Thought Resident: Mariah Horner

Thought Resident: Mariah Horner


Hello this is Mariah and this is thought #8.

And uh…today I had somebody ask me what my favourite lyric was. And I was thinking about the fact that I’ve never really been good at having like favourite movies, or favourite plays, or favourite albums and I was thinking about the reasons and you know… I think it’s because…I don’t hoard things I love. I think it’s because I love to rediscover things that I love all the time, you know…and maybe that keeps me forgetful and um…but I feel like it always keeps me guessing it always…it also…I have…beauty forced upon me all the time. I’m reminded of things all the time, things that I love. I could catalogue them.


Hello this is Mariah Horner and this is Thought #7.

And this morning my favourite painter died, Mary Pratt. She…uh…was a painter from Newfoundland and I still remember the first time I ever saw one of her exhibits. I was at The Rooms, an awesome museum in St. John’s, Newfoundland and I was struck by her ability to make everyday objects look exceptionally and unimaginably beautiful. And I know that’s a silly word to use but it was foil and salmon carcass’ and cartons of eggs that looked like…you know…it could hang in the Louvre. And…um…I’m….I’ve always been really moved by the ability to remind us that um…everyday life is exquisite.


Good morning this is Mariah Horner and this is Thought #6.

And I went to bed thinking about it and I woke up thinking about it – Darrah Teitel’s brilliant article on what’s going on at ATP. I think she totally hit the nail on the head when she talks about the fact that communities own arts organizations. That there is a certain responsibility to look to the world you’re producing in to understand who you should be.

And yes I’m not saying that we need to have an AGM or a referendum for ever decision that’s being made within an arts organization no, but what I am saying is that I think the reason that this is such a disaster (what’s going on at ATP) is this dude parachuted in, made a decision like a traditional business without real context from the community and the community said no, this is not who we are, this is not the kind of work we wanna support, this is not who we believe we should be moving forward and I feel like I see this all the time.


Hello this is Mariah and this is my fifth thought.

And today I’m home actually in the suburbs visiting my parents and I drove around a bunch today and I was struck by how little everything has changed. I think because the burbs don’t change, I noticed how much my parents change. And you know…it’s an age old thing that everybody knows they should go home to visit their parents but…I should really go home to visit my parents more. I’m lucky that they’re so close to me and I’m embarrassed and I’m bummed that I don’t do a better job at staying in touch. And um….

Not the burbs though [laughs] I don’t miss the burbs. I don’t miss the suburbs at all.

Have a good weekend everyone.


Hello. This is Mariah and this is Thought #4.

And this morning I am thinking about mentorship…I know I’ve had a yearlong under the Metcalf with two organizations and although this mentorship afforded me SO MUCH professional growth in arts administration I kind of think that it’s um…also affected my abilitiy to trust my own instincts when it comes to making decisions.

You know, I value mentorship as a practical learning-based thing but I also learned that right now I feel like I am thrust into a sea alone and I can’t make decisions without talking to a lot of other people and maybe that’s a good thing in theatre, maybe it’s a good thing for my career path because I’m interested in collaborative learning but I also think it sometimes makes me distrust my own instincts and I wonder if there is a word for personal mentorship? Like if you could separate yourself into two people? I don’t know.


Hello this is Mariah and this is thought number three and this morning I’m thinking about Brian’s Record Option.

If you’re from Kingston, you definitely know that this happened and if you’re not I’m here to tell you about Brian’s Record Option. It’s the coolest place in Kingston. It’s a record store that has 80,000 records and 20,000 cassettes and even more CDs and books and posters and the coolest fucking dude in town and last week he had a flood and water rose up from his basement and up waste deep and books and records and posters came pouring out of the store onto Princess street and this morning I’m thinking about how you can possibly replace something that’s irreplaceable and what happens when you’re angry and mournful for the loss of something that was no one’s fault but it was an accident but it’s such a huge hole in the heart of the city and I am heartbroken and optimistic about my community’s ability to rebuild things that are precious.


Hello, this is Mariah Horner and this is my second thought.

This morning I’m thinking a lot about the difference between a company and an enterprise and the people that work…within it. So I’m involved right now in a transition with um…a company I work for and today I am tasked with transferring all of the contacts for the relationships and the stories that were told this year.

And I’m feeling really protective and stubborn about that and I think the reason is because I’m struggling with understanding that um, especially in a community-based endeavour with relationships that are mined and sweat for and cared for….I’m having trouble understanding that is owned by a company and that is not owned by the individuals that worked to nurture those relationships. Obviously I’m very protective of um…people that I connect with and I’m all for knowledge sharing I really am, but maybe this is my ego or my naïveté but I’m struggling with it. I’m grappling with it.


Hello. My name is Mariah Horner and this is my first thought of the August Thought Residency in 2018 with SpiderWebShow.  And today I’m thinking about…something that I think that I should be worried about but I’m not. And I always wonder if other people do this…and if your brain is tricking you into be worry – into worrying about that something you shouldn’t be worried about because you’re not worried about it in the first place.

I finished a year-long internship today. And I don’t really know what’s next for me. And I’m not worried. I’m excited. And I don’t know, maybe if I should be worried? And I’m sure my mother is maybe listening to this and she’s like…”you should be worried”.

But I’m not. I feel ready. And empty and full. And excited.



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About the Author

Mariah Horner is an actor, director, indie producer, and scenic designer based in Kingston, Ontario. Co-founding the Cellar Door Project with Devon Jackson in 2013, Mariah has produced twelve shows with the site-specific company in Kingston and Ottawa. Mariah appeared on George Walker's Living in Your Car on HBO Canada. She is currently the Festival Director of the Storefront Fringe Festival in Kingston and is a Metcalf Foundation Intern with both SpiderWebShow and Theatre Kingston. She makes plays in weird places.