Passaic County Technical-Vocational School Grad is Living His Broadway Dream

Photos courtesy of Malcolm Young

by Steve Sears

2018 Passaic County Technical-Vocational School grad, Malcolm Young, states, “I’m right where I want to be right now.”

He’s in a pretty good spot. Young on Thursday, February 10, was on stage for the first time as a cast member dancer in Broadway’s The Lion King at the Minskoff Theater. He was among a group of 40 who auditioned this past August, and he was one of three selected for his role.

“Sometimes I tell people I’m still processing my debut,” Young says. “It was amazing. It completely exceeded my expectations. It was just a beautiful day, and it doesn’t feel real. It’s so surreal, just stepping onto the stage and “Circle of Life” coming on as the first number.” 

Things have come full circle for the 22-year-old Young, whose parents took him to see the play in 2010, at the same theater where the legendary play is still performed. 

Young started taking dance lessons at age 8 at Clifton and Passaic’s Dance World Academy, and through the years studied ballet, jazz, and tap, and has competed both regionally and nationally. His early training, as well as his attending PCTVS and the Passaic County Technical Institute School of the Performing Arts, helped him grow as a performer. “I definitely knew that dance was what I was going to pursue as my career, so I knew that I needed to go to a high school that would take me to the next place, grow me as a dancer, but also give me more opportunities learning dance history and the business of dance. PCTI was really the only option for that. And then, when I went there, it was everything that I expected it to be. I tell people sometimes it felt like I was in High School Musical. It was really fun there.”

Young, who lives in Clifton, and also graduated from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology, credits three things in attaining his Broadway role. “One, I had a little bit of experience. Most of the people in the audition had auditioned for them before, but I did an audition three years before my freshman year of college. I remembered a little bit of the process and what it was like, and I was able to manage my expectations in that way. Also, I remember that I got through all the rounds during the first audition, but I was just too young. I heard them say, ‘He’s just not ready yet,’ but I held on to the ‘yet.’ Two, I think I was just able to – and it’s important – execute everything that they were asking for right there on the spot, as soon as they asked for it. That shows that you’re on top of it, that shows quickly that you can thrive in a Broadway setting where things are just thrown at you. And three, my passion for the show most definitely shows. This is my dream since I was 10 years old, and I feel like they definitely saw that in my dancing. Aside from trying to get the job obviously, just my passion for the show and being on the stage that they perform at every night, I think I just took it to another level.”

Young has future goals which he’d like to attain. “I always knew that eventually when the time comes, when the time is right, I want to go back to school. I did minor at NYU during undergrad, so I definitely want to go back and get my master’s. I want to get more into choreographing and maybe a little bit of producing for theater.”

And while certainly carrying these worthwhile aspirations within him, Young lives the dream as a cast  member of The Lion King. “I’m really just open to see where this journey takes me.”


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