I like to write comedy. I write comedy for film, TV, songs, the web, theatre and cell phone games. I will write genres other than comedy too, and if appropriate, I will refrain from placing even one joke in the work. I can do that.
My first short story “How Prozac Saved My Marriage” was written for the Happy Woman Magazine, which parodies women’s magazines. It was picked up and published in “The Language of Argument” a writing text book for college students. Jonathan Swift, Bill Cosby, Dave Barry, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and Bob Dole were also published in it. Not sure what that means – but boy is that cool. (Revised. Except for the Bill Cosby part.
I am also a copywriter and creative director. The past five years I worked at an ad agency in St. John’s, Newfoundland where I wrote TV and radio scripts, video scripts, website copy, print copy, Facebook ads, slogans etc., for big companies and the government. I learned a lot about advertising, marketing, PR and selling.
I write and direct films
“This Hour Has Seven Decades stars Patrick Watson himself and is based on his memoir “This Hour Has Seven Decades.” It has screened at Toronto’s World Wide Short film festival, St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival and opened the Moving Stories Film Festival, fall 2008.
The Archetypes Trilogy screened at the “St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival” and The Expectant Mother: Freaked Out Edition was also shown at the 60 Second film festival.
“One Bullet Away” by Nathaniel Fick has been seen over 16,000 times on Youtube.
Recently I directed 16 short interviews with Canadian authors for the writer’s union in a series called Elevator Pitch. I will let you know when they are finished – they are very cute.
I am finishing a feature script. It is very very black comedy. I am working on a feature length doc too. It will be funny too. But serious and deep. Oooh.
I’m an actor/performer
I credit improv comedy with teaching me the principles of good storytelling. I learned a lot from the numerous, great teachers we had at Theatresports and Second City, and from performing weekly in front of live audiences for 9 years. I also performed sketch comedy with The Rula Lenskas, and Vitriol Garden.
I went on to study the Richard Pochinko method of clowning at the Theatre Resource Centre and with Mike Kennard of Mump and Smoot fame. I learned to look for the universality in stories, to trust my instincts, and to know that that’s what we all really crave – an honest representation of the human experience. I was co-director of the clown company “The Rubber Chicken Picnic Theatre and Catering Company, and story editor for “Viva Vivi” a one-woman clown show by Diana Galligan which one the volunteers’ pick of the San Francisco Fringe fest.
I taught scientific principles amidst pyromania, cryomania and laser light shows at the Ontario Science Centre. That taught me how to be entertaining while conveying high-falutin’ concepts and scientific facts for broad audiences. Over the 5 years I got to practice timing and showmanship … and fell in love with physics.
History is another passion of mine. For 6 years I taught worked at Mackenzie House in Toronto where wore a corset and bonnet, and taught kids what the 1837 rebellion led by William Lyon Mackenzie was all about. My fave comment was after a 4 hour tour when the grade 8 class (tough audience) whined “What? Is it over all ready?” I also learned that we teach history very, very poorly, and most people are unaware how to learn from it, or make associations.
Performing in front of live audiences is a great way to get instant feedback on your work, to see if you are connecting and resonating with the audience. I’ve also acted for film and TV, but that’s a completely different ball game – they aren’t cracking up at your jokes on set. That would be bad. You have to wait until you sit in the theatre with others, to see if they are laughing at your jokes. Training that way is slow…
Good things happen to those who blog. I got a free trip to Hollywood paid for by Ford Escape. You can read all about it here. (The blog is dormant now – taking a hiatus.)
I was also the official blogger of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival in 2007.
I also blog marketing tips for musicians, artists and other small businesses at the Strange Duck Media Blog. That’s because I am a
I run a boutique web development firm called Strange Duck Media. We specialize in web sites and marketing campaigns for small businesses, TV and film production companies, artists, musicians and authors.
I love the internet. To me it’s all about communication. I love that I can communicate with people anywhere in the world, instantly, no matter where I am.
I live in Newfoundland.
I moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland in the summer of 2008 to be able to write more comedy and to hang and create art with the wonderful artists and supporters in the filmmaking, arts, theatre and music communities that live here. How shmaltzy is that?
I was born and raised in Toronto. I still like Toronto, but right now I am enamoured by the exoticism of Newfoundland. To me the vibe of St. John’s now seems like Paris in the Twenties. And scallops are on sale today for $6.99 a pound!
I studied Fine Art History at Uof Toronto
My favourite period is the impressionist and post-impressionist periods – for all the new ways of “seeing” they embraced – and I adore Les Fauves for their use of colour.
But I’m a dada scamp at heart – and Paris in the twenties was waaaaay more fun …
scamp – as in Lin Yutangs’s description from The Importance of Living, published 1937. I picked this up at a garage sale – wow!
“In this present age of threats to democracy and individual liberty, probably only the scamp and the spirit of the scamp alone will save us from being lost in serially numbered units in the masses of disciplined, obedient, regimented and uniformed coolies. The scamp will be the last and most formidable enemy of dictatorships. He will be the champion of human dignity and individual freedom, and will be the last to be conquered. All modern civilization depends entirely upon him.”