Transcript: Neil Minor | Sep 18, 1992

(music plays)
Colourful geometric shapes slide slowly on the screen with the title “ARTS AND YOUTH” on a grey textured background.
[drum beating]

A group of young teenagers rehearse a routine on stage. They simulate a fight following the beats of a drum.

A caption reads “Neil Minor.” He’s young, has his hair curly and short and is clean-shaven. He wears a printed black T-shirt and jeans.

Neil says
THE FIRST SHOW I AUDITIONED
FOR I AUDITIONED BECAUSE
SOMEONE DARED ME TO DO IT.
THEY SAID I DON'T THINK
YOU'VE GOT THE GUTS
TO GO UP ON STAGE.
YOU'RE AFRAID OF THE PEOPLE.
SO I SAID, OKAY,
I'LL DO IT.
I WENT UP AND
I AUDITIONED.
AND IT WASN'T THE
GREATEST OF SHOWS,
BUT IT WAS ENOUGH TO GET
ME BITTEN BY THE BUG.
SO I STARTED IN
GRADE 9 REALLY ACTING.
WHEN I WAS REALLY YOUNG,
I WASN'T SHY AT ALL.
AS I GOT OLDER,
GRADES 7 AND 8,
I DON'T KNOW WHAT
HAPPENED TO ME.
I CLOSED UP.
I HAD A SMALL
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS.
I DIDN'T TALK
TO ANYONE ELSE.
I HAD MAYBE FIVE FRIENDS,
AND I HUNG AROUND
WITH THEM ALL THE TIME.

A clip shows Neil at rehearsal, saying his lines to a girl who sits in front of him. The rest of the group observes.

Neil continues
THEN AS SOON AS I HIT HIGH
SCHOOL EVERYTHING, BOOM,
IT WENT OPEN AGAIN.
I STARTED DRAMA.
IT REALLY BROADENS
YOUR MIND.
THE BEST THING ABOUT
A DRAMA CLASS OR A
THEATRE CLASS IS THAT
IT DOESN'T FOCUS ON
JUST PEOPLE WHO WANT
TO BECOME ACTORS.
I KNOW LOTS OF PEOPLE THAT
HAVE TAKEN DRAMA CLASSES
THAT HAVE NO INTEREST
IN BECOMING ACTORS.
DRAMA CAN HELP ANYONE
BECAUSE IT'S ALMOST LIKE
TAKING A PUBLIC SPEAKING
COURSE, IN A SENSE.
BECAUSE IT'LL HELP YOU
DEAL WITH PEOPLE BETTER,
TALK TO THEM BETTER,
AND IT DOES ALLOW YOU
TO BECOME MORE OPEN
BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT TO
DO THINGS IN FRONT
OF YOUR OTHER PEERS
THAT YOU WOULDN'T DO
IN ANY OTHER CLASS.
YOU CAN BE YOURSELF.
IT'S THE ONLY CLASS THAT
YOU CAN REALLY BE YOURSELF.
AND IT REALLY ALLOWS
YOU TO OPEN UP.
SO FOR ANY STUDENT --
ESPECIALLY STUDENTS WHO
ARE AFRAID TO TALK
ABOUT THEMSELVES.
THE EARLY DRAMA GRADES
IS THE BEST THING
FOR THEM TO GET INTO.
BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT FORCED
TO, BUT THEY'RE KIND OF
GENTLY PUSHED INTO
EXPRESSING THEMSELVES
AND SHOWING WHO
THEY REALLY ARE.
AND THEY'RE ALLOWED
TO BECOME MORE OPEN.
IT'S A GREAT WAY TO
GROW AS YOU'RE LEARNING.

New clips show Neil performing numbers, rehearsing and reciting.

