A few months ago, I wrote a post about my “back nine”, thinking about what the next few years of my life, my career, would become, now that I have a fair amount of mileage on the clock. The last few weeks have allowed me to experience the first chapter of this back nine. The chapter of handover, transmission. To feel like a quarterback in football who puts the ball in the hands of the carrier and watches the game unfold by being a privileged witness to the situation unfolding in front of him.
April 2022. Players are missing from our hockey league. I’m asked if Justin would come play with us. Justin accepts and here he is playing against me in a garage league. Sitting on the bench, I was overwhelmed with emotion watching the guys I’ve been playing hockey with for fifteen years having fun with my son. Seeing him stop at the edge of the boards during a stoppage in play, lean against me with conviction and give me the puck, saying to me: “Damn! A gift! I like that, making my fans happy!” under the amused gaze of the other old people and their comments: “Cr…, he’s going to be drooling like you!”
May 2022. Sitting in my living room and dying of stress seeing Delphine chronicle at Good evening! Mixture of pride and anguish. Fear of pressure, hateful comments, knowing too much about an environment that can be merciless. But Delphine is only 19 years old. Youth and her carelessness do not paralyze her as if she were 48 years old! I have the impression of witnessing live the hatching of a young woman whom I know by heart. With its fragility, which makes it so endearing. And her astonishing confidence, for example when she finds an agent and contracts without even consulting us. Mixture of pride and “are you crazy, you?”. Like in 1995, in Drummondville, when I told my parents that I was going to enroll in the National School of Humor (ENH)…
This is the new chapter that is being written every day at breakneck speed. The one where I slowly but surely slip into the role of mentor, assistant, coach. Count less often and become a setter. Me who likes the shade, it suits me perfectly. Because with us, mom, it’s spontaneity, fun, charisma in its purest form. Dad is the planner, the technician, but also the party breaker who sees the clouds in the distance even when the sky is clear.
Yesterday morning, in 1996, I left the ENH, I did shows with Alex Perron and Jean-François Baril, I learned from François Avard. Suddenly, here I am, teaching humorous principles to my son, who would like to write comedy, and advising Delphine for her summer talk show… like her mother in 1990, who wrote chronicles at Summer memories, a program hosted by Yves Corbeil. It is also to frame and put pleasure back at the center of the life of Raphaëlle, who now plays in the musical Anne.
To come full circle, this summer, I will be shooting a TV series with my friend Éric Bruneau. A show where the idea of intergenerational transmission is at the heart of the story. I’m going to play the role of a tennis coach. Coaching Éric on TV as in life, when he reflects on his career as an actor, author, producer, home buyer, in short, a series that looks like a metaphor for our own lives.
Gone are the days when I gave orders. Finished, the “go to your room”. The tone and attitude are very different. My children now need support, a resource to write their own chapter. Transmission is guiding without dictating. Sometimes it’s also watching them take the field, because that’s part of the learning process. It’s showing humility and accepting to be part of the show, but behind the scenes. And that is love. Strong. Unconditionally. This is the portion that worries me the least.
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