Transcript: Tanya Smith/Neil Minor/Raquel Madahbee | Sep 27, 1996

(music plays)

Colourful geometric shapes slide slowly on the screen with the title “ARTS AND YOUTH” on a grey textured background.

A caption on screen reads “Tanya Smith.” She’s in her twenties. She has long dark hair tied up and a headband. She wears a black sweater and rounded earrings.

Tanya says
I WANT TO GO INTO MUSIC
BECAUSE IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S
BEEN WITH ME FOR A LONG TIME.
HOPEFULLY, I CAN DO IT
PROFESSIONALLY AND MAKE
A CAREER OUT OF IT.
BUT I DEFINITELY WANT TO GET
INTO IT AND AT LEAST TRY.

A video shows Tanya warming up her vocals with other members of a choir.

Tanya continues
MY PARENTS, AT FIRST, REALLY
DIDN'T TAKE ME SERIOUSLY.
AND THEY REALLY DIDN'T FEEL
THAT MUSIC WAS SOMETHING
I SHOULD GO INTO.
THEY WERE LIKE, OH YEAH,
SHE WANTS TO DO IT,
BUT SHE PROBABLY ISN'T GOOD.
AND ONCE THEY SAW THAT, YEAH,
SHE'S PRETTY GOOD AT THAT,
AND SHE LIKES IT, THEY
FINALLY SAW THAT I REALLY LOVE
DOING THIS, AND THAT I
DON'T WANT TO BE A NURSE
LIKE THE REST OF MY FAMILY.

(music plays)

A clip features Tanya singing a solo. Next, the rest of the group appears on screen playing guitar, bass, keyboards and drums along with the rest of the singing members.

Tanya continues
THE MIX ARE -- I BELIEVE
THERE ARE 14 SINGERS
AND A RHYTHM SECTION.
AND WHAT WE DO IS VOCAL
JAZZ TO POPULAR TUNES
TO CLASSICAL TUNES.
WE'VE MADE SUCH GOOD FRIENDS
IN THIS GROUP, THAT WHEN I GO
AWAY, I KNOW THAT I'LL NEVER
FORGET THE THINGS THAT I
LEARNED, AND YOU GET TO
TRAVEL, AND MOST TIMES WE
GET FED, BUT YOU KNOW.

New images show the band rehearsing.

Tanya chuckles and continues
AND YOU GET TO SEE WHAT OTHER
PEOPLE ARE DOING BECAUSE I
THINK SOMETIMES WE ISOLATE
OURSELVES SOMETIMES IN THIS
SCHOOL, AND BY GETTING OUT AND
SEEING OTHER PEOPLE AND
PERFORMING FOR THEM,
AND SEEING THEIR REACTION,
OR BEING IN SITUATIONS WITH
OTHER CHOIRS, WE CAN SEE
HOW THEY ARE.
IT'S A GREAT FEELING BECAUSE
YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO BOND
WITH AND TO RELATE
TO OTHER PEOPLE WITH.
WHEN YOU HAVE AN ARTS PROGRAM
IN A SCHOOL, IT'S SORT OF A
TIME WHERE YOU CAN RELAX AND
TAKE A BREAK FROM ACTUALLY
DOING THE COMPULSORY SUBJECTS
LIKE MATH AND ENGLISH
AND GEOGRAPHY.
AND ONCE YOU GET INTO MUSIC,
YOU FIND I DON'T HAVE TO
ACTUALLY DO FORMULAS, OR HAVE
TO DO GRAPHS OR SOMETHING.
SO IT'S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY
TO ADD TO YOUR HIGH SCHOOL
CAREER BY DOING SOMETHING
THAT YOU LIKE TO DO,
OR YOU CAN FIND OUT
THAT IT'S GOOD TO DO.

The warm ups continue as the singers follow the director’s instructions.

Tanya continues
I BELIEVE THAT THINGS
LIKE I LEARN DICTION AND
PRONUNCIATION AND PROJECTION,
THAT I LEARN HERE IN SCHOOL,
HELP ME IN, BELIEVE IT OR NOT,
IN POP MUSIC AND SOUL MUSIC,
AND STUFF LIKE THAT.
I'M INVOLVED IN A
FUNK BAND OUTSIDE.
IT'S CALLED BLUE HIPPO.
I'M ALSO INVOLVED IN A BAND
THAT'S PLAYING AT ONTARIO PLACE.
AND THERE IS SO MUCH NOISE AT
ONTARIO PLACE, THAT IT MAKES
A LOT HARDER.
BUT I THINK MY VOICE GETS
STRONGER FROM LEARNING
TO PROJECT.
AND PROPERLY.
WE LEARN WHERE TO
BREATHE FROM HERE.
YOU LEARN, USE YOUR DIAPHRAGM,
AND OPEN YOUR MOUTH.
THAT'S THE SORT OF THINGS YOU
LEARN HERE THAT ARE CORRECT,
SO WHEN I GO OUT TO ONTARIO
PLACE OR THE FUNK BAND, THAT I
DON'T DO THINGS WRONG
AND HURT MY VOICE.

