Finding Balance in Platform Boots


Finding Balance in Platform Boots

It's 11:00 p.m., I’m still working, stressed out about tomorrow, and in desperate need of a shower. Is it the day before a big trial? No. It’s dress rehearsal for The Lawyer Show. And despite it all, I am thrilled to be here.

The Lawyer Show has raised tens of thousands of dollars for local theatre companies Carousel Theatre for Young People and Touchstone Theatre over many years. While I care very much about supporting theatre for young people and Canadian playwrights — causes championed by these two groups — I must admit that I mostly do it for the love of it.

I first joined The Lawyer Show in 2014’s Legally Blonde while articling at a big downtown firm. Like many of the lawyers that regularly take part in the show, I had a history in music, dance and theatre before law school. However, outside of The Lawyer Show, things like “I got served with a short leave application!” or “a senior partner needs me to stay late!” aren’t understood excuses for missing rehearsal. For me, The Lawyer Show was a way to keep theatre in my life as I was starting out in a demanding career.

Photo L-R: Mandana Namazi, Linda Sum and Johanna Goosen in Mamma Mia! Photo by Pedro Augusto Meza

Photo L-R: Mandana Namazi, Linda Sum and Johanna Goosen in Mamma Mia! Photo by Pedro Augusto Meza — courtesy of Touchstone Theatre.

Balance is hard at the best of times (particularly in some of the shoes we were wearing in Legally Blonde) and in the week leading up to the performance, the time commitment was extreme. Did my work suffer during the two weeks surrounding the show? Sure. However, balance means more than having free time. To me, it also means making time for the things you love and the things that give back to you. If you’re really lucky, that thing also gives back to your community. For so many of us, The Lawyer Show is that thing that eats up your time and energy, makes work really challenging for a while, but ultimately brings balance in our lives.

Despite the severe lack of free time in my life between articling and rehearsals in 2014, I have been back every year since. After a few years off due to COVID, it was thrilling to be back in the rehearsal studio in February for Mamma Mia! with many of the usual suspects. While each year we see new faces with amazing talent, there is a group of us who have been doing the show regularly, many for far longer than me. It is this feeling of community, always welcoming both old hats and new talents, that keeps me coming back.

Well, that and the applause. It’s hard to beat the feeling of a standing ovation!

While I know that doing a quick change into a glitter encrusted denim jumpsuit and boa in order to run onstage for   10-minute dance number in platform boots (if you missed seeing Mamma Mia! this year, you really missed out) is not everyone’s idea of getting away from work, it is definitely mine. There’s nothing for clearing your head like stuffing it full of lines and music and choreography. And there’s nothing like joining together to build something incredible with a group of people who understand both your love of the performing arts and your challenging career.

If this sounds like it might be your kind of thing, come out and join us! If not, I hope you too have found something that you can devote yourself to, and that — in turn — gives you so much back.

And to all my Lawyer Show pals, see you next year!

Related Articles