to miss.  I saw it again during the Women Making Waves 2018 conference when she pitched her short film 'All the Owls' and won.  She completely astounded me with her grace while addressing her multi-faceted skill set.  Her ability to stand wholly as a woman of many skills and skills yet to achieve was a fierce and holy vision to behold.  I will forever hold close that image of her at the podium addressing the box we put her and many women in, simply because they are acting differently than we had 'imagined' they should.  Her words and work are impactful.  Enjoy!  

Her Work              Her Buisness

 

How would you describe yourself?

I don’t really know to be honest.  I know how others *might* describe me, depending on what context they know me in, but I don’t really know how I describe myself. 

Tangibly and straight forwardly I am a wife, daughter, sister, and aunt.  In what matters to me, I am fiercely dedicated to building community and friendships.  In how the world wants us to define ourselves?  Well, my education no longer categorizes me, but often creeps into my self-identification as a justification of my value as a person, and my work is varied and I hold no specific claim to ‘being’ any one thing. I don’t really have a succinct answer to the opening social greeting “so what do you do?” I am a long list of “used to be/do” that I sometimes have a hard time letting go of. I am an absolutely certain, but always shakeable, “I want to be an actor”. But how would I describe myself? Probably by shrugging, awkwardly laughing and avoiding the question with a quick “I just am who I am”.          

What role does creativity play in your life?

It is the greatest measure and control of happiness and fulfillment in my life.  When I am creating I feel on top of the world.  When I am around others who are creative or get inspired by other people’s work I am able to see a clear path for my own life’s purpose.  But on the other side of the coin, when I question my value and worth as a creative person or the quality of my own work I am at my lowest.  It demands absolute honesty and vulnerability and in that brings both light and dark – as with anything of immense value to anyone’s life I believe.  

What are you currently working on?

I am currently producing a short film ‘All the Owls’ that I co-wrote with Brent Braaten as well as in the research phase of a documentary on bi-phobia that I am working on with Emily Jewer.  I am production coordinating for John Walker’s latest documentary ‘Assholes: A Thoery’ and I always have half a dozen writing projects on the side it seems that are mid project and that I am applying for funding for!   

Outside of making films I am excited for the 2018 film season in Halifax to see what acting opportunities come up! 

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

Book was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro about cloned children who are bred for organ donation and must nurse one another through their “donations” until, at a horribly early age, they “complete”, or die.

Podcast was This American Life: Really Long Distance where Producer Miki Meek tells the story of a phone booth in Japan that attracts thousands of people who lost loved ones in the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. A Japanese TV crew from NHK Sendai filmed people inside the phone booth, whose phone is not connected to anything at all, all of whom place a call to speak to the dead.  

Movie was “Call Me By Your Name” directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by James Ivory based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Andre Aciman. 

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

Being creative is just like any other job but harder, you need to work at it even when you don’t feel like it and no one is telling you that you have to.  Don’t wait to be inspired or motivated to work, let your work be what makes you feel motivated to create, and let your own creativity be what inspires you.  Surround yourself with other people who are creative that support you and can help you feel like you are part of a community of colleagues and collaborators.  Never let fear or uncertainty or self-doubt prevent you from saying yes to an opportunity, even if you don’t know how to do it – that’s what google and questions are for.  Find one or two people who believe in your ability more than you do and have their numbers on hand whenever you start to question your own value so much that you feel like giving up.  Celebrate your achievements no matter what scale they are on.  And no matter what stage you are at, make learning your highest priority, if you do that you will enter every situation with humility, an open mind and the ability to connect with others and you will always walk away having gained something.  

 

WORK | Women Making Waves 2018
womenmakingwaves.2018.byamygrace

Over the weekend I attended the Women in Film and Television Atlantics (WIFT-AT) yearly conference 'Women Making Waves' at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax.  

I attended last years' due to being accepting into the New Waves Program where WIFT-AT accepts emerging and exploring film-makers into a five class workshop series.  Needless to say, I LOVED it.

Since the New Waves program I have been working to hone and focus my writing into the performing arts (learning screenplay writing and culture etc) and it was exciting to attend this years conference knowing that my projects and visions were even more aligned with the industry.

 Re-connecting with peers, hearing from other creators and celebrating the work that comes out of women who are aiming to collaborate, work, and essentially make a difference through their medium of passion was the refresh I so desperately needed.

It was hugely inspiring to be able to hear from Carmillas co-creator Steph OuaknineMohwak Girls Creator and director Tracy Deer, Ava creator and director Sadaf Foroughi and 'Bens at Home' creator and director Mars Horodyski about how they created, were impassioned to pursue their work and how they pushed through to get them where they are today.

