Marc Devigne is a prairie boy originally from Winnipeg Manitoba in Canada. Marc is a diversely experienced Canadian singer, songwriter, musical theatre performer and actor currently residing in Toronto. He stars in the new TV series Shadowlands.
With a well-rounded experience base that ranges from being a finalist on “Canadian Idol” in 2003, to international touring with various theatre companies and session work as a studio vocalist, Marc Devigne has a strong passion for music and performing in general.
As a songwriter, Devigne has co-penned music with an impressive array of Canada’s leading songwriters such as Stephan Moccio, Amy Sky, Mark Masri, Greg Johnson, David Martin, Luke McMaster and Simon Wilcox. Marc’s infectious stage presence and performance experience have afforded him the opportunity to appear on 2 PBS specials; a Mark Masri PBS special, as well as “Bailamos! Live at the Empire”.
Marc Devigne’s infectious on-stage energy is a testament to his broad range of Musical Theatre experience, such as touring with Rainbow Stage, Persephone Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Ross Petty Pantos and Koba Entertainment to name a few. Devigne has also performed as a featured soloist for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestras.
Recently, he has toured extensively throughout North America as a Vocalist for various musical groups, such as the latin-themed cross-over group “Bailamos” and Popera group “Vivace”, of which he was a founding member and director, and displays an impressive ability to perform in almost any genre. Marc’s decade of experience in the Canadian Entertainment Industry has allowed him to develop a deep network of trusted industry contacts and allies, and he has been privileged to mentor with Dominic Denny, former president of Canada’s Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, as well as prominent Entertainment Lawyer, Michael Levine.
With all of this under his belt and the full-force of his rolodex of industry supporters behind him, Marc Devigne is a multi- disciplinary force to be reckoned with, and now focuses on developing his most exciting musical project to date – Citizen West.
INTERVIEW WITH MARC DEVIGNE
Marc Devigne stars at Xavier in episode 3 ‘Pygmalion Revisited’ of the Shadowlands series. In the story a painter (Charlie David) who in mourning the loss of his lover Xavier (Marc Devigne), becomes obsessed with creating a realistic painting of him. The resulting piece is so beautiful and life-like that he is drawn under its spell.
What were the main challenges and fears you had in your role?
Marc Devigne: When Charlie David first approached me with the script, I was nervous at the prospect of playing the role of Xavier. It had been a while since I had been in front of the camera and had never played a role such as this one. It took a lot of vulnerability but I knew it was an important, relatable story of love that can transcend limits and barriers. Everyone can relate to love and loss.
How much of yourself goes into a character?
Marc Devigne: For this specific role, a lot of me went into the character. Charlie and I revisited the script and worked the role of Xavier into a French singer/songwriter artist. The role was adapted to allow me to perform a song in the episode that I believe related beautifully to the characters’ love story.
How much were you able to relate your own experiences to create your character? And how much did you have to research or imagine?
Marc Devigne: There’s a lot out of my own experience that I could relate to role of Xavier. Other than the obvious things, such as singer, artist and love of life, Xavier’s illness was something that I drew from very personal and painful events in my life having witnessed the horrible effects of cancer.
What aspects of the Shadowlands series are you excited for an audience to experience or discover?
Marc Devigne: I’m excited that people get to experience 3 very different stories, styling and feelings with a similar underlying theme.
Romance between men and between women was common place and written about in Greek and Roman mythology. Why is it important to continue sharing these types of stories today?
Marc Devigne: It’s important to me because these stories often times transcend gay or niche themes and storytelling. They are human stories with universal themes that a lot of people can relate to. It’s important for people to broaden their views and I think that by sharing stories where people can draw similarities to their own life or experiences, makes us all one step closer to realize that we’re all humans on this earth living and sharing more similarities than what often times is believed.
What was the hardest scene for you in the Shadowlands series to do and why?
Marc Devigne: Xavier’s “final” scene was definitely a difficult one. It was emotionally and physically draining to stay in that state of exhaustion and low energy for quite a while while we were shooting. Between takes I would remain in character to ensure that the scene remained as truthful as possible. It was also difficult to see my co-actor crying and devastated within the scene. It felt awfully real at times.
Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?
Marc Devigne: Music constantly influences my creativity. It can affect such a broad spectrum of feelings and emotions.
In addition to acting, tell me about the other areas of entertainment you’re pursuing.
Marc Devigne: Other than acting, I’m currently pursuing Music. I sing with a number of groups and projects internationally. I’m also currently working on my own music and drawing a lot of inspiration from French music. I’m really excited to be releasing my own music that reflects this part of my culture.
