Lindsay Robinson

Lindsay Robinson
Lindsay is a professional actor, hoping to become a doctor

The revival of a long-held dream

Actor Lindsay Robinson was rehearsing a combat scene for Romeo and Juliet in Edmonton’s Citadel theatre when Lady Capulet landed a roll awkwardly, injuring her ribs. As she waited for paramedics to arrive, Lindsay leapt into action, using his first aid training to help her breathe through the pain. His body was full of adrenalin, but he felt strangely calm.

“After she left in the ambulance, I had this moment,” he says. “I thought about how I’d always wanted to help people in that capacity.”

The episode revived Lindsay’s long-held dream of becoming a doctor, a dream he’d put aside while pursuing performing arts. But first he needed an undergraduate degree.

Switching scripts for science tests

With twelve years of professional experience in theatre, it made sense to start with the theatre history program, but Lindsay intentionally split his focus with required science courses needed for medical school. “Theatre comes naturally to me. Those muscles are honed already. But with science courses I’ve worked for a slow incline in my grades. Last year I achieved straight As across the board, from theatre to biology.”

Lindsay has savings and paid acting work to draw on, but will have significant student debt by the time he graduates medical school. Bursaries have provided some relief from the continuous pressure of paying for rent and groceries. “They give me that necessary cushion,” he explains. “Just one day a week where I don’t have to work and instead set aside time to study or volunteer.”

“If the donors were sitting across from me right now, I’d give them a heavy and humble thank you. Their financial assistance is helping people like me focus on their studies, and on making their dreams a reality. In my case, it makes the difference between a grade C or an A, which will affect my application to medical school. I know 100% I will want to give back in that way when I’m in a position to do so.”

A strangely compatible pair

Lindsay describes the transition from theatre to medicine as more straightforward than you might think.

“As actors, we connect with people. We have to improvise—often as a team—and perform in stressful conditions. You won’t always know what’s going to happen. But you trust in your training and then you show up.” He points out. “When I’m volunteering with other students at the emergency room, I notice we share a similar energy. It seems to stem from a common goal to help people, and a passion for putting yourself in a situation where you can alleviate a discomfort for others.”

Earlier this year, Lindsay was waiting for his cue backstage at a theatre in Victoria when he heard a call for help. An audience member was in a medical emergency. Lindsay threw off his jacket and leapt off the stage, using his first aid skills until paramedics arrived, and proving once again that theatre and medicine are a strangely compatible pair.