Sebastian is many things, but above all else, he is a performer. His flair for the dramatic arts was evident from a young age when at just five years old, he would perform show tunes for his family after Sunday dinner. Sebastian's passion for performance was carefully nurtured by his grandmother, who had once held a successful career as a Broadway dancer. The two spent many summer afternoons in their hometown of London, Ontario, lost in the music of the classics like Singing in the Rain and High Society.
When Sebastian finally decided to move to New York to pursue his musical theatre career seriously, it felt like he was surrendering to a force greater than himself: a dream. There was a feeling that washed over Sebastian whenever he was on a stage. The warmth of the stage lights on his face, the low murmur of voices in the audience, the musty yet comforting smell of the tall velour stage drapes... It was thrilling.
It was that same feeling of thrill that Sebastian felt when he received a casting call from Christopher Ashley for a leading role in Come From Away. His chest felt like it might explode. Everything he had ever worked towards seemed to build up to this role. It was the culmination of the countless hours he spent rehearsing to perfect his craft.
Sebastian prepared tirelessly in the weeks leading up to his audition. He often laid down to sleep just before sunrise, his vocal cords sore and his body heavy.
When it was finally time for Sebastian's audition, his entire body felt like it had been pricked by 1,000 tiny needles. His pupils dilated, his palms became sweaty, and his throat felt like it was slowly being swallowed by his stomach. He took a slow sip of air, closed his eyes, and began to absorb his surroundings. He was ready to perform the best audition of his career.
Sometimes the most difficult heartbreaks are those that happen when we face setbacks in pursuit of our dreams. The heartbreaks that occur when, despite all our best efforts, we come up short.
Two days after his audition, Sebastian received a call. It was a woman named Anna, who introduced herself as the Assistant Casting Director of Come From Away. She explained that although his audition was competitive, after tough deliberation, the team had decided to cast a different actor for the role. Anna continued to rattle off boilerplate messaging about how Sebastian was encouraged to audition for future productions, but Sebastian tuned most of this out.
After hanging up the phone, Sebastian steadied himself at his kitchen table and sat down. He closed his eyes and tried to remember the warmth of the stage lights on his face. The low murmur of voices in the audience. The musty yet comforting smell of the tall velour stage drapes... It all seemed so far away.