With so much going on in the world today, what’s your motivation to be a performer? Do you act to explain? To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge? To incite a conversation?
Marc Devigne: I do it because I have this innate feeling that it’s what I’m meant to do. Because music and performance are the best and only ways I know how to express myself to a degree that is fulfilling and truthful. It’s my form of creativity, of expression, and hopefully my small piece of contribution to the world.
What’s next for you as a creator/actor/performer?
Marc Devigne: Keep pursuing all venues and experiences that excite me. Creating original music. Collaborating with great creative minds, and hopefully remain inspired and motivated to keep doing what I love. Keep learning and keep creating… those are some of the greatest gifts.
Follow Marc Devigne and listen to his music using the links below:
Shadowlands is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.
If you enjoyed this interview, explore other chats with cast members of the Shadowlands series.
SHADOWLANDS TV SERIES – Director Statement
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Format The Shadowlands TV series is a miniseries of three episodes by director Charlie David exploring love –a narcissist grasping to comprehend it (Ep. 1 Narcissus), a couple renegotiating a relationship (Ep. 2 Mating Season) and star-crossed lovers mourning its loss (Ep. 3 Pygmalion Revisited).
The stories transition from one to the next in an anthology fashion and may be watched together and thought of as one film. (Such as in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s Four Rooms or Damian Szifron’s Wild Tales.)
Each episode in the Shadowlands TV series has a companion digital media component such as music videos or an exploration of the artists and technicians involved.
SHADOWLANDS TV SERIES EPISODE 1: NARCISSUS
Synopsis – Alex, a plastic surgeon hell bent on perfection, hosts a house party with an assortment of colorful guests. Amid romantic misfires it becomes apparent that the only person Alex is interested in is himself.
Setting – Mansion. Era is modern but with the influence of 1920’s Berlin. People exploring their sexual freedom and new cosmetic surgeries in the pursuit of perfection.
Companion webisode – In the companion webisode, we explore the costume design in Narcissus.
SHADOWLANDS TV SERIES EPISODE 2: MATING SEASON
Synopsis – A couple explore the idea of opening their relationship while on a remote camping trip when they encounter a mysterious stranger.
Theme – In every culture since time began there have been stories of apparitions. The causes of such phenomena are continually under speculation. It seems that no matter how much data, first-hand accounts and theories are collected, the question ‘Do Ghosts Exist’ is one that may never be answered…
Setting – 1951 post WWII forest
Companion webisode: In the companion webisode, we’ll explore the history of the WWII hit song, My Buddy. A male duet of the song was recorded for the soundtrack as well as a music video featuring clips from Mating Season.
SHADOWLANDS TV SERIES EPISODE 3: PYGMALION REVISITED
Synopsis – Rudy is a painter who in mourning the loss of his lover and becomes obsessed with creating a realistic painting of him. The resulting piece is so beautiful, so life like that he is drawn under its spell.
Theme – Star-crossed lovers whose romance is cut short by the shears of fate.
Setting – Present day artist’s loft.
Companion webisode: The companion webisode is a behind the scenes look at the creation of the life-size paintings and how the VFX team brought it to life.
THE WORLD of the SHADOWLANDS TV SERIES
Shadowlands is a fantasy world much like our own but where there are paranormal occurrences.
Each episode is in the Shadowlands TV series its own microcosm. The characters and stories do not overlap directly BUT there are ‘Easter Eggs’ for our audience in the form of allusions to the other stories/worlds in each episode.
This may be in the appearance of a minor character in two stories. Or within set décor, music or a prop. For example:
SHADOWLANDS TV SERIES EASTER EGGS
Shadowlands Easter Egg 1: The character of Percy Katt (Brian Michael Jensen) belongs in the world of NARCISSUS but in the film festival version of Shadowlands – switches a record on the gramophone with the episode titles to segue between each story.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 2: Gramophones can also be spotted in one of two black and white photographs depicted as Alex (Sean C. Dwyer) by Durban artist Andreas Chasomeris from his photographic collection titled ‘The Gray Scale 1946”. These hang on either side of the mirror in his dungeon in NARCISSUS.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 3: A gramophone can also be spotted in a painting titled DARE NOT (2014) by South African artist Andreas Chasomeris in PYGMALION REVISITED which hangs by Rudy and Xavier’s bed.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 4: The man flying fishing in the opening montage of ‘Mating Season’ is seen at the eccentric house party in ‘Narcissus’.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 5: In MATING SEASON, the characters Matteo (Oscar Moreno) and Will (Nicolas James Wilson) are negotiating their relationship and end up having a threesome with Daniel (Vasilios Filippakis). This episode endorses the idea of non-monogamy and polyamory.
