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On the Move: Donovan Holt


any actors and performers know from childhood that they’re destined for a life onstage. For fourth-year Northeastern student Donovan Holt, it didn’t even take that long.

“My first exposure to music was before I was even born, because my mother was a choir director,” he says. “I fell in love with music through osmosis, and when I was in fifth grade, my music teacher gave me an operetta gig. When it came time for college, I was ready to commit and go with it.”

By the time he came to Northeastern, Holt had already spent much of his life on stages, whether with church choirs, vocal groups or in theater productions. He was also part of the Illinois All State High School Theatre Festival, the state’s largest student theater event. But his studies here have added substantially to his skillset, and given him more options for a career path. He entered Northeastern as an experienced singer and actor, and was part of the student a cappella group the Downbeats (and still works with them as an advisor). But he’s since gravitated to working behind the scenes, and also begun studying the scientific aspects of movement, and how that affects athletes as well as theater performers. As a result, he now sees an increased number of possibilities for his work in the future.

“One of the most important things I learned is that there is no one right way,” he says. “I came here initially because I wanted to act. Then I discovered stage management and I said, ‘That’s it, I’m going to be a stage manager for the rest of my life.’ Then I realized I wanted to sing more, then I wanted to direct, then I wanted to produce. It’s just been a whirlwind of changes and new learning and possibilities.”


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