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Behind the Scenes with Camille Scully & the Frog in Hand Summer Company

Image of Camille Scully

Hi folks! This blog was written by Camille Scully, a dancer with Frog in Hand's 2023 Summer Company. Camille is originally from Montreal, and is currently pursuing an education in the professional training program at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. They are bilingual, and are fascinated by music, film and storytelling. Camille will be writing a few blog posts to share their journey with you this summer.


Hi there Pollywogs!

The 2023 Summer Company

My name is Camille. Two weeks ago, I started working as a dancer with the Frog in Hand 2023 Summer Company. Thinking back on my time with Frog in Hand (FH) so far, it’s hard to even know where to begin. First, I guess I should mention I recently broke a bone in my foot. Good luck working as a dancer now! I’m extremely grateful for the company’s ability and willingness to accommodate me and my injury, making it possible for me to take part in this year’s projects after all. Even before it all began, their openness made me confident that my time here would be quite special and educational, and it definitely has been so far. This summer, we are working on three projects: two are based in clown, and the last one is a dance piece which draws inspiration from the Film Noir genre.

Pastel's Imaginarium at Bread & Honey Festival. Summer Company with Andrew Gaboury. Image: Colleen Snell.

Pastel’s Imaginarium, our first clowning piece, has us portraying animals with extravagant personalities. On our very first day as “clowns in training”, Andrew Gaboury, our Clowning instructor and creative lead for the piece, said that a big part of being a clown is about sharing your failures with an audience. Basically, it means this: if they’re not laughing, it’s your clowning duty to become funny, even in your un-funniness. Slightly daunting, maybe? That, and bringing joy wherever you go. We played a lot of games at the beginning to get us warmed up and “clown-ready”, some of which included putting on solo performances for the group with the goal of generating laughter.

Let me tell you that this involves truly putting all pride and ego aside, because when the room remains quiet, there’s only one place to go from there: breathe in, listen to the crickets, sit with the knowledge that your discomfort is witnessed by all... and try again.

Throw in the fact that at the moment I am wearing a very fashionable aircast (which doesn’t make doing anything awkward at all - haha), and you’ve got an uncoordinated clown, hobbling around to catch up. As a trained dancer, it’s been humbling. It makes the moment when I do get a laugh that much more rewarding! In these first weeks, what I’ve learned already is that letting people in on how you deal with bombing is a true window into how each of us manages embarrassing situations. I am finding joy in learning to be vulnerable. There is LITERALLY nowhere to hide, and that’s a good thing! (I swear). With the amazing group of vibrant (and honestly quite hilarious) artists I've been lucky enough to work with here, it took almost no time at all to get comfortable and dive right in. And it’s been SO MUCH FUN! I’m quickly growing a love for being a clown, and overall, this has been an amazing chance to broaden my skill set as an artist as well. I had never been to Port Credit prior to working with FIH, so another enjoyable aspect of these first two weeks has been discovering this beautiful area we are working in. As a huge ocean/lake lover, any proximity I can get to a body of water is an added bonus for me. Getting to work outside for a few days in Colleen’s backyard, from which the waterfront is visible, has been wonderful. Her neighborhood is truly lovely. As I was on all fours in the grass last week playing the role of a shaky angry chihuahua, figuring out how to sniff, dig and growl for Pastel’s Imaginarium, I was also thinking how grateful I am to have a summer job that involves doing such fun (and sometimes quirky) things in such a gorgeous locale. I also have to give a special mention to Radu, the attention seeking neighborhood cat, who I had to hold in my arms so that he would stop crashing rehearsal by laying in the middle of our dance floor.

Left to right: Kai, Danielle, Clara and Camille with Radu the neighbourhood cat

While we are working on animalistic clown characters in Pastel’s Imaginarium, it has also been quite thrilling to witness how our other piece, Noir, has been taking shape. Colleen’s work is extremely clever and detail-oriented, using dance and stage combat for narrative purposes in a very satisfying way. As I’m closing this reflection on the beginning of my Summer Company journey, I’m already eager to participate in this process more actively when my foot heals, so that I too can learn some of the stage combat notions that make all the fight scenes so gruesome, and everyone else in rehearsal squeal. After all, it is crucial to be able to sell your "death" when you are being "killed"...

... but I won’t reveal by whom just yet. That's all for now. Catch you next time, pollywogs!


Pastel's Imaginarium

June 3rd & 4th, Bread and Honey Festival (Streetsville)

June 9th, the Wee Festival June 10th, Port Credit Lighthouse at 2pm June 17th, Dufferin Grove Park with Clay and Paper Theatre

July 8th, Family Fest at Guild Festival Theatre


Luminato Festival: Walk with Amal

Learn more about our summer season, and our team, by clicking here.


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