Up until 2020 I thought of my experiences and contributions in the corporate world as removed and totally separate from my creatively rich world as an artist. There exists a degree of shame between these worlds which may be the catalyst for my compartmentalizing the two.
I try to look at things with fresh eyes and ask, Is there a better way? Six months in Japan gifted me a perspective of, there are many ways to accomplish a task or solve a problem, and being a habitual critical thinker.
BUSBOY TO SERVER
I began my career in the food and beverage (F&B) industry at the age of eighteen. I landed a job as a busboy at, Shandy’s, a short-lived Toronto, Eatons Centre restaurant. After two months, I padded my resume to get my foot in the door at, Mushrooms, a high-end LGBTQ+ restaurant and piano bar in Toronto’s Front Street theatre district. At the end of their opening night, the fastidious general manager, Bernie Green, commented, “You haven’t waited a day in your life, have you darling? It’s ok. You’re cute. We’ll teach you.” And teach me he did.
Over the years his lessons have served me well. All through my twenties I subsidized my income in-between theatre and film gigs with stints at various restaurants. I actually worked at Mushrooms on and off over seven years. And my service skills served me well for many years at The MOHO, the unofficial name of an airport strip hotel’s dinner theatre.
In 1995 I moved to West Coast Canada and immediately began working with a rapidly evolving Vancouver company, Culinary Capers.
I started as a cater-waiter but within a few months I was supervising events, and before the year was up I was Debra Lykkemark’s personal assistant, as well as taking on duties: of staffing coordinator; operations assistant; IT and special projects; delivery driver; the list kept growing…
Over the years I held various titles, but it wasn’t until 2008 that I actually committed to a full-time position. The company had secured a half year contract in Beijing at the BC Canada Pavilion and I went for the full six months as the resident event planner and sundry problem solver.
By the fall of 2009 I had become a member of Culinary’s elite sales team of event planners.
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was an incredible time for the company, doing three months of normal business in the span of two weeks. And I rode the wave of that experience right up to the end of 2014.
In January 2015 I stepped into the role of General Manager…