ENSURING THE SCHOOL’S FUTURE
By Christopher DiRaddo
While NTS Governor Alan Bleviss was in Montreal for the last annual general meeting, he also had to perform. A graduate of the School’s Acting program (1966), Bleviss is one of the main voices of the American Democratic National Party and while he was in
town he had to book studio time to record advertisements. “Right now it’s busy and I’m very happy about that.”.
“I want to make sure that the School is still there and that any student who can’t afford to will be able to go.”
© Alain Dufour
Work has definitely been non-stop for the 65 year-old Bleviss. Perhaps best know for his voice, Bleviss’s dulcet tones and warm and mellow timbre have been used on everything from ads for Canada Dry and Enterprise car rentals to documentaries about space programs and September 11th.
Politicians, corporations and production companies all hire Bleviss to help get their message to the public with a voice that is both comforting and trustworthy. In 2005, he kindly lent his voice to the School’s commercial, a lovely twist of fate as he got his start here at the NTS.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the School,” Bleviss says over the phone from New York City where he now lives. “I always felt that it was an honour to be accepted in the first place, way back in 1963... I had no money. I was very poor
but my family was not. My father refused to accept what I wanted to do with my life.”
Despite his father’s objections, Bleviss moved to Montreal at the age of 23 from the small town of Lamont, Alberta. After three years of training he ended up leaving the School with a better understanding of both himself and his country. “The School broadened
every aspect of my life,” he says. “That’s why I came to Montreal in the beginning. Now I go back to make sure the School still exists... That passion never leaves. I guess that’s why I’m still involved.”
Bleviss is currently one of two alumni – the other being Bill Millerd, 1968 Technical Production graduate – to sit on the NTS’s Board of Governors (active since 1990). A member of the Executive Committee, he is also the President of the School’s Alumni Association,
an initiative he helped to spearhead in 2003. “The Alumni Association bridges our family and lets other people know that there is a bigger family out there.”
Through his dealings Bleviss has connected with alumni in Australia, England and Germany. He has also personally met with former graduates living in Toronto and New York City. Although the organization is only three years old, Bleviss says that alumni are indeed taking advantage of the
Association but he wishes more and more young people would write in. “We’d love people to use it even just for conversation. It’s a form of mentorship and something that we encourage,” he says. “The ones who’ve gone before are happy to open their hearts
and their minds... but only if they’re asked. They have to be asked.”
With all of the requirements on his time and the fact that he no longer lives in Canada, Bleviss is still more than happy to be there for the School, both as a governor and as a donor. The NTS lent him a hand when he needed help the most.
“When I think back to my father not being very happy about my going to the School and my determination to do so, I want to make sure that the School is still there and that any student who can’t afford to will be able to go.”
For Bleviss the School represents the highest quality of education in the theatre. “I think the finest in North America... Every time I go back and hear those students (speaking about their experiences) it takes me back to when I was there. I love to see that
the School is still thriving.”
Interested in learning more?
For more information about the Alumni Association, please visit ent-nts.qc.ca/nts/alu_asso.htm
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