Neil says
IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO
THE EXTRACURRICULAR
AND THE IN-CLASS AND
ANY OTHER THEATRE-RELATED
THINGS YOU MIGHT CHOOSE TO DO,
IT LAYS A HUGE WORKLOAD ON YOU.
I STARTED OFF FAIRLY SLOW, SO
I LEARNED TO ADJUST TO IT.
BUT AS YOU GET INTO IT,
ORGANIZATION BECOMES
LIKE A WAY OF YOUR LIFE.
LIKE I DON'T KNOW WHAT I
WOULD DO WITHOUT A CALENDAR.
LIKE I'VE GOT A CALENDAR IN
MY PACK SACK EVERYWHERE I GO
JUST IN CASE, AND I HAVE A
LIST OF PHONE NUMBERS AND
EVERYTHING, A WATCH.
SO ORGANIZATION REALLY
COMES INTO PLAY AFTER
YOU'VE BEEN IN
IT FOR A WHILE.
WHAT I WANT TO DO IN THEATRE
IS DIRECTLY ATTACHED
TO MY HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE.
LIKE IF I HAD GONE
TO ANOTHER SCHOOL,
I'M ALMOST POSITIVE I WOULDN'T
HAVE GOTTEN INTO DRAMA
AND, THUS, I WOULDN'T HAVE
WANTED TO GO INTO THEATRE
AS A CAREER.
THE THEATRE PROGRAM ITSELF,
COMBINED WITH THE TEACHERS
THAT ARE REALLY HELPFUL,
I THINK, HAVE LED ME TO
BELIEVE THAT THEATRE COULD
POTENTIALLY BE LIKE THAT.
AND IF IT IS IT'S DEFINITELY
SOMETHING THAT I WANT TO
GET INVOLVED IN BECAUSE
IT'S WELL WORTH IT.

A clip shows a scene from a play. The characters are a young woman on a red dress and a man. He stands at the back on a wooden structure that covers most of the setting.

She sings a song and the lyrics go
BACK IN 1880 THERE WAS
HATRED IN THE AIR
THE BLOODY FEUDS
OF OUR LAND
HAD FOUND A
FOOTHOLD THERE.

Neil says
IN THE DONNELLYS, I PLAY JIM
DONNELLY WHO'S THE FATHER,
THE CENTRAL CHARACTER.
HIM AND HIS WIFE.
THIS IS ACTUALLY THE
MOST CHALLENGING ROLE
I'VE EVER PLAYED BECAUSE
USUALLY I GET TO PLAY
THE CUTESY CHARACTERS,
YOU KNOW, BUT IN THIS ONE
I WAS FINALLY ALLOWED
TO PLAY SOMEONE WHO'S
MEAN AND ROUGH.
IN ACTUALITY, JIM DONNELLY
WAS ABOUT 6'4 AND 210 POUNDS.

Next, the rest of the cast, including Neil, makes its entrance and joins the singing girl.

Neil continues
I'VE BEEN ALLOWED TO PLAY
SOMEONE WHO'S REALLY
FEROCIOUS AND HAS A REAL
HUNGER FOR THE POWER.
SO IT'S BEEN A REAL
CHALLENGE FOR ME.

A new clip features Neil’s character interacting with a fellow actress who plays Johanna.

Neil says
NO, JOHANNAH!
I SEE THE SAME THING
WHEN I WALK INTO TOWN.
I LOOK INTO PEOPLE'S EYES
AND I SEE THE SAME THING.
I SEE THE SAME
DAMN THING!

Neil continues
I GUESS THE THING THAT
APPEALED TO ME MOST
ABOUT BEING ON STAGE WAS
WHEN YOU'RE UP THERE
AND YOU'RE PERFORMING
SOMETHING FOR PEOPLE
AND YOU CAN HEAR THEM LAUGHING
AND YOU CAN HEAR THEM CRYING,
OR JUST HEARING THEM
BREATHING DURING A REALLY
TENSE MOMENT ON STAGE,
IT'S AMAZING TO KNOW
THAT YOU'RE ENTERTAINING
SOMEONE ELSE.
IT'S A HUGE
ADRENALINE RUSH.
THEATRE ALSO ENRICHES IN
THE FACT THAT YOU LEARN
TO APPRECIATE AND BE
LESS SELFISH AND JUST SAY,
OKAY, I'VE GOT A PROBLEM,
I'LL SEE IF I CAN FIGURE
IT OUT FOR MYSELF.
IF NOT, I'LL BE
CALM, COOL AND COLLECTED.
AND THAT'S ANOTHER THING.
IT ALSO CALMS YOU DOWN
BECAUSE YOU LEARN A LOT OF
EXERCISES TO HELP
CALM YOURSELF DOWN.
SO, OVERALL, IT'S A
REALLY ENRICHING EXPERIENCE
IN ALMOST EVERY ASPECT
THAT I CAN THINK OF.

(music plays)
The end credits roll.
Director, Allan Novak.
Producer, Gladys Richards.
Associate Producer, Nicole Hallett.
Executive Producer, Kathryn McFarlane.
A production of TV ONTARIO. The Ontario Educational Communications Authority, 1992.

Watch: Neil Minor