Has theater always been a key interest for you, or is it an interest that has developed in the recent years?
Well, when I was younger I was really into sports because my dad wanted me to be in sports and everything. I was mainly into hockey and I played that for a really long time and then I became a gymnast … But then I really got involved in theater around eighth grade when I was Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka over at John Witherspoon Middle School.
Has stage fright ever been a problem for you?
Definitely, yes. Usually before every show I go into a little bit of a panic. I don’t really have a system to calm myself down—I just kind of freak out and then once the show starts, I’m fine. But yeah, I definitely have lots of butterflies in my stomach before the shows.
So far, which has been your favorite musical to star in and why? What has been your favorite role to play?
I would say last year when I was in Nice Work If You Can Get It. I was Jimmy Winter and that was just so much fun, because I got to dance a lot and I was the lead … Everyone in the cast was great, and overall it was just a really great experience … I would say that was also my favorite role to play. But the year before that I was Gideon in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and [during that] I got to jump over an axe, which was very exciting.
What is something that you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting out as an actor?
When I first started out, I would let my stage fright get the best of me and sometimes compromise a show because of that. But now, my stage fright has definitely gotten better. I’ve gotten to the point where I freak out a little, but when I start performing I get it together and I’m able to have a good time. So I wish I could tell myself just to not freak out as much even though that may not have helped much. I wish I could have just enjoyed the moment.
Did anyone in your life influence your decision to become a part of musical theater?
Well, I would say my grandfather, who passed away when I was seven. He was always very enthusiastic and always singing and dancing, and even though I was super little when he passed away, he certainly left a lasting impact on my life. My mom used to tell me stories about him and everything. So I would say him, definitely, and also my mom because she was very involved in theater as a kid. And all her stories really made me enjoy theater.
Do you think that being a part of the program here at PHS has helped you become a better actor?
Definitely. I think it definitely helps having a class every day designated to working on my skills as an actor and performer. That’s definitely helped me grow because I’ve allotted a certain amount of time each day to it to continually grow. And without it, I think I would not spend as much time on it and certainly not increase my skills as rapidly.
Favorite musical: Hairspray
Favorite song: Either “Try Me” from She Loves Me or “I Choose Right” from Baby
Favorite actor: Daniel Day-Lewis