Growing up, I always loved stories. My first love was books, but since humans are attracted to shiny, flickering lights, it wasn’t long before I was in the maniac clutches of TV and Film. I would tape shows on VHS and watch them over and over. Every weekend, I was at the video store, spending my few dollars on whatever film caught my eye.
It wasn’t until I purchased the show Firefly on DVD that my career ambitions began. Once I’d watched all 13 episodes, I craved more – but since none was available, I re-watched them with the commentary tracks on. Hearing the cast & crew talk about their experiences on set twigged something in my brain. For the first time I thought, hey, maybe I could do that.
I had little understanding of the industry. I knew that someone made Film and TV, probably wizards. I was also from a small town in Northern Alberta where plumber was considered to be a high calling*. Anyone who wanted to be creative for a living was regarded as a pitiable creature, to be prodded with the reminder of how there wasn’t much money in it. I’d like to say they were 100% wrong, but it’s kind of hard to deny when you’re eating peanut butter crackers for dinner.
Instead of going to college, I tried a lot of stuff. Oh, the jobs I worked. I’ve volunteered. I’ve slung caffeine across a Starbucks counter. I’ve pushed extended warranties on customers as an electronics salesman. I was the on-again off-again Rental Shop Manager… and you’re asleep already. I’ll move on.
In 2009, I was saved from the purgatory of the service industry. A long-time friend got me a job as a Copy Writer at a local radio station. This was where my passion was re-ignited. Slowly, long-dormant neurons fired as my fingers hit keyboard. I discovered that unique joy of having something I wrote produced and shown to an audience. But radio ads weren’t enough for me – I wanted to tell stories. So at the innocent age of 26, I applied to Vancouver Film School. I was accepted, and that brought me here, to the City of Rain and Lattes.
I spent a year in the Film Production program, learning how to pull an idea from my brain and turn it into pretty moving pictures that told a story. I soon discovered my talents weren’t so much on set as they were on paper. It was an intense year, but I came out of it having learned a lot about story, about the film industry, and about myself. Also, if you touch hot lights, you will burn yourself. It’s just a fact.
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In the summer of 2014, I applied for a job at a very special place full of very special people…McDonald’s. But they turned me down, so I became a Facilities PA at Bardel Entertainment. My plan was to get my legs back under me and find a copy-writing job. Instead, I discovered that Bardel was actually a fun place to work and I became a loyal Bardelian.
Now, I patrol the halls of Bardel by day, keeping our supplies stocked and our studio in working order. By night I type, lit by the glow of my computer screen. And I dress as a bat, for criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot – wait, no, sorry. Recurring daydream about being Batman. happens to everybody, right? Right.
*Listen, if you found your bliss being a plumber, by all means that’s awesome. Please don’t send angry plumber emails. And I hope you washed your hands before you used that keyboard.