Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SPOTLIGHT: Jessica Mansfield

I remember the first time I met Jessica Mansfield....... it was a Tuesday evening and I had the privilege of welcoming her to Virginia for the summer. I headed down to the train station and was excited to meet this person who I had only seen briefly in a video audition a few months prior. I pulled up, walked down to the tracks and scanned the people who were getting off the train, trying to pick her out of the crowd. We finally found each other and I knew immediately that Jessica was a warm, sweet individual. It was all in how her face lit up when she smiled. We loaded up my car and headed off, we were going to pick up Sergio who was arriving that evening via flight before heading back up to Sweet Briar. We had some time before we needed to be at the airport so we stopped and Jessica got something to eat. Having just come from New York city she kept remarking how the clean the air smelled and how fresh the tomatoes were on her sandwich. We sat and got to know each other a bit before heading to pick up Sergio. The more we chatted, the more excited I got about the summer and the chance to work with this lady.

(Sergio and Jessica the first day they both arrived for the summer)

Jessica has been a joy to work with and she has been having a blast this summer in so many ways. She played Rosa in Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island and is currently playing Viola in our production of Twelfth Night. She took some time and answered some questions for me, so I will let her speak for herself as far as what her summer experience has been so far. 

(Jessica during a rehearsal for Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island)

What was your expectation of coming to spend the summer with Endstation and how have those expectations been met or not?

"I was really looking forward to working with Geoff and meeting the Endstation family. I knew I was in for a special summer because the people that I knew from FSU that would be here. But it's really wonderful to have met so many new people that I've become good friends with. I knew Sergio, Walter, and Geoff at FSU, but I never had the opportunity with them in a show."

You and I talked about some goals you had at the beginning of the summer, do you feel like you are meeting them?

" I really wanted to rediscover myself as an actress. It's easy to get caught up and distracted in NYC with what you are not getting. Being here with Endstation has allowed me the comfort of exploring my craft in one of the most beautiful places in the world, with very talented people. I have been inspired by watching my cast mates as well as teaching the BLUR students. When you're around so many creative people it's difficult to not feed off of that energy and grow yourself. "

(Jessica during a rehearsal of Twelfth Night)

What has your favorite memory been so far?

"My favorite memory has been seeing the students faces when performing Good Good Trouble. It was heartwarming to see so many eyes of delight, wonder, and excitement. We were on the roller coaster ride together and making joint discoveries along the way. It's easy as a performer for me to get caught up in myself and what I'm doing/not doing. Good Good reminded me that it's important to open up and have an interactive experience. It's a give and take. The children's faces were a wonderful reminder of how rewarding that can be. "

(Jessica during a rehearsal of Twelfth Night) 

Do you think your experience with Endstation will help you in the future and what do you plan to do after the summer ends?

"Working with Endstation has given me the creative fuel to go back to NEW York and get back to auditioning. Opening night for Twelfth Night was magical. I haven't experienced something that special in a long time. Life for an actor is not always an easy one, but when you get the opportunity to be part of something as special as Endstation, you are quickly reminded why you keep on.....keeping."

(Jessica and Melora Kordos during Twelfth Night Rehearsal) 

Well I for one am glad that Jessica decided to keep on "keeping" and joined us for the summer. If you did not get a chance to catch her performance in Good Good then you definitely don't want to miss out seeing her fantastic performance in Twelfth Night. There are two more weekends of performances, and tickets are going fast so make sure to grab yours and join us, because I promise you don't want to miss seeing this talented young woman in action!

(Jessica and Michael Stablein Jr. during Twelfth Night rehearsal) 

Jessica- thank you for everything you have brought to the table this summer, I think everyone would agree that we are all better for knowing and working with you and are excited to see where your future journey will take you. You are fabulous!

Till next time~
Company Manager 

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