BY : Abraham Gusman
I had rarely seen anyone move with such enjoyment and confidence. Phil seemed to fly with every jump he made, as if he were wearing Hermes's winged sandals. The movements seemed so free, so fluid, but with a great deal of finesse, as if the actor didn’t want to disturb the floor. The passion was obvious, as was the refinement of his art. His expression was so intense, so raw, so honest. I had already known for a few months that Phil and Wise were going to create content together, but it was at that moment that I realized why we wanted Phil to be one of our ambassadors.
Phil was born in Sept Îles, almost 1000 kilometers from Montreal. From a young age, he was attracted to artistic performance: theater, singing, dance. The sense of freedom that these disciplines offered him is the main reason that he continues in the creative world today. Phil did not become an artist for the glory or attention that his success could bring him. It is the love of art and the desire to flourish that has driven him to give as much of himself to his passion.
The pressure to perform can often become a heavy burden for anyone, but especially for artists. Their sensitivity is a two-edged sword: on one side, it allows for inspiration, depth of thought, intimacy. On the other hand, this same sensitivity, which is the source of so much creativity, can become cumbersome.
Phil experienced this pressure from his first moments on the public stage. He says that even as a teenager, he felt this pressure to please his entourage, his community and that this pressure greatly affected his behavior, mainly off stage. Only after several years of practice, meditation, and self-study did Phil become really comfortable with the attention.
Self-acceptance is one of the most important bases in the actor’s personal life and career. Sitting on his sofa after our photo shoot, Phil explained to me that at one point he realized that he was never going to get enough external validation, no matter what he did in his career. The only validation he now needs is to be proud of himself and to know that he really did his best, that he truly gave his all.
After his recent participation in the show Les dieux de la danse (Radio Canada) and the musical Footloose (Theatre St-Denis), Phil is about to jump into a new adventure: New York. But still, Phil is not trying to simply achieve career goals in the world’s art capital. He going there to learn. To get out of his comfort zone. To really see what he's capable of. For the sake of his art.
Phil inspires me in many ways. His discipline, his joy, his enthusiasm, his honesty, his transparency. I'm proud to work with him, I'm proud that he's part of the Wise Ambassadors team, but most of all I'm proud that I can consider him a friend.
If you want to hear some of our conversions, here's a podcast that Phil and I recorded after our photo shoot. I hope you enjoy it!