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STORIES TRANSFORM US.
My most prominent memories so far in life have been in the theatre. The stage is almost a hallowed place for me, a sanctuary, a safe haven. I will always remember the first time I had the opportunity to perform on a stage - my excitable, fifth-grade self stepped onto the rusty stage of my elementary school for the first time to put on an original Christmas play. I loved being able to become a character and convey this story - in this case, he was a young, wide-eyed student who was bursting with curiosity, but not quite bold or courageous enough to step out into the world yet. A little like the real Thomas at this point. But something had clicked somewhere throughout the script learning, the many rehearsals while my classmates were out playing, the two performances we put on. There was something so right, so wonderful, about this art form. I knew it was where I was meant to be.
I pursued theatre for as long as I could in elementary school and high school, but real life, and my own fears, slowly got in the way. I still saw a lot of theatre (my high school's production of West Side Story led me to the discovery of musical theatre - singing, dancing, acting... everything I love in my life!), but I rarely partook in it.
Throughout the years I learned entire Broadway soundtracks and my love continued blossoming. One fateful day in the summer of 2017, I saw the hallowed West End production of The Phantom of the Opera, and somewhere in between the soaring orchestration, the passionate melodies, and the powerful story, it finally hit me. I could no longer spend one more minute of my life doing what I did not love - and that love was, and always has been, the theatre. I launched myself into auditions in Vancouver the second I returned home - invigorated, inspired, passionate. Over the next three years, I would appear in ten theatrical productions in Vancouver, including a workshop of a play that I wrote.
Getting accepted to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's MA Musical Theatre program was my ticket out of Vancouver, finally. It was the beginning of a journey that I could finally partake in with all my heart. Indeed, it was my chance to get training, to learn the craft, like I've always desired. The year was full of discovery, growth, collaboration, and passion, and I've learned so much about myself that I didn't know was possible.
So here we are. If you've made it to this paragraph, Hopefully you'll be able to see what makes me tick, and what inspires me. Theatre is my one true love, and my enthusiasm and love for it manifests in everything I do. My energy permeates in every line, choreo step, and sung lyric. I have a desire, and a love of, telling stories, especially of those who are marginalized, underrepresented, and quite frankly, look like me.
When I was growing up, I didn't see many people who looked like me on stage or on screen. But, the world is changing, and I am so excited to be a part of that.
LOOK AROUND, LOOK AROUND, AT HOW LUCKY WE ARE TO BE ALIVE RIGHT NOW!
- HAMILTON THE MUSICAL
COVER PHOTO: STEPHANIE HUNTER
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