It’s very rare we hear of someone who actually makes their dream come true…
Rarer still that they started right here in PACE, as a young boy with a sparkle in his eye , a smile to charm and a passion for the stage that earned him the ‘younger’ nickname of ” Mr Turnout ”
Marcus Guy Crawford was one of the original members of Spires Theatre School, ” the few , the happier few …the small band of “others ” who “lived their passion” , just as the then red TS “T-shirt” said!
Marcus started TS , when Spires was a new, exciting construction site; when Spires 1 was in the process of creative transformation , from the church pews it once held , into the dramatic black box it would become
When TS operated solely out of our bumblebee yellow Spires 2 ( now the tech base ) with a leaky ceiling and a well scribbled on whiteboard , that held the secrets to the TS universe.
Oh yes …TS was like school back then , with lessons in theatre , diphthongs and resonance , Laban , Lorca and Grotowski and many, many movement, acting and voice assessments to work for , with performance targets to aspire to …
It was a truer theatre grounding , that prepared its alumni for a greater theatre world. And Marcus was one of those boys , that was always going to make it.
It’s hard to pinpoint what defines “potential” for the stage , but one key factor is determination ; as in any field of excellence , those that get to live their dreams , are those who sacrifice and strive for the greater good.
Marcus and many of his contemporaries at that time , had this ambition , an ambition to rise above mere popularity in PACE , to keep the social scene second in all things , and to come to PACE – to learn , how to get better for their life .
I think PACE members nowadays sometimes forget this , forget the fantastic opportunities that exist here , to learn and to grow into “better” more creative individuals ; now it seems people just want to grow into where everyone else happens to be.
Perhaps within the new creative ” the SPACE ” we can get back to theatre basics, return to a more rounded view of PACE , to work harder on the things we don’t enjoy so much , to make us ” far better ” at the things we do.
Last night I spoke to a boy , not unlike Marcus in his eagerness to perform , who was confused at what project he should go for through RIGHT START auditions.
Now this is a boy who could do both , but I sensed his reluctance towards one , because he feared he would not, as he said ” be totally focused ” on a certain projects nature …
What PACE members sometimes forget, is that doing the ” harder project ” is always going to make you perform better in what appears to you the “easier more fun ” one
All projects are hard if you want to shine in them, it’s easy to be average, always harder to be outstanding; therein my Hamletian friends , lies the creative work.
Those PACE who excel in performance , have always started ” on the road less travelled ” in Spires Work , and like Robert Frosts poem goes on to to say, ” are all the better for it ”
Nothing good is easy ( a well worn phrase ) and never truer in Spires Theatre ; you have to feel scared, uncomfortable, out of your depth and emotionally exposed as a person , if you are ever to learn what inner strength you might have as a human being…and as a more “vital” performer
No one is born great , even the best grow through harder experience
This boy I met , needs to act quickly and confront his drama ” demons “, he needs to do this to become a PACE “stage” better , because this boy , is worth it.
I have seen so much talent and potential go to creative waste, over the many years I have taught drama here ; because young people prefer to make the convenient choice and not the PACE “right” one.
However one inexperienced but determined young girl recently chose her creative path differently and even in the room last night , I could see her head held a little bit higher , her smile more genuine , her energy positively channelled into getting better.
And I couldn’t help thinking, that for her , it might just ” turnout” alright
For those attending the MASTERCLASS with Marcus tonight, think on this: that nothing is impossible when you have the determination to make your dreams a reality.
Marcus went all the way to Juilliard at the tender age of 18.
Marcus saw his future and powered towards it ” like a star “.
You will not all want to perform , in fact the majority of PACE Theatre School never did; but they did want to be the best version of themselves for their chosen future.
All the workshops, lessons, culture, dance routines , movement experiences , singing sessions , shows, events, projects , ideas exchanges – the wonderful creative process of drama – can make this happen – but – only when you take it seriously enough to understand the difference between ” just pretending” and PERFORMING to your best “potential”.
I don’t know what Marcus will do tonight , but what I do know is it will be engaging , different , fresh and highly beneficial ; the people we meet in life, anywhere , can always contribute to our development: our parents , school teachers , directors , team leaders , friends …the list goes on
Marcus wants to give back. He has always stayed a friend of PACE , a supporter of our work , a TS student who changed ” for good ” and one of the finest Verona House Directors we have ever seen, lifting the Verona Cup for Capulet.
You see it’s not the “winning” but the winning inside that matters – the Verona Cup experience allowed Marcus to help secure , his entry into Juilliard – he wrote and spoke about his Verona. experience at his audition and impressed the panel so much, they took this young Scot to their hearts and into one of the most prestigious theatre schools in the world.
And for Marcus …that made everything ” turnout ” just fine!
Wear your theatre blacks with pride tonight , bring a pad to note things down and an open mind to experience what some people only dream of …
And , as our TS Queen Anthem goes ! Tonight ! Have a ” real good time ”
See you in reality