Wow! It has been way longer than I intended it to be in between blogs. Even though I'm not confident that anyone is actually reading this stuff, I have made it a goal for myself to write regularly. You see, I used to write all the time. It was a passion of mine and I very much wanted to be a writer or perhaps a journalist.
I had that intention, after giving up on archaeology due to the whole getting my hands dirty thing - plus I hear it is very much like being an actor anyway (constant begging), and deciding it would be a good idea to have something else as a back up in case my baseball career never took off. Do you have my rookie card? Did you ever see one of my many home runs? That's because I never got past rep ball due to injury. But that's another story for another day.
I kept this thought in my head all the way through school. I wrote constantly in elementary. One of my favourite things to do was write sequels to movies I loved. I remember in the later grades writing a sequel to the first Michael Keaton Batman movie. It was 900 pages long (small pages) and I introduced and killed every Batman villain I had ever read or seen on the Adam West TV show. Wow, I would have been every studios nightmare!
In high school I took every English class I could. Along with art, drama, computer and phys. ed. But most of my credits were in English. I'm sure anyone who now knows of my love of the medieval period would find it surprising to know I disliked History in high school. My grade 9 teacher at Denison, Mr. Richie was awesome, but my grade 10 teacher (who will remain nameless now that she entered local politics) spoiled the subject for me due to the fact that she would ask a question and pick one of the people who didn't have their hand up to answer and then ridicule them for not having the correct information. Oh what a peach she was!
My idea in high school was to become a journalist/photographer/novelist. I did two job shadows in grade 10, thanks to Mr. Salloum for humouring me. He let me job shadow the editor of the local newspaper. Did I mention I lived in a really small town? The job shadow was a bad idea: it made me think journalism was going to be very boring. How I didn't figure out that it was due to the fact I was in a very small town, I have no idea. Temporary stupidity on my part for sure. My second job shadow was awesome and all hush, hush: I got to job shadow a Playboy photographer. No, really! I was so stoked but my teacher swore me to silence ahead of time so he didn't get any flack. I still remember getting to the studio in Toronto and meeting the photographer. That's really my only memory because after that I saw the girls (3) in robes and everything else was a blur. They were very nice to me, but could see how nervous I was so they had some fun with me. I didn't have a particular job, but someone thought it would be hilarious if I was responsible for touch ups on set on the naked girls. Oh my! Sounded awesome at first but I was shaking like a leaf! "Oh, I need some powder on my bum!" one would say and I would do my best to do it. I didn't get to enjoy it the way I had fantasized, but that's pretty normal for a teenage boy of 15 I would think. It didn't turn me off photography the way the other job shadow did, but it did make me even more nervous around girls. I do remember distinctly finding it fascinating how they covered those girls in paint and called it make-up. No wonder they were so comfortable nude, it was like they were dressed other than you could see every contour. What a day that was!
So as the end of my grade 12 year came I had to decide what I was going to do post-secondary. I thought I would go to college for journalism. Well, a recruiter from Centennial College said that writing was a thing of the past, that newspapers would be obsolete before I finished my course because of this new 'internet' thing. I took him at his word and quickly looked at my skills. What were my best skills and what did I love most? Writing, art and creativity. What do you get when you put those three skills together? Advertising! I applied to 4 schools and got accepted at all 4. I went to Georgian College in Barrie and graduated with honours and top grades in my class. I went onto work in a few agencies, many firms and several marketing departments and I can honestly say that it wasn't exactly what I expected, but I learned a lot. The skills I learned in school and on the job really helped me build the four companies I now own and operate. I continue to use those skills on a daily basis.
So what is the culmination of my literary pursuits that lead me to college and now beyond? I was nominated by the Georgian College Alumni Association for an Ontario College Premier's Award for Outstanding College Graduates.
And I still love writing. I've written a few spec scripts, sitcoms and screenplays in the past few years but nothing has turned into much yet. I've managed my wife's publishing pursuits by acting as her agent, manager and even publisher! She now has two books out and we are in the research phase of a historical thriller which we're going to try and write together!
It's amazing how these things work out... MRL