Who better to offer advice to our Marquee families than someone who spent many years as a member and has now experienced personal professional success as a result of the training? We asked alumni Trevor Coll to offer some advice to parents and our young members and families considering theatre arts as extra curricular or at school and beyond.
What advice would you give to families thinking about enrolling their children into the musical theatre program at Marquee ?
My advice is to say “yes.” Your child is at a young developmental age and so impressionable. We’re all impressionable, we can all be influenced but if there’s an interest to explore even if you don’t know much about the arts you’re going to have an education.
Musical theatre builds transferable skills and that is a huge part of the Marquee experience. That investment for one, two or nine seasons of doing theatre or the arts — singing lessons, dance classes all of that, these are transferable skills about dedication, commitment, recognizing your potential, achieving your potential, working as a team, working as an individual, showing up on time, attendance…all of that good stuff.
Those are all things that are focused upon in this world. Marquee is a multi-service space that has continued to be a pulse of where theatre education lives in York Region. It’s a really great way to meet people that are just like you. Your child might not be finding that connection at school, or at their sports team or church group, or whatever it might be. It might be a really good place for them to experience some self actualization. It might elevate their world view in a unique way than another extra curricular. So it’s something to think about.
What are the top 3 actions you would recommend to aspiring actors?
It is always shocking to me when people in this industry are not engaging with what’s happening in it. Watch movies, (live shows, read books etc.) you need to understand what is considered good right now.
Refine Your Skill Set
Especially at a young age when it can become a deficit if you’re “the best” when you’re in grade 8 or grade 12 and then you go out to pursue this and you’re like “now I’m with the best from a thousand other communities and what’s going to make me stand apart?” How am I going to continue to be motivated when the only reason I was motivated for so long was because I was always being featured?
What’s going to motivate you now? Why do you love art? Because you’re being seen or because you want to create something new? Because you want to collaborate? Because you want to work with this person? What’s your next step? Keep leveling up.
Let’s keep pushing ourselves. If you’re an amazing vocalist, how are you as a dancer? There is going to be a point where you want to have a multifaceted skill set. A must if you want to work in musical theatre. Sometimes you’re able to shelve what your strongest skill might be because there’s only so much you can do with it and be like “ok I’m doing 6 months dance or 6 months acting.” Then come back to singing and realize “oh maybe I’m not done, I need to work on this. I need to learn a different genre of singing.” There’s always ways to level up your skill set.
Remember To Have Fun
I think people need to have fun. It is so easy to get bogged down when something is happening. Just take a step back and remember that “11 year old Trevor would not be upset because his change room is 4 stories above stage. He would think that is really cool actually” It’s just about having fun and reminding yourself that this is an outlet. You can use this outlet to be one where you’re venting or you can use this outlet to be one where you’re celebrating.
Recognize that you are part of making the energy in that space. Those rehearsal break conversations? Those are where your memories are going to come from. That 15 minute break at 8:30 – what are you talking about? Are we complaining about the stage manager or are we like, “You did such a good job in that scene! Can we run those lines again? Because I need to get to where you’re at.”
The celebratory scenarios are the conversations you want to have to elevate everyone around you and yourself because it is a collective experience. When you find yourself sitting in that group that’s like “yep they’re at that again…” I get it. We’re human, no one’s an angel. It’s about making sure that your habits are ones that are productive and are going to make you a better performer and the people around you want to collaborate, work with the community and commit to being in shows with you in the future. It always comes back to those three C’s.
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Awesome advice from an amazing person and performer! Thank You Trevor!
Read about those three C’s in the second blog of this series here.