How did you become a writer for Disney? Q&A with arts alumna Stephie Theodora.

Posted on Friday, September 22, 2017

Stephie Theodora

1. Describe the road you have taken since graduating from the University of Ottawa.

After graduation, I took my theatre company to Germany to set up shop. I ran the Black Hand Theatre Collective in a 50-seat black box in Berlin for nearly a year. I was living the life I thought about every day in university. At this point, writing and directing theatre was the only thing I had been doing since I was 17 and I wanted to try a life in music. I started a web radio show and it quickly was picked up by a station in New York. Weekly, Boogie Hour with Stephie Strumpet ran on the WTNR Radio network, featuring lost jazz music of the early 20th century as well as special guests.  At this time I also DJed in Berlin’s nightclubs, festivals and weddings. I also played trumpet in a couple of bands and was the lead singer of Europe’s trashiest band, the Polymonsters. After two years in music, I turned my interest to video games and interned at the Berlin startup Wooga. Wooga turned into one of Europe’s leading mobile games studios, and during my four years with the company I worked my way up to games designer and writer for some of their hit titles, including Pearl’s Peril, which has over 90 million players today. After nearly eight years in Berlin, Los Angeles was calling and an offer to write for television had me leaving Europe behind. Since November 2016, I’ve been living in Los Angeles writing for Hasbro, Disney and CBBC as well as doing voices for cartoons on Netflix.

2. As a student, what was your dream job? Did it change or do you feel like you have achieved it?

My dream was always to work in theatre and tour around the world. Once I got to Berlin and travelled with my scripts, I felt like I achieved this and was ready for new challenges and to try everything that interested me.

3. What knowledge or skills you acquired through your university education have been the most helpful in the job market?

Critical thinking has been a very important skill. Time management and really crunching for big projects, similar to cramming for exams or a big paper. Done and not perfect also comes to mind as important step into getting yourself out there and not being too critical of your own work.

4. What advice do you have to share with students and new graduates?

Create things and let that be your vehicle to the career you want. You’ll write 100 emails and get one positive response back, but in the end that one email could be all you’ll need. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help. No one makes their career alone and those advocates who help you are just handing down the favour from the people who helped them. And I still believe a good night sleep is really important.

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