In late May, Mackey received a letter of acceptance to the National Theatre School of Canada – a school she said she’s dreamed of attending for quite some time now.
The 19-year-old North River resident has been a performer since the age of three, when she took part in dance classes. Now, Mackey has set her sights on acting, having taken part in several plays and musicals over the past six years.
“It was a really emotional moment, when I got accepted,” Mackey told The Compass. “It felt amazing, and I still can hardly believe it.”
This wasn’t Mackey’s first time applying to her dream school, however. Mackey was included on the callback list a year prior, and traveled to the school in Montreal with approximately 50 other callback students. Mackey didn’t get accepted that year, but said that only pushed her to work harder as an actor, and keep her goal in mind.
Now that her goal has been achieved, Mackey’s excitement came hand-in-hand with a certain level of thankfulness for those in her life she felt pushed her to pursue her passion.
“I come from a really theatrical family. Everyone is involved in the arts in some way or another,” Mackey explained. “They all inspire me to follow my dream and better myself as an actor, but I think my aunt, as well as my mentors at Perchance Theatre, are the people who really stick out in my mind as the people who got me where I am.”
Mackey has been with Perchance Theatre now for approximately four years, where she’s taken on roles such as Anne Page and, more recently, Juliet, from Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo and Juliet.
Mackey’s prowess as a performer doesn’t stop there. She’s been doing voiceover work for three seasons of a children’s television show called Mickey’s Farm, and worked with several studios in the province such as Best Kind Productions.
The three-year acting program offered by NTS attracts hundreds of applications every year, and with a class total of around 14-15 students, has a significantly low acceptance rate. Mackey told The Compass this only makes her even more grateful for her own acceptance, and she looks forward to the next three years of her life as a student.
“It’s going to be an experience of a lifetime. I’ve been dreaming of this for as long as I can remember, and to see it working out this way is overwhelming, but amazing at the same time,” Mackey said.
Living in Montreal will differ considerably from the small-town Newfoundland lifestyle Mackey is used to. She says she’s prepared for the change, and hopes her years of French immersion in high school will benefit her in the long run. If not, Mackey explained that alongside her acting and performance classes, she could take part in French classes as well, which will ultimately help her integrate more smoothly into Montreal’s more French-oriented lifestyle.
Krystin Pellerin is a St. John’s native who also attended NTS after graduating high school. Mackey told The Compass that she looks up to Pellerin, who maintained a recurring role in the television series Republic of Doyle from 2010-2014. Mackey noted that they were both Newfoundland actors, and that Pellerin’s success in her career is something Mackey hopes to achieve as well.
“I’ve met her and spoken to her in the past, and she’s a great person. Really inspirational,” said Mackey. “At the end of the day, I want to keep doing what I love, even after I finish up (at NTS). I want to make a career in the arts, and I’ll be happy knowing that I was able to pursue my passion.”