MILFORD: HERH graduate Nicole Baillie is headed into a unique post-secondary opportunity. After a short audition process, she will be attending the Randolph School of Performance Arts in Toronto. Baillie originally auditioned in February, at one of the eight audition locations across Canada.
“I was accepted in April,” said Baillie. “I was really excited, and then I just had to tell them that I was going. It was a very simple process; I just had to prepare a monologue and two songs for my audition, and then at the audition I had a dance call I had to participate in. Everything went really well, I guess, since I was accepted at the end.”
For the whole school, based on the year, there are between 50 and 60 spots open for classes. There is a rule within the school that 50 per cent of those spots must go to performers from Ontario – which leaves approximately 25 spots open for the rest of Canada and international students.
This is Baillie’s first option for post-secondary education, and it’s something she’s aspired towards since the tender age of four.
“I’m so excited – I can’t wait,” said Baillie. “I really like that I’m going to be living in Toronto – that I’m going to get to see the city, and hopefully I’m going to get to meet other people that do what I want to do.”
Baillie will be taking the ‘triple threat’ program, which was the first of its kind to be introduced in Canada. It’s a highly elite program – which involves dancing, acting, and singing by the students year-round, with little time off. Baillie’s first semester will start in the fall of 2012, with the second in the spring, in keepings with a normal post-secondary curriculum. However, her courses continue throughout the summer, with her third semester.
The course does take a four-week break at Christmas, and a three-week break in April. Overall, the program lasts three years.
At her graduation , Baillie received the Fraser Bain Memorial Bursary, and the HERH Musical Bursary, alongside the Student Council and Yearbook bursary. She also received a bursary from the Sweetspot Chocolate Shop, and the Hubtown Theatre.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was four-years-old,” said Baillie. “I’ve been dancing since I was four. I started out doing highland – and I did that for six years; then I joined RSI. I started doing musicals since Grade six – and I’ve done eight up until now. I’ve worked with the Neptune Theatre in the Youth Performance Company, and at the Canada Games in the Tattoo. It’s just always something I love to do – and have a passion for doing. I can’t imagine not doing this for the rest of my life.
“This really is what I love to do,” continued Baillie. “I think when you love to do something, you strive to learn and be better in it every day. So, I think that going to school for it is going to help me learn from other people because I’ve only been able to learn from the people around me in East Hants. I think expanding to Toronto, I’m going to get to meet other people, and get to see their way of doing things. It’s going to expand how I know things – and let me see things from a professional’s point of view. I’ll get to meet people I never would have met had I not gone to school.”
Getting a spot in the prestigious academy is no small feat for Baillie – as she had to out dance, out act, and out sing 12 other applicants. When asked how her family feels about her recent success, Baillie replied;
“My family’s so proud of me,” said Baillie. “They’ve always supported me, and I’ve known what I wanted to do forever – I’ve always said that I’ve wanted to do this. So, thankfully, I’ve had their support. They’ve just always supported me, and they’re proud of me, though I think they’re kind of sad that I’m moving to Toronto. They’re happy for me.”
As of now, Baillie isn’t involved with any productions or workshops over the summer – as she plans to continue working at the Sweet Spot Chocolate Shop to continue raising money for her big move to Toronto. Though she hasn’t ruled anything out just yet.