A Tough Act to Follow
by Jetta Colsch | Class of 2021 | Nov. 13, 2018
From grade school to the playhouse, sophomore Olivia Jursik has always loved the theatre. In her numerous past performances, she has held roles anywhere from forest animals to her most recent endeavor: portraying Fiona in the Waterloo Playhouse’s performance of The Giver.
On August 26, she walked into auditions, nervous as ever.
“I was looking at everyone thinking ‘Oh she’s definitely gonna get that role’, ‘Oh, she looks way more like Fiona than I do’, just comparing myself to everybody else,” said Jursik.
She got a callback in a couple of days, which she’d had before, but she never expected what came a few weeks later…
“I was laying in my bed, doing homework or something, when I got the email from Anita, the director,” said Jursik. “She said, ‘We would like to offer you the role of Fiona if you’re interested.’,” she recalled. “Martha, my cat, was laying in the cat tower, and I jumped out of my bed [when I saw the message] and screamed, which really scared her!” Jursik laughed. “I was just really excited and ran downstairs and yelled 'I got the part!”
This was Jursik’s first main role, especially on a stage as public as this. She had been a part of Hudson High School’s spring 2018 production of Footloose, playing Wendy Jo, a bigger role in the musical, but nothing like this.
“I felt more pressured to do well because it was such an important part,” said Jursik. She was nervous every time before she went on stage, but Jursik says it was all worth it, especially one moment after a practice that gave Jursik a moment of clarity, a moment she’ll never forget.
“After one rehearsal, when we were waiting for our parents to pick us up, we were talking about our first impressions of each other, and it really changed my whole mindset.” said Jursik. “It was really cool to hear ‘I totally thought you were gonna get that role’ from someone who I thought was going to get that role.”
Last weekend marked the end of her performances as this character, but Jursik isn’t entirely disappointed.
“I’m disappointed that The Giver is over,” said Jursik, “but I know there’s going to be a lot more opportunities in the future.”