Joshua Shaffer: Where are you from and what made you decide to come to JPCatholic?
Jimena Banos: I am from Guadalajara, Mexico. I was born and raised there. I started my Communications Media Bachelor’s degree there but I figured out that I wanted to do acting instead. I didn’t like the program there, so I just dropped out. I didn’t know what to do next but then God helped me out. My mom saw this school on EWTN and it was pretty much a miracle. God literally brought me here after how much I prayed about wanting to study acting.
JS: How has the acting program affected you so far?
JB: I think that it has helped me to grow a lot as an actress. I didn’t have any idea about anything when I started. I didn’t know a lot of the techniques or exercises. I wanted to just focus on screen acting, but after being in the program with Angie’s and Eskey’s classes, I figured out that I like theater more. It’s very fulfilling and full of life. Eskey’s classes helped me grow so much in not only acting but also as a person. The classes help you connect with others and be truthful when you react and listen. I think I have been forming my tools slowly, but I definitely have more techniques to learn.
JS: So you want to focus more on theater acting compared to the screen?
JB: Like I said, when I came here I thought screen acting was my only thing. It was because I love movies the process of how they are made. Although as an actress, I think it is more fulfilling to do theatre because it’s chronological and you get to experience more intimacy. In screen acting there are so many breaks on a set which gets you out of character. So I think at first I’ll have to get more into film acting but I would prefer to do more theater. They each have their good qualities.
JS: How has the character development process been for the play, The Crucible, this quarter?
JB: It’s been a little intense. My character’s name is Betty Parris. She doesn’t have a lot of lines but her presence is really important. She’s basically the one that starts everything. It’s set during the Salem witch trials. She is apparently under some kind of possession in her bed and cannot move. After saying this, I realize that the other characters I have done have been more straightforward while this one is more challenging and has more conflicts. I’m not sure if she is pretending or telling the truth. There is a lot of painful emotions with this character that you don’t normally want to go to as a human being. So it’s a little nice to explore these deeper emotions and pain. I’m loving it so far since I’m able to use techniques I now have practiced.
JS: Would you say this is the most challenging character you’ve ever played then or does anything else come to mind?
JB: I think this one and in Eskey’s class junior year I played a 90 year-old-woman in Three Tall Women. That was really challenging because I’m always type-cast as younger. It’s always younger than the age that I am. So that character was a huge flex. Cell Block Tango was also a little challenging. Anyways, my current character is just really emotional while the old woman was more external. Betty is more about harder conflicting emotions internally.
JS: Is there anything else you would like the students/faculty to know about you?
JB: I’m really proud of how the acting program has been growing and developing, especially with how they have added a musical theater emphasis. With the constant growth of the program and new students, it would be nice to have a separate space for the actors. A small stage or something would be nice since the soundstage is always tricky. We don’t really have our own space to rehearse or to do our exercises since the soundstage is mostly for film students. So, it would be nice if we could fundraise and build a place solely meant for acting.