Despite landing what was arguably one of basketball’s greatest moments this month, Kwahi Leonard from the Toronto Raptors is known for his zen approach to life, detaching himself from all of the highs and lows of working in an emotionally demanding industry.
RAC’s philosophy reflects the ideals that Kwahi lives by. Here, we approach our careers and lives with a sense of humility and neutrality, regardless of favourable or undesirable circumstances. One of our talented RAC alumni, Jordan Duguay, indeed too lives by this mantra – remaining calm and collected in times of personal hardship.
This was particularly the case last month, when he was involved in a traumatic accident that resulted in him being rushed to the hospital. “Right before my eyes, what I had known had completely changed,” Duguay explained. The truck that Jordan was riding in, coincidentally on his first day of work, rolled over after hitting a sharp turn. Despite this, Jordan casually strolled into RAC the next morning, relaxed and focused as always, ready to rehearse his original piece that he would perform in the coming week with a fellow RAC grad and instructor. For him, no stress big or small would take him away from what he loved to do. The same could be said for many of the successful sound engineers and performers that we see coming through RAC today; who chose to remain focused and composed in the face of personal hardships.
“I couldn’t think of a better production college that was supportive and not pushy in helping me make my decision for what best suited me”
Before his time at RAC, Jordan already had a relentless work ethic and a zen approach to life, finding solace through the ups and downs of adolescence in songwriting, and learning several instruments. It was his dad that spun his interest in the drums and his high school friend who encouraged him to play the guitar. Today, he turns to his red Ibanez guitar and a microphone. “I remember jamming with my dad in the basement as a child” Jordan explained recounting that everything he knows about the blues his dad has taught him. Their shared love of drumming and blues allowed them to connect in ways that only the magic of music can.
As a high school student, Jordan didn’t find himself captivated by school. “Can I really be a musician?” Jordan said to himself, before commenting that his desire to write music and perform trumped his school work. “I couldn’t think of a better production college that was supportive and not pushy in helping me make my decision for what best suited me” Jordan said before deciding to make the decision to enroll in the 2017 fall term at RAC.
As an amateur musician and performer for many years, Jordan was very familiar with playing on a stage but not how the stage worked. “At RAC, I learned everything from the microphone to speaker and all the different equipment I could use to really finetune my sound and style” Jordan explained. “The idea of being able to do everything from setup, capture and mix, to performing, was attractive to me,” Jordan said, highlighting that this knowledge was extremely useful for up and coming artists like him who would otherwise have to learn these skills on their own.
Today, Jordan finds himself at ease in the Montreal music scene and making way for his own niche of loyal followers as an indie rock/folk artist. “I always keep the values and the lessons I learned at RAC in the back of my mind”. This has helped him remain level headed through good and bad situations, he tells us with a steady but polite tone to his voice. “It was just recently at my last performance where I got super nervous on stage but remembered to not worry,” Jordan said referencing the last show that he performed.
The more Jordan performs the better he becomes at managing his mindset. Jordan with the help of another RAC grad Juan-Carlos are currently working on recording his first full length LP. Check out his website in upcoming weeks to hear more about the drop: https://jordanduguay.bandcamp.com. All together, Kwahi and Jordan both maintain a certain spirit that allows them to be calm and collected at most times.
By not getting to excited by the highs or discouraged by lows they enjoy the constant flow of life. Likewise, Jordan’s work ethic is a lesson too all that no matter what life throws his way, nothing should stop you from pursuing your passion and respecting your life mantra.