WORDS BY MATT HEYWARD, ANDREA AND OSCAR MULCAHY | First published in Spotlight: The Arts Wellbeing Collective Magazine, Edition 2
Oscar Mulcahy is a 13 year old actor from Ballarat in Victoria with an enviable list of professional credits to his name. He has performed in the Australian casts of Kinky Boots, Dream Lover, Peter Pan, School of Rock, Billy Elliot and was cast in the role of Colin for Opera Australia/GFO’s production of The Secret Garden which was regrettably cancelled due to COVID-19.
When Billy Elliot closed early due to COVID-19 the entire company was devastated. On returning to Ballarat to begin lockdown, Oscar’s Mum Andrea explained to him that while it was really sad for him that something that he loved doing had ended, his adult colleagues also lost their livelihoods.
While in lockdown Oscar decided to enter an online singing competition called Permission To Shine, which he won. Instead of spending his winnings on a PlayStation or Nintendo like most 13 year olds, Oscar had other ideas about what he would like to do with the money.
‘Oscar didn’t know there was money involved in the singing competition, he just did it for something to do in lockdown. When he realised he had won the prize money he came to me and said, ‘Mum, I’d like to donate it.’ So we sat down and had a talk about who he might like to donate it to and he said, ‘Mum I have been really lucky, I’d like to donate it to the Arts’,’ Andrea explained.
‘I’ve done so much and I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given and the people I have met and got to work with that I just felt it was time to give something back,’ 13 year old Oscar explained.
Oscar donated his entire winnings to the Arts Wellbeing Collective and an arts organisation in his hometown of Ballarat.
With young people like Oscar coming up through the ranks, it appears the arts is in safe hands. On behalf of arts practitioners everywhere, thank you, Oscar for your kind and generous donation.