Day 345 - Katherine (1st person I approached)
December 11, 2014 - I had a meeting to go to this afternoon. On my way home, I was hoping to find today’s story and then be able to just go home afterwards.
I spotted Katherine sitting in one of many coffee shops in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. She was sitting at a counter alongside the window, working away on her computer. I went inside, and as I was walking towards Katherine, I noticed a young man sitting in the corner, also working on his computer. I told Katherine what I was doing, and she agreed to chat with me. Then I heard the fellow in the corner say
"Hello," and I looked over to see it was Tucker, from Day 308. I love running into people who are #notastranger (*Fact Check - see link below.)
Katherine was born in Hertfordshire, England. She has one older sister, with whom she has always enjoyed a good relationship. The family moved to Brampton, in Ontario (Canada) when Katherine was seven-and-a-half years old.
“We moved because of my father’s work. He got a transfer. It was a little tough at first. We didn’t know anyone there or have any family living in Brampton. The school system in England is a little more advanced, so my sister and I were both moved ahead, and put in advanced classes. I guess that wasn’t so bad, really,” she told me. Katherine enjoyed sports and drama in school.
“My sister and I both went to an arts based high-school. You had to apply and audition for it. It was kind of like the TV show ‘Fame’ in some ways. Our parents always encouraged us to try things,” she said.
After graduating form high-school, Katherine came to Vancouver (British Columbia), to go to UBC (University of British Columbia).
“I had been here on vacation and liked Vancouver. It was exotic and beautiful, and the weather is good. It’s quite similar to England, especially the weather. And UBC is a wonderful school as well,” she said.
“My parents wanted both my sister and I to move away to attend school. They encouraged us to use the time in university to live away from home, and experience new things. My parents really are wonderful people,” she said with genuine affection, and pride.
“I was still interested in theatre, and writing. I studied Creative Writing, and got my Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. That took four years, and then I spent another year working at ‘joe jobs’ while I figured out what to do next,” she said.
“I went to Toronto and enrolled at York University, for my Master’s degree.”
I asked Katherine how she felt about the difference between the two programs, going from UBC to York University for her Master's degree.
“Well, the program at UBC has a more workshop based structure. You work with groups of maybe ten to twelve other students. You write and then share your work for review amongst the other students and receive feedback. Then you will do re-writes and go back with that, for more feedback. The program at York was much more clearly defined and structured. At that time, that worked well for me. It’s what I needed,” she said.
The Master’s degree took Katherine two-and-a-half years to complete.
“I was writing and working. I did some classes at the NSI (National Screen Institute - development for film and television professionals). Then I went to the CFC (Canadian Film Centre - advanced training and production in film, television and new media). I worked on things such as script and character development,” she said.
“I did a lot of schooling, yes.”
“With my girlfriend at the time, now my wife, who works in film, we moved back here to Vancouver. I prefer living here, over Toronto,” she told me. We talked briefly about different perceptions of east versus west coast living. Katherine now writes for network television, going between Vancouver and Los Angles.
“We got married and just had a baby boy five months ago. I can’t work at home, so I come here, sit and do some work,” she tells me. I can see that new parent gleam in Katherine’s eyes.
“We always knew we wanted to have children. It’s hard in any creative industry though. There’s a lot of time spent making sacrifices to keep working towards your goals. Once you have a child, it’s harder, because while I can go without something in pursuit of my career, a child can’t. As parents, it’s harder to pursue those things when you have a child or children to provide for. You need to be working,” she said.
I mentioned that I felt I was at that place, wanting to be a career writer, and putting in a solid amount of time and effort to pursue it.
"Don’t stop,” she said. "Keep going.” #notastranger
*Fact Check - Tucker - Day 308 - http://on.fb.me/1yKmOWf