In a Nutshell

I am an actor, singer-songwriter, and  screenwriter. I am currently in a Content Director role at the indie media company Black and White Zebra, based in Vancouver, BC. 

I like the blanket term “creative” because it gives me enough wiggle room to play with no projects without feeling like I have to re-imagine my identity.

I’m wildly lucky to have a really great family and circle of friends who support me and collaborate on my projects. My brother designed my logo. My mom provided the conceptual foundation and co-wrote the lyrics for one of my recent songs.

I feel like the thing I’m best at is shaping the space for people to be creative—to try things, make things, and see how it goes. 

If you're curious, you can read about what I’m up to right now. I keep that page pretty up to date.

Some background

I grew up on a beautiful old farm in Wisconsin where I learned a lot about work, play, and combining the two. I learned from fantastic parents who embraced and supported art in innumerable forms. I am so happy to say that I had a great upbringing.

My family is my primary source of inspiration and support. I prioritize my relationship with my family above anything else.

I spent the first bit of my adult life teaching English and living in a few different countries, so my circle of friends is really diverse and full of different perspectives. I love that.

I think what we actually do with our time says more about our values than being like "I like this" and going around like "I'm a good person because I support x, y, z". In my experience, the people actually doing the work are usually more concerned with the process and progress than making sure other people know their opinions about it.

That said,

This is how I spend my time on a typical week:

- 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night

- regular (full-time) 8-hour workdays where I work on growing our content team and developing our content production and governance system 

- 20 minutes of journaling in the morning on most days

- 3 to 5 hours of banjo practice per week

- 4 to 5 hours of pure exercise (right now my activity of choice is barre workouts)

- 20 minutes per day watching an episode of Trailer Park Boys

- at least one 30-minute phone call with family each week

- 1-3 hours spent on music marketing activities, including recording videos, working with contractors, putting together assets for online marketing

- Right now, I salsa dance about 1 night per week for a couple of hours. During non-COVID times, I'd be dancing way more

- About once a week I do some kind of friend/art/creative event, like seeing a live performance, hosting a jam night, or getting together to brainstorm screenplay things with a friend

- About 3 hours per week are spent on pure creative play. That's often "artist dates" where I go for walks, play music, make up songs, organize things, take a bath, take myself out for ice cream, sit with my thoughts and a beer on a patio, or something like that.

Those are my main chunks of time. Things I don't spend time on: I do not read the news, watch the news, scroll through social media, watch TV, or shop (except when utterly necessary because I find it tiring). I don't have kids or pets, and I'm not a caretaker for anyone right now. 

I also don't really volunteer my time for anything except counselling the occasional person who needs help with their website/marketing/SEO/creative business. So it might be good if I volunteered a bit more.

 

Things I think are important

Intuition. We live in a world right now where there’s too much information for us to process. I think we need to adopt a more intuition based approach where your impressions and gut feel carry as much credence as random information from the internet “data”.

Vulnerability. Having the guts to be yourself. I joke that I’m good at looking stupid, but…there’s some wisdom in that. It seems like being vulnerable is the surest route to creativity, intimacy, and just feeling good about who you are.

Getting off the computer, off your phone, and offline. Enough said. I am low-tech, and I like it that way. I’m not gonna be on my deathbed wishing I just had one more day to scroll through a Pinterest feed.

Forgiveness. I would say kindness but I feel like forgiveness is the lynchpin to kindness. Forgiving myself for things I’ve messed up is an important ritual for me. It helps me be more forgiving to others, which helps me be kind.

A bunch of other things, but you’ll learn those if you hang around with me.

Words I want to describe me

  • Inspiring
  • Radiant, brilliant
  • Magical
  • Productive
  • Authentic, honest, genuine
  • Happy
  • Creative
  • Forgiving
  • Relentless
  • Yes, both forgiving and relentless

Strengths

I am good at listening, being vulnerable, aligning myself with people, and encouraging people.

I am good at working with ambiguity and turning it to clarity. I am bold. I’m not usually correct, the smartest, or best thought out. But I can get out that stalling phase that accompanies ambiguity pretty darn fast.

Weaknesses

My strengths are my weaknesses (I think that’s true for most of us).

I am bad at being patient and following instructions carefully.

I am known as being pretty tactless. You can trust me to be honest…but not necessarily polite.

Communication

I prefer writing as a means of communication unless it’s family, and then I prefer being physically with them.

I’m not usually very interested in talking to people. I do it because it’s a necessary part of making stuff happen. But the days when I have no calls, meetings, or hangouts scheduled are my personal heaven.

I am straightforward and expect other people to be straightforward as well. I have trouble understanding people’s motivations if they’re not made crystal clear, which is why I often ask directly. I prefer to speak openly about what you want and what I want. I am not known for being tactful nor politically correct.

I think fast but don’t feel comfortable responding fast. Give me a day, or a week.

Mostly I believe the best in people and trust that you have good intentions.

My greatest wish in communication is that I could stop any conversation at any point and just get up and leave without it being offensive.

Things I don’t like

  • Shopping, all forms of it.
  • Being on and hearing about social media.
  • Smalltalk. My golden phrase is “How do you feel about___?”. I use it to branch off quickly from smalltalk (“How do you feel about your job?”)
  • Being around heated arguments or discussions. It makes me feel very agitated.
  • Debating with anyone who focuses on details while ignoring the underlying or implicit beliefs and concepts that give form to a point of view.
  • Broadly damning and black-and-white worldviews

Things I love

I love salsa dancing because you party, socialize, meet people, maintain relationships, workout, and get creative all in one, and you don’t have to really talk to anyone in order to connect with them.

Amusement parks.

If you made it this far, I’m impressed. If you want to get to know me more, check out my thoughts about creativity.