Ready, willing and web-savvy. The internet and I? We're tight.
While not a ‘career’ milestone per se, the decision to enrol in University would be a pivotal milestone in my personal development and the foundation of my professional skills and area of expertise.
I would go on to pursue a degree in the Humanities, with a focus in writing and the theatre. Why theatre? Well, sometimes childish aspirations do not go quietly into that good night, and we summarily spend a few years before we realize that not everyone is meant to be an actor. Don’t judge me, you all had dreams once too.
My first ‘real’ job… Except it was an internship. Well, okay. It’s a start.
This job was obtained through a recommendation from a colleague at UofT. I was prepared to primarily get coffee and lick envelopes, but I actually got to do REAL WORK THINGS. I mostly wrote and prepared promotional materials for the Factory Theatre website, and was responsible for a good majority of the final content that appeared on the site throughout the 2007 – 2008 season. Check out the relevant portfolio section for more details.
While not exactly glamorous or world-changing, it was nice to be working in a theatre, amongst theatrical peers. I suppose I prefer writing and working behind the scenes rather than being in the spotlight, after all.
While I remained in a field that continued to make use of my particular knack for the written word, I migrated from my internship at the Factory Theatre into a more lucrative position at Canadian Feed the Children, a charity focused on providing aid to children in developing nations across the globe. Yes, I am aware of the irony of using ‘lucrative’ in this context.
My official job designation was ‘Content Coordinator/Online Copywriter’, so I wrote both long form pieces regarding the status of the charity’s initiatives across various projects, as well as short pieces of copy that were meant to advertise our endeavours and encourage others to donate to our causes.
Altogether, the experience was a bit of a revelation regarding the living conditions that some children are forced to endure, and I carry with me a serious form of guilt whenever I think that life has been cruel to me in light of their hardships. It is not a good feeling, and I determined I was perhaps a little too empathetic for work in a charitable organization.
In-between the demands of regular employment, I have always tried to make time to assist the Toronto Fringe Festival in some way. I traditionally end up working as a Stage Manager or the like for various productions, for friends or former colleagues in the theatre who require assistance staging their shows for the festival.
These roles require me to have hands on knowledge of the technical requirements of a number of different productions, and the ability to adapt the technical needs of each production to the specific venue where it is being staged. In addition to loading in and striking various sets and technical equipment, I would also be responsible for directing the technical effects during rehearsals and performances.
I find myself well suited to the pressure of producing live shows, and my meticulous and calculating nature are appreciated in the theatre, where there is no room for error in a live performance in front of a sold out audience.
Just in case it wasn’t clear, I did finish University. Graduated with Honours Bachelors of Humanities at the end of August, 2010.
I got a fancy piece of paper, wore a silly hat and gown, and then had an existential crisis because WHAT DO I DO NOW?!
My next professional venture involved an interesting change of pace, as I found myself working as a Production Assistant, and eventually, Production Coordinator at UK based Gallus Entertainment. I was fortunate to express my love of animation and my personal study of post-production techniques to a colleague at Factory Theatre, who proceeded to refer me to the Toronto office for Gallus Entertainment, an animation production facility that focuses on children’s educational CGI animations. After professing my admiration for the craft, and my working knowledge of production needs and schedules, I was hired as a Production Assistant.
After a year of working as a PA underneath the current Production Coordinator, I was nominated to assume her position during a nine month leave of absence. During this time, I assumed all of the traditional duties of a standard Production Coordinator, from data-entry and accounting to delivering post-production elements and maintaining communication between departments. It was an incredibly fast-paced and demanding environment, but I took pride in rising to the challenges set before me. This opportunity honed my coordination and analytical skills, and made great use of my keen eye for detail. I like to think that working on technical elements in the theatre, combined with my editorial sense as a written content producer, aided in my success in this otherwise unusual change of career.
(I use the term ‘nerd’ with the utmost respect. Also to make a nifty rhyme.)
While working with Top Tier Trading Cards, I gained valuable insight into the world of competitive trading card games, which in turn led me to liaison with numerous conventions that ran in Ontario. After building a rapport with organizers and other convention staff, I began work as an event co-ordinator and logistics manager for Anime North, a popular convention that caters to fans of Japanese culture.
My years of work in the theatre became a great asset in the form of technical knowledge and production management. I set schedules, attended meetings and arranged for all the programming needs to be met across multiple venues in the convention. I maintained a prompt and professional attitude while working with other departments and contracting outside help in order to meet a myriad of programming necessities that spanned from audio-visual, to security and commercial interests.
I enjoyed the challenge and high intensity of working under pressure, and found that I excelled at managing the logistics of large scale events, a talent that I gained from years of stage management at the University of Toronto. Apparently my courses in the theatre weren’t such a waste after all.
After being introduced to the world of e-commerce and small business, I then took the opportunity to work with a friend on their burgeoning online business selling video game apparel and the like.
Based in Albany, NY, Level Up Studios has enjoyed a fair amount of success since its creation in 2007. I was originally contacted to design their website and e-commerce backend, and after that was completed, I was contracted on to produce copy for the new website in the form of product descriptions and other customer facing copy.
I enjoyed writing fun and inventive descriptions for products, and using my innate ‘nerd knowledge’ to come up with slogans and taglines that would be appreciated by prospective customers. I also enjoyed the opportunity to work with a friend and the ability to telecommute from Toronto, which was much less of a problem than I initially feared. I feel like the process enabled me to hone my communication skills so that even when my presence was lacking, my intentions were clear.
I do still lend my efforts to the website in times of need, or if there is a particularly good idea that I wish to share. It’s a nice creative outlet to have alongside my other pursuits.
(Again, use of the term ‘nerd’ is not meant to offend. Please don’t be offended!)
While working for Anime North, I was put in contact with Hobbystar, the company in charge of some of the largest conventions that take place in Canada. They were interested in securing additional assistance regarding the upcoming Fan Expo 2011 convention, particularly regarding their floor events and gaming schedule.
I worked as part of the Events Scheduling and Logistics staff, a relatively small team considering the scope of our mission, which involved setting the master schedule for the convention and its myriad of events and technical requirements. We were in charge of allocating funds, personnel, equipment and security for each show event, and scheduling these events throughout the three day convention. We also remained on-site throughout the convention to troubleshoot any conflicts or last minute complications that occurred. Complications ALWAYS occur.
Considering the massive scope and size of Fan Expo, this job had an exceptional amount of pressure to succeed attached to it. I think I performed admirably, and continued to work for the convention as an outside contractor for the following two years.
Articles, Graphic Design, Web Design
Level Up Studios
Copywriting, Graphic Design, Web Design
Canadian Feed the Children
Articles, Copywriting, Graphic Design, Web Design
Samples of the work I created for the Canadian Feed the Children charity.
I possess ‘skillz’ to pay ‘billz’.
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Hello random Internet Traveller!
This is my personal portfolio, where I showcase all of my ‘mad skillz’. If you feel like dropping me a line, feel free to use the contact form to the left!
If you are a prospective employer or collaborator, may I commend you on your choice of applicant, and I must say that you are as intelligent as you are witty and attractive! I hope to hear from you in the future, and look forward to working with you.