I am sick to death of hearing this phrase (or some version of it): “Oh, well, it’s Vancouver, it’s just the way it is”. If I hear one more person take a deep breath and sigh and begin a sentence with “Oh, well, it’s Vancouver…” and end it with any of the following statements – “they don’t go to theatre” or “they prefer musicals” or “it’s the summer and no one goes to the theatre” – I fear I might hurt someone. No joke.
Just because it is, doesn’t mean it should be.
To me when I hear those words come out of someone’s mouth they might as well have a sticker plastered across their forehead that says “I’ve given up”.
If everyone in society just accepted the status quo as though it were fact and something they can’t change then women wouldn’t be allowed to vote, Martin Luther King wouldn’t have uttered the words “I have a dream”, Rosa parks wouldn’t have refused to give up her seat on the bus, same-sex marriage wouldn’t be legal in Canada and Obama would not be President of the United States. I could go on and on but I won’t. You get the point.
Yes, these are all examples of huge social movements and I’m not suggesting we compare theatre to the civil rights movement; however, the point I am trying to make is that any change in society begins with one person (or two or a handful of people) saying “Yes, I can” rather than “No”, “Can’t” or “That’s impossible”.
It’s not impossible. If I had listened to everyone who had told me “No” or “That’s impossible” I wouldn’t be where I am today but maybe that is just me. When I hear someone utter those words my gut reaction is to say (not necessarily out loud) “oh, yeah, well I’ll show you” because in my world anything is possible.
Maybe Vancouver (or any other city in the world facing the same problems we are) isn’t going to change overnight but it will happen. All we have to do is stop thinking “Oh, well, it’s Vancouver (substitute name of your own city), it’s just the way it is”. We may not have all the answers and we may stumble along the way but we’ll get there because I, for one, don’t care about the status quo or “the way it is”. All I care about is the way it should be and how we're going to get there.