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But there was more to life than Whistler. And the storytelling-obsessed teenager — "I've written stuff all my life," says Angie. "My mom still has a poem I wrote in Grade 4!" — had fallen for the enthralling world of film and video. "I was kind of a good student," she explains (almost apologetically). "And we had this really cool TV Program at our school — which I took in Grade 11 and 12." She shrugs. Laughs. "And I guess that's how I managed to become a production assistant on The Beachcombers series so soon after graduation. Oh my God — for me, that was the ultimate job!"
Remember The Beachcombers? Shot on location in and around Gibsons, the rootsy TV comedy about a log salvager (Bruno Gerussi) and his motley crew of misfits and eccentrics (Jackson Davies et al) became something of a launchpad for the burgeoning film community soon to be labelled "Hollywood North." And Angie was only too happy to ride the swell and gain valuable experience as a junior member of the crew. "Still to this day," she admits, "That Beachcombers job holds a special place in my heart." She sighs. "Almost like a first love..."
So what if she was at the bottom of the totem pole. Angie was finally working in the film business. "The production assistant," she explains, "is known as the 'lollypop-girl.' She's like the production team slave. But it didn't matter. I was learning so much." Because film-workers had yet to organize, Angie was asked to do all sorts of jobs that she'd never get to do on today's union-controlled sets. "And that was totally cool. It was kind of like an immersion course in filmmaking and production."
But the self-styled "kind of a good student" wasn't finished with conventional school just yet. The PA job was just a summer gig after all. Angie still had a university degree to complete. "I attended Capilano College and UVic from '88-'92," she says. "I took theatre, English and psychology — as well as various technical film courses."
Between classes (and film-work stints), she and her friends would head up to Whistler as often as they could. "I wanted so badly to live fulltime at Whistler," she says. "But I also wanted so badly to work in the film business..."
It's the kind of life-work conundrum that most Whistlerites know only too well. And Angie did her best to strike some kind of balance between her two loves. But she quickly realized just how difficult that balancing act was.