Three years ago on this day, I was in my happy place. Not only was I in the middle of producing a concert, but I was fulfilling a professional bucket list item as well, in producing a concert that was being filmed for a live DVD. To add icing to the cake, it was in a fairly new, beautiful venue that I had never worked in before.
Little did I know it would be the last concert I would ever produce. I’m glad I didn’t know that at the time though, as it undoubtedly would have changed things. I wouldn’t have had the same energy or excitement. I would have been distracted, even sad that each aspect of the event would be the last time I would experience it. You never want to know that something you enjoy so much or are so passionate about may be the last time you get to experience it. You won’t survive if you take hope away.
In the days and weeks that followed it became very clear to me that I would be transitioning into a full time stay-at-home parent role, and sadly end the chapter of owning my own production company.
It had been a life-long dream of mine to own a production company. I knew early on in life that I had music, concerts and events hardwired into my DNA. I tried once or twice while still in my teens to turn that dream into reality, but I couldn’t make it work. After having a couple of unsuccessful attempts, and not really being old enough to understand why things hadn’t worked out how I had hoped, I became too timid and scared to keep trying and to find different avenues into the industry.
Then everything changed in 2010. I had just escaped from the worst year of my life where I lost everything and was frantically searching for the reset button. I moved to Kelowna, BC and met some incredible people that year who literally changed my life and my world. With their help, I went on to build my dream company and became a major name in the entertainment industry, producing over 500 live events, concerts and tours across Western Canada.
Many people have asked if I’ll ever go back or produce events again, largely because they could see how passionate I was about the industry and profession. I was widely known for bragging that “if you make your passion your profession, you’ll never have to work another day in your life”. But sometimes life throws curveballs at you, and you have to make tough decisions.
Producing live events - especially concerts and touring - is not a family friendly industry; and with three special needs kids now, I think my fate has been sealed. From where I stand right now, I can’t see a way back into the industry I fought so hard to become a part of. This makes me so sad, especially seeing now how much attending countless concerts with me in his first three years has influenced and impacted Liam. He is just as fascinated and passionate about concerts and music now, as I was.
Furthermore, the most devastating thing about this past year for me has been watching the entertainment industry - “MY” industry - be annihilated by the current fearful state of the world. I know with absolute certainty, that had I not walked away voluntarily three years ago, I would have been crushed and destroyed this year.
This makes me wonder if there will even be an industry to return to. And if so, what will it look like and will my passion still exist? It gives me hope seeing that some of my friends and former colleagues (even right here in BC) are producing concerts and events again, fighting the narrative and attempting to return things back to how they were, but it still may be the end of the road for me.
While I love my current role in being a parent and primary caregiver, on days like today I can’t help but feel sad as I remember earlier days in my story and journey. But for now, I find solace knowing that you won’t find a more epic house concert produced by a six-year-old (Liam), than in my house; and I’m pretty proud about that.