I grew up in Ukraine and St. Petersburg, Russia. It was there in St. Petersburg, in the walls of The Bolshoi Theater, that I was for the first time exposed to and transformed by the magic of acting and the performing arts. With my mother’s large library at home, theatre gasped in to my world through characters of popular Russian classics: Gogol, Chechkov, Bulgakov, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy were giants to me.
In eastern Ukraine, my father (an English Professor) ran a private school and our place was often full of students. At age 12 I was transferred to an English specialty school and at 14, translated a book, the “Encyclopedia for kids”, from English to Russian. I went on helping my father teaching foreign students colloquial Russian. After the collapse of the Iron Curtain, the local video markets got flooded with Hollywood blockbusters of all kinds. The demand for Film/TV dubbing/translation was high and my father got involved in the business with myself as his assistant. I found that work particularly interesting. It is amazing to realize now that the translation experience gained then became a solid base for the unique set of skills I bring to the film set today as dialect coach.
1996 was a big year for me, I graduated from high school in Kharkov, Ukraine at the age of 16 and my family decided to move to Vancouver. The idea of moving to Hollywood North was extravagant, and after a year in Vancouver, I had my first role as Second Officer in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at the Richmond Gateway Theater. This was followed by my first professional debut in 2000 with a Guest Star appearance on CTV’s popular TV Series Cold Squad as Mikel, NHL hockey superstar. In 2005, I graduated from the Cinematography & Film program at Capilano University. As an actor, this gave me the invaluable insight of seeing things from the other side of the camera. Parallel to this, I worked as translator and editor for the Russian newspaper Russian Valley and as an instructor for English In Memory tutoring agency.
A wise man once said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. I believe this and feel fortunate that today, I am fully committed to film and live my dream as an actor, Russian/Ukrainian dialect coach and scene study coach. It’s amazing that after so many years, I still feel the same electricity every time I’m on a movie set, and the exhilaration of interacting with the unique brand of individuals in the industry and creating something bigger than myself is a constant fuel for my growth as an actor and coach.