Where did YOU start?

Everyone has had their start in the world of the theatrical arts somewhere. It may not have been the most auspicious of arenas, but it the moment that we can recall as “the beginning”. A casual look at the plethora of “reality talent shows” in TV will inevitably have the traditional “first time” episode, where they drag out the old grainy VHS footage, superimpose a highlighted circle on the screen as the competitor gushes about the first time they set foot on the stage – and how they would probably never dress that way/talk that way/look that way/dance that way/sing that way again.

So, where and when was yours?

For me, I was five years old and living down in the Mornington Peninsula. I had already started playing piano at this stage, but it was my Prep teacher (I still remember her name, Miss Turner) who suggested I perform a song on stage after I sang for “Show And Tell”. A week later, I was on the school stage, in front of some 500 students, singing ‘Jamaican Farewell’ by Harry Belafonte with five other Prep girls doing the hula behind me. That day, I felt like a celebrity in my own little lunch box. The Grade 6’s carried me around on their shoulders during lunch break and got me to sing the song again.

The funny thing is, I was a very shy kid – hard to believe these days – but I learned that day that the stage had a special power. There was an invisible line that separated the audience from those on stage, and for the first time, I felt free to be able to express myself without fear of ridicule or reprise. The stage felt safe, a home away from home.

Since that day, I pursued a world on and around the stage. And while I’m more content to write for the stage than be on it, I still remember that day when I was five as the moment I discovered my love for the theatre.  It was the day that the fire started in me, a fire that continues to burn to this day.

Again, I throw the question to you – where and when did you start your theatrical journey? What was it that set the fire alight in you? After all, that was the moment where you set your life’s course in motion; and that counts for everything.

Until next time,

Blog ya later!


Drew Lane

Andrew “Drew” Lane was born in Melbourne, and began playing piano at the age of four. At age 15, he began to write his own material, and was also introduced to musical theatre via shows such as Starlight Express, Les Miserables and Time. From that moment on, Drew was actively involved in musical theatre at a rehearsal pianist, musical director, or on stage performer. In 1992, Drew composed his first musical for high school, Back Streets, and in 1994, Drew was accepted into the Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts, where he honed his skills, not only as a composer, but also as a performer. Gaining valuable experience on stage and behind the scenes helped him to realise his next musical, Atlantis. A workshop production was staged for the Ballarat Opera Festival in 1996 and gained rave reviews. In the following years, Drew took up teaching but was also able to regularly composer and stage his own productions including Eva’s Wish (1997, Anacortes, WA, USA), Revelations (1998, Touring, Victoria, Australia), and Toys (1999, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia). In 2010, Drew's musical Marking Life was chosen to be part of the Festival of Broadway, hosted by the University of Tasmania, and was performed for Steven Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin). A prolific composer, Drew hopes to be able to take his musicals to Off-Broadway or the West End, and believes that his best writing is yet to come. He is presently completing his Master’s degree in Performing Arts, and has several new musicals presently in development. Drew is proud to be a regular contributor to AussieTheatre.com and looks forward to hearing from all of his readers!

Drew Lane

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *