boy and girl performing on stage

The Janus Players’ will debut What You Will, a comedy based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, on Friday, November 5. Theatre-goers can expect plenty of twists and turns, along with a complicated romantic relationship, but it’s what goes on before the curtain rises that has us wondering how Helena S. ’24 and Jude L. ’24, prepare for their leading roles. 

Catch the show on Friday, Nov. 5th at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 6th at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. in the Breen Performing Arts Center.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at how the two leads prepare to be center stage: 

1. What are a few of your tips and tricks for memorizing your lines?
Helena: I use the voice memos app on my phone and I record myself saying all of my lines and then I just play it back and rehearse with myself. 
Jude: I tend to lean more towards the old-fashioned way of memorizing lines. I read my lines and write them down over and over again until I get it right. You’d be surprised how quick you pick up on your lines; they get stored away in your brain where song lyrics are stored. 

2. Before stepping on stage, how do you get yourself into character? 
Helena:
Before I go on stage for each scene, I think about what my character’s goals are and what they are trying to accomplish in each scene, and it always helps me. 
Jude: Before I step on stage for a performance, it’s just about flipping the switch on. But what helps me leading up to the performance is doing a lot of character analysis. I make sure to know my character like the back of my hand. I try to understand how they might react to certain situations, their body language, everything. 

3. Do you ever get stage fright and how do you deal with it? 
Helena:
There will always be that fear that you will forget a line, but you have to learn to lean on the fact that you have lines to say and you don’t have to go out there and wing it. Stage fright will never go away, but you will learn to get more comfortable and be able to thrive off  those nerves.
Jude: I always try to remember how quickly that feeling of nervousness goes away the second I get on stage. As soon as you step out on stage and say that first line, all of those nerves flush out of your body and then you just can’t wait to entertain. 

4. Describe the rush of being on stage. 
Helena:
It has everything to do with the stage lights. Before you go on stage, while you are waiting for your cue line, you are sitting in the dark entrance and that’s where everything is going through your head. Then, as soon as you step on stage and feel the warmth of the lights, everything is okay, and everything is comfortable. The lights truly change you.
Jude: You step on stage, say that first line, and all of the tension in your body just releases. It’s like all of your expectations are leaving your body. The moment you step into the light, the character becomes your main focus. And when you get that first laugh from the audience, it’s euphoric.

5. How would you best describe the off-stage dynamic of the Janus Players? 
Helena:
We are very over the top, we have big personalities, we are loud, but most importantly we are all always on the same page and we always care. 
Jude: We are a team, we are an ensemble, we are a family.  But above all else, we are a group of kids who are never worried about being cool, because we don’t hold cool as a value. We just show up and leave it all on the stage without worrying what anyone thinks of us because it’s what we love to do. 

The Janus Players Present What You Will

 

 

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