• Penny & Pound Theatre

June Spotlight #1: Julian Lam

Updated: Jun 29

In honour of #PrideMonth, each week of June, Penny & Pound will be shining a spotlight on a talented, up-and-coming LGBTQ2SIA+ performer in our community. This week, we introduce P&P alum, Julian Lam (He/She/They), who starred in as Rapunzel's Prince in our inaugural production of 'INTO THE WOODS' in July 2015.

{IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A pastel rainbow background. A white polaroid frame over a picture of Julian Lam- a biracial young man with dark hair, wearing a teal blue jacket. On the frame is the name 'Julian Lam' written in bold pastel-rainbow letters.} 1) TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am a 23 year old, biracial, LGBTQ, triple threat and poet with an immense respect for words and storytelling. This respect has accumulated into a passion that I am currently exploring to immerse myself in as many different kinds of narratives while exploring the impact words have on moving a soul. I am currently in the process of working on my first publication and hoping to submit it next year. An exploration of identity and the ways we use metaphors to try to justify our existence when the world around us doesn't want us to be ourselves. 2) WHEN DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH THE ARTS?

I fell deeply in love with the arts when I realized being in the arts wasn't a social death sentence. A younger version of myself refused to want to partake in the development and cultivation of art because of the complications being an artistic male identifying youth provided. Years of bullying pushed me further and further away until the art itself brought me into myself. When I realized art is a part of who I am and is the most powerful tool to encapsulate humanity to it's very definition in most cases. This is why I love it and continue to spread the love and self discovery the arts has provided me. You are beautiful. 3) HOW HAS THE CURRENT PANDEMIC AFFECTED YOU? The pandemic has completely wiped the industry. As a recent graduate seeking opportunities I had just barely found my footing within the Toronto industry and had many exciting opportunities lined up when the world essentially stopped. It was all gone within a month. Finding the drive to continue to create like many artists has been rather difficult. But love for my craft has driven me to continue to work on my craft and develop myself in silent slumber awaiting the reopening of the industry that I'm determined to change for the better. 4) HAS THIS VOCATION ALWAYS BEEN YOUR GOAL? Absolutely not, I had dreams of being a doctor or lawyer. But how do you find what truly makes you happy when you don't know who you are? Thank goodness the arts came in to guide me into myself and find my true passions. To bring light and stories to inspire and hopefully make any soul feel seen and loved. 5) HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TRAINING, AND WHAT TRAINING DO YOU HAVE?

I am a dancer of sixteen years in various disciplines with a degree from Randolph College For The Performing Arts. But my favourite training to this day has been the incredible time I spent training with Penny and Pound that developed the tools necessary to aid in my acceptance to a post secondary institution with primarily a dance background. 6) DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER UP-AND-COMING PERFORMERS?

Be forgiving and celebrate your friends/peers. As a relatively new performer and industry profesional. I was in constant drive to succeed to impress my mom and family. At the end of the day, they love you and will love you regardless if you get the gig or not. Do and try your best everyday but if for some reason your body can't move today. Listen and forgive yourself. You don't have to be anything that isn't more than what you can take and if you see that with your friends/peers celebrate them with every small victory. You are enough. 7) WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU? Currently I'm deep in study and research with vocabulary and language. But here's to hoping for a smooth transition back into our new "normal" life after COVID-19 where I will continue to reestablish my artistic presence after a slight detour in Montreal to finish up writing my first novel. But most importantly I look forward to meeting so many new inspirational souls who make this world a brighter place just for existing. The stories are yet to be written and your story is always just beginning.

Julian Lam (Top) and Jordan Sabola (Bottom) star as Rapunzel's Prince and Cinderella's Prince in our inaugural production, INTO THE WOODS. {IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Two teenage boys. One stands on top of a fake tree trunk. He is of Vietnamese decent with dark hair, and wears a red shirt and black pants. The one beneath is Caucasian and blonde, and wears a similar shirt that is blue. They both have their right arms in the air, reaching dramatically.}

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