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Can a name be a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Five years ago, my sister, Dominique Hogan, had an idea.  Being an accomplished musician and musical director with a specific interest in Broadway musicals, she wanted to start a group that would perform Broadway music.  She put an ad out in her local newspaper and five people responded.  She held her first rehearsal in her living room.  Having no idea whether anyone else would be interested in such a thing, she figured that her living room would be more than enough space to start this group.  By the second week, eight people arrived to the rehearsal.

As she talked up her idea around the city and to other musicians who had been on the Vancouver music scene longer than she had (she had recently moved to Vancouver), she was told not to expect much and that she would probably not get much more than a dozen people in her group.  Oh fools that they were, poopooh’ing her idea.  On top of it, Dominique wanted to open up the wonderful world of music to everyone…her philosophy is that everyone has the ability to sing.  So she did what noone was doing and allowed anyone who loved music to join.  In other words, you don’t need to have any prior musical training in order to be a part of her group.  If you sing in the shower, that’s more than enough. 

She sat down with her husband to come up with a name for the group and he suggested to her that she call it, Burstin’ with Broadway.  She loved the name and so Burstin’ with Broadway was officially launched!!  By the end of the first month, there were over 20 people coming to sing Broadway music at her rehearsals!  This was already enough to start dealing with more of the details of this new group.  Already, they were “burstin’” out of her living room.  It was getting a little tight in there.  They moved to a new rehearsal space at one of the local elementary schools and from there continued to grow.  Dominique hoped that she would eventually have a group of 50 people.  Five short months later they put on their first public performance.

Let’s fast forward to today.  Burstin’ with Broadway became very popular very fast.  They have been selling out every show in the last 5 years and are performing two shows again this weekend (May 28th) at the Kay Meek Theatre in Vancouver.  Not only are they sold out and burstin’ at the seams of that venue as well, the group now has well over 100 people with more than 50 people on the waiting list to get in!!!  Pretty cool eh?  So much for all the naysayers who told her that she’d be lucky to have a dozen people in her group.  She is regularly doing radio interviews and they are filling people’s hearts with joy, laughter, music and fun.  Can you tell that I’m very proud of Dominique?  To this day, the majority of the members of Burstin’ with Broadway have no prior musical training and let me tell you, they are rocking the Vancouver music scene!!!  It really is a case of, if you believe you can, you will! 

Back to my original question.  Can a name be a self-fulfilling prophecy?  Burstin’ with Broadway is burstin’ with music, burstin’ with joy, burstin’ at the seams with excited and dedicated members who are clamoring to be a part of this very lively and successful group, burstin’ down the walls of every venue they move to looking for more space…essentially, they have been burstin’ since the inception of the original idea.  It’s fabulous!!  What if they had come up with a different name for the group?  I’m putting a lot of emphasis on the name here simply because it makes me smile to see Dominique’s group consistently growing and outdoing themselves every year.  But to be fair, she’s the brains behind this operation, so to speak.  She believed in her idea and had a strong desire to make it happen.  Did the choice of name for the group have any impact?  Just curious to know what your thoughts are on the impact of a name…

(I’m sad because I am not able to attend this year’s performance.  Every year I go out there to be a part of it and I take pictures of all these fabulous people.  It’s a very strange feeling to know that I will be missing that energy this year and only be there in spirit.)




 Have a GREAT show Dominique!!

You inspire me!  Thank you!!


  1. What an inspiring story. If I lived in Vancouver, I would join immediately.

    To answer your question: definitely. A name does influence what you become and who you are, be it a business or a person. Who would you be if you had been called Bonnie, Louise, Anastasia or Zoé Hogan?

    • Hmmm…I’m having a fabulous cup of coffee and thinking…I wonder what it would feel like to change my name to Bonnie for the next year… Would I behave differently? Can you imagine me as Bonnie or have I already assumed my name? Hmmm… I like this question.

      • I could NEVER call you Bonnie. Seriously. You’re not a Bonnie. You’re definitely a Kharim, my friend, and if you want to elaborate on that, I’ll join you for coffee next week. Give me a buzz.

  2. That is an inspirational story. I think it is more than the name. It is the belief in your project that leads you to choose the name that becomes successful. If you were not confident in what you were doing or in yourself you might choose a name that would indicate that. In that case it would not be the bad name that cased the failure but the reluctance to believe in oneself.

  3. it is amazing how the power of a single thought, radiating from a pure place of generation can blossom, and if we truly listen in then we will ‘give it a name’ that is congruent with the energy! Yup it is all in a name, but be sure to listen in behind all of that.
    I am one of the lucky ones who lives in Vancouver, and has the honour of being ‘led & directed’ by Dominique in the Burstin with Broadway choir.
    sing on wherever you are
    cheers Ruth

  4. Thanks Kharim, what a nice article! I am lucky to have an amazing photographer for a sister who takes these amazing shots and makes the group look so awesome! I’m glad I didn’t call the group “Descrescendo” or “The Boring Group” or something. ha ha ha. But the name definitely has more pizazz than what I had come up with which was “Pacific Broadway Choir”…! Luckily I have a husband with good ideas! These things can never be done by one person, and what I have found brilliant is how people in the group have come out of the woodwork and have helped to make the choir and the idea grow into what it is. The power of people with a common focus is quite amazing!

  5. This is a wonderful article!

    I believe that it’s really a combination of name plus energy, passion, and commitment that is put into an idea in the first place. Yes, we could’ve been called the “Blah” choir and you’re right; it’s not very inspiring at all. But because Dominique has put so much of her time and energy into this choir of ours, it’s that much better! Anyone can have a snazzy or inspiring name but what good is an inspiring name if one isn’t willing to be inspiring themselves?

    It is because of who Dominique is that we are where we are today; the “Burstin’ with Broadway” name is the icing on the cake:)

  6. I can’t believe you won’t be here. Who is going to drive me home? Seriously, it won’t be the same without you out there cheering us on. Great article!

  7. Fabulous reflections everyone!! Thanks for jumping in and sharing!! I have to admit, I’m almost choking on my coffee thinking about the name “Decrescendo” for the group. Thanks for giving me a great laugh!!!

    More seriously though, it’s great to hear from all of you and thank you for your reflections and thoughts on the power of a name and also the person and people behind the entity. If I’m understanding and synthesizing correctly what you are all saying, it comes down to a combination between the power of a name, the strength of an idea, the energy of the people in the group, the focus and belief in what one is doing, and the integration of all the ideas and energy that come forward to take the project to new levels. Yes?

    Today is your day guys!! Have a fantastic and successful one full of live energy and feeling!!

  8. Funny how small the world is. I saw the promo posters up around town here in Vancouver for Burstin’ with Broadway, and they kept catching my eye and attention every time I saw one. Little did I know, until just now, that there was a long-time personal connection – specifically my friendship with the Hogan siblings that pre-dates the Internet itself. Good to find you here, and see the wonderful work that is keeping both you and Dominique busy. Maybe I’ll see you someday out here.

  9. Hey Sean!

    Great to hear from you and that you are in vancouver! Glad you like my posters!

    I will look you up on Facebook

  10. Well, a ghost from the past. What a nice note, thanks Sean! A small world indeed. Does this mean you’re in Vancouver now? And those posters that keep catching your eye…is it because you’re planning on joining Burstin’ with Broadway? That would be fun…they are looking for more men!!!! Get thee thy buns and thy vocal cords out there…


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