The red curtain opens and a young man walks on stage, all eyes on him. The audience leans forward in their seats as the spotlight set on his face. The actor smiles…and the show begins.
Junior Jake Barber will be starring in “Little Shop of Horrors”, his fourth time with the lead role in a Holliston High School production. With charisma that belongs on the bigscreen, Jake Barber is not one to miss. With bright blue eyes and blonde hair, he lights up the stage effortlessly.
In this line of interest, dedication is a must. Mr. Brian Hickey, the drama teacher, requires students to rehearse Monday through Friday, and then Saturday and Sunday when the show is near.
Barber admits that the constant rehearsals can create conflict with school work, but at the same time they are so much fun.
“So in the big scheme of things it makes going to school seem more bearable knowing I have that special place to be after school,” said Barber.
Mr. Hickey knows the potential each of his students has, and knows what can happen when they use it fully. Positive feedback proves how wonderful the shows are that these actors and actresses put on.
“We’ve been quoted as ‘top notch professional level theatre’ and this will be the same,” said Mr. Hickey.
With high standards to live up to, thorough practice is key. Barber has 8 different songs to perform all together, 3 of them are solos.
“The best way to memorize songs is just repetition. I’m really good at memorizing words for some reason so I go over my lines a few times and it drills in my brain”, said Barber.
When asked why Barber got the role, Mr. Hickey mentions “He has a great voice, great acting skills, he listens well and totally fit the role.”
According to Mr. Hickey struggles for the young actor include physical timing and choreography. Lucky for Barber, he has got rhythm. This gift, along with many others should help the star overcome this fixable flaw.
No one understands each other quite like siblings, and for Jake Barber his twin, Anna Barber follows his work closer than anyone else. Anna Barber said that her brother has done pretty good in the past and she expects him to do just as good in his upcoming roll.
“It’s pretty cool, it makes me proud of him,” said Anna about her feelings on her brother’s achievements.
Anna is not the only support system the star has, his whole family is there for him as well. Anna says the whole family is coming to watch, as usual. Though, she does mention with a giggle the constant talk about Jake at the dinner table can get a little much.
But Anna makes a point of the respect she has gained for theater because of her brother and how she’s seen how much fun everyone he works with is.
Barber’s passion for performing is evident through his hard work and talent.
“‘In Guys and Dolls’ Jake had a lot of eating scenes and he choked on a banana, or a carrot but he stayed strong,” said Anna. Clearly, Barber is good at what he does, and its because he loves what he does.
“There is no specific thing pushing me to do theatre, besides my love for it. I’m obsessed with acting and I love the feeling of being on stage. Its just so open and free and I feel like if I stopped doing it I’d be lost.”
The show must go on… and will with Jake Barber front and center as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors.