Old Boys' News

Old Boys in the Arts Virtual Panel - Dramatic Arts: Film and Television

Lights, camera, action! On October 11, 2023, the Old Boys' Association rolled out the virtual red carpet for the second of their virtual panel series, spotlighting the arts. OBA board member, Evan Sequeira ‘08, took the stage to emcee and delved into the exciting world of the film and television industry. Five Old Boy panelists stole the show, including Anders Bard '86, a film producer based in LA who recently shot a film called "French Girl" in Montreal; Michael Kronish '86, an Emmy-nominated producer in Montreal; Rob Vroom '97, an MFA graduate from the American Film Institute with 25 years of industry experience, also in Montreal; Rob Worsoff '92, the LA television director and producer behind hits like "Duck Dynasty" and "The Millionaire Matchmaker"; and Devon Soltendieck '02, Toronto TV host-turned-Managing Director of Salt Studios. This star-studded event had Senior School students, Old Boys, and SHS staff hooked as they discussed everything from their arts journey at Selwyn House where classmates Anders Bard and Michael Kronish even shared a laugh about their performance in their role as "guards" in Selwyn's production of Macbeth, to how they navigated their way to their current careers. 
Rob Vroom, shared some heartfelt advice, revealing that to survive in the arts, you need a burning passion to keep you going through the inevitable rejections and rollercoaster ride of the industry. Rob Worsoff shared that unlike law and medicine, there is no road map for a career in the arts, "you need to keep plugging and figure out your competitive edge."
For the alumni in attendance, the event was a nostalgic reminder of their time at Selwyn House, and a testament to the enduring legacy of the arts program and the impact their teachers had on their lives. Devon Soltendieck recalled his experience with some of the “really important instrumental people in the arts, like drama teacher Alex Ivanovici” who encouraged him “to keep going and keep dreaming” and even set him up with his first audition. Shifting gears, Rob Worsoff discussed how the elevated standards of the English department at SHS, which he described as “being at the core of what [he does],” is reflected in his writing to this day. 
When Ryan, a Grade 10 student with his own podcast, joined the conversation asking Anders about his take on the recently released film, The Creator, his question captured the attention of the panelists as well as Dylan Kalaydjian’17, a recent NYU film school graduate, who celebrated Ryan's passion for filmmaking. Nicholas Salbaing '12 wondered how his law degree might connect to a career in movies and television, and Stephen Baxter '13 asked how streaming is affecting the industry.
To close the event, the panelists were asked to share advice for anyone eyeing a career in the arts. Michael suggested “putting yourself out there” and finding a group of peers with whom to move through the industry ranks. Meanwhile, Anders emphasized the drive needed for a career in the arts. If the arts are truly what you want, a.k.a. “your Plan A," then dive in because the journey is your career. But, "if there’s a Plan B, do the plan B" and you'll have a more peaceful life "because this really does need to be your focus and you have to love it.”
To watch the full conversation and hear the advice of the other panelists, Old Boys and Staff can log into SelwynConnect and check out the Arts Panel folder in the Resources section (on the left side of the page).