This weekend I learned these things:

1. Keep showing up for your work and always put it out there.

2. What you are passionate about has a niche.

3. Find that niche and hone it.

4. Work with those whom you click with.

5. Know why you do it. 

6. Anyone who attempts truth telling is extrodinarily brave.

I am so thankful for the journey I am on and the opportunities I have along the way that connect me with passionate women, remind me of why I do what I do and keep my feet planted on the ground. 

UPDATE | Character Development
Character development.byamygrace.JPG

Character Development is what motivates me in my writing, reading and watching of film and television.

 

I am sure it has driven my close people a bit nuts to listen to me poke holes in plots as I watch/read them, and even more so when I see a character that doesn't hold up.

People are complex and layered.  Showing that through the written and performance mediums is easier said then done and I will be the first to say that the art form of character development is a craft I am still learning.

Over the past few months I have been working alongside Kirstin Howell to develop strong female characters for a television series.  I am consistently challenged by her edits to develop these women to be multi-dimentional.  

As a society we like stereotypes because they are easier to understand and quick to put together.  Thats the problem, people are not easy to understand and there are layers upon layers of life that create a person to be who they are and to do the things they do.  No one is just one stereotype.  We may be born to have certain personality traits and certain ways of doing life, but that doesn't mean we can't divert from that.  In fact, more often than not, we do.  

Through this process I am learning to challenge what I think of my characters and admit that as a writer I don't know everything that informs their decision yet and I may never will.  Writers are not God, they are conduits for a story that the characters speak from.  I think anyone who has written for the integrity of the story realizes that they are there to serve the characters and their story.  
 


The writer serves the characters, the characters don't serve the writer. 

 

The fun part of my work is that this all applies to real life.  I can only assume that I will never know the whole of a person, but I can be present with them and with myself.  I can allow myself to believe that we are more complex than an 'assumption'.  Life isn't as simple as a statement or a stereotype.  Life goes deep and we'd better be ready to get dirty in the process.  

Strong Characters I Adore:
 


Jane Eyre - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Christina Yang - Greys Anatomy by Shonda Rhymes
Aibileen Clark - The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Phillip Jennings - The Americans by Joe Weisberg
Sansa Stark - Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

 

 

SPOTLIGHT | Stephanie Hayes-Clark
Spotlight.stephaniehayesclark.byamygrace

Stephanie Hayes - Clark is Salon owner and Hair Stylist of Urban Hair and was introduced to me by my dearest friend Jasmine.  Not only do I absolutely love the atmosphere of Urban Hair, I love Stephanies presence and genuine heart.  No matter where I am at, Stephanie has a way of creating space for connecting and being oneself.  

How would you describe yourself?

I'm an optimist ... that's all I can say, every day , all day, I find good in everything. Being anything but is just a waste of time and energy. Life is to short not to be. Don't get me wrong I do have my cranky days, but they don't last long!

What role does creativity play in your life?

I would not be where I am today if I wasn't creative. My job and business depend on me being creative. Being a hair stylist allows me to channel my artistic side through every client that I do whether It be a simple haircut to a total transformation. Being able to make someone beautiful and make them smile , is how I've learned to grow into the self confident woman I am today.

What are you currently working on?

Well my life is about to change drastically . My only daughter is graduating high school and moving away to go to college, so right now I'm working on not crying everyday ( just kidding). I watch a lot of webinars which help me learn and they offer me inspiration into my business. Right now I'm concentrating on helping my daughter prepare for a new chapter in her life and my life. It's a learning experience for both of us!

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

The Shack!!! I'm not a very religious person but this movie /book touched my heart in so many ways. To see how the character is so withdrawn and full of hate and then is guided by this woman to see the real meaning of his life and how a tragedy can bring such a transformation is beyond inspirational.

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

Stay focused and stay on the path that you want to be on. Don't let anyone sway you from where you want to be in life. Learn from your mistakes, make frequent goals for yourself and learn how to achieve them. Don't be afraid to ask For help, but remember they are your goals and only you can turn them into reality ! Oh and one more thing , take pride in what you do, learn to be self confident and never give up on your journey through life.

UPDATE | Finding Collaborators
IMG_9810.JPG

In the world of female creative entrepreneurs it can be hard to find and create an atmosphere for coming together in work.  Be it working in different mediums, being in different life stages or how many projects each are balancing.  The struggle is often finding a way to create a space to honour each others work and skills in a productive manner.

I am in the process of learning how to embrace and honour the women around me whom I have fallen into, chosen to and seek out work relationships with.

