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Supporter Spotlight: Patti Allan

“It’s that old cliché:  Some work to live on the weekend — artists live to work all the time. It is an essential part of who we are. It’s our life,” says actor Patti Allan.

It’s a life she loves, but one that she admits comes with some challenges.

Allan ran into one of those challenges early in her career after a sudden back injury forced her to pull out of a theatre production.

“I was devastated because I was still fairly new to theatre and I loved it,” she recalls. “I loved everything about it and I was excited about the project I was working on.”

While recovering from the ensuing back surgery, the general manager of the theatre company she was with told her about The AFC.

“Being relatively new in the profession, I was gobsmacked to learn that there was such an organization that would — with no strings attached — be able and willing to help me financially,” Allan says.

“It was quite unbelievable, but such an immense relief to know that I was going to be looked after financially and would not have to worry at this already physically and emotionally distressing time.”

While in the hospital, Allan was offered a role in a theatre production that was starting shortly. With rest, rehab and guidance from her doctor, she was able to recover in time to take on the role.

Since then, Allan has worked continuously in theatre, film and TV.  She is also a teacher, working for The Richmond Gateway Academy; as artist-in-residence for the Vancouver School Board, teaching theatre skills and directing shows in elementary schools throughout the Greater Vancouver Area; and as a sessional teacher for first-year theatre students at Simon Fraser University.

“I love the variety. When acting, it’s exciting to dig into the deepest parts of character and self and learn about what the respective worlds’ entail and ask of us. I love the unending myriad of circumstances one encounters, when we have the privileged opportunity to create and offer story to an audience,” Allan says. “Inside the teaching area, I am passionate about what theatre arts bring to individuals — the opening up to new possibilities and the creation of ‘community’.”

Though she hasn’t needed to turn to The AFC since that first time early in her career, Allan has maintained a strong connection to the organization over the years.

“Subsequent to the time of my injury, I made a personal commitment to advocate for The AFC in whatever ways I could. In sharing information about the organization, I’ve learned that there are people who simply do not know it’s out there, and not just fellow actors, but designers, musicians and technicians, as well,” Allan says.

“I continue my own commitment to making contributions to The AFC as often as I can, no matter how large or small the amount. For me, it’s the habit that works well. I want to do my part in helping to maintain the longevity of this remarkable organization that works tirelessly to help so many. What an honourable objective to want to help those in need, especially within the arts, where there is often not much security or surety when people come upon hard times.”

It is through the generous support of donors like Patti Allan that The AFC is able to help entertainment professionals in need and we are extremely grateful for Patti’s ongoing support.

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