Jenny Taylor offers insight and advice after graduating from Humber College at the top of her class
Jenny Taylor, Class of ’11 had the full attention of Grade 9 and 10 Drama students when she returned to Trafalgar Castle School recently to conduct a workshop aimed at building confidence and learning how to shine in an audition.
The workshop began with introductory warm-ups and rhythm exercises designed to make the students feel more comfortable and connected. The students were then lead through a step-by-step professional audition process and learned all about wait times; taking turns; greeting the casting director; properly slating and profiling; picking up lines from the page; and general business etiquette.
“The girls did an especially great job of picking up lines off the page and connecting with the reader,” said Jenny. “They were very confident and present when they entered the room and I was really impressed with their poise and ability.”
In addition students explored the differences between film and theatre acting and had an opportunity to conduct video reviews of their auditions.
“The insight Jenny offered was astounding,” said Grade 10 student Laura Ramirez. “She is a great speaker and offered valuable knowledge on the do's and don'ts in the acting profession.”
Jenny’s love for the stage blossomed early, when in Grade 7 she debuted as Babet in Trafalgar’s production of Les Miserables with just two lines. Jenny graduated as Anne in the 2011 production of Anne of Green Gables. One of her fondest Trafalgar memories is when the cast and crew would all stand and hold hands in a circle and pass the squeeze around before each show. “It always made me cry. That last time on stage as Anne was particularly bittersweet and awesome.”
Jenny has just graduated at the top of her class from Humber College’s two-year Acting for Film and Television program with the School of Creative & Performing Arts and credits much of her college success to Trafalgar. “As much as film is different from the stage, Trafalgar prepared me very well,” said Jenny. “The encouragement and support from my drama classes, drama festivals, house plays and productions really fueled my passion and fire for acting. Otherwise I doubt I would have had the courage and confidence to pursue my dream.”
Jenny has several agency leads and is looking forward to launching her career in film.
Making a splash at Dal
Swimming competitively since the age of seven, Meghan Toswell, Class of ’12 headed down to the east coast of Atlantic Canada to study Health Promotion at Dalhousie University with hopes of continuing her swimming career with the Dalhousie Tigers Women’s Varsity Swim Team.Read More
Meghan made the team and went on to have her best swimming season in recent history. Her outstanding achievements were recognized when she was recently named the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Rookie of the Year for Women’s Swimming and AUS All-Star for Swimming. “I had a really amazing first year,” said Meghan. “I am very proud to be one of two rookie girls on the Dal team and extremely proud to be a Dalhousie Tiger!”
Comprised of 11 member universities, AUS is an organization responsible for governing university sport at member Atlantic Canadian universities.
In addition Meghan has been selected to swim for Team Nova Scotia at the upcoming Canada Games, which will take place in Sherbrooke, QC this August. Competition for these top spots is fierce with only 12 female swimmers and 12 male swimmers selected based on a combination of rankings and speed. “This type of meet really showcases the swimming talent we have across the country,” said Meghan. “I am so pumped for the summer and I am very excited to be competing with such an elite group of athletes.”
Meghan has switched her major and is currently studying a Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation with plans to work with children with disabilities; a cause quite near and dear to her heart. When asked about her future swimming path she had this to say: “I'm really just taking it one step at a time right now. I am determined to make the Canadian Interuniversity Sport time cut to take me to the highest level of varsity competition next year as a Dalhousie Tiger. Otherwise, I'm not quite sure. I just know I'm having the time of my life!”
Congratulations Meghan! The entire Trafalgar community will be rooting for you for the Canada Games!
Dr. Armita Rahmani, Class of 1990
I was born in Tehran in 1974 just before the revolution. One night in 1978 I remember being very frightened. My mother had gathered us into her bedroom and we were to sleep there. She got us up in the middle of the night and we were told to be very quiet. Everyone was afraid. We got into a car and drove to the airport, arriving in Geneva.Read More
We moved to Canada in March of 84. I was eleven. Regarding my schooling. They decided to send me to Trafalgar Castle School.
When the time came to go to university, I chose McGill. It’s a great place to go to school on so many levels. It’s not just a university town. There is so much going on there. Of course, I wasted my entire first year in the usual way. I had a lot of fun.
In my undergrad I did anatomy and cell biology with a minor in French literature. As well, I enjoyed French cinema. The pleasure of studying French was that it allowed me to use a completely different part of my brain. It allowed a kind of thinking that I couldn’t access in science.
For medical school I chose the University of Ottawa. I was accepted at University of Toronto too. UofT accepted 250 students and Ottawa only 100. I decided Ottawa fit my ethos more and suited my style of learning.
Students start in the hospitals as clinical clerks, but it was the first day of my internship that I remember the best. I had come to Queens to begin my residency.
July 1, 1999. Oh my god. Oh my god! There is no safety net at that point. Your orders for a patient will be processed and it’s not as though you know anymore than you did the day before, but that day they were going to do what you say. They were going to follow your directions. That day, it counted. So I was keenly aware of it. We all were that day.
That first day ended. It was July 1st and was super sunny and hot. After work I went out with a bunch of the first years. We were all relieved to get through the day. The relief, overall though, was that I understood I was going to be able to do this…ok…that probably didn’t really happen until September, but that feeling began that day. Finally, in my third year I did a rotation in the Intensive Care Unit. It was then, after I cleared the ICU, that I really knew I could do it, without at doubt. It’s hard to explain. The ICU refines the way you see patients. I now know sick from not sick just by looking at them. I can now tell their approximate state of health by all sorts of visual clues.
Then I did a rotation in the ER. Two classmates and I happened to be the first to respond to a code. My classmates panicked and for some reason, I became calm and lucid. The more serious the situation became, the more calm, I became. I knew at that moment this was the right thing for me. I like the variety and the demands in the ER. The patients can be critically ill, or not ill at all. Every socio-economic group comes in. Resuscitation is something I do well and a big ER requirement. As well, I like that at the end of eight hours, I can go home.
There are a lot of big stories. The life-saving moments are actually few and far between, but those are great. We had one this week. A woman coded in the waiting room. Of course it was terrible for her family. Television doesn’t prepare a person for seeing their loved one being worked on. They had a lot of trouble watching it, but we did save her. The next day she was sitting up and talking in her bed. I introduced myself and told her I was her Emergency Physician. She apologized for not remembering me. I told her,
“I’m not surprised. You were dead at the time.”
Advice to girls who think they might want to be mds
You have to work hard. I just worked really hard. I still work really hard.
You also have to ask yourself why you want to do it. It’s something that a person really must examine closely. Sometimes, if a kid is smart and does well in science, it’s just seen as the natural route. Sometimes people do it to make money, but there are easier ways to make money. To really be a good doctor you have to love the science and you have to love the interactions. You have to want to help people.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
I stopped planning the day my mother was hit by a car.
If I’m here and it’s exactly the same, it’s totally fine.
I have a great job. I love my job. It’s the Holy Grail to have a job you really like.
I have a really great family and an excellent core of great friends.
Three or four of my closest friends are Trafalgar friends.
More of this is great.