Mexico - Calgary
Art by Emily Honderich
Mariana Romero story
Mariana Romero is a Mexican actress and a performing arts producer that has developed successful cultural projects across her country with different national institutions. She is part of the first generation of theatre teachers in the complementary artistic education program in Mexico City. As soon as she arrived in Calgary in June 2019, she has volunteered for the Calgary Film Festival and for the Arts Commons. She is also a volunteer interpreter for CIWA.
So Many Colours
I love to write my activities on colourful post-it notes and put them on the big calendar in my room. My agenda, diary, and colourful notes have been part of my life since I started to work as an actress and a producer. School, rehearsals, meetings, travels, phone calls, shows, application deadlines. Every project with a unique colour and every creative process colouring my calendar like a future map. A big plan organized with big groups of people. All working together with the same purpose, to grow an idea and make it possible, full of life and meaning, intangible and memorable. That is the magic of theatre.
I arrived in this country one year ago, and I started to write down my plans, new addresses, classes, activities for newcomers in a small notebook. My calendar was a rainbow of new activities. English class, volunteering, job interview, library, church choir, hiking with my husband, meetings, and new projects. All the time, I am trying to learn something new, share knowledge with groups of people, be active and helpful. So deeply, I know in my heart that I am ready to witness the miracle, that special moment when people find the energy to do something together, like an old dream remembered, and a new creative process starts.
And suddenly, one day, my calendar lost all the colours—no more plans for me. In two days, my post-it notes started to fall like leaves in autumn. Luckily, I still kept my job and also found a second job as a barista in a coffee shop in the brand new Urban Fare grocery store. It's so beautiful and I love being there. I could work more hours because not all the workers wanted to risk being exposed. I am so grateful to keep the green colour on my calendar
During this time, I had experienced the city alone. I felt anxious, fragile, scared. I realized how this time could bring out the best or the worst of everybody. For months I told myself: Keep going, don't stop, survive, don't be sick. The future can be completely dark. Right now, every day is a surprise for me. Every step has a new colour. I am so grateful that my parents, my brother, my relatives and friends in Mexico, and my husband are safe and healthy. I am so thankful for my job and every customer that receives care and shares a smile through a cup of coffee. I also say thank you, life, for another day. Life is strong. New colours are coming.
"During this time, I had experienced the city alone. I felt anxious, fragile, scared. I realized how this time could bring out the best or the worst of everybody. For months I told myself: Keep going, don't stop, survive, don't be sick. The future can be completely dark. Right now, every day is a surprise for me."