How did you start dancing?
My sister was put into dance classes, and out of jealousy, I joined. Funny enough, I became the dancer and she became a hockey player.
Where are you from?
I am a proud Canadian. My family now lives just outside Toronto in a town called Oakville. But I actually grew up all over the place because my dad was a professional hockey player. I was born in Dallas and lived in many cities all over Canada and the States but I spent the most time in Oakville, so I consider it home.
How did you move to New York?
So I initially decided to not pursue musical theatre/dance. Instead I went to the University of Toronto for History and Political Science. My parents were very accepting of my dreams, but they wanted me to first pursue a career that would give me stability. I enjoyed my time there, but I wasn’t passionate about what I was studying. So with my parents support, after two years there, I decided to make the move. I ended up moving to New York for the 2 Year Professional Program at CAP21, and I also did the Industry Practicum and Showcase Program, which just ended about a month ago. So I moved here basically to train and now I am here planning to stay.
I am sure your dad understood the competitive nature of this career from being a professional hockey player, which is another very competitive field.
Yeah, it is different though. The thing about hockey is that it’s more objective. The points are on the scoreboard. My brother also chose hockey for a career, and my parents had no problem with this choice. From the age of 14, they knew he was going to be in the NHL. He was always one of the best in the league, and then in the NHL draft he went 6th overall. They knew it was clear that he was going to make it. But for me, it’s not that clear of a path. This business is much more subjective. Everyone has their own journey. You have to be talented of course, but there is a lot more opinion involved. I think it’s harder.
What are you up to now?
I just had my showcase. I graduated in May of 2015 when I finished the 2-Year program at CAP21 but because I went back for practicum and showcase, I technically just graduated this January. Now, I am auditioning my butt off. One of my teachers said that auditioning is the job and booking the show is the perk. So I am getting used to this lifestyle of waking up really early—because I am non-union. Outside of auditions, I am looking for a survival job, meeting with some agents, getting my foot in the door in this industry.
What’s it like to audition as a non-union / non-equity performer?
If it’s for an EPA (Equity Principal Audition) or an ECC (Equity Chorus Call), you have to get there really early to put your name on an unofficial Non-Equity list, and around sign-in the monitor will let the room know if Non-Equity has a chance of being seen after all of the Equity or EMC (Equity Membership Candidate) performers have auditioned.
Thankfully, there are a lot of open calls currently because it’s audition season. Anyone can audition at open calls. It’s first-come, first-served though, so you have to make sure to get your name on an unofficial list or line up early to get seen.
What’s the earliest audition you’ve waited for?
I generally get to the audition studios around 6am, which is pretty standard. It seems crazy, but it’s just how it goes. My first time getting to an audition at 6am was for an open call for Beautiful. I was like 9th in the room which was awesome. This audition season has been pretty mad though. The other day I went to sing for a call at 6am and was number 320 on the list.
What are your aspirations?
I want to be on Broadway. My dream role is to be Carole King in Beautiful. Right now I am focusing on getting to the point where I can own the stage in that role. I have a lot of dance experience but I started taking theatre seriously a little bit late—around 10th grade. I just want to continue to learn, do regional theatre, book a tour, see the country through that and make my way up to earning that spot on a Broadway stage.
What’s been the toughest time you’ve had as a performer ?
The rejection can be really hard. I know I haven’t been at it for years and years but it is tough to hear no. I actually had this conversation with my dad yesterday because I went to an open dance call, and they did a type-out based on resume and type. It’s hard when you don’t even get to dance. You don’t even get to prove that you deserve to be in that room. My dad basically told me that I can’t decrease my value because someone isn’t able to see my worth. Rejection is hard but staying confident and persistent is important.
What about performing makes you happy?
Creating. When I dance and sing I get to create a journey of this soul I am embodying, and that’s something I think is very special. I get to transform who I am and show someone else’s voice. It’s important because when you take on a role, you’re taking on the task of giving life to another soul. I think that’s very special. I also love that I am now mixing my passion with my job. It's something I have always wanted to do. Waking up everyday and being able to go dance, sing, and act for a profession—it’s all that I want out of life.
What would be your number one advice?
I think that everything happens for a reason. If you work hard and are persistent, you will find success in whatever you believe success to be. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
Is there any last thing you want to share?
I am living a life that I love. I think that’s something that everybody should do.