Lewis takes on lead role, conquers stage fright


Evelyn Lewis

Junior Steven Lewis sings his solo ‘Mr. Cellophane.’

Evelyn Lewis, Staff Reporter

Four years ago, Steven Lewis performed on stage for the first time at Thomas Harrison Middle School. Now a junior, Lewis played ‘Amos’ in the performance of ‘CHICAGO’. Though he started four years ago, Lewis has been in a mere two performances before CHICAGO!

Lewis had extreme stage fright and didn’t have the confidence to act, therefore in seventh grade he stepped out of his comfort zone.

“I used to have really bad stage fright, so I joined an acting class. It seemed like something fun, but I was scared to do it,” Lewis said. 

During drama class, Lewis participated in multiple activities including improvisation. Improv intimidated Lewis due to the unknown aspects of it and how new he was to acting.

“We did an improvisation activity where you would have to act out different characters. It was actually fun to try and make up a roll on the spot, and by the end, I was more comfortable acting,” Lewis said.

At the end of seventh grade, his drama class put on the production “Old Macbeth Had a Farm”, a combination of the Shakespeare play Macbeth with Kentucky Fried Chicken. He had the role of Colonel Sanders. 

“It was nerve-racking performing for the first time even though it was only for my family,” Lewis said. 

After his performance, he felt more confident not only in acting but in day to day life. 

“I really think [acting class] helped me realize how fun acting was. [It] helped me conquer my stage fright,” He said. 

During his freshman year of high school, Lewis took a dance class  and decided to audition for ‘Hairspray’. He had singing experience from his church choir but minimal experience in dance and acting. 

“It was really hard to get up in front of people and [audition]. You kind of put yourself out there, and I still had some stage fright,” Lewis said. 

Lewis landed the role of the ensemble, and as rehearsals progressed, he got a few speaking lines as a prison guard.

 “I was pretty nervous because it was a very big audience compared to when I acted in seventh grade for my family. Though I was scared, it went really well,” Lewis said.

This year he auditioned for ‘CHICAGO!’ and landed the role of Amos, the timid husband of Roxie Hart. Amos is one of the leading men in the show. Before auditioning, Lewis did not expect nor want a leading role. 

“I was excited to get back into the musical and start acting again. Of course, my stage fight is still there, and I was still extremely scared to audition,” Lewis said. 

Lewis was expecting an ensemble role with a few lines if he was lucky. It caught him off guard when the cast list came out, and wasn’t sure he wanted that big of a role. 

“It was surprising. I did not expect it, but it was fun.  I ended up really liking my role. It was especially nerve wracking too,” Lewis said, 

Many of his friends also participated in the musical and made a positive impact on his overall experience.

“The group of people does really help, especially if you have a good group of friends that you can do it with. It makes the play a lot more fun because even when you’re not acting, you can still have fun around your friends,” Lewis said. 

Even though he had conquered some of his stage fright, he was anxious for his solo.

“I was pretty nervous, but [it’s easier once] you get out there and start saying your lines. [I’ve] practiced it a million times, and [I got] out there, and got into character. [I had my] lines down, [I] memorized them, and I knew my songs. It [just] started to flow,” Lewis said. 

Due to inclement weather, the cast of the musical was unable to perform in their final show on Sunday, Feb. 13.

“I was sad about [missing our last show], and everyone else was as well. It was because it [was] so fun to put on the show,” Lewis said. 

Lewis feels he has improved on and off stage to be a more confident actor and person. 

“I didn’t stop having stage fright altogether, but it’s a lot less. It [has] made me able to do more things and be more open to public speaking,” Lewis said.