by Catalina Rojas
CR: Where are you from and what made you decide to come to JPCatholic?
AW: I am from [a] Minnesota small town…I lived in the same house my whole life and I was homeschooled until ninth grade. Then I went to a Catholic high school; it was really small. There were only like thirty-one students. Me and five other girls were the first graduating class; we got really close.
That’s one of the reasons why I came to JPCatholic, because I really liked the tight knit community I had in my high school and it’s how I found out about it. A lot of my teachers went to TAC so they knew about JPCatholic. They knew I was interested in acting so they told me about the school.
So then I applied and then got in and was like, “I’m going to California!” Which I didn’t think I would ever be able to do. I was just thinking that acting, oh it’s just a dream it would be fun, but whatever. Then I was like I don’t know what else I want to do with my life, so I’ll just do that.
CR: Did you always want to act and sing? Is there a specific event or moment that influenced you to pursue your major?
AW: Since I was little I always wanted to be a pop star. Then I was like hmm probably not, but then I got into acting because my brother was into it and he’s way older than me and so I was like my older brother’s doing it, I want to do it. I started with plays and I used to be super shy. I wouldn’t talk to anyone, but it helped me a lot to open up and be more expressive with it and it was just so fun. It was kind of pop star but also not. I really like entertaining people so it’s being in front of people and making them laugh and smile.
I think one of the things that make me really want to become an actress was when I played Genie in Aladdin in tenth grade. It was really fun because I had really good responses from it and people were really happy. A bunch of little kids came up and wanted a picture with me and I thought “Oh my gosh. I really want to do this for the rest of my life.” It was really fun and I just really enjoyed it and I like bringing characters to life.
CR: You’ve acted on screen and you’ve just played the lead of Adelaide in the winter production of Guys and Dolls. Is there a platform you prefer and why?
AW: I prefer stage acting because I like getting the response from people. I like seeing the smile on their face and really making an impact. For me it’s better because it’s straight through line with the character, whereas in film it’s cut. We could do scenes that aren’t in order so it’s just kind of eh.
I do like screen acting, but I prefer the stage and I think I look at acting as more of an art than anything else. I think stage acting or at least the actor is more artistic, whereas film the more artistic people are the editors or the people doing the camera work, but that’s just my view point. For me it’s easier to express the story on the stage than on screen.
CR: Are there any challenges that you’ve faced or are facing while pursuing acting?
AW: Mostly it’s been a steady growing, but there have been challenges with just being more confident and putting myself out there and not being afraid of rejection. It’s kind of hard to get over that. Mostly that- just getting over myself.
CR: Are there any other talents or skills you have people may not know about, not necessarily related to acting?
AW: I once biked four miles without using my hands. It might have been shorter, but I barely used my hands. I’ve always wanted to try unicycling; I’d love that.
CR: What is your favorite play or musical and what would be your dream role, on screen or on stage?
AW: I really like Singing in the Rain. I don’t know if I’d have my dream role in that though. I think I would love Meg from Hercules. I don’t think that’s on stage yet, but if it is I would love to play her or one of the muses that would be so fun.
CR: What is the most important thing you’ve learned as an actress or piece of advice you’d give to other aspiring actors?
AW: Acting is actually being yourself. Which is really weird because a lot of people think it’s “Oh, you’re acting to be someone else”, but you have to become yourself before you can become a character. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve probably learned is trying to become myself so I can know who I am and then I can know who other people are.