She stood on the stage, glancing around expectantly. A man swept in behind her, grabbed a piece of her hair and allowed the strand to run through his fingertips. As it slipped through, he inhaled. Deeply.
In that palpitating second, a collected breath escaped from the entire audience.
Not many people on campus know the head of campus security doubles as an actor in his spare time.
Tom Lynch is the head of Campus Safety at Durham College (DC), cooperating with the Emergency Response Team and educating the campus community about emergency preparedness.
He has been the Director for the Office of Campus Safety since 2012 but before he got his current job at DC, he worked for the Toronto Police Department.
He retired from policing after 30 years of service and was able to engage more frequently with stage productions. He was also able to perform, instead of working solely as a crew member.
“Life was magical,” he said. “I had so much more downtime, rather than sitting on the GO Train and commuting.”
Lynch’s favourite production that he has done was a musical titled Catch Me if you Can.
The basis of the work is focused around Frank Abagnale, who was a brilliant con artist, according to Lynch. The work is based on Abagnale’s life story and his experiences.
Lynch went on to say there are not many musicals with a character who sings in a baritone. He recognized if the character is around his age, they’re usually cast as someone who sings tenor.
“That’s too high for me,” said Lynch. “I can get up there, but a lot of people are covering their ears by the time I do.”
He also enjoyed the music, that Lynch described as “rat pack music”, in Catch Me If You Can. Examples of artists he gave were Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
He started performing when his oldest son was involved in one of the productions in Oshawa during an event called A Play in a Week. He and his wife started participating by helping out backstage as crew members — setting up props and painting sets.
While they were helping out with backstage prep, Lynch was commuting back and forth from Toronto because he was still working as a police officer at the time.
When he got his job at DC, he was able to multitask more effectively between his home life and work.
The fact Lynch is the Director for the Office of Campus Safety and is involved in plays and musicals during his spare time shows even though someone looks a certain way, it doesn’t mean their personality will be exactly as you perceive at first glance.