Heldor Schäfer

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

I have always envied writers who, on their résumés, can rattle off such noteworthy job experiences as bush pilot, trapper and fisherman -- truly iconic Canadian professions. But wait, maybe my own vocations sound just as romantic to those who don’t know any better.
My first job training was in land surveying and cartography (just like Hugh Grant in "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain"), I have taught ballroom dancing (à la Patrick Swayze in "Dirty Dancing"), worked as a news reporter (before Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford did it in "All the President’s Men"), and eventually established myself as a publisher (like Sean Connery in "Russia House"), before becoming a theatre director (Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Synecdoche"). During the summers I now work as a harbour ferry tour boat captain (somewhat less glamorous than the Skipper, Alan Hale Jr., on "Gilligan’s Island")...
During two decades of running small town newspapers and a magazine, much of my spare time was spent volunteering for community theatre. And that’s where I gained valuable experience in a field that would become my passion and provide me with a new career. That meant back to school as a mature student, and before I knew it I was the proud owner of a second fine arts degree (the first one, 25 years before, was in creative writing, a subject of similarly doubtful commercial value as is theatre).
Over the years I have worked as stage manager, sound designer, lighting operator and actor, while my creative writing output has included translating a couple of radio plays for CBC and adapting two children's stories by BC author Jean Speare that were presented in summer stock and at Expo 86 respectively. One of them, "The Princess Swan", has been published in Canada, India and Singapore. My own plays, meanwhile, have been performed in college and community theatres in Canada, the USA, and overseas in such diverse places as Stratford, Gibraltar and Dubai.

  • Work
    • Publisher
  • Education
    • BFA theatre & writing