If you’re Canadian, there’s a good chance you know Jonathan Torrens. He’s been a mainstay of Canadian TV for decades, with credits in hits like Street Cents, This Hour has 22 Minutes, Trailer Park Boys, and Letterkenny.
As his success matured, he followed the path countless Canadian stars took before him: he moved to LA to see if he could take his talents to the international stage.
Not having a vote
Making it the “traditional way” in Hollywood meant he’d be less directly involved in his success.
Jonathan says the thing that frustrated him about Hollywood was he was always so far away from the nucleus of every decision.
“I had a manager who had to call an agent who had to talk to a casting director who had to talk to the director to see if they'd consulted with the producer to see if I had a shot at this thing,” says Jonathan.
“So, as a result, in addition to not having a vote in my career, I also wasn't booking enough of the things that truly interested me.”
Heading back home
That’s when Jonathan made the decision to trade the glitz of Hollywood for life back in Canada, and completely change strategies.
In short, Jonathan decided to do things his way and take back control of his career.
Instead of focusing on getting that one big Hollywood hit, he would now focus on making smaller projects he was passionate about.
In Jonathan’s words, “the paycheques wound up being smaller, but there were more of them.”
Taking back control
That shift in strategy ultimately led him to help create Canadian Content Studios which makes pilots based on concepts that are meaningful to Jonathan and his team.
In this new model, instead of waiting for a large group of people to make decisions that impact their lives, the team now creates the projects as a proof of concept and then finds sponsors after the fact.
It’s been extremely successful, and the company now has development deals with a wide range of corporate and media partners.
Finding the perfect fit
Just because a strategy works for some people (or even a lot of people!), doesn’t mean it will work for you.
By taking stock of where your talents, interests, and opportunities truly lie, you can create a strategy that’s tailored just for you.
To hear the full 20-minute episode, “Breaking with tradition and forging your own path”, listen wherever you get your podcasts or online HERE.
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