By Kevin Kim
During a summer filled with preparation for academics, college applications and socializing, senior Nicolas Duran took up the opportunity to indulge in the world of performing arts for five weeks, through a program sponsored by the National High School Institute (NHSI), nicknamed “Cherubs,” at Northwestern University.
According to Duran, the program took place on the Northwestern University campus in Evanston, Illinois; the program offers instruction for a multitude of disciplines, such as journalism and theatre arts. Duran commented on the process he went through to be able to attend the program:
“NHSI requires applicants to be able to express themselves fully,” Duran said. “The submission of transcript, recommendation letter and resume are typical, but it is the essay submissions that really let the NHSI admissions team know who you are.”
The program Duran participated in was geared towards the “physical approach of acting” and required Duran and his peers to attend daily fitness intended to reflect the schedule of professional theater actors/actresses.
“My attendance in daily fitness periods helped me realize the true challenges of acting – especially the physical challenges – that full-time actors and actresses face,” he said.
As a competitive program filled with students of high caliber and different talents in the performing arts, the NHSI theatre division comprised a multi-faceted student body to which Duran adjusted.
“I met people who had similar backgrounds in academic success and theatre knowledge as myself; most of us were prominent leaders in our respective high schools, and everyone had aspirations to become a great actor and go to a great college,” Duran said.
Duran said that what impacted him the most was how he discovered new interests through the program. Filled with experiences unique to the world of theatre performance, Duran discussed his memorable participation in a show called Drowning Girls.
“I got to work with one actress at fake drowning her in a bathtub onstage,” Duran said. “She was a really great sport, we had a lot of fun with it and I think we did a great job of it for the audience, too.”
Duran said that his summer experience has helped him realize that his passion doesn’t lie only in acting.
“I took a playwriting class as one of my elective classes, and I realized that I love writing plays, so I’ve begun to explore that aspect of my artistry. Cherubs got me really jazzed in general to go into the theater arts; I think I’m going to have a great time pursuing what I love.”