Who/What/Where Am I Now?
My name is Dylan Moscovitch and it is both an honour and pleasure to be the Skate Ontario Skater In Residence for the month of February. I want to start by thanking you all for your continued interest, passion and support for figure skating in Ontario, Canada and the World. As a sport, we’d be nothing without our fans and all the passionate people working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep things running.
I’ll start with an update on what I’ve been up to since officially retiring from competitive skating almost two years ago, but to do that I will rewind a bit to the 2014-2018 Olympic cycle. Since I had been quite sure that I’d be retiring after the 2017/2018 season, I had started taking some business management and entrepreneurship classes at the UofT School for Continuing Studies from 2014-2017. I took the year off classes leading into the Olympic season and had some major changes in my personal life which made me realize that I was actually still passionate about pursuing acting. In the fall of 2017, I signed with B&M Modelling agency, started going to some commercial auditions and took some drop-in improv classes. I was hooked.
All seemed on track going into the end of 2017 for me to finish my career with a bang, move on to a show skating career and start acting at the same time. But all of that was derailed when I had a major accident three weeks before nationals. Sparing the details, my accident left me with stitches, an injured hand, and a concussion. This set back derailed our training and left us with only a few days of training together before we left for nationals. We tried our best to handle the situation but in the end, our lack of preparation and my concussion were too tough to overcome and we ended up off the podium and missing the Olympic team. After a tragic attempt at finishing my career on a high note at 4 Continents, which in hindsight was a poor choice, I returned home mentally, emotionally and physically broken. This was one of the darkest and hardest times in my life. Everything I had learned in my career was now being put to the test as I had to pick up the pieces and find my strength and resilience all the while navigating the world as (what felt like) a newborn.
How do you adult? Am I doing it right? What’s an RRSP? They can tax my income? Why is no one standing and applauding my efforts??
Everything used to make so much sense. Every day was planned. I had clear goals and a plethora of knowledge and experience on how to achieve them. I went from having four year plans to not even having four day plans! I quickly learned that sometimes it’s okay to not be okay. A notion that I aggressively avoided as an athlete. Especially as a pair partner. I always felt like I had to be a rock. I felt responsible for everything. It was now time to allow myself to let go and just be for a bit. And I did! I had fun! I had impromptu trips. I adventured, both at home and around the world, with the best of friends. I travel with my amazing human, Sharon, as she chases her own dreams as a professional tennis player. I’ve led the opposite life of an athlete. Minus being active…I. Can’t. Stop. My life’s been unpredictable and unstable. Beautifully chaotic. In a sense, my soul felt free. But in another sense, I was heartbroken, lost and terrified.
Acting class became my therapy. I was forced to stop pushing myself and to start letting go and surrendering. Vulnerability and flaws became assets and strengths. The very essence of acting is to call upon the whole spectrum of the human experience and perform emotional athletics. The further I moved towards the discomfort, the more I learned about myself. I started acting because I love to perform and to entertain, but I fell in love with acting because I also got to know myself on a deeper level. The flawed, damaged and more human parts of Dylan. I had to start at the beginning again. I GOT to start at the beginning again. I got to feel that same fear and adrenaline that I felt as a Nervous, sorry Novice, man competing at sectionals. It was humbling going from the highest stage in the world to being in a waiting room for a commercial audition with 20 guys that look similar to you and then have to go in and improv/mime riding a bicycle while sitting on a stool and have 10 people sit behind a table and watch you silently. Terrifying. Horrifying at times. Amazing! So much opportunity to grow and develop. I had found my new skating.
I have since grown immensely, as an actor and a person, and yet keep learning that I still am just scratching the surface of it all. I have embraced identifying myself as an artist and am no longer shy, but rather proud of that. I have acted in two major productions in the last year (very small roles but it’s a start!). I have found another new passion in screenwriting, where I have another outlet to tell stories and create and I’m currently, and very enthusiastically, writing a series. I am developing a podcast that discusses mental performance in high performing individuals that range across many fields. I hope to release the first few episodes soon. And aside from coaching part-time, commentary for CBC and seminars and speeches, one of my favourite new ventures, and one that also keeps me close to skating, is the show I co-host with Asher Hill on CBC’s YouTube channel called That Figure Skating Show. I get to have fun just being me on camera, hanging out with an old friend, and discussing the sport that shaped me into the that man I am today.
Who am I now? I’m still the same Dylan…and then some. I’m still the same guy with big dreams, a dorky sense of humour and an unquenchable love of being around people. But I’m also a new man, one who is realizing that It’s okay to be uncertain and to not have all the answers. I understand more than ever that we are all a work in progress and in a constant state of evolution. I have learned, and truly believe, that the greatest gifts in life happen when we are in-process, are present, and enjoy the journey of figuring it out.