The character of Alex (Sean C. Dwyer) in NARCISSUS makes disparaging remarks about the Bunny Boys (Basil Hendy & Kato Alexander) and their sexual proclivities in the dungeon. Alex ultimately punishes the Bunny Boys for ‘behaving like a couple of swine.’ In this episode non-monogamy is challenged.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 6: The theme of war is explored in MATING SEASON with Daniel (Vasilios Filippakis) receiving a dishonorable discharge in the form of a blue ticket. Will (Nicolas James Wilson) has a monologue about what scares him about his job as a sailor.
War is also a theme in NARCISSUS. Thalia (Natasha Balakrishnan) urges Alex (Sean C. Dwyer) that life before the war (allusion to WWI) wasn’t perfect and neither were any of us. Alex’s relentless pursuit of perfection to fix people (beginning with amputee soldiers and mustard gas victims) takes on a life of its own in the roaring 1920’s of Berlin.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 7: The cinematography in MATING SEASON of an overhead view of Matteo (Oscar Moreno) and Will (Nicolas James Wilson) laying perpendicular on a blanket while they agree to open their relationship is mirrored in PYGMALION REVISITED with Rudy (Charlie David) and Xavier (Marc Devigne) in a memory sequence. Rudy is likening their relationship to Greek myth with the line, ‘Eros and Psyche intertwined under the heavy branches of an olive tree, blissfully unaware of the passage of centuries.’
Shadowlands Easter Egg 8: MATING SEASON is at its core a classic ghost story.
The theme of apparitions is echoed in PYGMALION REVISITED in Rudy’s dream as well as in his flashbacks of the film he and Xavier were watching on their movie night.
The film is The Terror (1963) in which Lt. Andre Duvalier (Jack Nicholson) is haunted by the Ghost of Ilsa (Sandra Knight) who ultimately drives Baron Victor Frederick Von Leppe (Boris Karloff) to suicide from his guilt.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 9: The castle spires seen in The Terror (1963) movie are echoed by the spires of the church that Rudy (Charlie David) walks into in PYGMALION REVISITED.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 10: Thalia (Natasha Balakrishnan) is given a copper box with white Calla Lilies hiding a revolver in NARCISSUS.
In the dungeon scenes in NARCISSUS there are red Calla Lilies laying on the table in which Alex (Sean C. Dwyer) keeps his torture tools.
In PYGMALION REVISITED, Xavier (Marc Devigne) requests Rudy (Charlie David) to have Calla Lilies at his funeral because ‘they’re my favorite, but you already knew that.’ Calla Lilies figure prominently around Rudy and Xavier’s loft in PYGMALION REVISITED and ultimately Rudy paints Xavier holding one in his final painting.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 11: A painting that sits sideways in Rudy and Xavier’s loft in PYGMALION REVISITED is a reference to Alex in NARCISSUS. It is titled ‘The Devil is…1931’ (2015) by Andreas Chasomeris and is another allusion to the roaring 20s in Berlin. On the wall behind the man in the painting is a poster of the Marlene Dietrich film The Devil is a Woman (1935).
Shadowlands Easter Egg 12: The Bunny Boys (Basil Hendy & Kato Alexander) are tied up in Alex’s dungeon in NARCISSUS.
In PYGMALION REVISITED there is a painting of two men tied up beside Xavier & Rudy’s bed. It’s open to interpretation whether one man is tying up or untying the other. On one of the man’s shirtsleeves is sewn a pink triangle – a sign meant to identify and demoralize homosexuals, similar to the Star of David for the Jewish people, that the Nazis enforced in the lead up to WWII.
Finally in this painting there is a gramophone in the corner of the room. The gramophone and changing of the record by Percy Katt (Brian Michael Jensen) is the first image we see in NARCISSUS as well as a recurring motif in the film festival version of SHADOWLANDS. The painting is titled DARE NOT (2014) and is by South African artist Andreas Chasomeris as part of his 1939 show.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 13: Xavier (Marc Devigne) has left the painting in the final frames of PYGMALION REVISITED. He’s crossed over from death to life and tragically Rudy (Charlie David) has crossed from life to death.
There is hope for their ultimate reunion by way of a painting of two naked men in an embrace which the camera slowly pulls out from in the opening party montage in NARCISSUS. The painting was originally created in 2007 by Scottsdale, Arizona artist James Angel for Charlie David’s film MULLIGANS in which his character Chase also plays a painter.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 14: The song ‘Ça va’ written by Montreal musician Michael Daniel Murphy and performed in PYGMALION REVISITED by Xavier (Marc Devigne) is also hummed by Alex (Sean C. Dwyer) in NARCISSUS after he kills the Bunny Boys.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 15: Thalia (Natasha Balakrishnan) threatens suicide by lethal injection in NARCISSUS.
