Working in television, film, and entertainment was a side interest of mine for most of my adult life, but when I was 18 I ignored it. At the time, it seemed impossible to access the entertainment industry, so I took a safer path and went into construction-related fields. Almost every day of my 20s and 30s was spent studying, working, or writing about architecture, construction, and design. Suddenly, as I was closing in on 40, I wanted something different. So I got a part-time job at a bookstore while I figured things out.
Simultaneously, I kept writing, only this time rather than writing about buildings, I wrote about everyday people doing amazing things in their communities. Getting people to share their stories with me, and then writing something that made them proud was refreshing because it was something different. By then I knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry, but I wasn’t sure how nor what. That’s when I began to notice educational programs making the entertainment business more accessible (*thanks Google and Instagram algorithms*).
Before enrolling, I started networking right away with recent grads of the programs I found interesting. I wanted to get a sense of the state of the industry before taking the plunge. Even after I enrolled in the Executive Production program at McGill, I continued to network with producers, screenwriters, filmmakers, event planners, and sports entertainment consultants. I listened to podcasts about the industry, and used my employee discount at the bookstore to read books on film producing, screenwriting, television, historical fiction, cultural conversations, food, sports, and business.
By volunteering at a film festival and a creative conference, I met even more people. While doing all of that, a few other professionals helped me with personal development as I prepared myself for this career change. They pushed, challenged, and encouraged me, giving me a deeper understanding of myself.
The wisdom I received and continue to receive every day is a blessing. Now I’m working to help some of those same producers, screenwriters and other creatives with their own storytelling.
Sep 2021 – Oct 2022 Executive Production in Creative Industries | McGill University
Feb 2022 – Mar 2022 Comedy Screenwriting Lab: From Concept to Completed Script | Stage 32
Jan 2021 – Jan 2022 Film and TV Industry Essentials Certificate | NYU-Yellowbrick
Email: show (at) philroberts.ca