Mistaken identities, staying relevant: Degrassi stars discuss the show's impact
TORONTO — Cast members of "Degrassi Junior High" continue to find themselves surprised by how often the series comes up in conversation.
Michelle Bouey, centre, appears with her friends in “The Moblees”. The former P.E.I. resident plays Dasha Dog.
Watching Michelle Bouey’s antics as Dasha Dog in “The Moblees” on weekday mornings on CBC television always puts me in a good mood.
It makes me feel so liberated to write my own music and collaborate with other people. Telling my stories is so appealing to me Michelle Bouey
She looks like she’s having fun.
I’m also looking forward to catching her guest appearance on the “The Odd Squad”, an Emmy-award winning children’s show on PBS, in the near future.
Like many other Prince Edward Islanders, I remember her poignant performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, flying through the air on a crescent moon, after she was eliminated from the Canadian reality talent competition in the third episode. Watching it again on YouTube, I could see her holding back tears, as she made the exit.
“Of course I was sad, but the number one thing was to be gracious. Honestly, that show opened so many doors for me,” says Bouey of the 2012 CBC television series, “Over the Rainbow”, which auditioned musical theatre performers for the role of Dorothy for a Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz”.
BEHIND THE SCENES:
- Michelle Bouey’s debut single, “Why Did I Stay?”, was recorded in collaboration with Michael Sinicropi along with her sister, Tina Bouey.
- The track was mixed at Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
- The music video for “Why Did I Stay” will be directed/produced by P.E.I.’s Tessa Mossey, now working in Toronto as an actress. For more information or to support the project, go to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/michelle-bouey-debut-single-music-video-canada-pop#/.
CALL IN AND WIN
The question is: Name one of the TV shows that Michelle Bouey has performed in?
The prize: A copy of her debut single, “Why Did I Stay?”
Last week’s winner: Leta Bruce won Thom Swift’s CD, “The Legend of Roy Black”.
To enter: Call The Guardian’s Phone and Win contest line at 902-629-1707.
Playing to the camera is just one of Bouey’s talents.
As an artist, I’ve discovered that she has many sides.
Bouey has performed in musical theatre productions ranging from “Abegweit: The Soul of the Island” and “Marathon of Hope” to “Rent” and “Sweeney Todd”. Known for her warm and melodious stage voice, she’s a natural lyric soprano.
She’s also an accomplished musician, playing cello and piano.
But wait, there’s more.
With the recent release of her first pop single, “Why Did I Stay?”, she is making her debut as a solo artist.
“It’s been a long time coming. I’ve always felt so connected to pop music,” says the former P.E.I. resident, who now calls Toronto home, during a telephone interview.
Although theatre is her “great love” performing in a solo spotlight offers her “an escape” in her hectic life.
“It makes me feel so liberated to write my own music and collaborate with other people. Telling my stories is so appealing to me,” says Bouey, a graduate of Sheridan College’s musical theatre program.
It’s also a chance to make a personal statement.
As I listen to “Why Did I Stay?”, a passionate song about a relationship breakup, I notice that she was singing in a fuller, richer voice. And I find that surprising.
“When I sing pop or jazz, I'm more of a full-alto belter,” says Bouey who is using crowd source funding to produce her first music video, along with releasing the song on i-Tunes, Spotify and Tidal.
And if all goes well, we’ll see it on YouTube in a few months.
“I find, these days, people really like a visual to go along with the song.”
Then, after the video launch, she’ll take the next step.
“I’ve been working on other songs, as well. and I’m planning on releasing them as singles. The next one will be out this summer.”
Bouey says the “everything goes right now” climate of the music industry is giving her flexibility in her release dates.
“You can create your own music and put it out and see what happens. So I’m taking my time.”
Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at Sally.Cole@TC.TC or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054