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Caroline MacGillivray came into my world through fashion events in Vancouver where her charity organization - Beauty Night Society - was the focus of fundraising. Soft-spoken and with a warm smile, I wanted to get to know her better, but these noisy events are not the best place to try and make a deeper connection.
As I was looking at who to include in this first book, I felt there was an element missing - the journey of someone who chose to turn their talents 100% on raising others up. She fit the bill perfectly and is one of the few new interviews included in #LifeOutsideTheBox.
In Vancouver, MacGillivray is heavily branded as the founder of Beauty Night Society. It was surprising in our interview to learn the wider scope of her work. What drives her is a desire to help as many as she can to connect their mind and body - to integrate all the pieces into a healthier whole - to accept and love themselves. This goal has taken her to embrace many different disciplines including:
- Founder Beauty Night Society
- Qigong Practitioner
- Yoga Instructor
- Pole Dance Instructor
- Host/Producer of a radio show called Sexy in Vancity on 101.9 CITR
- Speaker (including an appearance this last year at Tedx Talks - click here to view)
Trying to find a time to meet face-to-face for an interview was difficult, but well worth the effort. MacGillivray's calm, gracious demeanor is paired with a strong, confident, focussed core. An unusual combination, but one that perfectly suits the life purpose she has chosen. Her passion for her work is evident. The life journey she shared included bullying, a passion for acting, joy and struggle - things we can all relate to.
The excerpt below is a glimpse of MacGillivray as a tween pursuing her over-whelming passion at the time - ACTING - and how some of this early training came to benefit her work on behalf of Beauty Night Society. Enjoy!
Excerpt from Chapter eight - Caroline MacGillivray
TUTS by the time I was twelve. I absolutely loved anything to do with musical theatre. My first role was in Damn Yankees and I had a oneline solo, but by the first performance, had memorized everyone’s lines'....Giving their daughter permission to participate in TUTS offered her parents leverage to keep the actor on track in other areas. Adding the much-desired singing and jazz lessons rested solely on keeping grades up in school and staying in ballet.
Singing lessons are the first order of the day for anyone hoping for a career in musical theatre. Learning how to use your voice properly, to create phrasing, and to know when to breathe are important to the quality of a singer’s performance. These same skills would prove important years down the road when running her charity. 'You’ll laugh. When I first started doing public speaking for Beauty Night, I used to use the same technique. I would go through my speeches and put check marks in so I knew where to breathe. The other thing that is interesting is that Cantonese was my first language. [As a result] if I’m not warmed up, my voice is soft and in my throat.'"
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Update November 2016 - It's been twenty months since the launch of Life Outside the Box and I find myself immersed in the process of writing book two in this series. Where does the time go?
The journey for me of writing Life Outside the Box was extraordinarily difficult—terrible self-doubt was a constant companion. What a relief that reader response and industry reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. It has affirmed for me that the timing was right and continues to be right to share with readers the different ways people choose to live their lives. People are bombarded as never before with societal expectations. We need to be reminded the journey we are on is ours alone. There is no one right path to follow; there is no one correct way to live—we are each extraordinary in our own way.
Be sure and keep your eye out for Life Outside the Box #2, tentatively due for release in the Spring 2017. I can't wait to share ten new and amazing stories with you.