Backstage Notes: ARAS today, broadway tomorrow

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Backstage Notes offers a look behind the scenes of the quality artistic programs found at private school and summer camp! First we heard from the Director and a students performer from the Avenue Road Arts School, as they prepare a musical theatre revue show based on the hit television series Glee. Now here are the thoughts of another young star.


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From Tristen: Grade 9, Etobicoke School of the Arts

Being at Avenue Road Arts School is extremely fun. I love going to it so much it has made Monday my favourite day of the week! Musical theatre is my passion and I actually want to have a career in it, performing on Broadway.

To start off, I'll explain how all this started. I was going to a choir school (St. Michaels Choir School) but I loved to act, sing and dance. So since I couldn't do any musical theatre things in school, my mom would look around for musical theatre activities for me. I remember everything from the very first time she mentioned it: "Hey Tristen, want to be in this musical?" I never turn down an offer to be in a musical! Now I had this in my mind for a while but (since I'm kind of a procrastinator), I waited until 2 weeks before the auditions. My mom reminded me and I was in a panic. Frantically looking for the right song (Allison, the director, suggested songs and monologues to audition with) I quickly chose the two things I thought I could do best (Aladdin's "A Whole New World" and a monologue about an angry kid telling his mom how important T.V. is.) Still not having perfected it, I nervously auditioned. I thought I did O.K but I kept on telling myself I could've done better. I waited and waited until my mom finally called me telling me the good news. I was so happy I got in I started dancing, singing, but definitely not acting around the house. And that's how it started. That's how I got to where I am now, writing this!

Students striving to hit the high notes, both in the music and in their performing dreams at an ARAS rehearsal.

Avenue Road Arts School has taught me a lot. The main thing is that even if you're not the star, you can still get noticed. Whatever character you play, as long as you try, you can always be a star. Even if you're not the lead, you can have fun with your role!

This year, I've been getting really excited! We're doing a Glee theme and Allison has been coming up with idea after idea of fun stuff for us. She's chosen the best, most fun songs for us and the musical director Jacqueline has done an awesome job teaching us the songs. For one of the songs, I have basically all the solo's so I'm ecstatic about that! Also, I'm doing a monologue about how I got into music theatre so I'm extremely excited about this musical. Plus it's an original, never-before-seen musical which is even cooler! Now I know this paragraph contradicts the one about the lessons I learned but honestly: who wouldn't love to be a star?

These students are "glee-fully" singing at an ARAS rehearsal for their Glee-stlye revue.

This is getting really long but I have one more thing to talk about: the director herself. Allison is one of the biggest reasons why I love Avenue Road Arts School. She is so sweet and kind and funny. She always knows exactly what to do and manages to put on full musicals in 3-6 months! But that itself takes much more than just determination: it takes love and care. Allison really loves and cares for us. If we have a problem, she's the one to go to. She's trustworthy and understanding. She's loyal and kindhearted. Allison, you rock!

Now, after everything I've just said, I'm going to end this thing nice and simple: I love you Avenue Road Arts School! You rock! I am so glad to be a part of this awesome experience!

—Guest Author
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