Young Nanaimo actor makes professional theatre debut

Daniel Bristol performs in Prince George Miracle Theatre production of ‘The Birds and the Bees’

When Daniel Bristol got off the phone after learning that he was being cast in his first professional play, the Nanaimo-raised actor said he couldn’t stop screaming.

“Me and my dad, we were jumping up and down and screaming,” said Bristol, a Joey Award winner and recent graduate of Langara College’s Studio 58 theatre school. “It’s really rare when you actually get the role that you want because there are a lot of ‘nos’ and then when you finally get a ‘yes’ it’s amazing. And I think it’s important to celebrate those yeses.”

Starting tomorrow and running until March 4, Bristol plays Ben, a graduate student studying collapsing bee colonies who gets involved with an older woman, in the Prince George Miracle Theatre production of the comedy The Birds and the Bees by Ontario playwright Mark Crawford.

Bristol’s professional debut will also be a test of fortitude. This is his first time visiting Prince George and before leaving he said he was bracing himself for the northern climate.

“I’m getting e-mails from the producer and she’s telling me ‘torrential downpour’ and we may have to wear hip waders and I’m like, ‘I don’t even know what a hip wader is.’ I’m going to have to look up what that is,” he said. “So I’m buying big coats and big boots and I’m very prepared.”

Bristol said he had “positive vibes the whole time” during his audition in Vancouver and said he had a good feeling that he might get the part because he clicked with everyone. He said comedy’s always been something that comes naturally to him and it was a role to which he easily related.

“He’s a student and he always finds himself in the wrong situations at the wrong time and he’s trying to figure that out. It’s crazy,” Bristol said of Ben. “And the journey that he goes on in the play, he starts out as this young naive guy and by the end – I don’t want to spoil it – but I think he becomes a man.”

The play, also a fundraiser for the Children of Prince George Fund, is being staged at Prince George’s Books and Company bookstore in a performance space Bristol said is about the same size as the Studio 58 theatre.

Bristol said having the Studio 58 program on his resumé has given him opportunities and that landing his first professional theatre role since graduating is a big deal.

“I think getting the first gig is the hardest and then once you have that first gig hopefully doors start opening up a bit more…” he said. “There’s that saying: ‘Work can only get you more work.’ So as long as you’re working, I think that’s a good thing.”

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