By: Chaireth Jones
Senior Jack Amend steals the stage in fall production
Being the lead of a play isn’t the easiest job in the world. It takes hard work, a lot of time, and dedication. Senior Jack Amend has all of those things. Amend was cast as the main role, Joseph in NAHS’ newest production of “Joseph and The Technicolor Dreamcoat” debuted on the weekend of November 13 and the second weekend of November 20. The story is based on the “coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis.
“I feel very fortunate that I was given this opportunity,” Amend said. “It’s been so much fun working on this show.”
Amend has been in many other plays before this one, giving him a lot of experience to help in bigger roles.
“This will be my twenty-sixth show, seventeenth since I started high school,” Amend said.
According to Amend, before auditioning for a role the actor needs to be familiar with their character. Preparing for an audition takes a lot more work than people would expect it to. Amend took time preparing so he could have the best audition.
“I practiced daily,” Amend said. “I did background research on the show. I have this notebook full of notes.”
When auditioning for a part, the actor has to stand out, and give the judges something they haven’t seen before. That is exactly what Amend did.
“I made the part my own,” Amend said. “I made decisions about the character before going into the audition room. I spent time considering the character and the song. I wanted to be different from other people’s interpretations.”
Having past experience with “Joseph and The Technicolor Dreamcoat” has helped Amend in his success with his recent participation in this exact play.
“I’ve done ‘Joseph’ twice before,” Amend said. “The first time I did Joseph was the summer before freshman year at Stage One. I was in the Children’s Chorus. The next time was during February of my freshman year with CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center. I played Dan, one of the brothers.”
According to Amend, being in this play more than once has really helped him with the process and has allowed him to put more time into really making his character his own.
“There is so much music in the show, it was helpful to go in knowing a majority of it,” Amend said. “I could spend less time memorizing the music and more time internalizing it.”
Past experience with the show isn’t the only thing that helped Amend with this role, he says he has also put in very hard work over the past years improving his acting skills.
“I’ve taken private lessons as well as classes over the years to improve my acting,” Amend said. “What helped a lot though was this past summer. I went to an arts camp up in northern Michigan called Interlochen. I spent six weeks solely focusing on musical theatre. We would take classes in the morning and then have rehearsals in the evenings. It gave me an opportunity to focus specifically on musical theatre.”
the camp has been what has really helped him the most, according to Amend. He learned many things that can he can put into use with every show he does.
“I took two classes in the morning Tuesday through Saturday,” Amend said. “An acting techniques class and a topics class. I learned so much in each class. There are two main things I took away. First, to be present in the moment. Don’t just act, but literally be in the moment. Second, to always do my homework. It’s important to understand everything and have meaning behind everything, but to them not show my homework.”
While preparing for the audition, and actually auditioning are difficult steps in the process of becoming the lead of a play, It can be easy to overlook all of the hard work that gets put into actually rehearsing, and making the role the actors own. Amend puts much hard work, and dedication into rehearsing for his role as Joseph.
“I have this whole process I like to do,” Amend said. “I do research on the show itself and then write a character analysis. After that, I go through the script scene by scene and take notes trying to discern the importance of why my character is doing there. I’ll then go through later on and read what I wrote to help me get into the head of my character.”
Being an actor make seem like something that someone has to do one their own, but according to Amend it is really something that they need a lot of motivation for, and things to help them strive to do better.
“The biggest motivator for me personally would be the show itself,” Amend said. “I feel that the overall show is the most important priority. It’s not about you, it’s about the story you are there to tell. I want to do my best to tell that story as honestly as possible.”
All actors have something that inspires them to keep going, and reach for their dreams. Amend’s is something that hits a little closer to home.
“What inspires me is the alumni from the department who are out there in the ‘real world’ performing,” Amend said.
Since this is his senior year, this will be one of his last shows at NAHS. He is glad to say that it is one of his favorites.
“I like this show very much,” Amend said. “It’s been a favorite show of mine for a while now. I think it’s so cool how there are so many different styles of music in the show and how it blends together so well.”
Amend wants to leave a good impact on his fellow castmates before he leaves to go on to bigger things.
“I would like to be an example of a good work ethic,” Amend said. “Theatre is all about hard work and practicing, more than most people would expect. There’s the designated times when you are at rehearsal to work, but then there are also countless hours spent outside of rehearsal working on your own.”
Amends love for acting won’t end with high school. He sees himself continuing his acting in the future.
“I’d like to continue performing in the future on a professional level,” Amend said. “I don’t really have a particular place I see myself at, just wherever I can get work.”
Amend believes that performing in this play several times has been a really unique experience for him, since he was able to play as different roles each time.
“Rehearsing this show has been so much fun,” Amend said. “I’ve enjoyed myself throughout the entire process. It’s been neat having the opportunity to perform in show with a different role each time. It’s been an entirely different experience each time.”