For Dustin Hovey, the transition from a budding young adult to full-time working actor has arrived. For the former Westview secondary student, it’s not a moment too soon.
As the 22-year-old actor takes a break from rehearsing from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, he admits a life on the stage is something he’s always wanted since he entered high school.
“I’m starting out my life, becoming a grown-up,” he laughs, as he explains his decision to head to Toronto in the fall to continue working on his career.
But until then, he’ll be on stage as part of the male ensemble cast of the Theatre Under The Star’s production of the Tony-award winning musical first produced by Frank Loesser.
The play opens July 9 at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park and runs through until the end of August. In July, the show plays on odd days. In August, the schedule flips to even days.
The story centres around young, ambitious J. Pierrepont Finch, who leans on the book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, to climb from window washer to chairman of the board of the World Wide Wicket Company.
Hovey said performing at the historic theatre in Vancouver only adds to his enjoyment of performing in front of a live audience.
“It’s an adrenaline rush for sure, it really keeps you going. It can be stressful, but that’s part of live performances. It goes hand-in-hand with the excitement,” said Hovey, whose in his second season with Theatre Under the Stars.
“You can really feed off the energy from the crowd.”
While the young actor confesses he always comes down with a case of the butterflies before the start of a performance, they are quickly swept away once the curtain goes up.
“After a good performance, I don’t even realize I was on stage until I come off. You get so focused and in the moment, it’s just like, wow, it’s over.”
Hovey’s past credits include Rent, Just So and The Boy Friend. He’s hoping his venture to Toronto will only lead to bigger and better things. But he realizes that while excited, it’s also daunting.
He said he realizes a career on the stage or on the screen is not easily accomplished. There are thousands of aspiring actors just waiting for their break. He said thankfully, he’s had, and continues to receive, nothing but support from his family.
“My parents supported me no matter what I was involved with, whether it was sports, art, or theatre. They’ve been one hundred per cent behind me. It makes a world of difference.”
Hovey also looks back at his time in high school and the encouragement and direction he received from his theatre arts teach, Rhondalee Brema, who he said was able to foster his love of the stage.
“She really inspired me to be better and to continue to peruse a career in theatre.”