Hey, I’m Dana, the new Social Media and Content Coordinator for MayeCreate Design – which is definitely the longest job title I’ve ever held – and slightly ironic, since a lot of the cool things I get to write are under 280 characters long.
I grew up just outside of London, Ontario which is a college town about halfway between Toronto and Detroit. It’s basically the Columbia of Canada. My childhood home backed onto the public hockey arena, yet I defied stereotypes by never picking up a hockey stick (or learning how to skate). Fortunately, next to the arena was a public library, where I did pick up a book and discovered my lifelong love of reading and writing.
Clearly, I like humor and/or books with numbers in the title. This blog is even teaching me about myself.
I grew up a bit and eventually attended university at Western, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in language and literature. Choosing English proved to be a challenging major. It was often enlightening, but it almost made me quit writing forever. I regularly found myself questioning my vocational choices while reading centuries-old books written in middle English (I’m talking about you, Chaucer) about bawdy pilgrims and their flatulence issues. But I persevered, got used to iambic pentameter, and somehow gained the critical thinking and communication skills that allow me to write for a living.
After graduation, I lined up my first full time writing job at a cable sports company, packed up my meager belongings, and moved off to the big city of Toronto. I was going to be a sports reporter. Life was exciting.
Then the market crashed.
Due to an economic downturn, my job was gone before I even started. I was in a new city and unemployed during the greatest economic crisis of our time. There was only one thing to do — get a job waiting tables and turn it into a web series.
I was bartending part-time, which solved my needing-money-for-food problem, but I still needed to find a way to write. So I turned my minor setback into an opportunity, using my experience in the service industry to create and co-produce the web series Gratuitous Behaviour. It’s about a hipster server, her emotionally stunted best friend and the podcast they share. In no way autobiographical, but hilarious.
We were fortunate to have the series screen at several film festivals in Canada and the US, including the Canadian Independent Film Festival in Montreal, and Dances With Films in Los Angeles. Working with a creative team on the project totally changed my outlook on writing. I loved collaborating with producers, directors and actors to make a final product that was better than anything I could make alone. Working with other creative people was definitely the only way I wanted to work going forward.
Toronto is a great place to live, a cultural melting pot with something for everyone — particularly if you are into food, sports, and/or the arts. But it was time for a new challenge. My fiancée, Ashley, took a post doctoral position at the University of Missouri to study sleep and aging (she’s amazing). So I again packed up our meager possessions, and we moved to Missouri.
It’s an interesting experience, moving to a place you’ve never been. But, if anything, I’m adaptable. We’ve been here a few months now, and life in Columbia is great. Other than missing a major subway system, it’s not that different. Plus I can still do all my favorite things:
(Reach out to me if you have any great restaurant recommendations – we like pretty much everything.)
Thanks for reading all about me. You really went above and beyond. I can’t wait to get to know you, and how I can help your business, here at MayeCreate Design.
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