Trent Kowalik starred in “Billy Elliot” on Broadway one and a half years ago, where he won a Tony award for best performance by a leading actor in a musical, sharing the award with the other two original Billys. Prior to that, he starred in the London production of the show for six months.
This is quite impressive feet for someone who is only 16 years old and a junior at .
“Trent went off to London for nine months, where he worked with a tutor so that he didn’t fall behind,” said Wantagh High School Director of Guidance Frank Muzio. “In fact, he has a 95.4 average. Then he came back here and just fit right back in with the other kids. He’s really amazing.”
Three boys portrayed Billy Elliot and they shared the role equally, said Kowalik. Since they were on stage for the entire two and a half hours, one of the other three would have to be on standby backstage, in case he was needed.
A video clip of Kowalik singing "Man in Motion" can be viewed by clicking here.
Kowalik ended up in the London production of “Billy Elliot” first, he said, because when he auditioned for the Broadway production, it was still in the preliminary stages and they wanted him to go to London first. The Wantagh High School student's parents came to visit him once a month while he stayed in London with chaperones.
"Billy Elliot" was Kowalik’s first taste of acting, and he loved it, but dancing is his passion. He started as an Irish step dancer when he was 3 years old. He fell in love with dancing while watching his three older sister dance.
Kowalik used to watch the movie Riverdance at home and decided that was what he wanted to do. In fact it was an Irish step dancing teacher, Nile O’Leary, who saw Kowalik dance in a competition, and then recommended that he audition for “Billy Elliot.”
Now Kowalik travels into Manhattan on the Long Island Rail Road every day after school to train for three hours at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. He is training ballet now, but he’s also done tap and jazz, and of course, has competed in Irish step dancing.
Kowalik’s future plans are still up in the air as the Wantagh High School junior explores his many options.
“I’m not really sure what I want to do yet,” said Kowalik. “I’m keeping my options open.”
- Article submitted by Karen Forman from Syntax Communications