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AJ Dahler is a Canadian-American comedy writer in Toronto.

She has previously been a (very good) Nordstrom sales associate, an (even better) short order cook, grocery clerk, journalist, event producer, food blogger, proposal writer, presentation designer, and finally a freelance writer/producer (which she still is).

She was raised in rural Pennsylvania by young and very creative parents before going off to university and spending her earliest working years in Russia chasing the secrets to literary genius and going to amazing parties. Finding Russian life intense after three years, she left Moscow for grad school in Toronto, where she stayed long enough to appreciate CBC, the idea of the cottage, and butter tarts. She spent two years in Vancouver, learning to both chill and manage anxiety, before moving back to Toronto. She's now polite but doesn't over-apologize.

In addition to American and Canadian English, she’s fluent in Russian, can read French, and produces convincing vaguely foreign-sounding accents (from years of trying to hide her own mid-Atlantic background). She holds a B.A. in Russian literature from Bryn Mawr College (just like Midge Maisel!) and an M.A. from the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

Resume

Profile

Seeking TV writing staff position. Super-detailed and skilled with Final Draft Pro. Spec / original samples available (see writing projects for synopses).

 

Work Experience

Freelance writer / producer
Toronto, ON / Vancouver, BC
November 2015 to present


Communications manager | Proposal manager | Senior proposal specialist
Grant Thornton LLP
Toronto, ON
June 2011 to November 2015

 

Marketing manager | Marketing coordinator | Editor
Dechert LLP /
Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Moscow, Russia
Sept 2007 to Sept 2009

 

Education

M.A. European, Russian and Eurasian Studies
Munk School of Global Affairs (University of Toronto)
Fall 2009 to Fall 2011

B.A. Russian literature
Bryn Mawr College
Fall 2003 to Spring 2007

 

Relevant training

Original Spec Scripts for TV
Second City Toronto    
Present

Comedy Writing Workshop
Raindance
Summer 2014

Screenwriting
School of Continuing Studies University of Toronto
2012-2013

 

Skills & Languages

Writing

Final Draft 10

Adobe Premiere Pro

Event planning and attending ;-)

English

Russian

French

 
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Writing projects

FAMILY FIRST (spec) | Schitt’s Creek 

David gets a lesson in parenting, while Alexis makes an effort to share interests with Ted. Johnny and Stevie compromise to run a better business. [complete draft]

2 MOMS 2 BE | ORIGINAL half hour PILOT (comedy)

Danielle and Sarah are ready to become moms and complete their budding family—the only problem is their donor dad. [pitch / draft]

LIKE FATHER LIKE DAUGHTER | ORIGINAL half hour PILOT (comedy)

Jillian moves back home with her womanizing father after a bad breakup with her girlfriend. Together they manage each other’s dysfunctional dating habits. [pitch / draft]

THIS IS PARADISE | web series (comedy)

Paradise Landing is a vacation trailer park that opens for business every summer, welcoming an array of odd characters from a cross-section of society. Run by long-time partners Erika and Deb, they break up fights, host weddings, and keep the raccoons happy. [pitch / draft]

AMERICAN SOULS | Feature screenplay (drama / comedy)

Fed up with an unjust system, a young social worker sets out to get justice for her clients by starting a ponzi scheme among her father's oil-rich friends and feed the profits into social good. [incomplete draft]

JANUARY 1995 | Feature screenplay (drama)

A young father loses his legs on the job and sets out for justice, reclaiming his life and relationships. Based on a true story. [incomplete draft]

TOO SMART FOR YOUR OWN GOOD | memoir (comedy)

Growing up female with ADHD that wasn’t diagnosed until my early 30s. [pitch / draft]

Buddhist Politics in Russia | 20 Min documentary

Self-produced documentary featuring archival material and interviews with Buddhist leaders in Siberia’s Ulan-Ude community on Lake Baikal. [complete — viewable at https://vimeo.com/157960975