Everything I used to know about ADD was wrong. Getting a proper diagnosis and treatment was transformational; like losing 400 pounds, only from the mind rather than the body. I was more productive with far less wear and tear on my soul. Everyone deserves to have this feeling of being in charge of their lives, rather than being a confused victim of mysterious whims. It’s possible.
Rick Green is an award winning producer, director, writer and comedic performer who has made hundreds of innovative television, radio and stage shows including: History Bites, The Red Green Show, Prisoners of Gravity, The Frantics and of course ADD & Loving It?!, ADD & Mastering It! and well, all of the videos on TotallyADD!
Like many adults with ADD, Rick first suspected he might have it when one of his children was being diagnosed. Rick realized he scored higher on the tests than his child. This appealed to his competitive streak.
For a long time, Rick managed his ADD in a, well, ADD kind of way—sporadically, when it reached a crisis. God bless television deadlines. He also unknowingly demonstrated most of the symptoms of ADHD through his disarmingly destructive character “Bill” on The Red Green Show.
The more roles Rick took on—producer, director, actor, writer, teacher, father– the more he took on his ADD. And the more surprised he was at the amount of stigma, misinformation and vitriolic opinion masquerading as fact. Knowing the power that understanding makes in addressing ADHD, Rick created the one-hour documentary ADD and Loving It?!.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation honoured Rick with their 2009 Celebrity Transforming Lives Award for producing ADD & Loving It?! and his nomination said, “… this will, in one hour, transform how this country views this disorder.”
While it may seem odd for a comedian to be doing something quasi-educational, Rick actually has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics, which he barely earned in his three years at the University of Waterloo. (That didn’t stop the University from naming Rick one of their Top 50 Graduates Of The First 50 Years!) Rick’s first job was teaching at the Ontario Science Centre where he ran demonstrations, wrote and produced science-themed plays, developed exhibits and set his hand on fire with a 40 foot long, 1000 Watt Laser. (Ever see a flame come out of your thumb?) Luckily, he stopped doing science demonstrations and found his calling creating Totally ADD.
Being married to Rick Green has given me insight and understanding to life with ADD. Before we made ADD & Loving It?!, I had a difficult time understanding what Rick was dealing with. Education, support and a game plan has made our lives easier and enriched our relationship. My goal is that Totally ADD is a safe community for anyone affected by ADD. I’ve heard from so many ADDers that just don’t have that kind of support from the people around them. I want them to find that here.
Ava Green is an accomplished video editor and producer, both roles that draw upon, and showcase, her organizational abilities. She is so not ADD it’s sad in a way because she has no idea of the craziness she’s missing out on.
She has participated in many productions including History Bites and the Red Green Show, so maybe she does have some idea. Ava is also the producer/editor of ADD & Loving It?! and ADD & Mastering It! as well as co-creator of TotallyADD.
Because Ava is married to Rick Green and step-mother to a child with ADD, she reflects the world of the family who deals with ADD and this comes across in her ability to understand a different perspective.
She is the heart of the team and one that ADDers will feel in the flow of information. Ava represents all of the advocates who have someone with ADHD in their life.
If you’ve had to deal with ADD in someone you love, you’ll recognize Ava’s challenges. And you’ll admire her patience. How does she manage? Ava seeks to find the levity in situations and laughs better and louder than most. She has a killer sense of humour.
Jimi is the editor/blog poster/website updater/occasional camera operator/technical support/sometimes customer support/webinar tech guy and whatever else Rick and Ava ask him to do. This is really the perfect job for him!
He studied Television Broadcasting and in his last year of school he had to find an internship. As people were applying for and accepting internships with production companies and TV stations, Jimi couldn’t figure out where he wanted to go or what he wanted to do. So he waited, and waited. One day, one of his professors, friends with Rick and Ava, offered to set up an interview with Rick. It had nothing to do with an internship, just an opportunity to pick Rick’s brain about writing and comedy. The day after he met with Rick, Jimi sent an email asking if he was interested in an intern. 5 years later he still hasn’t left.
When Jimi was in grade 7, he knew a kid who was suspended for 30 days for selling his Ritalin. When Jimi started at TotallyADD in 2009, that was all the knowledge he had about ADHD. Since then, he feels like he has pretty much become an ADHD expert.
Want more information about Jimi? He is 6’4 and weighs 190 pounds. In his free time Jimi likes to create comedy videos with his sketch group, The Jimiboys. He also enjoys art, gardening, music, walking, swimming, cooking, traveling, and laughing.
“I love how everything connects in ways we often don’t see at first. I think the secret in creativity, science and intelligent thinking is all about being able to make connections, to not see what others might see and to be able to imagine something else. To be able to connect the dots in a different order. This happened with Rick, Ava and I. Did I imagine being Customer Support when we met? Totally not.
How did it happen? Well, I think we connected in a way children connect, they just trusted that I could do customer support even though I had no experience. It was that simple and when things are that simple how can they not go somewhere positive!
I graduated from Interpretive Illustration at Sheridan College and then Communication and Design at the Ontario College of Art. After I graduated, I painted in Scotland, England and the Channel Islands in exchange for room and board. The subject matter would often be their home which lead me to doing hundreds of pen and ink watercolours of people’s homes. The conflict and connection between nature and man-made objects intrigued me and rocks and architecture became my favourite subjects, until I had 3 quirky kids. I got a little side-tracked but continued to get commissioned to paint people’s homes as well as doing workshops.
As an artist I could never have imagined doing customer support for an ADHD website, but I noticed something very quickly, it was a good fit! Artists have often been stereotyped as having an “artistic temperament”…moodiness, disorganization, forgetfulness, jumping from one project to another, and obsession with one’s work. TotallyADD is a place that embraces being who you are. So I feel as if I have found a place where I am understood, accepted and encouraged.
My son once asked me “Do grown ups forget how to scribble? I often think about that question and yes, they often do Jimi! But here at Totally ADD, we are encouraged to colour and scribble outside the lines. Obviously and thankfully Rick has never grown up!”
Caroline is a Kolbe Certified™ Consultant, Certified Cultural Intelligence Facilitator and highly experienced leader of personal and organizational transformation seminars. She has led workshops to groups with a wide variety of backgrounds, including CEOs and executives, celebrities and entrepreneurs.
Caroline is a strong fact-finder, able to quickly cut to the heart of a situation and distill insights into actions and practices. She is a Newfield Certified Coach and member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).
And she’s our coach. We not only recommend that others have a coach, we have a great coach!