Rudy (Charlie David) assists Xavier’s (Marc Devigne) death and ultimately commits suicide in PYGMALION REVISITED.
The ‘play within the play’ or The Terror archival film clips in PYGMALION REVISITED include a scene where The Ghost of Ilsa (Sandra Knight) encourages the Baron (Boris Karloff) to take his own life. She consoles him by saying, ‘my own hand will guide you. And we can be together forever. Forever.’
Shadowlands Easter Egg 16: There are black and white framed photos done in the style of Paraty, Brasil artist Aecio Sarti (two faces conjoined) of Rudy & Xavier in PYGMALION REVISITED and of Thalia and Alex in NARCISSUS.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 17: In PYGMALION REVISITED Father Malik (Michael R. Buchanan) commissions Rudy (Charlie David) for a painting of Saint Bacchus. Saint Bacchus is most commonly paired with Saint Sergius and they are known as erastai or lovers.
For centuries Sergius and Bacchus were upheld as ‘gay Saints’, often depicted in icons and statuary together. Saints Sergius and Bacchus were martyred and the tale of how Bacchus came to Sergius in a dream before he died and promised they would be reunited in heaven is relayed to Rudy by Father Malik in the first scene of PYGMALION REVISITED.
In 1969 the Catholic church de-canonized Sergius and Bacchus and their churches, alters and art were renamed or destroyed. Coincidentally 1969 was also the year of the Stonewall Riots and what we now mark as the beginning of gay liberation – Pride.
GREEK MYTHOLOGY REFERENCES IN SHADOWLANDS TV SERIES
Shadowlands Easter Egg 18: Xavier (Marc Devigne) wears a gold medallion of Zeus throughout PYGMALION REVISITED which is later claimed and worn by Rudy.
In the original Greek mythology of Pygmalion and Galatea, Athena empathizes with Pygmalion and brings his statue Galatea to life.
Zeus is known as a jealous and vengeful god and the ultimate tragedy in PYGMALION REVISITED may be interpreted as his revenge at Athena showing undue empathy to mortals.
Rudy references several gods in PYGMALION REVISITED while contemplating how to complete his commission of a painting of Saint Sergius from Father Malik (Michael R. Buchanan). Among these are Pallas Athena, Heracles, Eros, Psyche, and Zeus.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 19: In MATING SEASON, Daniel (Vasilios Filippakis) can be imagined as the incarnate god Pan known for trickery of travelers in the woods as well as his sexual appetite.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 20: In NARCISSUS, the character of Alex (Sean C. Dwyer) represents the title role while the character of Thalia (Natasha Balakrishnan) is his cast off lover, the nymph Echo. Echo is also alluded to in the final exchange between Alex and Drew (Brian Woodford) when Drew echoes each of Alex’s lines.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 21: The dimensions of Rudy’s (Charlie David’s) art studio in Pygmalion Revisited are the divine ratio used in Greco-Roman architecture as well as classical art. The divine ratio or golden mean is found throughout nature, art and architecture such as the Great Pyramid in Giza, the Parthenon in Athens, and the Great Mosque of Kairouan. In art it is found in Leonardo da Vinci’s illustrations of polyhedra in ‘De divina proportione’,
Salvador Dalí explicitly used the golden ratio in his masterpiece, The Sacrament of the Last Supper. Mondrian has been said to have used the golden section extensively in his geometrical paintings.
The actor Charlie David has tattoos of the Fibonacci sequence on his inner left wrist identifying his personal numerology of 3-5-8 and the symbol Phi on his inner right wrist which correlates to the Fibonacci sequence. If a Fibonacci number is divided by its immediate predecessor in the sequence, the quotient approximates the Divine Ratio or Phi.
Shadowlands Easter Egg 22: in episode 1 Narcissus, Thalia (Natasha Balakrishnan) stands on a silver statue of an owl. A statue of the goddess Athena is seen in the background.
The owl is the totem animal of Athena and she is known as the goddess of wisdom. In this scene Thalia is trying to save Alex (Sean C. Dwyer) from his ultimate demise by offering wisdom that could ultimately save him from himself.
Additional wardrobe, props and set decor from the three episodes in the Shadowlands TV series may be hidden in plain sight allowing for an immersive re-watch for the curious viewer.
Shadowlands miniseries is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.
If you enjoyed this, explore interviews with cast members of the Shadowlands series.