Helene's a cynical childfree Canadian of the forgotten Generation X. She's moved 25 times even landing in Jersey City to help her spouse navigate mob clients while she worked in NYC's film & tv scene. Her voice often reflects under-served characters where they discover the gusto to fight for themselves and the forgotten underdogs, with storylines torn out of her life, headlines or inspired by IP.
She's part of a group of talented working writer peers in a Canadian writer’s group MAPLESCRIBES. She established MOCK ROOM, a private group of select writers who collectively master skills breaking story and role playing in a real-time writing room.
Any writer who creates a world and female characters that are layered and complicated and honest and messy is a writer she obsessively follows. And right now, it's Kerry Ehrin (The Morning Show). There's so much about television right now that's exciting, can we do a shout out to all things Phoebe Waller-Bridge? One of many favorite tv show's is Mike White's Enlightened with Laura Dern (why, why, why was this cancelled?). It’s viscerally truthful, perfectly painful and funny or Liz Feldman's series Dead to Me and how the female protagonists express all range of emotion (for once!). It's a reflection of where we are going writing-wise in honoring the complexities of the human condition, and she's breaking it wide open. And of course Canadian favs Corner Gas, Schitt's Creek, JANN, Kim's Convenience. Helene doesn’t have a favorite movie, but she’d say the tone she loves most and writes most similarly to is Nicole Holofcener's Friends with Money. She creates these beautifully authentic, flawed women going through things.
Helene’s strong in world-building, a story engine and she's often used to punch up dialogue or brainstorm fresh and unique ways for characters to move about in their world. She’s a stealth researcher and brings depth to characters and plot lines. Once an idea or concept is in her head it comes out lightning fast and she’s great under pressure. Her tone tends towards acerbic humour that lends itself well to dramatic scenes and she typically writes drama with a lighter bent, or comedy with a darker storyline.
As a Canadian who lived in New York for 15 years, I'm half GEE GOLLY, SORRY and half FUCK YOU, THE BEST PIZZA’S IN BROOKLYN. I'm passionate about television. It's not a hobby. It's an addiction since I've been four. I wrote my first story ever to Santa. It made the newspaper's front page, and I was hooked. My journalism teacher in high school had me write almost the entire school annual one year. I got an A in exchange for my services - so I guess you could say I've been a writer for "hire" since my teens. I wrote my first screenplay in grade 12 that won a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation mentorship with a producer.
I'm a first-generation Canadian. My parents immigrated to Canada from Germany and the UK. They had their accents until the day they died. I'm a middle-aged orphan. On a cellular level I know I carry the trauma my parents endured during World War II.
My life experiences have been so wholly polarizing and unifying and odd; sometimes, people don't believe this is my real life. I set it up that way, I always need to get into something new and curiosity has put me in some interesting situations. I've witnessed the terrifying power of a billionaire and lunched with them in a tiny village in China, and I've been in the dirt basement with the man who apparently buried Jimmy Hoffa and I joked about it. Note to self. DON'T JOKE TO MOBSTERS. Even when I do nothing I have a tendency to do a hundred more things than the average human. I suspect it's my heritage to keep moving and I tend to do things either a mock speed or gestate to eternity.
I've moved twenty-five-plus times — some small moves, up a few floors to a better view to across countries from Vancouver's laid back Pacific Northwest to the bustle of New York City and back. And what I learned is traffic is worse in Vancouver. I go through phases of obsessions; whether it be antique furniture collecting or pickling everything, I can't tell you one hobby because my hobby is hobbies.
My life experiences are expansive from witnessing my father near-drown down a canyon waterfall to working the first Tribeca Film Festival post 9/11. At one point, I held five jobs at once to create abundance in my life. That's bullshit. I was desperate to afford my rent when I made the mistake of moving across country for a boyfriend. To survive, I was 1. a human science experiment at a college, 2. the only female garbage dissector to mountains of trash at landfills (I lasted longer than any man) 3.tour guide at a museum's spider exhibit, 4. cell phone salesman 5. waitress in the theater district. I lived in a condemned house. I walked backward out of that house every day to find a job. I figured the traffic that piled up out front would assume I was a realtor looking at an abandoned house to sell, not the poor girl living in rat feces and broken windows. I worked in New York's theater district's film center as a script reader until I became an actress on the groundbreaking HULU series Anyone But Me and worked alongside the talented Edie Falco in her series Nurse Jackie as her stand-in. The adventures will never stop and the stories will keep coming. What's next?