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Drama graduate to start career with star awards

A Bermudian actor will graduate next week armed with a scholarship and an award for excellence in theatre.

Lyon Hamill, 22, said the recognition gave him “a jolt of confidence as I set my sights on my next move to New York City, where I will try to enter a very competitive industry”.

Mr Hamill, originally from Hamilton Parish, spent four years studying theatre at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

He will graduate at the end of next week with SMU’s Bob Hope Scholarship for excellence in undergraduate acting, and the Greer Garson Award for “excellence, aptitude and dedication in the art of acting”.

Mr Hamill said: “I was very proud and honoured to be recognised by my professors because, as an actor, we are always developing and finding what's within ourselves to tell a story the best way possible.

“The awards were a reassurance that I kept moving in the right direction over the course of my studies and also that hard work pays off.”

The accolades were named after the British-American comic legend and the British star of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio during the 1940s.

Mr Hamill said Hope and Garson were benefactors of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

He added SMU had a “sterling reputation” in the arts scene.

Mr Hamill said his studies included “countless hours working on scene work featuring playwrights such as Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill” – plus a year of Shakespeare.

He added that, despite his stage training, he had joined SMU graduates in a feature film, The Better Part, which will be released in December.

He said he aimed to audition for film and TV as well as theatre in New York despite the “monumental pause” forced on the performing arts by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Hamill was also among a group of SMU students that collaborated with Theatre East, an off-Broadway company, which “would not have happened in a normal year”.

He added that he got a taste for the limelight while still at primary school.

Mr Hamill said: “When I was ten years old, my family moved to Colorado and into a small but thriving theatre town.

“The community valued the arts so there were plenty of opportunities and programmes for me to participate in.

“Having only done a few school plays at Saltus Grammar School, I was a relative newcomer to performance yet it didn’t take long for me to get comfortable and confident on stage.”

He added: “If given the opportunity, I would be proud to represent Bermuda as an actor.

“I can only thank all who have been on this journey with me by providing support and encouragement.”

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Published May 05, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated May 05, 2021 at 7:55 am)

Drama graduate to start career with star awards

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