What is your role?
“I’m the owner, managing and creative director.”
What were you doing before this?
“I’ve been a performer most of my life, and then a choreographer. I’m still a choreographer. Still choreograph theatre on the side.”
Are you originally from Sydney, Australia?
No, originally from Terrigal.
“I was there until I was 18 and then I moved to Sydney to study at Brent St.”
What is your favourite thing to do when not at work?
“Usually if I’m not at work then I’m down at the park in Rushcutter’s Bay with the dog. So, a couple of nights a week I try and leave at a reasonable hour so I can go down there and grab a few hours with the dog.”
What is the happiest moment of your life?
“One of the happiest was probably when I completed the transaction to buy Brent St, because it’s a company that I’ve loved since I was a very, very little boy.”
If it was your last day on earth, what would your last meal be?
“It would involve really good red wine, I can tell you that. It would probably be some kind of really good Italian, like a really good pasta. Not too heavy – actually it can be as heavy as it wants, it’s my last meal! Make it a really good Italian meal with lots of cheese and good wine.”
A bit more…
Brent Street has has been around for 33 years. In actually started life in a small building in Brent Street, Balmain. It moved to several other premises – and the name moved with it – until it found home in the state of the art building in EQ around 10 years ago.
Lucas started working there, then bought the company four years ago. It was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream.
Brent Street takes kids from as young as 3 right through to 18. They don’t have to be especially gifted, but they must show aptitude and passion.
“It’s just an openness to learn and a willingness or hunger to learn. When you audition them…we make the kids audition in all three genres [dancing, acting, singing] regardless of their ability. That’s more for us to see that they’re willing to go there, that they’re willing to take on the training that we’re going to give them.”
Students don’t need to be triple threats, but they must be strong in at least one of the genres.
Lucas gets a lot of joy out of watching students mature and thrive.
“Seeing that kind of commitment to what they do is awesome. To see them reach their goals is even better.”
Success comes down to hard work and determination.
“Some kids are super talented naturally but they just don’t really want to do it…You find that the kids that are in the Performance Training program, they come here four days a week after school and all day Saturday”
The teachers at Brent St are very experienced and dedicated. They either have come from or are still working in the industry as professionals. The result is a very high level Brent St alumni have gone on to have major careers.
“You’ll never see a musical theatre production in Australia without Brent St trained people in it…eighty percent of the working commercial dancers in Australia are Brent St trained.”
Brent St kids appear in feature films, theatre productions, TV shows, TV commercials.
Lucas himself has had an impressive career. He was bitten by the jitterbug when he was very young.
“I started dancing – I was about 5, and it was mostly copying my sister”
She didn’t go on with it, but he loved it.
“As a performer, I’ve done a heap of different things. I used to host The Barney Show for a while [the purple dinosaur].”
Lucas was in We Will Rock You and American Idiot.
“Getting paid to travel is the ultimate. I got to see most of the world through performing. I’d say career highlights, especially as a choreographer, I’ve got a show that’s still running in Las Vegas called Absinthe, which is at Caesar’s Palace.”
He choreographed it in 2011. It’s been voted best show in Vegas history
He got to do another show in Vegas a few years later called Vegas Nocturne at the Cosmopolitan, which he considers some of his best work.
Where do his future goals lie?
“I would love to continue growing Brent St.”