Behind the scenes of "Much Ado About Nothing": the performers' perspective

Carlee Colvard, Assistant Editor

 Photo courtesy of Jack Sterner's Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Jack Sterner's Facebook page.

You step out to face a crowd of people. You're trying to focus and forget the audience is actually there. But wait. It's your turn to speak. Do you remember the lines? Do you think you rehearsed enough to deliver them just right?

Welcome to the limelight. Welcome to the role of the performer. Sitting in a seat observing a production is a much easier job than actually performing. 

Have you ever wondered what it's like to act in front of a group of people analyzing your every move? Have you ever stood in front of an audience who expects you to entertain them? 

The North Greenville Theater presented William Shakespeare's play, Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Amy Dunlap, assistant professor and head of performance at North Greenville University.

The actors in Much Ado About Nothing are no strangers to the stage. After performing six shows, the actors knew very well what it was like to take on the role of someone else and entertain an audience. 

For Julia Klukow, who starred as one of the serving girls, the play was her first performance and proved to be a learning experience. 

Klukow said, "I had to learn how to express feelings without using words. I also had to rely on other people. It was definitely a team effort as we all had to work together and play off each other. It was a great experience learning to be a team member and to rely on others."

Being involved in a play comes with its challenges. 

Jack Sterner, who performed the role of Claudio, said, "The time constraint was one of the hardest parts about the play because we had a very limited amount of time and as a result, we had lots of long rehearsals crammed into one time frame. We had to act and help build the set. The time constraint forced us to be involved in every aspect of the play, and we still had classes on top of that."

Acting in front of a group of people watching your every move and hearing your every word is not as easy as some make it seem. 

Samantha Cook, who starred as Conrade in the production, said, "The character and her body language was not like me at all. Acting is not only remembering your cues and lines, but it's also about how you look and move on stage. It's putting all the pieces together to make that scene and thinking about all of it at once while still listening to your partner and convincing yourself that the audience isn't actually there."

Preparing to perform is necessary, but actors can have fun with it.

Cook said, "One of my favorite warm ups is called, 'Baby Shark.' I sang that song backstage every single night before we went out. Most of the warm ups we do are stupid." 

Sterner said, "I’m a typical white girl. I did yoga before every performance because it loosens you up and helps your focus and concentration because one of the most challenging parts about being an actor is whatever kind of day you had or whatever grade you got on a test, you still have to find a reason to portray your character whether it’s sad or happy."

A lot more goes into a play than meets the eye, especially the eyes of the audience.