I knew I didn’t want to be a part of Canada’s mainstream (made for and by the white gaze) media since the hands-on portion of my joint program with University of Toronto and Centennial College. I realized the industry, in the form it existed, wasn’t for me. I was not willing to make myself small for an industry that lacked initiative. Nor could I function in a system that was begrudgingly making space for me out of obligation or external pressure.
After my internship at Much Music and CTV, I realized I wasn’t ready to work professionally in the media industry and took a break. Instead I got to work on projects that I had daydreamed about. I took on roles that I felt I wasn’t ready for and learned so fucking much about myself in the process. I even dabbled with the idea of graduate school. This was a change of heart that I embraced.
When I graduated, I was like, ‘Fuck this shit, I’m never going back to an academic institution again.” But there I was, researching the application requirements and deadlines, emailing universities for information, purchasing my transcripts (which is ridiculous; they’re mine. Haven’t I already paid thousands for the classes on them?). I had taken the space I needed from the institution. I knew what to expect, how to set my boundaries and how to communicate in a way that suited me.
That same preparation, that change of heart, is how I feel about Canada’s mainstream media industry. Lately I’ve been in reconciliation with my intuition; the importance of following my gut and trusting myself but giving myself grace for mistakes. I’m finally able to express my fears about entering the industry and maybe give it another chance but on my own, more confident, terms. I don’t know where I’ll go from here but I wanted to share my story here.