Playing the Part: Only

Child Takes up Acting

by Jetta Colsch | Class of 2021 | Mar. 1, 2018

   I want to do THAT... THAT is what I want to do. These were the words going through freshman Olivia Jursik’s mind as an 8-year-old watching Doctor Who Behind The Scenes videos with her mother.

   That moment led to the start of her acting career. Her first big break was when she played the narrator in her first grade performance about Martin Luther King Jr.

   Eight years later, Jursik has taken on both bigger roles and bigger stages. She has been a part of the high school’s performance of The Wizard of Oz as well as two productions at the Waterloo Center for the Arts: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and A Wrinkle in Time.

But it wasn’t always easy.

   Jursik was trembling and terrified at auditions, but she knew she wanted “THAT”, so she forced herself to do it.

   “If you want to do something, you’ve gotta put yourself out there,” said Jursik.

   At her first audition for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Jursik remembers wondering if she even had chance.

“I remember thinking everyone wants to be the main character, and that person’s probably better than me,” recalls Jursik. She left discouraged. But later in the week, she got a call she hadn’t

expected- she was up for Susan, a main role.

   Unfortunately, a week later, the director told her another girl had gotten the part. Jursik recalls being “disappointed but relieved at the same time,” realizing it would have been a lot of pressure being the main character in her first play. “But I was really proud of myself because it was my first audition,” said Jursik.

   Having moved to Hudson Schools halfway through the 2014 school year, Jursik had struggled with being shy and making friends. This was made even more challenging growing up without brothers and sisters.

   “I always felt alone,” said Jursik. “no one to tease, no one to get in fights with, nobody to have that special sibling bond with.”

   Now, she’s found a “second family” in the playhouse. She considers her castmates as the siblings she never had, being able to joke around and tease them, just as she would a brother or sister.

   “I still struggle with being shy sometimes,” said Jursik, “but I’m definitely not as shy as I used to be.” Jursik’s experiences at the Waterloo Playhouse and at Hudson High School have truly changed her life.