Atop Paul Becker’s lengthy list of Internet Movie Database credits is the description “one of the world’s top choreographers.” What’s missing is the story of how Becker, a 33-year-old Victoria, B.C., native, got to that spot: a tale with enough twists and turns to merit his own biopic.
Becker, who now lives in Los Angeles, was in Toronto recently to choreograph for the CBC series Frankie Drake Mysteries.
In a phone interview, he talked about how he went from being a self-trained 12-year-old breakdancer to working on projects like Disney’s Descendants, Marvel’s Deadpool 2 and Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and it comes down in part to a FedEx envelope.
Becker, who beefed up his street dance with classes in hip hop, ballet and other styles and a year of training in Las Vegas, was working as an actor and dancer in Vancouver when one job set him on a different career path: watching Rob Marshall direct and choreograph the 2002 movie version of Chicago. The young Canadian bought a camera and taught himself to shoot and edit, but there was still the issue of getting his foot in the door, which is where the FedEx envelope comes in.