By: Gabrielle Dumonceaux
Humber Social Media Student: Gabrielle Dumonceaux
When you ask a preschooler what they want to be when they grow up, you can pretty much expect to hear something ridiculous. That’s why my parents weren’t the least bit fazed when I, a scrawny little girl from southern Saskatchewan, proudly declared I wanted to be “famous”.
That being said, anyone who knew me at five saw that I had a silly, extroverted, performative energy about me. So, maybe my childhood self gave that answer because she knew how deeply I would fall in love with the arts. (I don’t want to give her too much credit, though – my childhood self also thought chocolate milk came from brown cows.)
Ever interested in supporting my ambitions and dreams, my parents, to whom the art world was completely foreign, enrolled me in acting, singing, and eventually dancing classes. There, my love for performing was truly given the opportunity to prosper. I began to develop a real interest in musical theatre, acting in productions put on by my community and by my school whenever I could. The performing arts became such an important part of my life that I considered them not only a pastime, but a part of my identity. And so, when the time came to choose a career path after high school, it seemed only natural to continue perusing my passion, in college, full-time.
The older I get, though, the more I understand that the world isn’t so black-and-white. I thought because I loved performing so much, it would be a perfect career for me. I never considered that just because I like to sing and dance doesn’t mean I would like the lifestyle that comes along with perusing it professionally. And, it just so happens that the thought of living out of a suitcase, working contracts, and operating around a schedule even less predictable than the 2019 NBA finals makes my incredibly type-A brain short-circuit with anxiety. I have such respect for people who make the arts their livelihood, but I knew pretty quickly into my training that I wouldn’t be one of them.
Image by Luis Quintero from Pexels
Or so I thought. Soon after my decision to leave art school, I came to discover that my definition of “art” was also a little too black-and-white. In other words, I learned that singing and dancing aren’t the only ways for me to flex my creative muscle. That’s how I discovered Humber, and more specifically, how I began to study social media.
I realized that social media and marketing contain all of the aspects I love about performance: storytelling, connection, and the opportunity to give the public an escape from the monotony of everyday life. Not only that, but turning this discipline into my livelihood eased the concerns I had surrounding the instability of an arts career. Media is something I can do without having to be uncertain of what city I’ll be in next month.
Humber College’s Social Media Content Strategy course through their Continuing Education program equipped me with the tools to confidently set out on this new career path. My instructor encouraged me to think outside the box; I was pushed to be creative in my decisions and to integrate into my assignments the skills I established as a performer. Additionally, the course content taught me just how vital social media and marketing are to our increasingly digital world: they communicate messages instantly, effectively, and in an appealing way. Humber’s approach to education astonished me; before enrolling in this course, I never thought there was a place for creativity in the business world. Thanks to Humber, I soon learned that stepping away from a career as a performer in pursuit of something more stable didn’t mean abandoning my love of art completely. Instead, it was proven to me that there is a place for me in the art world, even if that place isn’t where I initially imagined it would be. Humber gave colour to my previously black-and-white point of view.
Image by Prateek Katyal from Pexels
In addition to revealing that I could be both creative and critical in my professional life, Humber’s Continuing Education program proved to me the brilliance of its institution. I am now enrolled into their 3-year Public Relations Advanced Diploma program, and I am eager to continue learning with Humber. I believe its inventive and personal approach to education makes it the perfect place for me to earn the qualifications necessary to advance my career.
Down the road, I would love to continue marrying my affinity for the arts and my strategic mind by using my marketing expertise to support creatives. Public relations professionals are the unsung heroes of the art industry; it is their job to dissect a creator’s abstract concepts and reshape them into something that is tangible, graspable, and alluring to the public. Upon my graduation, I will boast somewhat of a proficiency in both the art and business worlds, so working on the promotional end of productions seems like a perfect way for me to make use of my talents!
In essence, my world was black-and-white, Humber gave it colour, and soon, like Dorothy, I will go back home to the art I love.