Christmas Carol Chronicles, Part XXII

"And the actor award for the evening goes to.....Neil Scott," declared director Jacqueline Russell as we dived into the post-rehearsal notes.  She had spied him playing his intentions all the way into the wings, always a good idea, as you never know who's watching.

Neil always give 110%, on stage and off.  He has been a delight to work with, and a strong addition to Keyano Theatre Company.  He plays the role of Peter, Bob Cratchit's eldest son Peter, in the production of A Christmas Carol that previews tonight and opens tomorrow.  With strong actor instincts, Neil also has a beautiful singing voice and adds great richness to several choral parts in the show.

An employee of the Bank of Montreal, Neil, like several members of the cast, rushes from work to rehearsal each day, and despite the tight schedule, seems to make it work.  What keeps Neil going?

"I think it’s very important to remember the underlying purpose behind whatever you are doing," he said. "If you don’t, you risk wandering aimlessly through life, accomplishing little and discouraging yourself and others. For me, A Christmas Carol is much more than just a story about an elderly British man discovering the effects that greed can have on a person’s life. It is really about sacrifice. Over and over throughout the story we see that sacrifice for others brings joy."

Neil comes from a strong Christian upbringing, and the meaning behind the story is a driver for him.

"This is of great importance to me, since Christmas is about the arrival of Jesus Christ on the earth. Jesus Christ was God’s sacrifice to mankind, and it was by his death and resurrection that He brought forgiveness of sins and thus, joy to the world.  So, even though I am working full-time and am often extremely tired when I come to rehearsal, I remember that the purpose of A Christmas Carol is to show the joy and transformation that results when one decides to sacrifice of themselves for others."

As he looks around the theatre with 24 actors and a dozen crew members scurrying around getting ready for a run, he sees that sacrifice is in abundance.

"In a way, the cast and crew are living out A Christmas Carol already, sacrificing of their time and energy to remind Fort McMurray that Christmas is not about 'profits, profits, profits' or 'takovers', but of care and concern for one's neighbour.  It has been a great experience all around and I'm grateful to Keyano Theatre for allowing me to be a part of it."

Getting to know and work with new friends like Neil makes being a part of a play production extra special for me.  I know I am not alone in that sentiment.  The positive attitude he brings to the theatre each day, combined with his work ethic and integrity, makes him an inspiration to us all.

For a sneak preview of A Christmas Carol, watch this piece produced by our good friend Jerry Neville.


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