A Life Lesson in Showmanship | www.gctc.ca

A Life Lesson in Showmanship

My name is Tommy Nguyen, a second year public relations student at Algonquin College. I’ve had the privilege of interning at the Great Canadian Theatre Company for their 2013 to 2014 theatrical season. By being a part of the GCTC, I’m pursuing my passion for the arts and building my dream career in art and entertainment publicity.

Performance, in many ways, reflects what we do on a daily basis. Whether you are politician on “the hill” or a barista interacting with café goers, there is an interaction happening which defines how people react to you.

My first week as an intern for the GCTC was my first dive into the deep waters of the public relations world. Publicity is key in creating a successful production, as a public relations specialist it was my task to assist with generating that buzz. Working at the GCTC helped me build an actor’s flare and added to my skill-sets as a PR practitioner. People in PR are natural performance artists, selling a message requires showmanship and charisma.

After speaking to some of the performance artists during the 2014 Undercurrents festival, I drew comparison to what the actors did and what I do. Instead of a room full of theatrical goers, my audience was in a boardroom and my art was verbal communication. Being able to sell yourself is one of the most important tools in the public relations inventory.

I then started to speak to some of the actors to hone my craft. The ability to project your voice, using fluid body movement, and creating a flare for performance enhances your communication skills. By learning from people who perform for a living, it turned the ordinary into the extraordinary.