Reflections of an actress

Mayce Bacon, Staff Reporter

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a star.

At first, my plan was to become President of the United States, then a movie star, then an international pop singer and so on. But none of them really fit me. Not until I was on stage and could feel the audience’s eyes on me.

The first big role I was casted in was a fairy tale play, during which I was representing the Big Bad Wolf in court. I had a huge amount of lines and while it was very daunting, it brought something inside of me to life.

Something that is hard to explain unless you’ve also been in that position: your mind whirling as it keeps up with the scenes coming to life around you, but yet calm and blank as you know what you’re doing and what to say. Your heart pounds, letting you know you’re alive, but yet your mind is clear like a deep, clear lake in the summer time.

The contradictions are endless.

I had this rush during every performance for “Nunsense.” The first couple scenes would have my heart pounding so hard that I thought people could see it beating away in my chest, but as the initial nerves wore off, my confidence in myself and my fellow actors built.

We all knew what we were doing and if there were any mistakes or problems (hello, it’s live theater, it’s bound to happen), I felt we could still keep the show going.

Being in a show is hard no matter what role you play or what kind of show it is. If it’s a musical, it’s a mix of lines, blocking, dancing and singing. If it’s a play, it just means a heck of alot more lines and blocking. Neither is easier than the other.

When I was cast as the lead of “Nunsense,” I could hardly believe it. I was never the lead; I was always the strong chorus member or the one who knew other people’s lines just in case.

For “Nunsense,” the spotlight was on me and while it certainly brought the glory that I wanted, it also brought a lot of responsibility.

I’m a senior in my final semester and I’m taking 19 credits so that I can graduate. The musical was a huge load of stress. It was hard to eat, sleep and even talk to people some days.

It was a challenge to get anything done, but every time I was in the Bradley Theatre for rehearsal, all of the worry and stress would slip away and I would have a blast no matter what we would do.

Being an actress is a blessing and a curse, I suppose you could say. Well, I say. It brings you joy and laughs and your cast members become family, but it also brings stress and makes you have to manage your time well.

I highly recommend acting to everyone, even if you don’t think you’d be good at it or if you think it’s not your thing. It helps you realize things about yourself that you might have never considered before and it creates bonds with your fellow actors that are hard to find elsewhere.

Finally, I just want to say thank you to everyone at Lakeland for giving me the opportunity to grow as a person and to shine in the spotlight for a couple of nights. I will always look back at my time on the stage fondly and I’ll always be proud of myself for taking a leap of faith.