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I want to take this opportunity to truly thank you for all that you had taught me during those few months with BOFA. With a lesson plan so dense and
overwhelming (remember, I had never done drama before Canterbury!) it takes months, if not years, for some of the more subtle wisdoms to surface and take their effect.

Indeed, it is almost daily that I use the skills I honed during my short Improv career, or realise that a new approach to solving a problem can be derived from lessons learned at Ms. Moore's Boot Camp. Ah yes, it was very hard-core at times, and it comes as no surprise that from all the 'classes' I attended in high school, those after school BOFA seminars are the ones that stick out the most in my memory. What could we do to make them part of the official curriculum?! It's only now that I realise how multi-dimensional that training was, how portable those skills are across a variety of disciplines, how ... necessary.

Yet while it seems the rest of BOFA grads have taken their lives down a more theatrical path, I have managed to pick my way through a different trail: leading, it seems, through the forest of international politics. Nevertheless, the call of drama has been strong and I have ventured a few times into artistic fields upon graduation.

And here is my story:

I went to McGill after Canterbury, originally for Political Science, but selected a major in Economics after the introductory year. I suppose I was fascinated with the logic. A bit bland perhaps to most BOFA grads, yet I managed to spice up the time with a little art (this is where Improv training became invaluable!)

I entered student politics though through a type of back door - as a campaign manager for a friend who was running for student government office. I was responsible for his advertising campaign, speech-writing, public image, etc. Perhaps we settled for silver that day in March '96, but the training was of definite gold calibre. The ability to think on my toes, to sculpt the campaign in real-time response to actions taken by the competition, and to be prepared for any eventuality through late-night brainstorming sessions was what secured a lead of twice as many votes ahead of the runner-up candidate. I successfully led 3 more campaigns, including two for executive office positions, and was an advisor on communication issues throughout all three terms. I could only thank my improv training for that.

After four years at McGill, I was offered a job at the Canadian High Commission in London, where, after a brief stint as an Information Officer, I found myself as editor of a series of education modules aimed at teaching British school children about Canada. This was a joint effort between the Department of Academic Relations and the Department of Public Affairs.

However, my time in London was not without its (brief) dramatic relapse. Interested by a demand for North-American looking 20-somethings, I found myself one weekend on set beside Emma Thompson who was in London filming Wit - a production that cast her as a cancer-stricken college teacher and myself as one of her students (an extra really). As I understand, the film probably went straight to video, however not before rekindling in me an interest in drama.
Unfortunately, my time in London was coming to a close, as my visa was nearing its term. Having lived previously in Geneva, I decided to try my luck with the international agencies in town, and found a job with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe working for their Department of Statistical Publications - specifically on gender issues in the region. For the past year and a half, I have been living in a small border town on the French side of Geneva with a beautiful view of Mt. Blanc from my window, and several house-mates, two of whom were involved in film-making: one as an actor and the other as a director.  
Yes, it does seem sometimes to me that this is an industry I cannot stray from for long. Within no time I was helping direct, shoot, screen-write, act, and edit anything from spoof-adverts to more serious/creative short-films. Indeed, I'm currently working on one now!

Being in such an artistic milieu does have its effects. While on holiday in Barcelona, I met with a young and energetic film producer from Montreal, and together we collaborated on a script via email. Our idea had been entered into a financing competition and has won itself the means to appear one day on film. I have just received an email from her letting me know that filming has started in Montreal. It is unfortunate that I am unable to assist in the process.

Well - that should bring you to today. Currently, I'm back in the little border-town in France, having completed my contract with the UNECE. I am currently looking for work both in Geneva (with international organisations) and in London (with private communication/advertising firms). However, I am also feeling the desire - or perhaps rather the need - to return to school for further studies, and am entertaining both the option of Law Schools in Canada, and a new program in Global Media and Communication with the London School of Economics (though I will admit I had a brief fantasy about attending NYU's TISCH film school). Regardless of the path I choose, I know I will use and build upon those very same skills I was introduced to in that drama room at Canterbury.
For that, my heart-felt thank you.
Those seven weeks with BOFA were the most time I spent with the same 8 people in my entire life. And the silver medal we received is proof that team-work achieves goals. Kudos to all of you! Amy, Christie, Jesse, Kurt, Michelle, Sarah, Steve, and of course, Ms. Moore  
An astonishing array of world travellers, especially a certain customs agent; his Commedia dell'arte servant; his musical talents, and teaching us how to do the rhythm and the music behind the talking in Two-Melodies; his amazing piano playing; learning to play the banjo in half an hour at midnight in Martin's living room, so we could play a Blue Grass game in that day's competition; the beautiful Piano Bar; learning to move VERY fast in Herald.  
Written in Sept, 2002  
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