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Perfect Playbill: The art behind 'The Artiste' Aiden English
Aiden English has created a distinctive niche for himself. as NXT’s resident songbird and one of its most flamboyantly verbose Superstars, English never hesitates to literally call for the spotlight to ensure the focus of the NXT Universe. This week, we delve into the background of “The Artiste” and will follow English’s insistence that we present his story in the form of a four- act play. (Seriously.)
ACT I: The beginning
You could say that the inception of “The Artiste” took place in Chicago – English’s birthplace. The middle child of two brothers and one sister, the acting bug bit at an early age.
“I was cast in a role as ‘Dying Child 3’ in a run of 'Les Miserables' when I was 5 years old. Being bathed in those lights was a feeling that never left me. Plus, the makeup was latexbased and that also never left me... for the next two weeks anyway,” English told WWE.com.
From “Les Miserables,” English went on to study the art of stage and screen at Columbia College in Chicago.
“My mentor was the great Guido Crescendo of ‘Swashbuckling’ fame, and one-half of the infamous Swordsmen duo. He not only taught me the art of performance, but the art of combat as well.”
It was during this time that the seeds were first planted for Aiden to consider a career path in the world of sports -entertainment.
ACT II: Transitioning
By the time Aiden English was 20 years old, “The Artiste” had acted and performed in nearly 20 different stage shows, ranging from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” Constantly seeking out that next big challenge, English turned his sights toward sports-entertainment and the goal of grabbing his piece of the global juggernaut that is WWE.
“Many actors have made careers on both stage and screen,” English noted, “but how many performers can say they’ve conquered the stage, the screen and the ring?”
Putting forth the funds to enroll in a night class at WWE’s developmental training system, English embarked on his path. Despite having no promises or guarantees of future Superstardom, English earned a WWE contract once the three-month enrollment period concluded – a rare achievement for a student, but not one that surprised him.
“Anybody who knows anything about me would know that I was destined to earn a contract,” English said.
ACT III: NXT debut
“I am the very model of a modern major Superstar.” It is these lyrics that English adapted from the comedic opera “The Pirates of Penzance” during his singing debut on NXT. Since that fateful night, English has maintained a streak of impressive wins and surprisingly, a cult following of NXT fans anxious to hear the latest tunes from the lyrically inclined Superstar.
“It is said that on the stage, particularly in musicals, that a character sings when they can no longer use basic words or actions to express the depth of emotion that they are feeling,” he explained. “When I am bathed in that spotlight, the same can certainly be said for me. To express my emotion, my feeling and, most importantly, my talent, I sing my way to the ring.”
ACT IV: The future
It might seem easy to surmise that English’s future is bright and the sky’s the limit, but that may not necessarily be the case. Could English’s thespian theatrics distract him from in-ring success, or is the attraction of the spotlight just enough to propel this NXT Superstar to the next level?
Shockingly, it doesn’t seem to matter to “The Artiste.”
“Honestly ,I'm not concerned with my legacy in this ‘WWE’ or 'NXT,' English stated. “Once a famed Broadway producer like Scott Rudin, or a legendary actor of stage and screen like Ian McKellen sees my work, it's only a matter of time before I'm under the lights and on the stage thattrulymatters..
“Remember, nicknames are for laborers named ‘Chuck’ or ‘Bob,’” English added. “I have been bestowed thetitleof 'Artiste' because it is precisely what I am: an artist who can do it all.”