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?