I'd like to say it all started in the hallowed halls of KCSS, but as the old adage goes, the stage that most of my teachers would like to have seen me on then was the next one out of town! Still, my years here provided a lot of fond memories for me. There may have been a drama program then, but if so I wasn't interested. Back then I had no thought of being a performer, although "John T", "Sarge" and just about every other teacher I had, told me I had better stop "clowning around" and start taking it seriously.
Now it's thirty years later and all but three of those years have been spent making a living for myself as an entertainer. I still look back fondly on my high school days and some of the characters I met there, and that I got to play later in life. After graduating from Niagara College and the University of Guelph I worked my way across Canada on the main stages of Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and, finally, Vancouver. It was there, on the coast, that my focus changed to working in front of the camera. The lure of the dollar outweighed the spontaneity and appreciative on of the live audience, and it is in Vancouver where I settled and made a comfortable living performing in feature films, Movies of the Week and almost every TV series shot there since 1983. Listen to yourself. Follow your bliss.
I am currently enjoying working in Toronto for the first time since 1975 as a dialect coach on a new Warner Bros. Series, Tarzan. I am fortunate to be among the small percentage of Canadian actors who can make a good living through acting, voice, dialect and teaching within the film industry. I manage to keep my "mug" out there and so far, touch wood, it's been a wonderful ride.
Did it all start at KCSS? Maybe, maybe not; however, I would certainly tell every student to enjoy each and every one of your days in high school. They will become some of your more vivid life me memories. Enjoy the freedom and the friends you have now. For me, those years, those memories and those friends became an important part of the foundation I used for building the rest of my life. Whatever you do. Have fun, follow your dreams and don't stop going to the movies and watching TV!
Written – October 2003