Hamilton actor helps young performers at Hillfield Strahallan
When some three dozen or so youngsters at Hillfield Strathallan College hit the stage on Friday afternoon, Ashley Leggat will be backstage cheering them on.
“We’re having a great time,” said the 27-year-old actor, who has been giving a group of mostly female students age 6 to 14 the benefit her 20 years of experience in show business in her Triple Threat Workshop (acting, singing and dancing) at the west Mountain private school for the past two weeks.
“It’s just incredible to see, from the first day nobody wanting to get on the stage to day four and I can’t get them off the stage. There are a lot of little stars here that I’m very impressed with.”
The St. Thomas More graduate and Disney and Family Channel star said the curriculum for the workshop was gleaned from the variety of roles she has played along with some of the acting workshops she has attended in Toronto and Los Angeles.
“We do (improvisation) scene study, basically everything revolving around how to be a triple threat,” said Leggat, who noted budding performers these days need to know how to sing and dance as well as act to be successful.
On Friday, Leggat said, each student will sing, dance and read a poem while acting it out.
“I want them to realize it’s not about going on stage and being perfect,” she said. “It’s about getting up and trying and performing.”
The show hits the stage at Hillfield Strathallan College’s Virtue-Fitzgerald Centre for the Arts on Friday at 3:15 p.m. The community is welcome and admission is free.
It costs $600 to attend the two-week workshop.
Julia Watson, who will be attending Grade 9 at HSC in September, said the workshops have been a blast.
“Ashley is always so supportive and nice to everyone,” said the 13-year-old from Grimsby, who is interested in pursuing a career in entertainment.
“This is my first year dancing and I want to do more of it,” said eight-year-old Ancaster resident Emily Matsumoto, who added Leggat has told the youngsters to look at the audience when they’re on stage.
Leggat recently wrapped up shooting for the movie People Hold On in the Georgian Bay area that was written and directed by Michael Seater, who co-starred with her in the Life with Derek series. Last September, she took part for a third time in another installment of the Good Witch series for the Hallmark Channel that was shot in Dundas.
In the coming weeks, Leggat said, she plans to join her husband, Jeremy Williams, who is playing professional hockey in Sweden, and commute with her little dog and “best friend” Rambo to and from Canada for acting jobs as required, including possibly another Good Witch movie next fall.
Living with a professional hockey player has taken Leggat to countries all over Europe, including Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
The couple has purchased a home in Stoney Creek that Leggat said they plan to move into next spring.
While in Sweden she plans to continue taking business courses online from Mohawk College with the hope of one day opening an acting school in Hamilton.
Leggat said she plans to offer her Triple Threat program at HSC again next summer and make it available to budding actors inside and outside the school.