Some Assembly Required – Recap!

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Thank you to everyone that came out to Some Assembly required and made it such a great event. We had a blast partnering with Art Forms for this storytelling event featuring youth, and we can’t wait until we do it again!

The evening was hosted by Zak McDonald. You can listen to the full podcast here.

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Deb started off the evening with a few eye-opening stories from her career as a social
worker. A few things we learned from Deb: 

  1. Don’t assume anything. 
  2. Calling 1-800-BUCKINGHAM wil not connect you with the Queen of England. 
  3. Sweater pants (read: wearing a sweater as pants) is a very hard look to pull off.
  4. Crazy things will happen to you, but life will always go on.

 

Jesse was our first youth speaker for the night and definitely set the bar high! Along with gracing the audience with his spot-on Chewbacca impression, he talked about his struggles with being misunderstood by his educators.

Our favourite part of Jesse’s story was how he was able to help a young boy with communication issues finally speak to his parents by bonding and talking with him over Pokemon. Jesse left us with the message that no matter how loose a screw is, you can still turn it.

 

Grace was up next! She gave us insight into what it’s like to struggle with mental illness and battle alarming sights and sounds all in your head. She shared with us how these overwhelming experiences caused her to withdraw from her peers and isolate herself in the school library. 

Luckily, Grace already had a friend in Jesse and was introduced to Art Forms. These workshops have given her the chance to create all kinds of art and form a new, supportive friend group.

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Zak, our host for the night, was the final speaker before intermission. He began by telling us that, compared to the struggled from his childhood, his life is so good now that he’s run out of stories.

Ten hilarious minutes later, we would definitely know that a) this was definitely not true and b) it’s very hard to start a rap career with the name “Ziplock”. Zak sent us off to intermission with big laughs, and the assurance that if you feel like you don’t know how to be a person,
he is right there with you.

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CJ, another frequenter of Art Forms, opened up the second act of the night. CJ kept his
story short, but awesome.

He talked about having ADHD and being bullied, but said that Art Forms has now given him self confidence, new friends, and fame! 

Kyla was up next and spoke about her experiences being a runner. She’s run away from homes, school, and lots of her problems over the years.

Luckily, she’s also run into some amazing youth workers who have helped her turn things around and find outlets for her frustrations. She’s now enrolled in a Child Youth Worker program and, always a runner, now finds herself running towards solutions. 

 

Treasa was up next with a story about making your own luck. She took us on a journey through the beginning of her music career, a journey which ironically began with theatre school.

She went from being an unknown at a folk music conference in Memphis, to soaring to the top of the blues charts, to scoring an opening spot on a tour in Ireland. This tour was a bumpy trip that caused her to lose a lot of money, her temper, and her way, but also led to finding the end of the rainbow. 

As her song “Stuck in Soulsville” goes, “Some people say that you make your own luck, I guess to get where it’s at sometimes you’ve got to get stuck.”

 

Levi was our final speaker of the night. He talked about the ups and downs of being trans, and especially how it has affected his relationships with important people in his life. He’s also self-proclaimed expert on being trans and taught us that it’s always a good idea to ask a person what their pronouns are if you’re not sure. He’d like you to remember that some people are born with the body that’s right for them, but for others there is still some assembly required.

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