We took full advantage of a pause in Trevor’s busy schedule to connect and reminisce over some of his favourite Marquee memories, the key life skills he’s learned along the way and what advice he may have for families who are considering theatre arts for their children. As much as we tried to cram our 90 minute conversation into a single blog — we decided it just wouldn’t be fair to you the reader. So welcome to the first of 3 blogs based on our conversation with Trevor Coll!
Grab yourself a beverage and maybe a snack, sit back and enjoy!
What was the moment or experience that inspired the start of your acting career ?
My sister danced and I was the ‘go to’ dance studio sibling. There were a couple of us at the studio who just loved being a part of the studio atmosphere. If ever the parent could go in and watch — we’d want to watch. Or if the class ended at 6:00 we would go 10 minutes before with the hope that the teacher would let you go in and peek.
I loved the behind the scenes piece of it all.
At first I loved seeing it on stage — seeing my sister on stage, but then you learn there’s a whole rehearsal process.It was so cool to see people out of costume, out of hair and make up, putting the work in and learning those routines which were going to become (to me) “professionally refined” numbers. (They were 11 years old.)
I thought it was so incredible and amazing. That’s really how I got in. I thought the world was so exciting and the process was such a fascinating piece that I could study and become involved with. So my sister was the catalyst to it all.
What musical character did you most identify with as a child and why?
The two children roles I loved were the Artful Dodger Oliver Twist, and Kurt from the iconic 1965 film Sound of Music. Those are my two and I got to do them at Marquee. That played a huge part in instilling confidence in me at a young age.
As a child I always identified with the Artful Dodger and was lucky to play that role at Marquee. That was the first Mirvish show we (my family) saw at Princess of Wales or Royal Alex. I remember Jake Epstein played Artful Dodger and I followed his career once he was cast in Degrassi because I loved the Artful Dodger.
What role did Marquee play in your early development as an actor?
Growing up in this town (Aurora) was great in so many ways and we’re so privileged to do theatre in general. It is a privilege to be able to be in a space in a community, in a country that allows you free time to do something that you love and share that with a community of people who love it just the same. It is such a privilege to have that.
In this town specifically, in the time I grew up here, it was very sport oriented. I love hockey, I love soccer and I’m so happy I played both those sports and will have those skills the rest of my life. With teamwork and commitment and all that, but (also) being able to then have my niche talent. To be the one person on your soccer team that can kind of sing. Or the person on (the) hockey team that knows the soundtrack to Chicago because you saw it with your family when you were in grade 4 or 5.
The ability to apply that knowledge and special interest and to find that it’s not as isolating as you might have grown up with. I think that it can probably ripple to so many different elements for people who have ever felt — not necessarily an outcast, I wouldn’t align necessarily with that — it just more that you have a special interest and there’s a whole bunch of people here that make that special interest elevated and so special. That’s what Marquee did.
Especially with the Sound of Music. A cast with 7 children (6 who were under the age of 18) was the coolest thing. I remember us becoming close pals and then moving into Oliver where you have all the orphans and Fagan’s gang, it was just this community of people. They didn’t play soccer or hockey with me — I could still have that part of my life, but they were my family. In some ways we were probably being our most authentic selves and all discovering that we’re part of this unique set of interests together and getting to explore that as a community. There’s a special bond there. It was a self discovery period that I feel really fortunate that I got to have.
Do you have a favorite backstage at Marquee memory?
I actually do. I think it would be when I was doing Les Miserables. Marius is off stage for the first hour of the show. Which honestly was awesome. I really loved hearing everyone. I didn’t get that luxury as much with We Will Rock You. I always appreciated listening to my friend Crystal singing a killer Queen track. I loved that. It was such a vibe. But being able to really listen for an hour to what is being performed for the audience pre your entrance and falling in love… I fell in love with Les Mis content / story /songs / everything because of that hour — and it wasn’t until we started doing full runs of the show that I really came to appreciate the character – basically the whole prologue of the show.
I think what I most appreciated was listening and I got to listen with some other people who had a very similar track Nicole who played Cosette and obviously Matthew who played Gavroche —we all just came to love one another, but we also came to respect the show.
I also loved our stage management team. We had so many great people back there like Dave, Carol and obviously Linda. There were so many people who were just rockstars. I remember Mackenzie Smith. So many gems who were just as integral to the success of the experience if not more integral to the success of the experience. Being able to watch them running about and seeing all the inner workings. That never ceased to amaze me. It amazed me when I was twelve, and it amazes me to this date. The amount of hands that go into creating something.
What is the best advice you have received and would like to share with our Marquee family?
I think the best advice for everyone – and this comes from my mom— is just to live to your potential. It can feel like pressure sometimes, but that’s good because you should be living to your potential. The last few years have definitely highlighted a time for all of us to reflect and figure out new goals or push forward with the ones that we’ve had. But living to your potential and recognizing what your gifts are is excellent. I am lucky that at 10, 11 years old I was able to recognize what one of my gifts was and was able to explore that with Marquee.
It has been a facet of everything I’ve done and I realize that my potential can be diversified and I can explore different things. We are at a time right now where society is changing so much and so rapidly. What it looked like growing up for me looks totally different right now with people growing up with technology and all of that.
Speaking to the next generation – figure out how you’re going to have a sense of security but also take the opportunity and explore what all your potential is. The world is truly at your fingertips now. You have access to see how different people are living. Explore all of that but at the same time, remember what’s most important. Remember the grounded elements that are friends, family and community — because as much as you can go achieve all of that — I promise you will always miss whatever home looks like to you. You want to make sure that what the home is, is where your heart lies and is being fostered throughout all of those potential experiences.