Thursday, December 19, 2013

Go Behind the Scenes with Our Young Actors (Part Two)

(top row) Grace O'Brien, Lindsay Elizabeth Frazin, Christopher Delfino
(bottom row) Jaden Fogel, Thomas McCarthy, Maddy Nickless, Jillian Tabon, Caitlyn Roum.

Meet Our Bloggers

Nika Natalie Aydin (Tiny Tim), age 8. Nika began acting in SCR's summer workshop and continues studying in the youth conservatory. She has previously performed in holiday concerts at her school, singing and dancing, but A Christmas Carol is her first time performing in a play.

Christopher Delfino (Turkey Boy), age 13. Christopher first began acting in another Christmas play when he was in the third grade. He first caught the acting bug while performing in the play How to Eat Like a Child and has been studying at SCR for two years.

Jaden Fogel (Young Ebenezer/Oliver), age 14. Jaden has been acting for three years and makes his A Christmas Carol debut. This past summer he performed in SCR’s Summer Players’ production of Annie.

Lindsay Elizabeth Frazin (Fan/Teen Girl), age 16. Lindsay began taking classes at SCR when her older sister was cast in SCR’s A Christmas Carol as Martha Cratchit and has been a part of the Conservatory for three years. A Christmas Carol will be her first time performing in a play.

Thomas McCarthy (Turkey Boy), age 11. Thomas has been studying acting at SCR for two years and A Christmas Carol will be his first ever play to perform in.

Maddy Nickless (Girl About Town), age 12. Madison started acting when she was five years old and has been performing in community theatre and studying acting with SCR for four years.

Grace O’Brien (Martha Cratchit), age 16. Grace has been acting for seven years, since she started studying in SCR’s conservatory. Since then, she has been in many plays and even played Belinda Cratchit in A Christmas Carol five years ago.

Caitlyn Roum (A Girl About Town), age 9. Caitlyn has been acting for three years and studying acting at SCR for two. In three years, she has performed in five plays with Newport Beach Theatre Arts and her school Davis Magnet School.

Jillian Tabone (Belinda Cratchit), age 10. Jillian started acting when she was six years old and has been studying acting at SCR for three years. She was previously in a production of A Christmas Carol at her school.
Our young bloggers have been performing A Christmas Carol more than two-dozen times now. In fact, the show closes on Thursday! We asked them to talk about different milestones during the production.

How does it feel performing onstage, in front of sold-out houses?
Caitlyn: It feels amazingly awesome and exciting.   It feels like I am really in the world of A Christmas Carol and everyone’s character is real.
Jaden: It feels weird being on stage. It's a different environment; we are actually affecting the audience. You can feel the emotion stretch across the whole stage.
Thomas: It's great to be on the stage in front of big crowds. There is no better feeling than hearing the audiences laugh or applaud.
Maddy: I love getting to re-tell this story.

Are you still discovering new things about your character?
Nika: Yes, I am still discovering things about Tiny Tim.  He enjoys little things like singing with his dad, being with his family and he really appreciates the food he gets.
Grace: You're never done in your process as an actor, so there is always something new to learn. The Christmas season has also helped me get into the spirit, making my character's emotions truer.
Lindsay: Yes, of course! When I'm waiting backstage, I often think of new ways to enhance my performance, such as subtle changes in tone, volume, etc.

Were you nervous before your opening night?
Jillian: I was extremely nervous and I asked Daniel Blinkoff (Bob Cratchit) for advice and he told me to use my nervous energy into my character. It is so wonderful to work with adult actors, because they can give good advice!
Caitlyn: To be honest, no, I wasn't because what would I worry about?   I trust all the people in the play.
Thomas: I was very nervous but the crew and other actors make everyone feel relaxed.
Christopher: Oh yeah! I didn't want to mess up, but as scared as I was before I got on stage, it all went away once I took the stage

What do you do backstage when you’re not onstage? 
Jillian: Dominic Brack taught me how to play slide!
Caitlyn: Change into costumes!  I have seven costume changes, so I go one after another.
Christopher: I love to play chess in the greenroom.
Jaden: Once, I am done with my costume change, I go to the wings and watch the play to get re-emerged into the story.

Any fun backstage stories?
Grace: Before going on stage Christopher, Caitlyn and I always chant “Break legs and break hearts.” It's lighthearted and silly, but helps ease our nerves.
Nika: My favorite backstage story is when Mrs. Fezziwig let me smoke her fake pipe.
Thomas: The cast and crew are going to do a Secret Santa!
Maddy: Everyday during the warm ups the tech crew come backstage playing star wars music to distracting us and we all laugh.

Have your friends and family been able to see you in the show?
Nika; Yes, my entire 3rd grade class from my school came to watch me. Every one loved the show. One of my friends was even inspired to join the acting classes at SCR.
Maddy: My family, friends, and my 8th grade drama class came to the performance.
Jillian: It is so fun to perform on a big stage with people you know cheering you on!

What's been the best part about being in A Christmas Carol this year?
Christopher: All the actors are like a big family, it is great hanging out with them, laughing and sharing this experience
Grace: The best part is being apart of the amazing A Christmas Carol family. We've all gotten so close and I love being with them! I am so lucky to work with such amazing actors and learn from them all.
Lindsay: Getting to do the "schoolyard scene" where Fan lightens up Ebenezer's day by telling him he's coming home for Christmas because it is the first scene in the play where love and the importance of family is openly expressed.
Thomas: The sound of applause is awesome.
Jaden: Working with all the adults I’ve learned so much.
Caitlyn: Just being on stage!
Nika: I love to be on stage performing the show in front of an audience.
Jillian: Seeing how the play has affected so many people.
Maddy: Performing every night and becoming a family with the cast.  This has been a dream of mine for the past four years since I began studying at SCR.

Nika Natalie Aydin's (top row, center) third grade class after a student matinee of A Christmas Carol.

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