With formal training only in dance, and performance experience only in music, I was nevertheless invited to join YPT under Jan & Susan Rubes as male apprentice for the 1975-76 season after auditioning for Greg Rogers. The female apprentice was Sonja Smits.
As apprentice, my task was to participate as fully as inhumanly possible in every production, understudy male roles, build sets, source/make props, provide musical accompaniment when needed, and essentially be forever available. And I was paid for the privilege, $70/wk! I was ecstatic.
Memorable moments abound: for the schools program, highlights include playing the King (for a day) of Beige in “A Knight in Kilometre Country”, a crutched character in “Billy Bishop & the Red Baron”, and Tom Longboat in “Cyclone Jack”. Entertaining the young people was reciprocally entertaining, and every cast member was terrifically encouraging and supportive–a real blast.
At Tarragon, it was night shift, turning a page or two for the pianist accompanying
“Fresh Disasters”. During a brutally cold winter stretch at OSC, flutist Dita Paabo and I (on guitar) formed the orchestra accompanying “Androcles and the Lion”. And I hung out with St Lawrence Centre stage crew for the run of “Popcorn Man”. The season ended all too soon.