Dean grew up in Calgary, Alberta Canada and worked for twenty years in the entertainment industry before embarking on a career teaching English abroad. As a young man, he sang in various local rock bands and learned a little about music. He discovered he had a love for theatre when he enrolled in the Theatre Arts program at Mount Royal University (nee College) and learned a little about taking on a character and putting on a show. As a performer, Dean acted, sang and even danced a little on stages from Agassiz to Winnipeg to Fort McMurray. He began working behind the scenes at concerts and in live theatre at the same time, in part at first to mitigate the realty of being a Starving Artist. That was where he really learned how to put on a show. It was an easy side step from Backstage to On Set in film and TV. Dean joined the union and worked as a Grip (including Best Boy and Key positions), Lamp Operator and Driver. What was originally supposed to be a 5 year hiatus from “The Biz” turned into a Second Act of sorts. So far, he’s lived in Turkey 9 years (he met his wife there) and Germany for 6 years (and counting).
So, The Raven, eh?
This mythical creature has appeared in literature ever since people began writing things down, and in the folklore of Indigenous Peoples for millennia before that famous tale by Edgar Allan Poe caught the imagination of a Western Canadian teenager, sparked by The Alan Parsons Project (and Altered States of Consciousness). A connection formed, and The Raven, his spirit animal, has been a part of his personal and professional endeavours ever since. Back in the Eighties, when he was a young man finding his way in the world (and trying to come up with an idea that would define a purpose that he could identify as meaningful), he discovered (or maybe was discovered by) The Raven. He called his first production company “Blackbird Productions” because the Raven had been taken. Despite this setback, he enjoyed a creative education in making music, live theatre, and short films, and paid the bills doing corporate videos for local Calgary businesses.