Even when I was really young I wanted to perform and do shows. I also had this fascination with magic. I was doing magic tricks when I was three. If I ever saw magic on television I would say: ‘I want that. That’s what I want from Santa Claus’. So the cupboard in my bedroom was full of boxes of magic tricks, cups and balls, cards and foam rabbits, all sorts of stuff.
Despite limited opportunities due to the turmoil surrounding him, his natural acting ability and ambition was evident from an early age — he was only five years old when he made his acting debut, appearing in the chorus in a production of Cinderella and then Peter Pan, then going on to participate in various local amateur stage productions during his childhood. While he was attending Saints and Scholars Integrated Primary School, Morgan had a teacher named Harry McGee who was a tremendous inspiration to him and whose support and belief made a real difference in how he felt and gave him the real confidence to go on. According to Morgan,
“He recognized something in me that… He would stay behind after class each day and he’d pull out a poem and he’d say, ‘Let’s work on this,’ and we’d just do it. He really believed in me and really fueled my passion. And that’s all it takes sometimes, I think, just one person to believe in you.”
Morgan was inspired to become a professional actor. From the age of eleven, he studied in Integrated College Dungannon from 1997 until 2002, winning the ‘Denis Rooney Associates Cup’ for best overall student in Year 10. The school described him as a keen musician and budding actor, as he starred in several college productions including the renowned Surgical Sensations at St Senapods and Bad Day at Black Frog Creek. Morgan’s drama teacher at the college, James McCoy, said this about him,
“His potential to become a successful actor was evident from a young age here at ICD. He participated wholeheartedly in every Drama class, concert and production that the college was showcasing. He loved Drama and he was a pleasure to teach.”
Determined, he went on to study in Belfast, and every day for two years, he commuted between Armagh and Belfast for an hour and twenty minutes each way because it was the closest place that had a college that offered drama as a subject.There, he was awarded a National Diploma in Performing Arts from the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education in 2004.
We visit Colin’s next steps in the upcoming post: Time Travel …The RSAMD years
*(information primarily from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Morgan)