Kate's Story :
I have never really thought of myself as an “inspiration”. I am the kind of gal who flies by the seat of her pants, rarely in one residence for more than a few years, who quite literally lives paycheck to paycheck – all in the pursuit of singing and acting. Inspiring? I wasn’t so sure about that. However, after taking some time to reflect upon my journey (and opening up to a few very dear friends who talked me out of my insecurities), I reminded myself that I am absolutely brimming with one particular feeling – gratitude. Gratitude for the beautiful soul who thought me fit enough for a nomination, for my family and tribe, for Heather and this project, for the incredible women in our community who are paving the way each and every day, and for our village that works hard to lift one another up through adversity and hardship no matter the cost. I know there is always room to grow, but from where I stand, all I can see is love and perseverance. With all of that being said, I do not think I would be where I am today (9:07 pm in my bed on my laptop in St Jacob’s ON on a Sunday night) if it were not for the borough I grew up in. The love and
support I have been given from this town makes me feel quite emotional to be honest. The Inspire Project is an exciting one and I am truly humbled and grateful to be included in such a heartening and impressive group of women.
I call Peterborough, Ontario my home. No matter where I am, no matter how much time I spend in Toronto and beyond, Peterborough is home. I am currently on contract with Drayton Entertainment performing in a Country Gospel show living the life I always dreamed of. I can remember my parents driving my sister and I to all of the shows in Toronto when we were just younglings. The orchestra would begin, and I would be in tears. I made quiet, solemn vows to myself that I would always try, no matter what, to get on that stage. Twenty odd years later, here I am, standing on a stage, 8 shows a week singin’ for Jesus. That is where it all started for me, a young Kate Suhr sitting in a theatre (didn’t matter which one) watching a musical (didn’t matter which one) completely convinced that is exactly where I wanted to be. I have never waivered from that little girl with that big dream. Singing has been my one, constant true love.
I clearly remember watching my beloved friends Paul Crough, Lisa Devan and Julie Fallis on the Peterborough stage when I was just a young girl. I was completely in awe of their magic and desperately wanted to join them. I began auditioning, was swept into our local theatre community and taken under the wing of so many local greats such as Beth McMaster, Gilly Wilson, Robert Ainsworth, Jane Werger and Randy Read. It was my high school teacher, Mr. Steve Russell, who encouraged me to go after singing and theatre professionally. He proceeded to give me a true dose of the realities ahead. He told me how hard I would have to work, that most of my relationships would likely suffer, and that there may be times I would want to quit to find a more stable and lucrative job. Living a life in the arts is certainly not for the faint of heart. I decided during my last year at PCVS that I was going for it and there would be no turning back, no regrets.
I am here to tell you he was right about every single thing except for the giving up. That was not and has never been an option. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what your limiting beliefs may be, please keep going and pave new pathways. I have learned that without a doubt, rejection is a reality in this wonderfully scary career I have chosen. It helps me fight harder for the dream I long for. We must never stop chasing the things that light us up. If I could “inspire” just one notion, it would be this: never stop chasing that dream of yours, no matter how big. If you do the work, stay humble and remain kind – nothing can stand in your way. If they tell you no, there is a better yes coming down the line. Never,
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”