BY GEORGE MARATOS
He has sung with the Whitehorse Community Choir, played the role of a southern preacher in Dark of the Moon and most recently performed as a drunken lounge singer in the Varietease burlesque show.
But, now, Kyle Macdonald is ready to hone his craft at the next level.
The 28-year-old is relatively calm and relaxed as he chats recently during a farewell barbecue organized by family and friends.
Earlier this month, the born-and-raised Yukoner packed his bags for Stratford, Ontario where he is now studying opera intensively taking one-on-one voice lessons.
The tall, lanky veteran of the Whitehorse performing arts scene contains his excitement as he speaks about the next chapter in his life and being instructed at the world-renowned Stratford.
“All my family is here and I have a girlfriend here so it’s a big step for me for sure,” explains the soft-spoken Macdonald. “But it’s something I really have to follow because it really is a dream of mine and the possibilities that are going to come out of this are incredible.”
Last summer, Macdonald went to Stratford and took some courses and it was then that it dawned on him he could take his passion and skill to another echelon.
“My instructor felt I had the potential,” says Macdonald. “I know it’s going to be hard work and something I’m going to have to work at all the time. But I’m going to have the opportunity to perform at larger venues and, to do that, I am going to have to work at it night and day.”
Macdonald will be living right with his instructor in Stratford taking lessons for about an hour a day up to five times a week.
He says it was only recently that he realized his passion for the performing arts was primarily with singing.
“I always enjoyed the theatre and performing but it was slow progression before I realized that I enjoyed doing it because there was singing involved and it was the singing I really, really enjoyed,” said Macdonald.
“I was getting to a certain point where I was starting to do theatre shows just so I could sing.”
Having started performing as a teenager with the MAD Program, Macdonald has been no stranger to the Yukon stage over the past decade, singing in quartets, musicals and covering Dean Martin songs.
He even tried out for Canadian Idol during its stop in the North a few years ago.
If there was an opportunity to sing and perform, he took it.
Macdonald is hesitant at first to name a favourite when it comes to his performing memories in the Yukon.
“There have been a few shows that have been wacky and strange and memorable,” smiles Macdonald. “That Varietease burlesque along with Guys and Dollsand Urinetown were all so good.”
Quick to admit that these days he is singing whenever he gets the chance be it at work or lounging around the house, Macdonald says to be able to get paid to sing and do something he loves is his ultimate goal.
“That would be so incredible,” says Macdonald, as another scotch is poured in his honour. “If someone is willing to pay me to sing I’ll definitely sing for them.”
Macdonald then takes a long swig from his glass before referencing one of his idols, the very successful Paul Potts, who a few years ago beat the odds to win Britain’s version of American Idol.
“He’s just a normal guy who worked hard to do what he loved to do and that’s kind of what I want to be doing,” explains Macdonald. “I’m doing this because I love singing and it’s something that I feel that I have to do.”