Honour and grace are two themes I feel have taken root into my heart for these relationships.  I want to honour the skill set of these women.  I want to pass grace when I feel misunderstood or I have mis-stepped.  I want to enter into partnerships that are about depth, growth, building each other up and giving insight into the work we do on a creative and inspiring level.  

It can be a scary journey.  To begin to align yourself with others and combine your skills to make something collaborative or even just to support each others work, but I think thats where the real stuff lies.  Building each other up and not feeling intimidated by the intelligence and creativity of another.  That we all have room at the table together.  

UPDATE | New Waves 2017 Reflections
womeninfilm.television.byamygrace

Permission to make. 

This was the main theme I left with after soaking in those five workshops that "Women in Film and Television Atlantic" provided myself and other women.

There is something about women that without even knowing it, we tend to insight doubt, fear and lack of knowledge into our minds as we ponder what it would be like to try our hand at something.

"I didn't go to school for that."

"I won't be as good as her/him."

"They won't understand why."

"I am a fraud."

"I am a mother.  I can't do that too."

Whatever it is we tell ourselves, they can be summed up in a few themes.  

Not our place.  Not our intelligence.  Not practical.  Not believable. 

I sat there in this class with women who act, write, perform, produce, aspire and was told again and again from the women (and one man) who stood and gave us a few tools for our toolkit that we were capable.  

Make something.  Anything.  Seek out the women and others around you who know something.   Maybe they won't help you, and maybe they will.  Maybe all they can do is point you in the right direction.  

By that doing, that showing up for yourself and forging the path, that is the permission.  



I Learned About Myself

I found out that I am an abstract creator.  I think with colour, texture, emotions rather than with words, logic or technical thinking.  I may use the craft of words, but my mind is all contrast, gut and emotions.  I learned I need to work on finding ways to bridge that gap.  The gap between abstract and logic.  I learned that writing will always be my first love, and I learned that editing is everything that would make me want to pull my hair out.  I learned that I knew a lot more about creating online content then I give myself credit for and I learned that playing with other mediums that interest me to produce my work will not only teach me more about myself but open up creative spaces in my brain I hadn't thought about before. 

Ultimately, I learned not to limit myself in capabilities.  That it's really about being able to humble yourself in what you don't know, in order to gain that awareness of what you can learn from and alongside others.  

I am still figuring out how to apply these things into my work and my next projects.  I truly believe this opportunity has been the stepping stone for me for ideas and mediums which before I would have told myself wasn't my place.  

It's time to let go of limitations and be a bit incredulous in my scheming. 

PERMISSION TO MAKE!!!

 

UPDATE | The Mom Show - Why Women?
The Mom Show at the Company House in The Atlantic Fringe Festival 2016

The Mom Show at the Company House in The Atlantic Fringe Festival 2016

So far in my work, the theme of womanhood has been a common thread.  Maybe its because I am a woman, or maybe it's because I am the type of woman who thrives on the magic that happens when women unite forces.  Either way, when it came to continuing 'The Mom Show' I saw women being the centre of it's continued existence. 

Women coming alongside other women, women collaborating with women and women becoming a stronger voice in the places they hold in this world.  

In saying that, I also believe that my own self-doubt, fear and insecurities are the reasons I feel inclined to focus on women and their experiences.  When we unite as women we create spaces for empathy, courage and strength that didn't exist before.  We create them for ourselves and future generations.  It's not about women who work, women who stay at home, women who have kids, women who don't have kids, women who can't have kids.... It's not about any of that.  

It's about ALL of Women.   Her story, is my story.  My story is her story.

I write from my own experiences and I believe that finding ways to collaborate with other women not only brings unity and compassion but a depth in compassion for each other. 

I focus on women because I am one.  I was raised by one, and I am raising one.

So yeah, I may not be Lena Dunham, Sarah Polley or Marie Forleo, but I am Amy Grace and what I have to say and share with the other women sitting in the arena of vulnerability with me, is sacred, raw and some real deep shit.

___

THE MOM SHOW YOGA FLOW
With Katherine King
37 Shaughnessy Place
Bedford NS
Sunday May 28th
3:00 - 4:30

 

UPDATE | THE MOM SHOW - MAY 6th
themomshow.nsda.byamygrace

Excited to be spending this week preparing for showing 'The Mom Show' in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Doula Association for this coming Saturday!

Having a doula was a huge part of my birth experience and I am proud to be coming alongside them in this workshop!

If you are in the Bedford, NS area and want to see the show you do not have to be attending the workshop to come see it.  Tickets will be sold at the door for The Mom Show so don't hesitate to come by and enjoy 30 mins of comedy and honesty rolled into one!

