Heart, head, hand
May 5, 2016

Stephen Reynolds (third from left) at the Emmys' After Party with fellow Emmy winners JJ Johnson (direction), Chritine Toye (costumes) and Mark DeAngelis (writing).

By Emily Marshall

NSCAD alumni do some amazing things, and Stephen Reynolds is no exception.

Reynolds (BFA 1984) has just won a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding directing in the children’s series Odd Squad, and NSCAD could not be any more proud.

Reynolds describes his trip to Los Angeles and the award ceremony on April 29 as a pure “moment of ecstasy.”

“There were about 1,600 people at the award show, and when they announced Odd Squad we all jumped out of our chairs,” says Reynolds. “Our hearts were racing.”

This was followed by a series of ‘click, click, click, can you please turn to your right’ and a string of repeating questions like ‘What’s your name?’ and ‘How do you feel?’

It was in these few moments, though, after he finally had a grasp on what was happening, that he took time to reflect and think about where he was really standing and what he was really doing. “I could never imagine finding myself in LA getting the Emmy Award experience,” says Reynolds. “But that’s what was happening.”

 In Odd Squad, young government agents Olive and Otto use math to investigate strange occurrences in their town. The show airs on PBS.

Over the years, Reynolds has directed episodes of numerous shows including Haven, Combat Hospital, Mr. D., Heartland, and This Hour has 22 Minutes. He also directed the 1999 feature film The Divine Ryans with the late Pete Postlethwaite.

Reynolds, like many students, spent some time fumbling around before deciding to go to NSCAD. “I knew I had to get more education,” says Reynolds. “When I finally went to NSCAD, I was mesmerized and blown away.”

With a few NSCAD mentors along the way, including but not limited to Bob Bean, Bruce Barber and Robert Frank, Reynolds received the education and skills he needed to thrive in his industry. After graduation Reynolds spent some time as a photographer before receiving a job at the Nova Scotia Film Resource Centre, then headed to Toronto to make it in the film industry.

“Head, heart and hand,” says Reynolds. “This NSCAD saying has stuck with me for so long. I decided I’m going to work hard, know what I’m talking about and embrace passion.” And that’s exactly what he did.

A piece of advice for students and recent graduates? “Network and listen. Network in your industry, listen to your professors,” says Reynolds. “And embrace teamwork and community. There is a community of friends and family who carry us through.”

The recent Emmy win has made Reynolds a busy man. “An award like this helps illustrate my professional skills and talents to clients,” says Reynolds. Staying busy this week in Toronto with 2-3 meetings a day, all Reynolds can say is, “Wow.”

The late great Pete Postlethwaite in Stephen Reynolds' debut feature film, The Divine Ryans.