A clip shows Tanya, by herself, in a dark room playing a piano.

Tanya says
I'VE BEEN COMPOSING, I
THINK, FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS.
I'M NOT AS GOOD
AS I'D LIKE TO BE.
I WISH I COULD COME OUT WITH
SONGS ALL THE TIME, BUT I ONLY
FEEL INSPIRED, YOU KNOW, SOME
OF THE TIMES, SO I THINK
EMOTION PLAYS A VERY BIG PART
IN MY MUSIC, AND IN MUSIC
IN GENERAL.
I DON'T KNOW HOW ELSE I WOULD
BE ABLE TO EXPRESS MYSELF IF
I DIDN'T CHOOSE MUSIC TO
EXPRESS MYSELF THAT WAY.

(music plays)

Tanya plays the piano and sings along.

She says
I COMPOSED MESSAGE OF LOVE
WHEN WE WENT OUT TO
CHINGUACOUSY MOUNTAIN.
IT'S A SKI HILL, AND IT
WAS LIKE SUMMERTIME,
AND I THINK, AT THE TIME,
I HAD THIS CRUSH ON SOMEBODY,
AND I THOUGHT, WELL,
THIS IS A NICE SONG.
I DON'T KNOW HOW TO REALLY
TELL HIM THAT I LIKE HIM.
AND IT WAS REALLY ALL THE
THINGS I WAS FEELING
AT THE TIME.
SO I WAS JUST WRITING THEM
DOWN, AND THEY JUST HAPPENED
TO EVOLVE INTO THIS SONG.

The singing continues and the lyrics go
THE MESSAGE OF
LOVE IS CALLING ME
THE MESSAGE OF LOVE
IS WHAT I WANT TO SEE .

Tanya says
I THINK STUDENTS SHOULD TRY
AND TAKE UP AS MUCH AS
THEY CAN, THE CHOICES THEY
HAVE, IN HIGH SCHOOL.
LIKE WHEN YOU GET TO HIGH
SCHOOL, YOU CAN CHOOSE ART
OR DANCING OR VISUAL
ART OR MUSIC.
IT'S SORT OF, YOU HAVE TO GET
MOTIVATED AND GO OUT THERE
AND GET IT, RATHER THAN
TRYING TO WAIT FOR IT
TO COME TO YOU.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

The title appears again introducing a new episode.

(music plays)
[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. The title appears again introducing a new episode.

(music plays)

The screen shows a girl in her twenties, sitting down on the grass, out in the open, next to a lake. She’s drawing.
A caption reads “Raquel Madahbee.”
She has long curly dark hair and wears a purple sweater and glasses.

Raquel says
I THINK ABOUT ART AS
BEING A PERSONAL OUTLET
FOR SOMEONE WHO
WANTS TO GET AWAY.
FOR MY FANTASY, I JUST
LIKE TO GET AWAY
THROUGH MY OWN HEAD.
I FIND DRAWING RELAXING.
IT TAKES ME AWAY.
LIKE, SOME OF MY
FANTASIES THAT I DRAW,
I CAN ACTUALLY FEEL
LIKE I'M IN THE PAINTING.

New images show Raquel’s work. She uses a black pencil to draw fierce felines confronting a unicorn. Next, a series of images show more of her pieces featuring creatures that resemble animals.

Raquel continues
THE FIRST IMAGES I
LIKED WERE HORSES
BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT
OF MAJESTIC THINGS
YOU CAN GET OUT
OF A HORSE.
LIKE A HORSE WITH WINGS
AND THE HORNED HORSE,
THE SO-CALLED UNICORN.
I DO DIFFERENT BEASTS THAT
JUST COME OUT OF MY HEAD.
I TAKE INTO THOUGHT
WHAT COLOUR HE IS,
IF THEY'RE GOING TO
HAVE SCALES, OR FUR,
IF THEY'RE GOING TO
BE IN WATER, OR IF
THERE'S NO WATER WHAT
ARE THEY GOING TO DRINK.
OR DO THEY HAVE A
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM?
THERE'S A LOT OF OPTIONS
YOU CAN DO WITH FANTASY.

A new work appears on screen. This time it is a painting that portrays a human-like warrior fighting a furious and hairy beast. The composition completes with reptiles and a flying eagle with a sea background.