The Mom Show at the Rebozo Connection: The Gena Kirby Method
May 6th
4:30pm <---- The Mom Show Start Time
Bedford Basin Farmers Market
397 Bedford Highway

FACEBOOK PAGES
The Mom Show
Rebozo Connection Workshop

 

UPDATE | THE MOM SHOW - Why Yoga?
Malasana Pose / As I like to call it :&nbsp;the natural birthing pose.&nbsp;

Malasana Pose / As I like to call it : the natural birthing pose. 

I often get asked 'Why yoga?' when I describe my thirty minute one woman comedy/drama show is me on a yoga mat, doing yoga and using yoga as a platform to share my work.

I wrote The Mom Show or The Most Boring Show Ever at first, as a cathartic exercise.  The only thing coming out after having a baby was 'about having a baby'.  It was natural for me to let the words flow from a true and honest place.  I hope all women believe that what they have to share in their evolution into motherhood is valued and has a place in this world.  We need to hear more from them.

Woman. Mother.
Mother. Woman.

For me, they are one.  Intertwined and equally as valuable.  From my womanhood I am mother, and from my mother I am woman.  
 
Learning how to move my body again post birth by using my daily yoga practice was a healing journey.  My identity had been drastically altered and I was adrift with my own spirit and calling.  We'd all like to be those tough women who say "Motherhood didn't change me!"  But it does!  Anyone who says that it doesn't either has never had a child, been parents for years and blocked that stage of life out, or are trying to sell you something. 

Yoga is the ultimate mind, body, spirit workout.  By practicing it everyday that first month after my daughter was born I was giving myself permission to connect with my breath, my heartbeat, my true core questions and thoughts.  

So when I sat down with all of my thoughts on Mother. Woman.  Woman. Mother.  And began to edit each draft, I was seeing how clearly it all ebbed and flowed.  I could feel the inhale and the exhale in my words and the most natural thing in that moment was to pair them with yoga.

I chose yoga because it doesn't hide the truth about you.  If you are anxious or unsettled it shows, if you are strong and confident, it also shows.  There is a raw and deeply spiritual physical representation of oneself when you move your body and this is why I chose Yoga to be the platform for a one woman show about womanhood and motherhood intertwined.

 

 

 

SPOTLIGHT | Tasia Craig
Tasia Craig 2016.

Tasia Craig 2016.

Tasia and I have known each other for six years and over that time I have watched her work develop and grow and have loved it in it's entirity.  She has one of those laughs that makes you laugh along with her.  Here are her words on herself, creativity and beyond.  TAISA CRAIG WEBSITE

1. How would you describe yourself?

Passionate. I’m a whole heart in, everything or nothing, kind of gal. I don’t know how to do things without meaning. If it has no meaning to me I have a hard time forcing myself to do it. I spent many years wishing I were more robotic, because that’s easier and more efficient, but I have learned that life to the fullest is a life with highs and lows and feelings and messiness and emotions.

2. What role does creativity play in your life?

I was raised by an incredibly creative woman who saw budgets and meal plans just as much a creative endeavour as her weekend projects. And I am in love with a man who is an incredible artist but does not identify as creative, but rather as hard working. I dance on that line of believing every task in life is a creative pursuit and yet realizing that creativity ultimately is achieved by simply putting in hard work. Life, to me, is a series of challenges and puzzles, games that can be trudged through to “mediocre” or can be approached from every possible angle until one unique solutions feels more right than the others. This is true for me solving a math problem or designing an object. I have to explore and that is both creativity and mundanity in one.

3. What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on designing and making a line of small household objects. It is fun and exhausting and full of trial and error like any creative pursuit. It involves doing it wrong as many times as I need to before I do it well enough. There will always be a way it could be better and as I learned all too deeply in architecture school: nothing is ever done, there is just “done enough.” I’m not there yet with this line, though I expected to be by now. Other than the housewares, I work on smaller things like a blog, design projects, and dream up wild and crazy schemes with you, Amy.

4. What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

The person of Cheryl Strayed. Her book Tiny, Beautiful Things is my devotional. Her words make life make sense and I consult them often. I also recently rewatched her Super Soul Sunday episode and was reminded that her life was simultaneously as tiny as struggling to pay bills and as huge as have a national best seller and being on Oprah. She balances the absurdities of life in a raw way and it really speaks to me. Also Abstract on Netflix, beyond being fascinating I think it is a designer’s paradise to soak in how different disciplines approach design. All of it is useful and applicable to our own practices. We are more alike than we are different.

