PD FY21 Public Works Dallas THE WINTER'S TALE Virtual Workshop - Ask an Actor - Dallas Theater Center
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Project Discovery VIrtual Workshop: Public Works Dallas THE WINTER'S TALE

Ask An Actor

IVAN JASSO

Have you always acted? Explain how you started making theater?

I fell in love with performing and the art of making theatre back in middle school. Since I was in the choir at school, I got cast in a couple roles my last year there and learned this was something I wanted to be in my life. Acting didn’t seem like a reality as a career during high school and I didn’t pursue it then. I didn’t really start acting until I was 19. I made the decision to dive in and went to school for it. From there I further grew my love for theater and performance and with every project, gained new connections and opportunities.

What is your favorite thing about Public Works Dallas?

The community. I love that Public Works Dallas brings the art of theater and performance to the participating communities in which most of the members otherwise would not ever know. It offers them different perspectives and allows them to interact with other communities within the city. Being able to witness participants learn and grow from their experience is incredible.

How has Public Works Dallas changed now that we are in the pandemic?

The biggest change is the inability to meet in person with everyone. Although everyone is still connected and engaged virtually, The energy and connection experienced in our pageant production cannot be substituted. 

What advice would you give to someone who would want to participate in Public Works Dallas or get involved in theater/performance/production?

Stay open and willing to learn new ideas and perspectives. There’s always room for growth. Be a team player.

THELMA LETT

How did you get involved in The Winter’s Tale and Public Works Dallas?

I have been an active participant with Public Works Dallas since inception, June, 2016.  I was attending exercise classes at the Kiest Recreation Center and saw the flyer for the Public Works program and Mr. El-Amin was going to be the instructor.  I had seen Mr. El-Amin in several productions at Dallas Theater Center and enjoyed his performances, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet him and to learn about the theater/acting arts.  The classes were being held at the Cummings Recreation Center and the director at Kiest and I went to the class.

Have you always acted? Explain how you started making theater?

No, I have not always acted.  During elementary through high school, I would participate as an on stage prop for our year end class productions and I was a member of our high school choral club. My start in theater was with Public Works Dallas.  Going to the first meeting, I had no idea what to expect.  I also thought maybe we would possibly attend performances or help with the props or ushering.  Mr. El-Amin explained; no, you will be acting on stage.  I then thought, he’s joking,

What have you learned about yourself while engaging in the Public Works Community?

I’ve learned several things about myself.  One is not to be afraid to explore and travel new paths and how I can deal with stage fright.  I don’t know if it is ever conquered, but I learned dealing with it helps in other areas also. Another thing I learned is how much I enjoy the theatrical arts.  The orchestra pit, the catwalk, the magic of stage production, costumes and how the actors/actresses are able to change into character.  When I go to productions now, it is a totally different experience. 

What advice would you give to someone who would want to participate in Public Works Dallas or get involved in theater/performance/production?

My advice:  “Just do it, you’ll have the time of your life.”  It is a great way to learn new things about yourself, meet people, make friends, have great conversations and make memories.

What is your favorite memory from The Winter’s Tale?

My favorite memory is being a part of the “Hootennanny” dance ensemble.  I can shuffle my feet and sway to the music, but not really dance.  I do follow instructions pretty well, so I made it through 6 weeks of rehearsals and 5 performances.  I’m still impressed with me.

Talk to an Artist: How to Get Into Professional Theater

Public Works Dallas Coordinator María Calderón shares her experience of being a bilingual, immigrant woman of color, and how she got into the theater industry through her studies and participation in Public Works Dallas at Dallas Theater Center. 

Ask An Actor

IVAN JASSO

Have you always acted? Explain how you started making theater?

I fell in love with performing and the art of making theatre back in middle school. Since I was in the choir at school, I got cast in a couple roles my last year there and learned this was something I wanted to be in my life. Acting didn’t seem like a reality as a career during high school and I didn’t pursue it then. I didn’t really start acting until I was 19. I made the decision to dive in and went to school for it. From there I further grew my love for theater and performance and with every project, gained new connections and opportunities.

What is your favorite thing about Public Works Dallas?

The community. I love that Public Works Dallas brings the art of theater and performance to the participating communities in which most of the members otherwise would not ever know. It offers them different perspectives and allows them to interact with other communities within the city. Being able to witness participants learn and grow from their experience is incredible.

How has Public Works Dallas changed now that we are in the pandemic?

The biggest change is the inability to meet in person with everyone. Although everyone is still connected and engaged virtually, The energy and connection experienced in our pageant production cannot be substituted. 

What advice would you give to someone who would want to participate in Public Works Dallas or get involved in theater/performance/production?

Stay open and willing to learn new ideas and perspectives. There’s always room for growth. Be a team player.

THELMA LETT

How did you get involved in The Winter’s Tale and Public Works Dallas?

I have been an active participant with Public Works Dallas since inception, June, 2016.  I was attending exercise classes at the Kiest Recreation Center and saw the flyer for the Public Works program and Mr. El-Amin was going to be the instructor.  I had seen Mr. El-Amin in several productions at Dallas Theater Center and enjoyed his performances, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet him and to learn about the theater/acting arts.  The classes were being held at the Cummings Recreation Center and the director at Kiest and I went to the class.

Have you always acted? Explain how you started making theater?

No, I have not always acted.  During elementary through high school, I would participate as an on stage prop for our year end class productions and I was a member of our high school choral club. My start in theater was with Public Works Dallas.  Going to the first meeting, I had no idea what to expect.  I also thought maybe we would possibly attend performances or help with the props or ushering.  Mr. El-Amin explained; no, you will be acting on stage.  I then thought, he’s joking,

What have you learned about yourself while engaging in the Public Works Community?

I’ve learned several things about myself.  One is not to be afraid to explore and travel new paths and how I can deal with stage fright.  I don’t know if it is ever conquered, but I learned dealing with it helps in other areas also. Another thing I learned is how much I enjoy the theatrical arts.  The orchestra pit, the catwalk, the magic of stage production, costumes and how the actors/actresses are able to change into character.  When I go to productions now, it is a totally different experience. 

What advice would you give to someone who would want to participate in Public Works Dallas or get involved in theater/performance/production?

My advice:  “Just do it, you’ll have the time of your life.”  It is a great way to learn new things about yourself, meet people, make friends, have great conversations and make memories.

What is your favorite memory from The Winter’s Tale?

My favorite memory is being a part of the “Hootennanny” dance ensemble.  I can shuffle my feet and sway to the music, but not really dance.  I do follow instructions pretty well, so I made it through 6 weeks of rehearsals and 5 performances.  I’m still impressed with me.

Talk to an Artist: How to Get Into Professional Theater

Public Works Dallas Coordinator María Calderón shares her experience of being a bilingual, immigrant woman of color, and how she got into the theater industry through her studies and participation in Public Works Dallas at Dallas Theater Center. 

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