How They Met: A tense audition leads to a musical marriage
Mark and Louise Camilleri
Musical duo Mark and Louise Camilleri teamed up to bring the Tony award-winning musical The Secret Garden to Toronto for three shows at the Trinity St. Paul Centre from Jan. 13 to 15. Mark is the musical director and conductor while Louise is performing in the show. Here they tell us how they met.
How they met
Mark: I was about 20 years old at the time and I was music-directing a show called Suds for the Stirling Festival Theatre, and I first met Louise when she came to auditions. Now, Louise is about nine years older than me and had just come back from doing Show Boat on Broadway. Louise walked over to the piano and starts to take me through the piece she brought to sing, "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." I start to notice she's talking to me like I'm 10 years old, it's on the verge of condescending. I remember saying "Yup, I got it, no problem," but she kept on explaining.
Louise: Once we were done the usual audition small talk, I walked over to the piano and noticed Mark with his long, thick curly hair down his back. He looked like a total rock musician and I thought, "Oh God, this guy is never going to play my jazz song." I then realized that he was a child! I began trying to explain jazz to this piano player and noticed he kept cutting off my sentences.
Mark: Once Louise took her place in the room, I played a flashy intro and she started to sing and all of a sudden, it was magic. All the negative vibes disappeared and it turned into one of the best auditions I've ever played. When the song ended we both looked at each other and I thought, "Oh my God, she's so hot." Louise claims she was just relieved but I know she thought I was hot too!
The first date
We did the old-fashioned movie and a dinner. We saw the movie Cellular. It was awful! We still had a good time.
We were in rehearsals for Mamma Mia. We were both teaching a new cast so we decided to keep things secret. It made for fun flirting during rehearsal, throwing glances at each other and sneaking kisses. Turns out we were really bad at hiding it and everyone knew!
There's no real story. We bought the house and had kids before we decided we wanted to get married. It was a mutual thing, not to make it sound like we weren't excited about it!
We got married on a cruise with 25 of our closest friends and family. We officially got married in St. Thomas. It was awesome. We had an amazing time. Obviously, the cruise was also the honeymoon. I almost killed Louise on a jet ski on the last day. It involved being stranded in the middle of the ocean, being deserted on an island full of discarded clothing and walking through a forest reminiscent of the bug scene in Indiana Jones!
Balancing careers and marriage
We're both artists so we understand each other's careers and how crazy they can be. Our children have seen every show Louise and I have done, in many cases many times. We are also really lucky that both our parents are around and love taking the kids, so Louise and I always try to have a date night once a month or so.
Louise and I love cooking (and eating). We do that together when we're both home. In the summer, we love hanging out either on our front porch or in the backyard, enjoying a drink and the sun. We love cruising. We also love going to the studio when the kids are asleep and just sing and play songs together with a glass (or bottle) of wine.
Life after retirement
We joke about selling everything and moving to the Caribbean (where Louise's family is from), but I think we would miss our children (and grandchildren?). We're musicians, we make music for a living. At the end of the day, I'm not sure we'll ever really retire. We love what we do.
Tickets for Secret Garden are for sale online.