5. What advice would you give other creatively driven people?

Only pursue the things that make you happy, because life is too short to be an accountant if you hate numbers or a painter if what you really prefer is sculpture. Money, or fame, or stability are useless if you are not in love with your life. You only get one, fall in love with its past, its present, and its future possibilities. Love is a choice and is worth it, work hard to stay in love because being creative isn’t exclusive to people who recognize their creativity. I believe everyone is creative, some have just been blessed enough to embrace and pursue it. Remember to love that.

UPDATE | NEW WAVES 2017 - WIFT-AT & How To Grow in A Program
Being accepted into the New Waves Program gave the opportunity to attend the Women Making Waves Conference. &nbsp;Utterly inspiring.

Being accepted into the New Waves Program gave the opportunity to attend the Women Making Waves Conference.  Utterly inspiring.

This week I'll be joining eight other women in a five class workshop series through 'Women in Film and Television Atlantic' over the next five weeks.  I feel more than honoured to be chosen for this program and I am inspired to be standing alongside other women in the performing arts industry.

It's humbling to be in a position of learning. In any program here are five things to remember:

1) You Earned It.

It is easy to fall into doubt and comparison when in a position of growth.  It's important to remember that when you have gotten an opportunity to be involved with anything, there was something you did to get you there.  You earned it.  I'll be remembering that I have a seat at this table.  I deserve to sit with these women and learn about writing, directing and editing for film and television and my résumé proves that. 

2) Create space.  

When in a position of learning, learn.  Be open to letting it all in and  sift through it later.  Truthfully, I am not sure how these new skills / knowledge will influence my work.  I know that I want them and I know that this could just be the tip of the iceberg for me. What is important is to create space in your spirit and mind to take it all in.  This is your opportunity to learn something. 

3) See the Beauty.  

Learning is a process and it can be scary, but it can also be incredibly amazing.  I remember being a student in an eight month theatre program and being in complete awe of the atmosphere I was in, let alone the teaching I was being given.  Tall windows looked over the one of citys' main streets and mirrors lined one wall.  Eleven other people sat in various forms of stretching as we warmed up our bodies for a class in acting.  It was beautiful to me,  The whole thing.  Be aware that this process is beautiful. 

4) Be Present.  

Where do I go from here?  That is the hovering question.  You need to let it rest and percolate.  Applying what one learns will happen in it's time.  What is important is to be present in the learning and present in the being.  A watched pot never boils. 

5) Document

As soon as one can, document what you have expierenced/learned/walked away feeling thinking. Capturing these thoughts and processes in the moment is priceless.  To be able to look back even at a month and realize growth, awareness and clarity of questions.  It is an integral part of any process.  Documenting can be stream of consiousness, via a journal, scraps of paper in the written word.  It can be a video diary, a Blog, a Vlog.  Sketches, photos captured, any form of documentation will be incredibly valuable of this time. 

Lastly

Take yourself seriously and don't take yourself seriously.

Which means,

Honour your value and humble your ego.

 

THE CREATIVES | Evolution
The Creatives 2014

The Creatives 2014

We evolve.  We know this.

At least, we should be evolving.  Evolving shows growth, adapting to the life around us and depth inside us.  

Over the past year I have been sensing a change and a needed shift for The Creatives.  I have struggled to identify how to create that appropriate change.  We still need each other, that never changes.  And yet, how we interact and communicate needs to change.

Most of the women who began this group with me were students.  Together we faced our lack of knowledge and we levelled up in education, projects and facing fears.  Then we graduated and began the journey of 'now what'.  We rallied, we traveled, we moved, we life shifted and then we were left with those who were still in the area to meet.
The truth.

We have evolved.  I have evolved.

It's time to acknowledge this.

The Creatives has a place in the now and I have to admit that it's place is not in the same format.  It's time for a new and fresh place for this project.  How?  I am not sure yet.

notebook.byamygrace

And thats okay.  It's a bit exciting.  To know that the world is wide open for the creatives again.  That in truth there is a wide open space and there is a corner out there for it.  

I need to raise my glass to the women who came around me for this in the beginning.  Jasmine Alexander, Nicole Payzant, Tasia Craig, Breanne Bandur and Danielle Doiron just to name a few.  And those that joined along the way and graced my home and tinkled wine glasses as we encouraged eacother through the fears, the unknowns.  I honour them.  I respect them.  I am in awe of them.  I truly believe that it was those friday nights at the end of every month that allowed me to gain awareness of myself and my craft.  

And to the next phase?  I raise a new glass and pray that I will be able to stay humble, grounded and sensitive to those who will journey alongside with me yet again.  

Stay shiny, stay vibrant and stay tuned.  

For there is always more where this came from.