896 Words

Sheila Copps enjoys life after politics

The former federal MP talks about her role in a dinner theatre production and her upcoming autobiography.

Supplied photo
Sheila Copps talks about her unexpected, first post-politics role: dinner theatre actor. Supplied photo

It's 8 a.m. and Sheila Copps is asleep in her Kingston, Ont. hotel room. She's an early riser, but not today. She's been working overtime, rehearsing for her role in a local dinner theatre production of Steel Magnolias.

And so, when I call the former Liberal MP and Heritage Minister at our arranged time, I awaken her.

Fortunately, after a 20-year career in federal politics, she's used to early morning awakenings and wants to go through with the interview.

Uh, so how's Steel Magnolias going?

"It's going great," Copps says groggily. "I'm usually up at 6:30 a.m., but I've been rehearsing 12 hours a day, so you can't stay up to 11 p.m. You're my wake up call."

Apparently, an actor's life is not all it's cracked up to be.

But who would've expected Copps to become an actor upon her recent retirement from politics? It's certainly not the first choice for most of her peers. Typically, former MPs become members of corporate boards and the higher-profile ones do the lecture circuit. While Copps is part of the speech-for-hire circuit, her dinner theatre foray is probably a Canadian politician first.

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