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June 5, 2012

Staff Profile – Fiona Suliman, Administrative Assistant


How long have you worked for Soulpepper and what is it that you do?

I have been working at Soulpepper as the Administrative Assistant for 1 year, 3 months, 6 days and approximately 5 hours and 5 minutes.  My love affair with Soulpepper started long before that though.  In June of 2004 I was Paula Wing’s assistant in the Soulpepper Youth Mentorship Program.  Back then the Young Centre was about 2 months away from the ground breaking so we were working out of the Elgin Theatre rehearsal space (la-de-da!).  So after trying to recreate the feeling of loving my job somewhere else I decided that I would try with all my might to get back to working at Soulpepper and I finally wore them down…and now I get to say, with all of my heart, that I love my job.  As the Administrative Assistant I am a part of a fantastic trio in the front office.  The great part about my job is that I get to interact with everyone who walks through our doors, be it delivery people, students who are participating in education programs, my beautiful coworkers or the talented artists.  As well, I get to dabble in a little bit of everything, from helping the finance department with certain reporting to helping the Artistic Coordinator run audition calls to being involved with Board meetings and most recently, starting a social committee with Erin Vandenberg, MFA.

When you’re not at your desk, what are you doing?

I love spending time with my family, they are really supportive and a wonderful bunch so, I’ll be hanging with them.

I’ve also just learned about Netflix so, you know, there’s that.

As well, I love swimming, biking, (I like) running [not ready to say “love” yet] – this combination is due to the fact that I participated in a sprint triathlon two years ago.  I like to push my limits physically and try to do something I may have said “I can’t” to in the past with the goal to finish and say that I have accomplished it.  Right now my main focus is learning Brazilian Jujitsu, but most of my time is spent looking for a dojo that doesn’t cost a million dollars a month (a slight exaggeration!)

I also love to read – I used to say that when I was in school it wasn’t true then, but now it is very true!  I was recently told about BMV and since I have bought 5 Paolo Coelho books (at discounted prices) which makes me very happy!

What kinds of shows/productions/events have you been involved in and what have you been working on lately?

I am a poet.  I went to a few poetry slams in 2006 and got hooked.  I had been writing poetry since I was young but only began writing performance poetry in 2009.  I have since performed at The Drake Underground, Trane Studios, Mississauga’s Celebration Square and Faith Style’s Honour Your Style Event.  I love the fact that I can get on stage and for 3 minutes I have something written just for me, by me.  It’s a great feeling to share my work with people and the poetry community in Toronto is pretty big but also amazingly accepting and welcoming.  Most recently I performed a piece I wrote 2 years ago called Perfect, Whole and Complete, which is funny because that is how I feel when I’m here a lot of the time!

What do you love about being a part of the staff at Soulpepper?

In 2004 Soulpepper showed me what life could be like if I loved my job and it kind of ruined me for any other place of work.  I have worked in places where the people were fun but the work wasn’t meaningful enough and in other places where the work was meaningful, the people were no fun – I longed for the day that I would get to experience working in a place like Soulpepper.  Being at the Young Centre and interacting with this extended family of beautiful, inspiring, intelligent, hilarious, creative people is where I am nurtured and where I get to laugh, learn and play on a daily basis.  What’s not to love?