|Ivan Smith: No more gray|
As Ivan put it:
"When the dye of the fabric leaves, you're left with sort of a gray … when the color starts to leave it's time for a change."
It's "less of a mental thing and more of a feeling of the heart," he explained.
And so, after 35 years, Ivan left his career as a pioneering educator in Montreal, developing alternative schools for high school drop outs. A behavioral consultant with a background in psychology, he became "part of a therapeutic intervention team to help kids with behavioral differences and other differences and their families to make schools and their lives a happier and better experience."
"I always in life want to maintain the color, maintain the exuberance, maintain the energy," he said of his leaving. I've never been in a job that I dreaded or disliked or luckily needed financially. ...I tend to change my life when the color does deplete."
But Ivan had --and still has -- a second love.
"I was always an actor, always will be, I think."
Since his first TV role as a teenager, Ivan has performed part time on TV, on stage in Montreal, and in movies such as Dr. Baboor, in The Phantom. See his many creds here.
Where once he was picky about his roles, trying to balance work and acting, he now has the time to go out for cattle calls. "It's a bit of a crush on the ego but at this age you learn to cope with rejection."
A year after leaving the education world, Ivan is is surprised, in retrospect, at how much easier it is for him to now "unplug." It used to take him about 40 minutes of walking or running to feel good, to relax. Now, it happens in 15 minutes. "I'd come home and I thought I had border control but apparently I didn't," he explained. "All the negativity that you have to deal with travels with you, stays somewhere in the crevices of your mind. The children who are being abused. The parents who are irate. The principals who don't understand."
His goal: "to continue being freed and savoring the smaller things in life. You need very little to be happy. A walk will do it. A good meal. Friendship is really important All the supposedly cliche things are true…A passion is important. I've started painting again. I love cooking and am developing that skill.
"You have to have something you want to do so that fabric doesn't turn gray. You need the color."
And occasionally, klieg lights.