dan levy toronto

Dan Levy says he didn't have the confidence to pursue his dreams in university

Before he was an award-winning, critically-acclaimed actor, director, producer and writer, Dan Levy was an insecure young person trying to find his place in the world — and it wasn't always easy.

The Toronto-born Schitt's Creek co-creator sat down for a virtual Q&A session with Pitt Program Council this week, according to The Pitt News, and he shared plenty of personal details about what it was like getting started in the industry and some of the challenges he faced. 

"By the time I left high school, I knew I wanted to be an actor, but I didn't audition for theater school because I was too scared," Levy told moderator Quincey Johnston. "That was a direct result of never feeling totally confident in myself in high school, because it's a toxic environment where you have bullying."

So, he instead decided to pursue a degree in film production at York and Ryerson University, though he said he knew off the bat that it wasn't the right program for him.

"I ended up going along with it with this nagging feeling that I wasn't on a clear path for myself," Levy said. "I never quite fit in with the film school kids and would always look at the theater kids with a lot of jealousy and regret."

Just three months before graduation, Levy dropped out of school to take a job as a host with MTV Canada, which helped launch the young star's career.

But Levy clarified that choosing to leave school to take the position was not an easy decision.

"It was a very hard decision for me, but I think because I was in a creative field and I had the opportunity to apply my skills in a very practical way, it felt like the right move to make," he said

The celebrity, who still lives in Toronto, stayed in the job until he was 28, at which point he left and started working on a little project called Schitt's Creek with father Eugene Levy

"One day, I just sat down and started writing this idea for a TV show about a wealthy family that lost their money," Levy said. "I called my dad, who I had never turned to for help throughout my entire life because the concept of nepotism was my biggest fear."

And although he said he was hesitant to partner with his dad at first, Levy said working on Schitt's Creek was what led him to find his true passion and purpose in life.

"I think sometimes we put a lot of expectations on ourselves to know exactly what we want to do in life, but it doesn't work like that," he said. "You will inevitably find your path, and it wasn't until I got into that position that I realized, 'Oh, this is the job for me.'"

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Dan Levy


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