GUMBO, Music Man and the Tempest are among some of the American River College productions that 14 year old actor and dancer Alexandria Wilson has performed in.
Wilson currently attends Performing and Fine Arts Academy, or PFAA, in Natomas where she perfects her craft of acting and dancing. She practices modern dance and ballet.
“I really love my school more than other schools I’ve been to,” said Wilson. “There’s more diversity. Everybody is encouraging and everybody has a huge passion for performing arts and academics.”
She appreciates PFAA “(because) of the great new experiences, and there’s hardly any drama.”
“I really love dance and I feel like dancing and acting are both connected in many ways,” said Wilson.
But, she also explains how challenging dance can be.
“I saw this quote on the Internet that I really liked,” said Wilson. “‘If you’re dancing and you’re improving, it doesn’t get easier, you just get better.’”
Theater professor Nancy Silva worked with Wilson on several children’s plays at ARC such as Rumpelstiltskin Returns and Puss and Boots.
Wilson also performed in GUMBO last month, a play and fundraiser for the American College Theatre Festival.
The audition process of GUMBO is quite lengthy. “People audition according to the theme and the solo performances come from the actors themselves,” said Wilson.
Wilson’s mother, Kimberlee Wilson, has been an ARC student for almost three years.
Kimberlee Wilson was also the stage manager for GUMBO and says that her daughter has really “bloomed as a person and an actress.”
Wilson says that the Tempest is currently her favorite play because she shares strikingly similarities with the main character, Miranda, whom she plays.
“(Wilson) is a natural,” said Tracy Martin Shearer, ARC theater professor and the director of the Tempest. “She comports herself with such grace.”
Wilson credits Shearer as the person who has helped her with “reading Shakespeare how someone would really feel. The importance of reacting instead of acting.”
Performing at ARC has helped Wilson “gain much self confidence and all of the actors and faculty members have been very supportive and encouraging.”
“In the moment, yes I want to pursue a career in acting. It’s just something fun that I do and I would love to continue doing it,” said Wilson.
According to Shearer, ”(Wilson’s) chemistry with the cast is very natural and she’s able to take on challenging roles because of her maturity and her experience.”
The Tempest will run at ARC from April 22nd to May 1st on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the evening and Sunday at 2 p.m.