As the daughter of renowned Australian actor and dancer Paul Mercurio, performing arts course through Emily Mercurio’s veins. However, she insists that it is fiery passion and raging ambition, not a name, which gives her a leg up on the competition, as Melissa Koutoukidis writes…
In an industry based greatly on whom you know, Emily Mercurio candidly admits that any advantage is worth utilising.
“If a name helps me to be remembered as I’m starting out, I shouldn’t dismiss it”.
“It’s like the story of the guy who would walk into every audition with a watermelon”, she says. “He’d put the watermelon on the piano and sing… and the point was that everyone would remember him as the guy with the watermelon.”
At just 20 years of age, Emily is committed to carving a musical theatre path for herself, but she doesn’t feel pressured by the weight of her family name. In reality, she says, it has prepared her to tackle such an unstable field.
“I feel like having grown up watching my dad pave his way through the industry, I don’t have any illusions… He has given me the extra knowledge behind it.”
Having kin who know firsthand the inherent woes of performing has also provided Emily with greater solace than a surname ever could.
“Performing is a part of my family, my grandfather acted, my mum was a ballerina… they understand and support me completely. I feel really lucky to have that behind me”, she said.
Through her own endeavours, Emily avidly is reinvigorating the Mercurio legacy – simultaneously embarking on a journey into professional theatre and indulging her gift of story-telling.
One More Year, a musical she co-wrote based upon the gruelling final year of high school, is just one of her theatrical pursuits. Currently, Emily and her team are working towards the show’s debut at Cromwell Road Theatre, South Yarra on 16th April this year.
“I would love for [One More Year] to feature in small Australian theatres”, she says, ”or even picked up by a school touring company.”
At the moment, Emily’s ultimate goal is to continue this marriage of writing and performing.
“In five years it would be incredible to have a book published, for One More Year to have developed further…and I’d love to be employed in a show!” she declares with a laugh.
For now ‘Mercurio’ may be her watermelon, but it will be ‘Emily’ you remember.
To find out more about One More Year, or to book tickets, visit http://onemoreyear.weebly.com