HOOKED on opera and musical theatre since the age of 10, 15-year-old Darlington resident Ronald Dick has never doubted what his future career choice would be.
Playing in the male ensemble in the Australian Performing Arts Network’s upcoming production of Beauty and the Beast at The Regal Theatre in August, Ronald is proving to be a talented singer, dancer and actor.
With an ultimate goal of performing on Broadway, Ronald also writes musical theatre, something he describes as an artistic outlet for expressing life’s challenges and building resilience.
Despite his youth, Ronald has built considerable resilience; he has attended many different schools and has often felt like an outsider.
Sensitive, intelligent and mature beyond his years, he did not attend full-time school until he was in Year 4.
“These sorts of challenges are common for many Aboriginal families, but my Mum says the cycle stops with me,” he said.
“I believe my performing and writing will help me to live a good life.”
Ronald has loved to sing since he could walk and learned the piano from watching a school teacher play at one of his primary schools.
“Whenever I got the chance… I would go to a live show. I was hooked and knew that musical theatre was what I wanted to do with my life,” he said.
Ronald was put in touch with Australian Performing Arts Network (APAN) director Marina Del Basso and he now has a pathway towards his chosen career.
Having left traditional school to join APAN’s Talent Development Program this year, Ronald has already performed at Musicals In Concert at the Perth Convention Centre and with the Short Black Opera Company at the Sydney Opera House.
At APAN he will complete his education through the School of Isolated and Distance Education and he is gaining the encouragement, tuition and experience he needs to position him for his professional goals.
Ms Del Basso said Ronald, who is loved among his peers for his dry sense of humour, was a natural performer with so much to give an audience.
When he auditioned she was struck by his voice, his incredible story line delivery and versatility as an artist.
“APAN will build him to become a true triple threat,” she said.
“We will work on balancing his craft in all genres, prepare him with audition techniques and how to market himself as a performer.”
Ronald joins a cast of 88 for APAN’s production of Beauty and the Beast, a story of a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, who is taken prisoner by a beast in its castle.
Beauty and the Beast opens at The Regal Theatre on August 25 and runs until September 3. Tickets are available through Ticketek.