Television & Radio
Writing for radio has always been a strong interest of mine. I was one of those weird kids in the 70s who actually enjoyed listening to old time radio serials like The Shadow and Superman. Writing for radio allows the author to really go to town with their storytelling without worrying about budget or effects. Early in my career I wrote a half-hour children's adventure, I believe the show was called Storybook Theatre, for CKUA in Edmonton in the late seventies. During the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988 my former writing partner Jeffrey Hirschfield and I won a competition that had us writing sketch comedy for CBC radio based on the days leadlines. Martin Yesterday was originally commissioned by BBC Radio and was nominated for a Sony Award the year it was broadcast. The BBC also commissioned an adaptation of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside me, in the late 90s, that I loved. It was scary, violent and highly erotic. Naturally it scared the hell out of the beeb and the script was never produced, although I occassionally consider dusting it off and adapting it as a film.
My work in television was rare to nonexistent for years, there really wasn't much in the medium that interested me. I did a lame gig for the NFB on an ethics series that aired somewhere while I was part of the National Screen institute that really soured me on the medium. I avoided television until the cable universe exploded and shows like Oz, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos started to prove that television wasn't a completely moribund medium.
Two seasons after it started I was hired on Showtime's "Queer As Folk" as a writer, story-editor and ultimately supervising-producer of the show. It was easily one of the most interesting and creative jobs I've had and working with co-creators Ron Cowan and Dan Lipman, my fellow writers Michael McLennan, Del Shores and Shawn Postoff- also coordinating producer Adam Newman and former writer Ephrem Seeger- was one of the high points of my life as a writer. In my three seasons with the show I wrote eight scripts and all are available on DVD. Stay tuned for the final season. Its going to be a good one.
I'm currently developing a series called "Retail" for Frantic Films and Showcase. The series idea was generated by Winnipeg wunderkind Noam Gonnick and is about a conflicted young drag queen working in the world's worst shopping mall and changing the lives of all of the "less fortunate" normal people around him. It's been a riot to work on. We've just finished the bible and the first six episode outlines. Hopefully you'll be hearing something about it in the near future. Stay tuned.
Onscreen, besides appearing in the background of a few Second City sketches while they were being filmed in Edmonton in the late 70s, I've also been a frequent guest on many shows and hosted my own gay themed chat show "Jawbreaker" on PrideVision (Now Out TV). We did two seasons of the show- on a shoestring I might add- and there are (I believe) 27 episodes. Season One's shows are one hour and season two's are thirty minutes. The show was created by myself, Josh Levy and David Dean and featured a wonderful roster of guests including; Maggie Cassella, Deb Pierce, Ashley MacIsaac, David Gale, Diane Flacks, Bruce Gray, Ronnie Burchett, Michael Lewis McLennan, Scott Lowell, Bobby Gant, Dan Lipman, Elvira Kurt and many, many others discussing are variety of topics. The show was relaxed, freewheeling and a lot of fun to do. The episodes are currently still in endless rotation on Out TV and someday soon I hope to post a full show/guest list as well as clips from the show on this site.