Never judge a book by its cover
by Sandy Lindsay

January 3, 2015

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When you first meet someone is there a tendency to judge at the first initial meeting or do you think ... hmmm, never judge a book by its cover?

Sometimes in your very midst, you don't know what and who is in front of you and everyone has a history.

At Bruce Country Museum and Cultural Centre (located in Southampton), there are several people, staff and volunteers, who have many background experiences ... backgrounds that most would never suspect.

Often people may look past those that they meet without thinking about who they are and what they have done in the past.

Meet a maintenance and 'design' person who is more than the uniform he wears at the Museum ... Christopher Gross.

When you meet Christopher Gross, you instantly know that he is outgoing and personable, which fit perfectly with his previous life.

Originally from Hanover, Gross is a graduate of the Comedy: Writing and Performance program at Humber College in Toronto and, from acting on stage to improv and film work, at a young age he has done it all.

In 2004, Gross helped produce the Toronto based sketch comedy troupe 'My First Crush' (MFC), that performed six full-length stage revues over a two year period (2004 & 2005), receiving excellent reviews from the Toronto Star.

In fact, in 2005, MFC was an official selection for the 8th Annual Chicago Improv Festival. While in Chicago, Gross studied sketch comedy writing with Saturday Night Live staff writer Rich Talarico at Chicago’s Second City.  

He is also a two-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee as both a writer and actor and performed for several years with Canadian actor-comedienne icon Dinah Christie.  "Dinah is absolutely one of my favourite people and she really helped me get started," says Gross.

His Film and TV credits read like a 'library' of accomplishments:

* serial killer “Allan Menzies” in the Discovery Channel’s Real Vampires

*role of “Tommy” in the 2007 zombie/comedy film The Mad starring Billy Zane

*Roles in Flashpoint, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Murdoch Mysteries, The Listener, Combat Hospital, Lost Girl, Suits, Being Erica, Saving Hope, Covert Affairs, Alphas, Cosmopolis, The Transporter, Against the Wall, Really Me, Highland Gardens, and Unnatural History.   

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In the comedic genre, Gross was also nominated for several awards including: Consecutive Canadian Comedy Awards for best Comedic play; International Library of Poetry Editor's Choice Award for Creative Vision; Paramount Theatre Award for Proficiency in Theatre Arts.

Whether it's live stage, television or writing and working behind the scenes, Gross has an on-going passion for the arts.  It's a passion that isn't taught, it's an integral part of one's being.

As with most actors in Canada, in between roles he worked in other situations. For Gross, it was  as a personal attendant with the Blue Jays Team at the Rodgers Centre.  "It was a great job and I really liked being around the team, but I felt it was time to move on."

Moving on meant a return to his more rural roots. When he applied and was hired at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, Gross decided that Saugeen Shores was the place where he wanted to start a new life and raise his three-year-old daughter Lily.

Christopher with Kalie and Lily

 Gross continues to work on his craft however.  He is currently working on completing his second screenplay and a book of poetry and hopes to become more involved with the Bruce County Playhouse.

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