With summer finally here and Honey Jam auditions around the corner, I thought I ought to write a blog giving thanks to the organization that helped me gain my footing in Ontario when I first moved here.
I officially moved here a year ago and I was completely distraught. I had left my band, my friends, my family, everything was gone. It was just me, my guitar and the massive province that is Ontario. Compared to Nova Scotia, Ontario was definitely no small feat and I felt like I had made a big mistake. My band was finally starting to get recognition in Halifax and I left all of it to move here, where no one had a sweet clue who I was. I became depressed, very quickly. I’ll be honest. I was not doing well. I didn’t get a job for an entire month, it was not looking good. I couldn’t believe that I was here, I actually did it. It had been a dream of mine to move to Ontario since I was 10 years old, but why did it seem so awful when it finally happened? I had gotten here on the skin of my teeth, yet I wasn’t grateful. I was angry. I was so angry that I made the relationships worse with my bandmates back in Halifax. They continued to do their music with others and I continued to get more and more angry… losing them even more than I already had. I was truly a mess and on a downward spiral.
Then, one day I was laying in my bed being my ole depressed self… when Honey Jam liked one of my photos on Instagram. I thought it was just one of those spam accounts, but upon looking into it I realized that it was totally valid, as well as I remembered that Reeny Smith (artist from NS) had been a part of it last year.
This was the beginning. I went into Toronto for the auditions and was the 4th person in line. I got there so early that I even went across the street to busk and made about $40 while waiting for auditions to begin. I was so nervous, I couldn’t believe how nervous I was. I’ve been doing this performing thing for a long time… so getting on stage to sing is actually more comfortable to me than interacting with people at a face-to-face level. But this was different. I hadn’t done any type of competition in years (since The Next Star LOL)… so this truly was a feeling that I had forgotten. My number is called and I’m actually shaking, it kind of felt nice to feel that nervousness again. I play my tune that I wrote about leaving my band “Just to Have You With Me”. I get 60 seconds to make an impression and of course, my guitar that I had just rented wont come through the sound system. So, we end up putting it to a mic which totally made me more nervous because I like to move when I play – either way – I got through the song and felt like I did a shit job. I left the audition thinking that there was no way this was going to happen for me.
Time went on and it was definitely in the back of my mind, but I truly thought I bombed the audition. At this point I had finally gotten a job and while sitting in my training class at work, I get a call from a Toronto number. I lean down under my desk and answer the call from Ebonnie Rowe. She advises me that I am one of the selected artists for the 2017 Honey Jam Showcase! I immediately ran out of the training class and called about 10 people in my family to tell them. I felt like I was finally doing something again, something that actually meant something to me.
Throughout the next 3 months, I am in and out of Toronto attending workshops, speaking sessions, visiting the google/youtube offices. I was spending time doing things that I actually wanted to do. It was amazing. Throughout the entire experience, I was also making friends who I am still in contact with today.
I may not be a part of the Showcase this year as an Artist, but I am putting as many volunteer hours as I can into Honey Jam because it gave me the chance to feel comfortable within myself as an artist, it lit a fire under my ass, it also allowed me to realize that you don’t need to constantly be competing with other artists. You need to be a team and work together to lift each other up.
I am writing this blog today in hopes of inspiring other female artists under 25 to audition for this years HONEY JAM SHOWCASE!! Head to HONEYJAM.COM to apply! If you aren’t within Ontario, don’t worry! You can send your application in online with a video! APPLY HERE!
I hope to see you around this year for all of the amazing Honey Jam events!
With that, here are some highlights from last year: