Insight Into the Drama
December 18, 2007 by Manny Perez
A drama student dramatically divulges details.
by Manuel Perez
Seeing as fantastically frenetic as they are, Drama Coach Michael Palmieri’s own team of drama actors and actresses are hard to capture, let alone pin down for an interview. Fortunately, with the combined use of a Moulin Rouge DVD and the promise of a feathery pink boa, I was able to lure one into my journalistic.
Natalee Pinson, a drama student on the rise, was gracious enough to answer a number of questions concerning herself, the drama department, and the upcoming Chicago play.
Thomas Jefferson Journal: How was the Drama team’s latest?
Natalee Pinson: Well our last production was our annual fall play, which this year was Mad Woman of Manhattan. It’s an interesting play about some crazy people in Manhattan who are looking to hit it rich and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff, a lot of crazy people, and it was just really fun. [Giggles]
TJJ: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Pinson: I probably draw my inspiration from a lot of the kids I work with now, or that I’ve worked with in the past. There were a couple graduating seniors last year that really made a big impact in my life; and then, obviously, a couple famous celebrities. Kirsten Dunst and Kristin Kreuk, and Nicole Kidman; all those kinds and types of actresses.
TJJ: What would be your dream job as an actress?
Pinson: I would probably love to do Broadway because it’s fun because you get to dance and still be on stage. But I think acting in front of a camera would be fun, as well. If I was going to do Broadway I’d want to be Elphaba from Wicked because she’s cool. As for movies, I’d just want to do something interesting, something like Angelina Jolie. You know, how she uses her fame to make a difference and help different organizations. I would want to be famous enough to have that kind of influence, but not so famous that everyone won’t leave me alone.
TJJ: How long have you been acting?
Pinson: Well, I’ve been pretty much acting my whole life. I was one of those kids that went around meowing and pretending to be a cat when I was three, and singing to people just because I could. But actually, on stage, my first production was freshman year in the musical, Return to the Forbidden Planet with Mrs. Raila, so that was my first actual production.
TJJ: How did you get interested in acting?
Pinson: I got interested in acting because I’ve always been a dramatic kid, and so my parents always said, “You need to be an actress or something when you grow up,” and I never really thought much of it, but I was such a crazy kid. And then freshman year some of my friends said, “Oh you should try out for the play,” so I did, and I ended up being in the musical.
TJJ: How do you feel about your colleagues in the drama club?
Pinson: We have our rough moments because it gets really stressful practicing and stuff, but for the most part we all really get along. It’s a really tight group because it’s usually about the same: you know, five or ten kids that are in every single production, whether it’s tech or as an actor, so usually we’re pretty much like family. We get in stupid arguments but we always pull each other through and take care of each other.
TJJ: How is Mr. Palmieri as an acting coach?
Pinson: Mr. P is really great because he really gives you a lot of pointers and he just helps you kind of do it your own way but also keeping it in his idea, so he’s really good just because he’s real supportive and real helpful.
TJJ: Where do you see the drama team heading?
Pinson: I see the drama team heading toward really good future because we’re getting some better funding, resources, and there is a lot of enthusiasm. Now we have TJ Choir teacher Mrs. Herbert, helping us, and Mr. P’s great, so I think we’re really heading towards a promising future. With our productions, as we get more excited and get more kids into it, the better it’s going to be.
TJJ: How, when, and where can I attend the next show?
Pinson: Usually the shows are $3 for students and it’s always in the auditorium; it’s usually on a Thursday-Friday night set. This play is going to be March 13th, 14th, and 15th, at 7 o’clock. Just come to the auditorium and sit down and have fun! [Laughs].
With a superb cast and a good-looking future, the drama team and Chicago in particular look to be knockout hits. Tickets for the show will be available at least a week before hand, through lunchtime sales, Mr. Palmieri, and with individual cast members. The hotly anticipated play will be performed on March 13th, 14th, and 15th. The full cast list is available outside the choir room and next to the auditorium.