Author, actor, host, producer, director — media mogul Charlie David, is first and foremost, a storyteller
He’s a multi-talented guy who’s done everything from star in movies and TV shows to produce films, write books, perform as an opening act for pop superstar P!nk, narrate audio books and host a slew of TV shows.
Regardless of the medium, though, Charlie David sees himself first and foremost a storyteller.
“When it comes down to it, we’re all storytellers,” he says. “We constantly shape the lives we lead, and which types of characters we elect to share our narrative.
“I just happen to also be a storyteller for a living.”
Born Charles David Lubiniecki in Regina, Sask. in 1980 and currently living in Quebec, David showed his entertainment pedigree in high school, when he performed in the music group Sask Express.
After graduating from the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, B.C., David went on to co-found the boy band 4Now, playing the piano and opening up across Canada and the U.S. for huge names such as the Black Eyed Peas, Destiny’s Child and P!nk.
He then turned to hosting shows on E! Television, OUTtv, here!TV, Pink TV, EGO and the Life Network, including shows such as SpyTV in 2001, F.Y.E! in 2002, Crash Test Mommy in 2004-05 and Bump! in 2005-12.
He appeared in the mini-series Terminal City in 2005 and received second billing in the gay movie A Four Letter Word (2007) and Kiss the Bride (2008).
David also played the lead character of Toby in the LGBT horror series Dante’s Cove from 2005 to 2007. At the time, he said the show — along with Queer as Folk — was at the forefront of gay programming. But looking back, he remembers being up all night before shoots, fretting over how to deliver some “obtuse” lines.
“Just try saying, ‘he’s in love with you and he’s a warlock, Kevin!” says David. “I dare you.”
David made a conscious decision to be out as a gay man in both his personal life and his career, coming out 17 years ago to friends and family when he was 16 — a bold move for a teenager attending a Catholic high school in a small Saskatchewan city.
The exploration of gay themes is reflected in many of his projects, his writing and documentaries and movies he’s been involved in.
“My films and books reside in a little niche within a niche,” he said. “They’ve travelled well and sell internationally, which is great. At the end of the day I’m just grateful that I get to follow my passions and curiosity, and enough people share these that I can live a comfortable life and continue to do what I love.”
David wrote the screenplay and starred in the film Mulligans, which explores what happens to people and families when a young man and his friend’s father ‘come out.’ That film premiered at the InsideOut LGBT Film Festival in 2007.
David said while it’s a personal decision, for him ‘coming out’ was the right decision.
“I saw the fallacy of not being who I was,” he recalls. “As far as we know there’s just this one existence, so why waste this incomprehensible experience on anything other than a daily celebration of who we are?”
In 2012 and 2013, David produced two documentaries, I’m a Stripper — which he also wrote and directed — and Positive Youth, about young people living with HIV. That latter’s goal was to overcome misconceptions and to educate about HIV, to give hope to people living with the virus, and to shed light on the rise of infections among today’s youth who too often falsely believe there’s a cure for HIV.
David, who also published the novel Boy Midflight and Shadowlands, a collection of short stories, is co-owner of Border2Border Entertainment, a production house of film and television projects.
The company’s new movie, Truth, had its premiere in January.
David, who was named one of the ‘Out 100’ by Out Magazine for remarkable contributions to gay culture in 2005 in a gala in New York City, and who lives with his partner Patrick Ware in Montreal, isn’t planning on slowing down his busy professional life any time soon.
While he’s won film festival awards, he said the most heart-warming experience he’s had is receiving an email or letter from someone, telling him how his work has impacted or entertained them — sometimes years after the fact.
“That’s the true power of filmmaking: it’s the creation of something lasting,” he says.
David also hopes the day will come when someone ‘coming out’ will no longer be considered brave.
“I look forward to a time when…being one’s authentic self and loving freely are no longer courageous, but simply common ideals for all people.”
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