For Jalen Steudle, it’s about the love of the work – and having fun at the same time.
Steudle, one of the outstanding young actors taking the stage this week in Skyline Theatre’s production of “Noises Off,” is hooked on acting. It’s something he is enjoying doing at the moment and wants to extend the moment for as long as he can.
“Things always can change, but at the moment I plan on working with acting in one way or another in my future,” said Steudle. “Whether I want to teach, direct or act I am still figuring out, but undoubtedly this incredible art will stay a part of my life forever.”
Only a junior, the 17-year-old is already a veteran of the stage. His casting role call includes performances in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Shrek the Musical,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” and “Get Hype” at Skyline HS. He’s also appeared in “Much Ado about Nothing,” “The Three Musketeers,” “The Hobbit,” “As You Like It,” “The Snow Queen,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Ann Arbor Young Actors Guild. He also appeared in “Just Desserts” at Community HS.
Steudle just can’t seem to get enough of everything that goes into being a successful actor.
“My favorite thing about being an actor is the small possibility that I might get to create the image that people see in their heads when they think of a certain character or story,” he says. “That is an incredible amount of power to hold.”
It’s also a lot of fun.
“To me, acting is both a serious and a fun thing,” he says. “I take it seriously and I try to have my lines down ASAP and work hard in rehearsals, but if you aren’t having fun while doing it, there’s no point.
“So I always am trying to have fun while doing something that I take very seriously.”
And there is no denying his current play is a lot of fun – for everyone, on and off the stage. Skyline HS Theatre is proud to present the brilliantly witty, Tony Award winning play “Noises Off” by Michael Frayn. Directed by Anne Marie Roberts, Noises Off is a roller coaster, side-splitting look at theatre – inside and out – as a hapless troupe of actors attempt to mount the dreadful comedy Nothing On. Door slamming, missed cues, and romantic intrigue will have you roaring with laughter as the casts’ collective sanity slowly unravels.
Let’s start with the cast, one which Steudle calls “absolutely incredible.”
“This is such a precise show that it almost can’t be done without a cast of incredibly talented actors, and unbelievably hard working technicians to put together the amazing set,” he says. “We’ve been left to ourselves quite a bit during this process and have really created a show unique to us. It’s hard work, but it has made us a lot closer.”
With breakneck pace and a rich gallery of characters, Noises Off, follows the on- and off-stage antics of a mediocre English touring company as they stumble from dress rehearsal to disastrous closing night of their comedic play, Nothing On. Absolutely everything that can go wrong does. Yet, the show must go on; despite the catastrophe being played out on stage and the vicious antics among the actors backstage. All-the-while, an ill-fated tray of sardines mysteriously appears and disappears.
“I love how different this play is,” Steudle says. “Not only from any other play that I have been in, but it is so different from any other play that I have ever seen. What other show is there that you get to see it from both the perspectives of the audience and of the backstage crew. It’s really cool and such a fun show to put on.”
There have been challenges along the way. Pulling off a farce isn’t easy but the Skyline cast and crew have put in the work necessary to make it fun. Steudle says Act 2 has been the biggest challenge leading up to Friday’s upcoming opening night.”
“During Act 2, the set flips around and the audience sees what’s going on backstage during the show,” he said. “Needless to say it gets a little bit crazy as the cast is growing very tired of each other at this point. Come see the show for how crazy it gets.
Speaking of crazy, Steudle gets to play “crazy.”
“I really love my character,” he said. “Lloyd Dallas is a super funny character. He says exactly what he wants to his actors. Anything that he thinks might get them to do what he wants. Lloyd gets to say some of the things that every actor has wished that they could say to their fellow actors on occasion. It is an unwritten rule that actors should never direct their fellow actors, but this time I get to do just that.”
Jalen, the son of Erin and Jacob Steudle, also can perform off the stage. He has a 3.75 GPA and also runs cross country and track for the Eagles.
But right now he’s focused on being Lloyd Dallas and having a lot fun, despite the hard work.