Executive Reads: Jerry Levitan

Jerry Levitan is the Owner and Operator of Levitan Lawyers, and as a litigation lawyer has set precedents in the fields of constitutional, human rights and administrative law. In addition to this, and proving that one can really do it all in life, in 2008 he produced the Academy Award and Emmy nominated film I Met The Walrus about the day he spent with John Lennon when he was only 14, and is now also a children’s entertainer under the persona Sir Jerry. Described as “one of Canada’s most innovative children’s performers,” he has also produced two critically acclaimed children’s CDs, Bees, Butterflies & Bugs, Sir Jerry’s World and the soon to be released Sir Jerry Time Machine.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens  
I read Charles Dickens’ classic story when I was about 11 or 12. It was part mystery, morality play, drama. Dickens took us along for the virtual ride as Pip left his rural and modest beginnings as a child to being a gentlemen in London. Helping out a criminal on the run, being subject to the psychological whims of Miss Havisham, craving for the affection of Estella all fascinated me as a child and to this day. Do we really know why we are what we are? Can we ever escape our beginnings? Do we control over our destiny?

Federalism and the French Canadians by Pierre Elliott Trudeau  
I was 14 when I read it and only read it hoping that one day my hero, Pierre Trudeau, would be impressed that I took the time. In 1968, Canada was a hopeful, proud place for young people. And the fact that a political superstar like Trudeau was our leader, swinging in his leather coat and meeting with John and Yoko for peace, made us all hopeful that Canada was the promised land. I frankly didn’t understand all that much in the book at the time, but I got the central point: that Canada was big enough for all of us, that being a bilingual country was a good thing, and that Trudeau would see it through to the end. 

In His Own Write by John Lennon
And speaking of John and Yoko, I was already a Beatle fan, but reading the delightfully twisted prose of my favourite Beatle, not in song but in his own write, was spectacular. You could see Lewis Carroll’s influence in such great short stories such as “The Wrestling Dog,” “I Wandered” and “The Fat Growth on Eric Hearble,” or the hysterically perverse “Good Dog Nigel.” Clearly an opened mind, reading John’s short stories and poetry helped open mine.