An Actress is Born

An interview with Laura Harris

1. What made you decide to join theater in the first place?

I attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help kindergarten through eighth grade. At OLPH the 8th graders always put on a musical. I want to say they did Guys and Dolls when I was in kindergarten, anyway watching people I go to school with live their normal lives and then get up on that stage and be someone completely different intrigued me. I hadn’t realized how much it intrigued me until I started auditioning for shows when I was in 4th grade. First show I auditioned for was Aladdin at Columbus Children’s Theatre. I didn’t get in. But I never stopped trying. I got in my first show there the summer after 8th grade year, that’s a lot of rejection. Being a performer, you have to understand “no” is the word you hear the most but that one “yes” is what makes all the “no’s” worth it.

2. What makes Theater so enjoyable for you?

I enjoy the fact I get to live many lives in my lifetime through Characters. I get an escape, an audience gets entertainment. Theatre people are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet, some are just stuck up but there aren’t enough of those around to ruin it for me.

3. What character out of all the plays you have been in, was your favorite to play, and why?

Margot, from Legally Blonde would be my favorite role so far. Jane in Tarzan might get up there but I’ll be playing her later this spring. Margot is my favorite because she is very fun and out there. Margot is a dumb blonde, party girl, sorority girl; Margot is everything I’m not. I’m a fun person but I’m not a peppy party girl. That role let me be more open with myself. Margot brought out some outgoingness in me. Also during performances I turned 16 and I got carried across stage by too really awesome guys so how can another role compare.

4. How do you relate to the characters you play?

I relate in little ways to some like Margot and other I relate a lot like Jane. Jane and I have a sense of curiosity and excitement in exploring. Margot and I are like the smart kid and the Queen Bee very different. The relating isn’t always perfect it’s how you can make yourself relate. Being an Actor or Actress means you have to have an open mind to different types of people and life styles. You learn to relate.

5. Are auditions nerve wrecking for you, or are you just a natural on stage?

If anyone tells you they aren’t nervous at auditions, they’re lying. I’m always nervous because I want what I’m auditioning for and when everyone else wants it too you are going to be nervous about who will actually get it.

6. How well do you work with the other actors? Have any of them ever made it difficult for you during a performance or otherwise?

I work great with other actors we are all there for the same reason so we should all want to work well together to create something amazing. I’m still in high school where there is always drama. You mix drama with Drama and yes performances can be made difficult. The thing is actors Act so if something is bothering you during a performance you act like it’s not until the curtain closes.

7. How do you still enjoy the parts that you didn’t necessarily want?

Acting is acting if I’m on a stage with amazing people I get over it. Sure it would be nice to be the part I want, but I am given the parts I fit. Being the part you fit is always better than the part you wanted. You don’t always know what’s best for yourself. Sometimes you are placed in a role that you don’t fit and didn’t want and that’s when you just make it the best role in the show and then it is your fit.

8. How do you entertain your audience with the characters you are given?

I do what my director asked with a whole lot of me behind it. I do what the character would do, I sell the Character, I am the character. I tell the story to the best of my ability and that’s how you entertain.

9. Would you consider theater a big part of your life?

No, I consider Theater my whole life. Big isn’t a grand enough word for it.

10. What was your favorite play to act in and why?

My favorite play, as in opposed to musicals, would be Foolz, where I played the mother of the lead female who is the dumbest of all the fools. My role, Lenya, was dumber than her claimed to be dumbest daughter. Lenya has so many hilarious qualities that she was such a delight to play and the show itself was a great show for me.

11. Are you proud of your performances or do you have some regrets?

I’m proud of my performances because I did the best I could at the time I performed them, I look back and know I could perform them much better now though. 12. What has been your favorite moment in your 4 years of High School Theater? I’d like to think I haven’t had it yet. At the moment my favorite moment was “seeing my name up on that list” Legally Blonde reference. I finally got my lead role and I worked so hard for it. Seeing all my hard work pay off is where my favorite moment lies for now.

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