Regina, Treaty 4: Rebecca Lascue
(Photo by Aidan Morgan, Intro by Michael Paul)
Rebecca grew up surrounded by a musical family who taught her the importance of being true to yourself and following your dreams. As a result, when she graduated from the University of Regina with an honours degree in Psychology, she made the obvious decision to pursue her passion in the Fine Arts. Rebecca is a one-of-a-kind, multi-talented, selfless individual who fills her days spreading her joy and enthusiasm throughout Regina. She works at local elementary schools teaching drama and music, and has taught at the Globe Theatre School. She completed the Globe Theatre Conservatory Actor Training Program a few years ago and has since performed in multiple productions at the Globe Theatre, the Sandbox Theatre, and the Souris Valley Theatre.
Music has always played a large role in Rebecca’s life. She grew up singing harmonies and playing piano with her family, and over the last number of years has picked up the guitar. Her album Love, Loss, & Hot Chocolate was released last year and has found its way across Canada. Her music is infectious, and will leave you humming, whistling, and singing her melodies for days, weeks, or maybe even years! Even more infectious is her personality which shines through during her live shows. You will be hard pressed to find another performer who weaves her education, life events, and humour into a set like Rebecca.
KC: What kinds of projects are you involved in right now?
Right now I’m in-between theatre projects, enjoying some time to focus on my musical endeavors. I released my debut EP, Love, Loss, & Hot Chocolate in November 2014, and a single last November. I’d love to release a full-length album as soon as time and finances permit, so in the meantime I’m enjoying songwriting and experimenting with new sounds and ideas. Songwriting is one of my greatest loves – there is nothing like the thrill of an idea working its way through you, and the elation when you realize the song feels finished. I’m also very much looking forward to returning for my fourth summer performing at the Souris Valley Theatre outside of Estevan. A great friend and colleague of mine, Kenn McLeod, is the artistic director, and we have a ridiculous amount of fun living at the theatre site, having campfires, going to the beach, playing beach volleyball (which can be quite a sad sight with a bunch of athletically challenged theatre people!) and making theatre in a wonderfully supportive community.
KC: What’s your day job? What do you like about it? What’s challenging?
I feel like I have been in a 4 year experiment regarding how to balance my artistic pursuits with various day jobs. It’s always difficult to try to achieve flexibility, meaning, and decent pay in a day job. I’ve done a variety of different jobs over the years – now I mainly work as an arts educator with the CREATE program, an initiative through the Public School Board that hires professional artists on a contract basis to work with various elementary school classes. I really love teaching drama/music to children, and enjoy the daily challenges that teaching encompasses. I also teach some private voice lessons and work as a substitute instructional assistant in elementary schools. I enjoy all these jobs because I can feel good at the end of the day about what I have done with my time, and they allow me quite a bit of flexibility to pursue artistic endeavors. The challenge lies in being able to maintain flexibility and still accrue enough hours to make a decent income!
KC: What’s important to you?
Family is the most important thing to me. I have an incredible family, including my long-term love Michael. What I value most in life is spending time with the people I love, being there for them when they need it, and getting to share in all the small moments with them. Also, I have two incredible nephews that I’m obsessed with, and I get so much joy watching them explore this big world! There are many other causes that I care a great deal about: the need to improve access to appropriate mental health services (my educational background is in psychology), the many issues that result from our current industrialized approach to food (especially the ethical and environmental implications of industrialized animal agriculture), issues of accessibility, my constant desire to travel the world, etc etc etc!
KC: What do you like most/least about Regina?
The thing I like the most about Regina is the people. My family is there, my partner’s family is there, I have great friends and am part of a wonderful arts community. I also enjoy the ease of living in Regina – it’s not too expensive, you can get anywhere relatively quickly, people are friendly, I feel safe, and we’ve got a bit of everything (good restaurants, entertainment options, shopping, nice parks, and so on). I won’t lie, there are a few things I wish Regina could offer that it doesn’t. The cold, long winters are obviously challenging – but I do enjoy that we get to experience all 4 seasons. I wish the city was set up better for biking. I also wish we could get the same incredible flight deals that you can get when flying directly from Toronto and Vancouver!
KC: What is your impression of Saskatoon?
I really like Saskatoon. It’s beautiful, and has an amazing arts scene. I can’t believe how much theatre happens in that city! I’ve been able to spend more and more time in Saskatoon over the past several years and love the feel of the city – it definitely seems a little more “big city” than Regina does.
KC: How do you survive the winters?
I finally bought a really warm winter jacket (one of the ugly ones that goes right down to your feet, so it feels like you are wearing a big sleeping bag) and boots, which made a huge difference! I think surviving winter is all about your attitude – we all know it can really suck, but since it is what it is, I try to convince myself of the positive aspects as well: snowshoeing and cross country skiing, curling up with a good book and hot chocolate, white Christmases, tobogganing with my nephews, and how beautiful it is.
From the Proust Questionnaire: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I have struggled with this question all throughout my twenties! In my early twenties I thought that success and happiness would mean making it big – huge career success, living in some really impressive and cool big city, being known for your work, making some decent cash, etc. As I’ve gotten older I’ve continued to redefine what success means to me. This has led to a more simple idea of happiness and success: a loving relationship and hopefully, one day, children of my own; great relationships with my parents, siblings, nieces/nephews, extended family, and friends; living a creative lifestyle, regardless of the results of my creative pursuits; and enjoying the simple beauties of everyday life like planting and tending to a garden, cooking in my lovely kitchen, reading a good book alongside someone you love. I’ve come to realize life is a series of choices, and that while all choices are available to me, each comes with its own unique benefits and costs. Sometimes it is really difficult to give up something you want, but as I’ve become more certain of the things that really matter to me, I’ve been more comfortable in the balance of rewards/sacrifices that each choice entails. I’ve also been trying to eliminate the either/or dichotomy in making choices. Instead of thinking of my options in this binary way, I am trying to approach choices with an attitude of abundance and possibility.