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Photo : Anja Raberanto

Rhys Alexander Phillips

_ biography

I grew up in England where I studied acting and movement with Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and with Fourth Monkey. My dark thoughts lead me to acting, acting lead me to my breath and meditation has allowed me to be happier and to approach work with ease. For almost 2 years I have been sober from alcohol, due to acting and meditation and looking at myself and my past problems. 

I have always been goofy, making my brothers laugh, also in my acting training I did a lot of clowning which I think has really influenced my attitude to rehearsing and training to try, try, try and accept failures, and therefore be able to learn from them. 

I take inspiration from Charlie Chaplin and other physical performers. I love his ability to say so much with so little words. I joined Espace Ouvert to train physically and to learn to create my physical work. My buddy Megan described me as a ‘curious, open minded, happy dude’, and moving and learning to dance makes me very happy and curious to learn more in storytelling.

I came to Canada because I wanted to play a handsome, posh English guy and last year, I did, in my first professional theatre job in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. After that I took part in my first Netflix role in a miniseries ‘James Wan Presents: Erie Hall’ where I got to physically replicate my character because he was a real perso that I found on YouTube. For a very long time I have wanted to play a soldier and in April I got to, I was a soldier in my first feature film role in ‘Blackbird’ where I learnt and sang a song in Russian. 

_ artistic intention 

When I was around 18/19 I was dealing with a lot of feelings of unworthiness and suicide. After getting past this I decided to not take life too seriously and do more things that made me happy. I had a dream of acting and I committed to that dream. My piece is about the hard times we face in life sometimes, the hard times which will turn to good in the future but feel so dark and so real when we are in them. 

In my work I want to show that sometimes we all have feelings of unworthiness and separateness and that we are not alone in this feeling even if we sometimes think that way. Our thoughts are not the truth, they are just our mind trying to help us survive but sometimes our mind is more doubting than loving and our job as humans is to love and enjoy life, that is our job on this earth, to enjoy and to help each other. It is a dark world sometimes, so we have to help each other see the beauty. My piece explores ideas of loneliness, dark thoughts and boredom. 

If you have any friends or family that might need some help and love, reach out to your homies. 

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