DREAMING OF OVERSEAS: Young performer Scott Eveleigh who gained his big break playing the lead role in Billy Elliot. Picture by MARINA NEILMeeting Elton John was never high on Scott Eveleigh’s wish list. As a soccer-playing, karate-kicking kid, the world of star and stage was another world indeed.

But one night a couple of years ago, the unthinkable happened.

Scott had finished a performance as Michael in the hit musical Billy Elliot and the great Sir Elton – who also wrote the music for the show – was in the audience.

“He came up to me after one of the shows, gave me a hug and said that when he was writing the musical he had an image of Michael and I portrayed that for him,” Scott said. “He was amazing.”

Now aged 17, Scott has finished playing Michael, has moved back home to Thornton and is busy performing any chance he gets.

“Going to Sydney for Billy Elliot has probably been the biggest achievement of my life so far,” Scott said. “I spent a year living there and performing twice a week and that was such an amazing experience.”

When Scott grew too old for the role, he came home and resumed his studies at the Hunter School of Performing Arts.

“I’m still a student there and I’ve just been doing some Hunter shows including The Boy From Oz (where Scott played a young Peter Allen), I played Peter Pan in Peter Pan and I played Aladdin in Aladdin,” he said. “I’ve been really busy, it’s been non-stop.”

Scott was eight and a student at Beresfield Public School when he discovered a love for dance.

“I was always into soccer but then I did a bit of public speaking and I went and saw the stage

show Tap Dogs and I just knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he said. “I think mum was a little reluctant at first but I gave up soccer, tried out drama and it’s been like that ever since . . . I’ve never looked back.”

Then along came Billy Elliot.

“It’s funny how I got the role,” Scott said. “My father called up the night before the last audition and said ‘my boy can dance’ and the casting agent decided to let me try out.”

Several months later, after a gruelling seven months of auditions, Scott – then 12 – got the part.

“I was very fortunate but the whole time I never thought I would get it. I just kept thinking if it happens, it happens, if not it would still have been a great experience.

“So in the end it was like a dream come true. I had done four shows with the Young People’s Theatre and here I was walking the red carpet with television reporters wanting to interview

me. It was the most amazing experience. But when it was time to go I was happy to leave because I was ready to come home. It was another boy’s turn to play Michael.”

Next stop for Scott is London or New York.

“As soon as I finish school I want to pack my bags and head off. I want to try out for some drama schools and get a bit more experience. I want to learn as much as I can and get as much life experience as I can. My aim is to travel doing shows here, shows there, television, movies whatever I can get into.”

Scott also has a burning desire to one day play the fictional transvestite mad scientist Dr Frank-n- Furter in the hit musical The Rocky Horror Show.

“The feeling I get when I perform is unexplainable,” he said. “But to see the smiles on the faces of those in the audience and to feel that raw emotion is just amazing.”

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