Why acting is worth the stress
By Oscar Wolfe
The moment I step on stage, I feel the lights on me. I can see the silhouettes of the people in the audience. And even though I can’t see their eyes, I know they’re all watching me, waiting to be entertained…and I love it.
I’m currently in the play Flora & Ulysses (based on the book by Kate DiCamillo) at Stages Theatre. I play Joker, Mr. Donald Tickham, and Ernie the Cook. Throughout the show, I slip twice on a banana peel, chase a flying squirrel around with a big knife, and pull my pants off… It’s great.
If you’re not familiar with Stages Theatre, it’s a community theater in the Twin Cities that does plays for kids, with kids (and some adults) as actors. They also do a lot of matinee performances for schools. When you’re watching a show in the middle of a weekday with kids in it, you don’t normally think about the fact that those child actors are missing school to be able to perform for other schools.
That’s been the hardest part. when you’re in a play like this, you have to miss other things, mainly school. It seemed fine at first, but I have to make up the work I miss during the day, on top of my homework. I also missed my last elementary school carnival because of a performance, and I haven’t been able to make it to a single one of my Ultimate Frisbee games. As our stage manager Becca Bunjer said, “If you ever want to talk about something, I’m here.” That alone can be enough. Sometimes I’m super stressed. Then, I just let it all out, and I’m fine.
After all this being said, I do enjoy being in this show, and I think that I made the right decision to do it. It’s exhausting, but it’s a great experience.
I asked some of my fellow cast members about acting, and dealing with the pressure of being in a play.
“You have to miss a lot of school, get the homework from friends and teachers, and sometimes it doesn’t make much sense because you missed the lesson! Also, having to get up early is terrible. But you get to meet a lot of new people and experience new theaters. It’s great.” — Mabel Weismann
“I have really bad ADHD so I have trouble concentrating. But whenever I’m acting, everything else goes away. It’s just me and the character. Especially when someone messes up and I have to go in and cover for them or something….everything’s gone. It’s the best feeling in the world.”—Colton Ames
“This is my first professional play and it’s giving me a lot to learn about…how to really develop my acting skills, getting to know fellow actors. It’s really cool to see it come together.” — Miel Aronson
“Missing school stresses me out because I know I’m going to have a lot of missing assignments. How I’m dealing with it: after the shows every day, I go back to school, talk to my teachers, and work until get caught up!” — Sophia Markstrom
“The play doesn’t stress me out— I’ve got a low-key character. But being the understudy for three larger characters is hard, having to remember the lines. But it’s fun.” — Rachel Wagner
“I love the community, meeting new people, it’s fun to be part of a production. It’s just a great experience overall. And when I get home, I like to bike or read or take a nap. That really helps.” — Liam McAllister
“Being able to perform in front of people and express your love for theater—I really just like to act. It’s my passion. It’s fun to express it wherever I go and perform at Stages.” — Arden Michalec
P.S. If you live in the Twin Cities, we still have a few performances left that you can come to.