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‘I come alive when talking about theatre’

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Marcus Smith

Theatre student Marcus Smith seems to be a magnet for scholarships and bursaries having bagged six so far this year, and no fewer than 11 last year.

The New York University student’s most recent scholarship came from the Bermuda Shakespeare Schools Festival when he was awarded $4,000 towards his studies alongside fellow Bermudian Rowan Vickers. Another prestigious achievement was his scholarship from the Catherine Zeta-Jones award in honour of Patricia Calnan, while others have come from local production companies and other organisations. The secret to his success, according to the 19-year-old, is having a true passion for what he does.

“I imagine, the secret is just being me,” he said. “I come alive when I talk about theatre; it makes me happy and because it is my passion it shows through and people want to support me. Also, staying invested is important.”

Mr Smith studied at Saltus Grammar School and has been in a number of dance recitals with United Dance Productions, In Motion and the Bermuda Civic ballet.

He has performed in local productions including the Railway Children and Firebird Christmas pantomime with the Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society, and South Pacific, and The Producers with the Gilbert & Sullivan Society. He is also a fire spinner for Rockfire Productions.

He travelled with Team Bermuda to Barbados for the Caribbean Secondary School Drama Festival and performed a scene from Barbados play Emancipation at the Premier’s Concert last year along with a recital with In Motion.

Overseas he was in an “off, off Broadway” production called Strip with the Distilled Theatre Company last year. Mr Smith says his family has a strong interest in the performing arts which may have triggered his interest. “My cousin started doing dance so I decided I wanted to too,” he said.

“My family didn’t pursue performing arts as a career but it is a big part of my family. My dad, he loves to sing and wanted to study music and my mom had a majorette group so between the two performance was a given.

“With theatre it was a push from one of my teachers — Dorothy Trott — at Prospect Primary School. She asked me if I was interested in doing the welcome for the Spring Into The Arts programme so that night I went home and practised with my dad all night and had it memorised by the next morning.

“It all jump-started from there.”

While Mr Smith intends on making a career for himself overseas, he does hope to bring his talent back to the Island to share with others aspiring for careers in the performing arts.

“Once I graduate I want to develop a career out here in New York and then come back to Bermuda,” he said.

“Then I would like to come back and teach at some point in time. I want to make sure everyone in Bermuda interested in the arts gets a fair chance — let them know that it can be done.”

Mr Smith is planning to perform a one-man show in Bermuda around December showcasing everything he has been working on.

Marcus Smith