Leon has worked in theatre and film for more than 25 years having done classic and contemporary plays and numerous independent films. He is a professional actor in the Canadian Actors Equity Association (CAEA) and began working as a director in 1994 leading The Looking Glass Theatre in Vancouver and Blue Peanut Productions. He completed his training at the UK’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and Kings College, London with an M.A. in directing. Over the years Leon has worked in London, New York, Vancouver and Nanaimo and is now a director and professor at Vancouver Island University where he teaches in the theatre department.
Although Leon has never been to Vanderhoof he has adjudicated around the province including the BC provincial festival two years ago in Chilliwack and for festivals in Kamloops and Vancouver Island. When judging the speech arts he looks for the person’s ability to tell a story and to find a way behind the words.
“I look for the way they make the words personal,” he said.
Leon got his first taste of theatre when he was 16 being dragged to his first high school production by a friend, he said.
“I got picked for a role and was hooked. I’ve never had another job since, I’ve always been in theatre,” he said.
When asked about what he would say to those looking to get involved in theatre, he said “Make sure your passionate about it. Make sure its something you really want to do. Don’t go into it willy nilly and never ever give up. It’s a hugely competitive industry.”
Leon showed his enthusiasm about his visit to Vanderhoof having never come to the community before.
“It’s a blast visiting different communities and by adjudicating I’ve gotten to know this province better then I ever thought I could. I am absolutely looking forward to coming to Vanderhoof.” he said.
Leon will be adjudicating for the speech portion of the Performing Arts Festival March 13-14.