About Me

My photo
Christine Ama is a freelance fashion, arts and culture writer. She has contributed numerous articles to ADONE Magazine and SheDoesTheCity.com and worked for several years as a product copywriter for the Hudson's Bay Company. With a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and an intensive Fashion Merchandising program under her belt, Ama is passionate about marrying her love for creative culture with the written word. In the past, she pursued music as a self-produced electro pop singer/songwriter called Christer (rhymes with "shyster" ;) releasing a full-length album, two music videos and touring internationally. After visiting over five countries in Europe, Ama temporarily relocated to Berlin, Germany where she worked and wrote for over a year. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Plenty of pictures, plenty of words.

Last week I participated in a very cool event for my dear friend Tracy Stefanucci's wonderful art and literary magazine OCW. The event was called FIVE, organized to celebrate the five fabulous years that OCW has been running.

Tracy and I met during our undergrad in Creative Writing at UBC. During that time I witnessed the brainchild of one brilliant young woman blossom into the successful and reputable publication that it is today. Tracy, along with her team of volunteer editors, graphic designers and writers, put weeks of hard work into each issue of OCW, always with fantastic results. In between a double major in both Spanish and Creative Writing, Tracy somehow managed to launch a freakin' magazine, a beautiful magazine, showcasing some of Vancouver's greatest talents in art, photography, writing and music. Now there's a go-getter. How inspiring.

I was happy to contribute both prose and music to OCW over the years. My first Christer show ever was as part of their first issue launch party. So naturally when I was asked to speak for FIVE, I was honoured and thrilled.

For the event, the magazine decided to bring back some of their favourite contributors to the Waldorf Hotel on Tuesday April 26. Each of us was to give a speech about a story, a project or something that matters to us using Pecha Kucha, a Japanese presentation method, in which the speaker gives a slideshow of 15 images, each image projected for exactly 20 seconds, totaling no more than 5 minutes. It's a tricky and fast-paced format, but over the course of the evening I discovered it's also a very effective way of sharing ideas.

I wasn't entirely comfortable with my story, mainly because I kept feeling like I was coming across as completely self-absorbed. But frankly I couldn't think of any better story to tell than my brief adventures as an electro-pop star, and fortunately the viewers seemed to enjoy it. I figure the video is worth sharing. My life in music was fast and fleeting, but definitely not forgotten.

Many thanks to Tracy and the OCW team for giving me this opportunity. Further thanks to all the people in my life who supported me during my music career. None of it would have been possible without you (you know who you are.)


  1. Wow, that guy introducing you was BRUTAL.

    Great speech, I wish it was longer!

    You mention a few times that you "don't know how this happened / you got here" and it's interesting that you didn't credit the person who believed in you from the beginning and facilitated a lot of those experiences. Not that I expect or did it to receive credit years later, but making it seem like it all just 'happened out of thin air' is kind of insulting to all my hard work. Not angry, just sayin'

  2. Dearest Josh,

    I had a feeling you might have something to say about this and I'm sorry you felt the need to express your disappointment on my blog. Please note that you are mentioned in the koala picture as my guitarist and manager! I thought that would at least count for something. Given more time, obviously I would have digressed but as you can plainly see, there wasn't really much time for that with the Pecha Kucha style. I had intended to insert some kind of preamble about your involvement in all this, but in the spur of the moment that just didn't happen. Sorry buddy, this time the story was about me, not you. For so long I have spent the bulk of my reflection crediting everyone else for the amazing things that happened to me as Christer, so far as to think that I wasn't really that significant in the equation and that the only reason I got anywhere was because of you. But this time, for once, I wanted to credit MYSELF for writing a good album and being the performer that I was. The story was about my experience in music and my perception of everything that went down, not the people that helped me get there. Maybe that's harsh, but that's the truth.

    I should mention that when I said, "I don't know how this happened," I meant it in a more conversational, colloquial sense of like, "Holy shit, one minute I'm playing little gigs in Vancouver and the next minute all these crazy things are happening!" I certainly would never want to discredit all your mass efforts and belief in me as an artist. As I've told you personally countless times, none of this would have happened if it weren't for you. Guess I need to say it again.


  3. May I also mention the thank you note at the end of my write-up!

  4. If artists spent their time 'crediting' those who support/enable their experiences as artists, we wouldn't ever get to hear their own, personal stories.

    The story within a work of art is the journey of the artist - what she had to go through, what she had to learn, in order to create said art. It was Christer's work - her representation of self - on the line. It was her risk. Allow her to be flabbergasted! Who here deserves 'credit'?

  5. I'm not bummed that I wasn't credited -- I don't care about that and you're right, it was your story, not mine. I just think it's an incomplete story if the journey isn't expanded upon. What if someone watching wants to know how all of this came to be? To me that's pretty important, though I know time was the biggest factor in not telling everything that went down.

    I'm not mad or anything, but I was compelled to say something. I have a lot more to say on this, but it isn't appropriate for this forum.

  6. Oh, and by "how all of this came to be" I don't mean that I made it happen. YOU are the one who made the music, which is what brought about all of these experiences. I feel like you undersell yourself, which is a bummer, so that's part of my issue.

  7. Wow... now that was entertaining! Both the video and the comments.

    Christine, you are such a great public speaker. A little bit sweet, a little bit raunchy and a lotta bit smart. I loved hearing your journey in a nutshell... and also loved your humble message of "easy come, easy go".

    Sorry that Josh felt the need to express himself publicly - but I'm not surprised, people just want to feel loved and appreciated, even if it means humiliating themselves. (I found it rather humiliating, anyway)

    Love and miss you!

  8. Thanks so much for writing this, Christer! I can't believe I didn't see it earlier and I am absolutely flattered that you would spend the time to write about me and my project in particular. It means a lot to have your support ;).

    It has been amazing to feature you and your work over the years in OCW and at our events so thank YOU. Your presentation at FIVE was perfect—exactly what I hoped you'd bring to the event. Whatever creative pursuits are next for you, I can't WAIT to experience them.