Raquel explains
THERE IS ANOTHER FANTASY
PAINTING THAT I HAVE DONE.
IT IS ABOUT A MAN,
A HUMAN MAN, BUT WITH A
SCORPION'S TAIL.
HE HAS A SPIKED CHAIN
WITH A BALL AT THE END.
A SPIKED BALL.
AND HE'S SWINGING
IT AT THIS BEAST,
WHO'S TRYING TO GET THE
EGGS OF THESE TWO LIZARDS
ON THESE WASHED-OUT STAIRS.
THEY'RE JUST STAIRS THAT
WERE IN THE OCEAN,
LIKE THE BEGINNING OF
ATLANTIS OR SOMETHING.
YOU HAVE TO GO INTO IT.
YOU HAVE TO JUST LOOK
AT IT AND DECIDE WHAT
YOU THINK, WHAT YOU
WANT TO HAPPEN.
I WANT PEOPLE TO HAVE
THEIR OWN DESCRIPTIONS
AND HAVE THEIR OWN FANTASIES
ABOUT THIS ONE PICTURE.
AND IF YOU CAN DESCRIBE IT
OR SOMETHING, THERE'S A LOT
OF THINGS GOING ON THROUGH
OTHER PEOPLE'S HEADS
AND IT'S KIND OF INTERESTING
THE WAY I CAN MAKE AN
ILLUSTRATION AND MAKE
A STORY OUT OF IT.
YOU KNOW, JUST
WRITE A BOOK.

The screen shows Raquel working on her art at a workshop, sharing the table with other artists. The room is full of drawing and painting materials.

Raquel says
YEAH, THERE WAS A TIME THAT
I FELT LIKE GIVING IT UP.
JUST BEFORE I STARTED HIGH
SCHOOL I TOTALLY RIPPED UP
EVERYTHING BECAUSE I WAS
ANGRY AT A LOT OF PEOPLE
LIKE MY PARENTS, AND A LOT
OF PEOPLE WERE KIND OF
CONCERNED AFTER THAT
SO PEOPLE ACTUALLY TOOK
INTEREST AND THEN I JUST
STARTED GETTING BACK INTO IT.
AND THEN RIGHT AT HIGH SCHOOL
I STARTED TAKING ART AGAIN.
YEAH, I LIKE TO
WORK ON MY OWN.
I LIKE BEING INDEPENDENTLY
WORKING ON MY OWN KIND OF THING
AND NOT HAVING TO BOTHER
WITH BEING CHECKED ON
EVERY TIME TO SEE WHAT'S
SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY
AND WHAT'S SUPPOSED
TO BE THAT.
I JUST WANT TO
DO IT MY WAY.
AND FIND OUT WHAT KIND
OF FLAWS THERE ARE
AND THEN FIX THEM.
THE MOST FUN PART FOR
ME IS BEING ABLE TO CREATE
SOMETHING AND ACTUALLY PUT
IT ON A PIECE OF PAPER.
MOST PEOPLE CAN'T DO THAT
OR THEY SAY THEY COULD NEVER.
WELL, MAYBE THEY COULD.
THEY NEVER KNOW BECAUSE
THEY NEVER TRIED.

(music plays)

A new series of drawings shows figurines with notes on the sides for each piece of clothing included in the design.

Raquel says
IT'S POSSIBLE I COULD BE
GOING INTO A FUTURE OCCUPATION
IN FASHION DESIGN.
I HAVE A GOOD
APTITUDE FOR IT.
I CAN DRAW A PERSON'S BODY
AND ACTUALLY MAKE SOMETHING
OUT OF IT.
LIKE MAKE THE KIND OF
CLOTHING THAT THIS PERSON
WOULD HAVE TO WEAR.
OR WHAT I THINK WOULD
LOOK BEST ON THEM.
IT'S NOT EXACTLY ABSTRACT.
I CAN ACTUALLY SEE MYSELF
MAKING THE CLOTHES.
I USUALLY TAKE APART
MY OWN CLOTHES AND
TRY TO RE-DESIGN THEM.

Raquel’s now back on the grass, drawing.

Raquel giggles and concludes
I THINK ART STUDENTS
CAN RELEASE SOME TENSIONS
THROUGH ART, AND OTHER
STUDENTS, BECAUSE THERE'S
A LOT OF STUFF YOU CAN
PUT ON YOUR PAPER
AND JUST GET RID OF IT.
AND THERE'S A LOT OF TENSION
GOING ON THROUGH
DIFFERENT SCHOOLS BECAUSE
OF THE PRESSURE PUT ON
THROUGH MID-TERMS AND
OFF-THE-WALL TESTS.
LIKE WHEN KIDS ARE MAD AT
THEIR TEACHERS THEY'LL TRY
AND DO SOMETHING TO THEM.
IT'S LIKE TAKE IT OUT ON A
SHEET OF PAPER, DRAW.
I DON'T KNOW.

(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: Tanya Smith/Neil Minor/Raquel Madahbee