Name: Brent M.
Profession: Writer/film agent assistant
Born/raised in: Los Angeles, California
Living in Canada since: 1971
Favorite Country: Canada
T: Brent, originally you are from LA, California. When and why did you move to Vancouver, Canada?
Brent: When I was a kid and teenager I dreamed of living in the wilderness and having my own horse ranch. When I was nineteen I was drafted in the US military and my choices were to fight in a war I did not believe in, go to jail, or flee to Canada. I hiked across the northern border in Washington state into British Columbia with my wife and infant son and $20 and I have been in Canada ever since. I was able to have my ranch in the wilderness and avoid the war at the same time.
S: I made the experience that people from the US are making fun of the Canadians. Why do you think is that?
I did not think that Americans made fun of Canadians as Americans usually think more about themselves than their neighbors. I find that in both countries, the US and Canada, regional differences are great, from the West Coast to the East Coast, Prairies, big city folks and country folks, all being very different from each other in both countries. I do think generally that Canadians are more inclined to think of the outside world, outside of Canada I mean, while Americans are more concerned with what happens in their country and only interested in the rest of the world in how it will affect them at home.
T: You are working in the film industry. What does your job look like?
I work in both the film industry and as a writer of fiction. Both jobs require me to type on the computer for hours every day, which I do enjoy. I used to play the piano and make music now I play the computer keyboard and make stories. My film industry job consists mainly of receiving information every evening from Casting Directors with work details for our performers for the following day. I edit the information and send it out to our folks and make sure they understand it and confirm they will show up on set the following day. This job requires me to have a great understanding of what happens on set, ability to read production call sheets and provide directions to all the various sets throughout the lower mainland – Greater Vancouver and suburbs. I have always enjoyed writing and have written stories since I was a child so I do love that. I like organizing the information at night too as I am fundamentally an organized person.
S: Have you ever worked with a celebrity and can you give some interesting gossip? 🙂
I have worked beside quite a few celebrities but in my position I must maintain strict confidentiality. So sorry, no juicy gossip to pass on!
S: Oh, no! What a shame. The day we stepped into Vancouver we loved the city. What does it make so special?
Vancouver has a beautiful setting, beside the ocean and with the mountains almost close enough to touch. Also, the climate is so temperate, never too hot or too cold, and the air is so fresh off the sea. I believe the gorgeous surroundings make people happy every day just to be here. Also it is very important to the locals, and Canadians in general, to keep a tidy environment and to have as much of nature preserved as possible, even in the city. Nature and the environment are inescapably a part of those who choose to live in Vancouver. I like everything about Vancouver.
T: Please describe your typical day in the city!
I write at my computer in the mornings until about noon. I generally take a break then for 3-4 hours and take a walk along the sea wall for several hours, or work out in the gym, or swim in the pool, or ride my bicycle. Then at around 4pm I begin my evening work at my computer and finish up about midnight. That is a typical day!
My favorite place is Stanley Park. I enjoy walking along the sea wall and breathing in the fresh air as well as hiking up into the woods. I also work out at the outdoor Rugby field in the Park where they have a work out area, and I ride my bicycle around the sea wall often. I do a yoga workout in the park every day when it is not raining. I love to be outdoors as much as possible and I love the sea and the woods.
S: It’s all about money: we heard that the Canadians are very economically when it comes to money. That’s nothing what most people think about the US citizens. What does money mean to you?
Usually Canadians think it is rude to ask someone about money even though they are concerned about it! I myself am strict with my budget and that is the only way I can make ends meet and still get things I want. As a culture, Canadians have learned to get everything on sale. Why pay $10 for something if you can find it for $5. No one is embarrassed to look for a cheaper deal, in fact they brag about how little they paid. In contrast, I think Americans brag about how much they paid.
T: What do you think about Europeans in general?
I have only been to London and I loved it although it was January and very cold! I loved the buildings and their historic aspects and would love to go there again or anywhere in Europe. In general I find Europeans very sophisticated and more open minded than most people from other cultures. The Europeans who live in Canada and visit here seem to be more inclined to see the world as a bigger place and not just concerned with their little part in it.
S: What means happiness to you – do you think you are a happy person?
I am a happy person generally just because it is my nature I believe. If I have a choice between being optimistic and pessimistic, I always choose optimism. I think being happy is less about what happens in your life and more about how you accept it and allow yourself to feel about it.
T: What’s your biggest wish?
More money, more love, more work published – probably all in one!
Question 11: What do you appreciate most about your hometown? And I mean the city you are originally from.
My hometown would probably be Los Angeles since I was born there and lived there until I was nine. I loved the beaches the most and loved how the people spent so much time there swimming or surfing or walking along the strand. Los Angeles is a lot like Vancouver in that way, mild weather and the fresh ocean air and people that love the outdoors.