Hometown actor Dominique Scott made a professional career out of a childhood dream. He now returns to South Florida to perform in front of a hometown crowd.
BY RODOLFO ROMAN
SPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD
At 4 years old, Dominique Scott remembers creating tickets for his family, inviting them to special acts at home during birthday parties and other gatherings.
But what was once a childhood fantasy is now a reality. Scott is hitting the big stage professionally.
“I didn’t pick theater, theater picked me,” said Scott, before a recent show. “I need to be up on stage or do some sort of performance.”
Born and raised near Coral Park High School in West Miami-Dade, Scott returns to his roots to join the ensemble cast on the main stage production of the international Broadway musical Miss Saigon at Actors’ Playhouse, 280 Miracle Mile.
“We are helping to support the story,” said Scott, 22, who dances in several supporting roles in the play. “I am flipping across the stage. There is a great dance in the show.
Miss Saigon is a romantic tale of a Vietnamese woman abandoned by her American lover.
Scott, a recent Syracuse music theater graduate, has a close tie to the Actor’s Playhouse, as it served as his launching pad to success.
Growing up, Scott and his family attended children’s shows almost every weekend at the Actors’ Playhouse, which was once located in Kendall. Eventually, he enrolled at the theater’s summer camp where he began to polish his acting skills.
Earl Maulding, director of the Playhouse’s Theater for Young Audiences, remembers Scott for his willingness to welcome challenges.
“He is not afraid to take risks,” Maulding said. “He is always ready for a challenge.”
Scott landed his first role at the theaters production of Narnia when he was in middle school. The actor credits Maulding for his accomplishments.
“Earl was like a second father to me,” he said.
But his introduction to the arts started at home when his father, Jean-Claude Stasiulis, introduced him to a piano when he was 9.
“I taught him John Lennon’s Imagine, ” said Stasiulis, a former lead guitarist in a French rock band, in a phone interview.
Stasiulis said his son was unlike other teenagers.
“He didn’t go to the mall like other kids,” he said. “He would be home practicing.”
Later in his teenage years, Scott auditioned for the New World School of the Arts to help pursue his life long dream. At the same time, he continued a strong relationship with the Actor’s Playhouse, where he performed in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Secret Garden to name a few. He also helped in the summer camp as a musical director.
In 2006, he attended Syracuse University and starred at Syracuse stage in several productions including Fiddler on the Roof and Little Women. Scott also founded a theater company in partnership with the university called Starving Artists, which was designed to provide avenues for any type of performing art.
Stasiulis said he is proud of his son’s effort.
“He will have a chance one day to prove himself,” said Stasiulis, who works with his son writing songs. “He does what he loves and I support him.”
Scott said there is no feeling like returning home for a performance.
“Just smelling the air in this building brings back memories,” said Scott, while a crew helped set up the stage inside Actors’ Playhouse. “This is the place I grew up in.”
Aside from acting, Scott will also work with a rock band in New York, where he plans to move soon.
Miss Saigon is running until April 4 at the Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theater, 280 Miracle Mile. Performances will be held Wednesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets for week nights and matinees are $42 and on Friday and Saturday evenings $50. For information, call 305-444-9293.