AFTER a short stint back in his hometown, Bendigo performer Charlie Munday will make his way back to the US to further his career in the theatre industry.
For Charlie the decision to return back to America was "bittersweet" but "needed".
"I knew from the moment I left the US that I'd be going back," he said.
"It's been my home for almost five years and as incredible as the last 12 months have been in Australia with friends and family, I do feel like it's time for me to get back to "real life" and resume my career on stage."
After living and working in America for the past few years as a professional theatre performer, Charlie made the difficult decision to fly home last June.
He said the decision was due to the effect the pandemic had on the industry.
"The theatre industry basically collapsed when COVID hit," he said.
"The theatre industry is considered the least essential, so unfortunately our industry was the first to disappear and we are the last to come back.
"Broadway has been shut down since March 2020 and has only just this week announced their reopening this September/October."
Charlie spent the past year dividing his time between Bendigo and Melbourne.
He used the time to catch up with childhood friends, spend time with family and reconnect to his roots.
Although much of the industry was shut down last year, Charlie took advantage of technology doing some virtual theatre shows with Stay True Theatre Co. in New York.
He also had the opportunity to return to his old "stomping ground" at the Bendigo Theatre Company.
"(I recorded) my tap dance performance on the stage where I had my first 'big audition' 10 years earlier," he said.
"That felt like a real full circle moment for me in my career.
"I've also been teaching some masterclasses, summer camps and classes around Bendigo.
"It's been a great insight and reminder of how many talented youngsters there are in this town with bright futures in the performing arts if they want them."
Charlie will now spend the next few weeks in New York getting his apartment sorted and tying up some loose ends before returning to work at the Cumberland County Playhouse, near Nashville.
"I'll be performing in three mainstage musicals and a play in their black box theatre, each with a season of 2-3 months of performances," he said.
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"This year I've also been offered to choreograph two of the Playhouse's mainstage musicals, Godspell and Scrooge!
"I'm a contracted resident performer there until Christmas when I'll head back to New York to audition and work on some exciting projects there that I can't announce just yet."
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