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Kolton Stewart (Boomer) and Jamie Mayers (Napolean) in The Louder We Get.
5 Q's with Kolton Stewart and Jamie Mayers
5 Q's with Kolton Stewart & Jamie Mayers
We sat down with friends and co-actors, Kolton Stewart and Jamie Mayers, who play Boomer and Napolean in The Louder We Get. Kolton and Jamie first met in 2016 on the set of Prom Queen in Montreal, where they first played their roles as Boomer and Napolean. Read up on their stories and what working on this show means to them.
Meet Jamie Mayers AKA Napolean:
- Born and raised in Montreal
- Started acting when he was five years old in school plays with his father and sister.
- By age 10, he was in his first short film and has been professionally acting in film, TV and theatre since.
Meet Kolton Stewart AKA Boomer:
- Born and raised in Dehli, Ontario
- Began acting at age 8, when he was forced to take a break from football one summer due to a broken leg.
- His first role was a child drummer in the show The Music Man at the Stratford Festival. Fun fact: he acted alongside Lee McDougall, Audy Hall in The Louder We Get, in his role in The Music Man.
What brought you to your role in The Louder We Get?
Jamie: I first was introduced to Marc’s story through the production of Prom Queen. That’s when I first auditioned and got my role as Napolean.
It’s such a fun show to do; the music is infectious and catchy. I also think that because of the type of show it is, I believe that while casting it they weren’t just looking for talented people, but for people who are good faces for what this has to offer and the message behind it. I get to work with people who are like-minded.
Kolton: It is the story that has truly driven us, as well as the passion of the creative team. This story is so amazing, which is why I wanted to do it again. We have a cool story that we, Napolean and Boomer, within the show. Another connection and reason I am passionate about this show is I am from Oshawa, and that is where Marc’s story took place. I have close circles and ties to that community and this show, in fact, my little sister goes to school with Marc’s brother!
Jamie: Yeah, unfortunately, some of this is still really topical. I don’t think you’ll see the outright refusal of same-sex couples at prom, but a lot of the themes in the show are still seen in today’s society. This show is important because of Marc’s story, and the messages behind it.
Tell us about the characters you play?
Jamie: Napolean is a driven, passionate film nerd who is very focused on capturing everything around him on film. He’s really shy at first and he doesn’t’ have any interest in going to the prom, he’d rather be an observer and stay on the sidelines. But deep down, Napolean wants to have friends and be involved like everyone else.
Throughout the course of the show, he comes out of his shell and begins to ‘hang with the girls.’ That’s where Napolean’s and Boomer’s story begins, he’s the ladies’ man and cool kid, so Triple (Joel Schaefer) and I get to be his sidekicks and learn his tips and tricks.
Kolton: His real name is Barney, but he puts on this ‘Boomer’ persona in high school to act cool and be popular. In the beginning, Boomer is the character I portray, he tries to be this ladies’ man, act super cool, but he’s really in love with Carly, who is one of Marc’s best friends.
Throughout the story, you see a progression with Boomer as he becomes his true self, motivated by his love for Carly. He also becomes enthralled with Marc, and his story, and we all band together to help get Marc to prom.
Do you identify with Boomer and Napolean?
Jamie: The cool thing about an originating role is you get to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks and what doesn’t. I’ve had that opportunity to do this a few times, and usually what I like to do is put as much of myself in that character as possible, just because it makes it familiar and more personal.
With Napolean, I turn up the grumpy old man part of myself, it's deep in there. I’m an old soul. I feel for Napolean. It’s very safe to not put yourself out there, and you can get into that habit of “oh you guys go have fun, I’m staying home with the camera,” But it’s always good to push yourself.
Kolton: It’s interesting that when Boomer tries to be this person he’s not, tries to be cool and popular, it doesn’t jive. But when he’s his authentic self, it does. There’ve been times in my life where I’ve thought I need to be a certain person that I don’t need to be or act like someone else when I don’t need to, so I can resonate with that in Boomer. But I do not consider myself the ‘cool kid’.
This is my first time originating a role, so it’s different. When a show’s been done before, you have something to look back on and you take traits from a character that have been used before. The fact we have nothing to look on is scary but gives us a lot of freedom. You can’t really “screw it up” and you get to develop it as you go.
Jamie: Yeah, it’s really organic. The lines and music are being changed all the time. It’s a collaborative process between Lonny Price (Director), musicians and the whole cast and creative team.
What have been the highlights of working on this show?
Jamie: We laugh so much together. That’s not always the case for every show you work on. I think, as a team, it’s really nice to be able to strike a balance of getting to the heart of the show which has a lot of weight to it. But you can’t get a message across unless it’s enjoyable for audiences. And that will be the case here, we have so much fun with it.
Kolton: For me, it’s the cast. It doesn’t always happen. It’s such a great crew, we hang out on and off the set every day.
Jamie: Yeah, we spent New Year’s together. We’ve been heading out together every day. Except during that cold snap. I was definitely Napolean on those days saying, no, you guys go ahead.
To build upon what Kolton is saying, the creative team is amazing. Watching Lonny Price (Director) and Matt Cowart (Co-director), Becky (Choreographer) and Lia (Assistant Choreographer), and Josh (Music Director and New Dance Arrangements) and the entire music department is unreal. It’s very rare you find people so passionate about a project, and it spills onto us, it’s truly inspiring. It’s like going to class, as a young actor, I’m learning so much from them.
What do you want audiences to feel or experience?
Kolton: At the heart of the story, if there is someone who doesn’t have the mindset to embrace equality in all relationships, I hope this story shines a light on that. People might be naïve to the fact that this problem still exists. But, I hope people just enjoy it and love it, and understand what we’re doing. It’s a fun musical, but it’s got so much heart and story behind it.
Jamie: Evan Kinnane, who plays Marc Hall, shared a story from the real Marc who was telling us that after a number of shows in Montreal, people would message him and let him know that they’ve come out to their parents after seeing the show, I think that’s really beautiful. I hope that people walk away from the show feeling open and honest to talk about their feelings with people who are close to them because life is short. It a fun, feel-good musical. I hope people leave the theatre with big smiles on their faces.Buy tickets!
Kolton Stewart (Boomer) and Jamie Mayers (Napolean) in The Louder We Get.