Trent Soyster’s character in Pretty Woman, Giulio the bellhop, dances with another male character in one scene
Actor brings the bi vibes to his ‘Pretty Woman’ character
RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer
Actor and singer Trent Soyster has been living it up on the stage. His time in the Dallas-Fort Worth area has been spent singing and dancing as Giulio the bellhop in Pretty Woman the Musical (minus any ice day cancellations) at the Music Hall at Fair Park this week, and then the same at Bass Hall next week. As the actor approaches one year with the show, Sosyter reflects on just how lucky his career has been.
Save for the cold weather.
“It’s been so chilly here. We’re spending all this time in Texas, but it feels like New York,” he said by phone the day after opening night in Dallas. “But other than that, it’s been fabulous.”
For him, this national tour has been a life changing one. At 25 years old, this is his second tour. But it’s also been a different experience from his first one in the cast of Margaritaville.
“First, I love this role. But also, I feel like I found my groove of life on the road with this tour. Plus, I get to see so many more cities this time,” he said.
Joining the cast was, however, a hasty experience. It started soon after the pandemic restrictions began letting up, but the audition and casting process surprised Soyster.
“It was 10 days between my final callback and the tour,” he said. “I learned the show in, like, four days in Milwaukee with no mirrors. It really was an insane journey to pick up my life and go on tour. That it’s a year later is nuts.”
As he reflects on the past year with Pretty Woman, he cites another musical: “It’s like ‘Seasons of Love’ from Rent — how do you measure a year? For me it’s by places. Fall was in Wisconsin, summer in California and now cold in Texas,” he said.
As a queer kid growing up in Pittsburgh, theater was an outlet for Sosyter — a safe space. He said it was a play to explore himself fully without judgment or critique. But as he matured and went on to study theater, the arts intersected with his own identity.
In short, theater and dance and singing are all a very existential thing for Soyster.
“The arts have those conversations that others don’t have, which all comes back to who I am. I truly feel the arts have only supported my humanity,” he said. “It was an escape then, but now there is this community that reflects on what I do, and in turn, the arts are a reflection of the world. I gain so much being a part of it.”
He also gives that back.
“I teach a lot now with master classes and workshops, and I find it so special to see myself in the students I teach and helping them find their way and their escape through this,” he said. “That’s definitely so uplifting to me.”
Until his next class, Soyster’s got a show to do. As Giulio, the lovable bellhop, he plays an energetic role that was well expanded upon from the movie version. He describes Giulio as sort of the audience’s eyes as they experience Vivian’s journey from the streets to Rodeo Drive.
As a queer actor though, Soyster says he likes to play Giulio with a hint of mint.
“He kind of falls in love with Vivian — or he’s kind of obsessed with her,” he said. “But there are two moments when I tango with another male character. So I think he’s bi — and I play him that way. He’s queer-leaning in some way for sure, which lets me add my queerness to the role.”