Léonie came about by a chance meeting at the Vancouver General Hospital of a Saskatchewan-born German nurse and a Thunder Bay anesthesiologist with Liverpudlian antecedents. These two lovebirds married, moved to Victoria and, in the fullness of time, increased the population of Canada by one. Two years later, the population decreased again, and Léonie was left motherless.
Chapter One (education)
Now the only daughter of a single working doctor, Léonie grew up in a rambling old house near the beach complete with secret passages, a wishing well, a gardener and a maid, and a yard, more moss than lawn, that played host to robins, fir trees, quails, raccoons, and the occasional confused hiker wondering why the path from the parkland ended in the back of a house instead of the street. Notwithstanding occasional emergency babysitting sessions by the recovery room nurses of the Jubilee hospital, Léonie was cared for by a British nanny named Doreen, and was raised on crumpets, margarine and stories about the war. Her succession of pets included hamsters, rats, goldfish, a frog called Swimmy that she raised from a tadpole and, one summer, a family of raccoons that took up residence between the floor of the upstairs deck and the family room ceiling. When she was 14, she acquired a puppy from a fortuitous accidental rendezvous between the next-door neighbors’ golden retrievers.
Chapter Two (the other stuff)
Léonie attended private school, complete with uniforms and school houses, through Grade Ten, tried public school on for size in Grade Eleven and decided that she was having none of it. Despite not attending ninety percent of her final year of high school, Léonie graduated with honours, spent a gap year working in the restaurant business, and then moved on to university, where she studied psychology at the University of Victoria and wrote for the school paper, the Martlet. Halfway through Research Psych 201, Léonie decided that it was more interesting watching paint dry than conducting research studies, so she ran away to acting school in Los Angeles. She graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts with her Associate’s degree in theatre, and moved back to BC, where the weather is kinder to redheads, trees aren’t just a rumour, and the clouds occasionally show up to work.
Chapter Three (modern life)
Léonie recently produced a web series, Dollar Cinema, in which she also appeared as a movie concession girl with attitude issues, wrote and produced a site-specific play for the 2013 Vancouver Fringe Festival, in which she played the Celtic goddess of death and destruction, and is currently working on two theatre pieces, a web series and and a screenplay. Her ambition is to be the first woman to win an Oscar for both best actress and best director, and failing the first, will settle for being the best. She has studied with Jeb Beach, Bradley Stryker and Robin Nielsen at the Actor’s Foundry, and Matthew Harrison at the Foundry, dabbled in the business side of acting with Liz Levine, and attends workshops as the opportunity arises.
Chapter Four (who’s doing the living)
Léonie is passionate about the art and craft of storytelling and the why of the human experience, which fascination has given her an abiding interest in a range of topics ranging from mythology and theology to true crime accounts of serial killers and genocides. Her hobbies include jewellery making, anything outdoors and reading (favorite authors: Terry Pratchett, Karen Armstrong, Georgette Heyer). She sings, plays the flute and the accoustic guitar, and can pick out a melody on the piano as long as you don’t expect her to use both hands. While she does own a pair of Lulu Lemons, she prefers ballet to yoga, rides horses whenever time and budget permits, and would rather watch the Summer Olympics than the Winter because it contains both artistic gymnastics and soccer. She enjoys collecting sweaters.