Sophomore Kyra Cochran could’ve fooled any playgoer with her experience in her acting role as Harriet Stanley in Gull Lake’s Performing Arts Company’s most recent show, The Man Who Came to Dinner.
Cochran explained that this year was her first year acting, and in Civic Theater camps she, “was terrible at it [acting],” and had been the one who received the award saying, “I appreciate you putting in your best effort every day.”
Cochran’s performance shows that she has grown from winning a participation trophy for her most recent performance, but it wasn’t her first idea of what to sign up for.
“Last year for the third show of the year, One Acts, two of the seniors were encouraging me to audition because I had helped a little bit with the talent show,” she said. “I had to improv a bit of it, and they both said that I was really good, but the day that auditions were happening I was already planning on doing something so I couldn’t [join One Acts].”
Those senior’s encouragements radiated with Cochran making her keep thinking about acting and joining PAC.
“I was kind of feeling encouraged thinking that if these are two seniors, who have both acted before, both know what they are talking about and think I should audition, then maybe I should,” she said. “Since this is the first show of this year, I thought since there is a big cast, I’ll have a better chance.”
The rest is history after Cochran was cast. She said she quickly fit in with the group and ended up creating lasting friendships with the rest of the production’s cast and crew. She said she sees PAC as such a good opportunity.
“Not only meet new people, but for people who try it for the first time or even if someone hates it,” she said, “they still are able to say something like ‘I acted in this part and memorized all my lines.’”
Cochran spoke highly about being able to be proud of something someone has put together because it is more than just what you see on stage, and it has changed her perception of plays.
I don’t want to say that I was an attention hog when I was younger, but in my head I was like if I could become an actor and be the lead and everybody loves me…I had always wanted to be center stage.Kyra Cochran talks about her early love for acting and a passion for being on stage.
Cochran says that she worked in props and it was wonderful.
“You kind of get to learn the backstage aspects,” she said, “and it’s weird because you find yourself kind of looking at plays in a different way because it’s no longer a reaction like ‘wow that was such a good play.’ It’s somehow you are watching it, and you’re like, ‘oh, I saw them stumble with the stage a little bit I hope they are doing alright.’”
She even said that, when at competitions, it’s no longer just parents coming to support their kids.
“It’s a whole group of people that love theater as much as you do and like I said with how the way you look at plays differently, everyone is looking at the play like that you know?” she said. “So you all sort of have this common mindset.”
Although Cochran has a love for the art of acting, she doesn’t necessarily see herself going into acting as a profession after high school because it is “a hard career field to truly go into.” But she does, however, express interest in “community plays or acting groups.”
Not only does Cochran’s passion for acting run deep, but also for the other arts.
“I wouldn’t say I’m like a guru,” she said. “I’m not a professional but I’ve been doing art for a really long time and I want to get into sculpting, haven’t yet, but would really love to. But I paint, draw, ink, I’ve been trying a few watercolors here and there just seeing how that turns out. I do write music, and I’m not going to say it’s very good, but it’s an attempt. I’d say I’ve always been more on the artsy side than on the scientific side of things.”
Cochran added that she immediately wanted to tell people to join PAC for winter show. She encourage people to participate even though it “is one of the more stressful times, but once you do it and you’re performing in front of other people it’s really like this is cool.”