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Alex Makovik remembers his first year at Pioneer High School and the time he decided to go to the play. It would be a life-changing experience.
“I first got interested in theatre during my freshman year watching Pioneer Theatre Guild’s performance of ‘In The Heights,’” he says. “It hit me right then and there that I wanted to do that more than anything. The following school year I committed myself to all things theatre.”
In other words, it was game on and theatre was his sport of choice.
“What I like about performing is being whoever you want to be,” says Makovik, now a junior at Pioneer. “I like being able to entertain people and make them happy or sad and giving people an opportunity to learn something new from a little high school play, while learning loads myself.
“And if they don’t take anything away, at least they were entertained and were taken away from any problems or worries for an hour or two.”
The challenges of being on stage or involved in a play have changed for Makovik over the years. The first was overcoming the fear of being the center of attention. “What I can remember from my first experience on stage was overwhelming stage fright,” he says. “It already felt like I worked so hard just to be a part of the show and my final task was to get over my crippling fear of public performance.”
Once he mastered that, it was on to different challenges, including one that most actors have to face if they want to be good at their craft.
“The biggest challenge of performing at this level is the immense commitment that it is,” Makovik says. “Besides daily rehearsals after school, the week leading up to our opening night will have the cast in school from 7 in the morning to 9 at night.”
Alex, the son of Marina Makovik, has performed for PTG since his sophomore year. He was in the Ensemble for “Willy Wonka;” played Demetrius in last year’s “A Midsummer Night’ Dream;” was in the Ensemble for “Fame;” was Nick in their Student Production plays; and was a parent, schoolkid and Russian mobster in “Matilda.”
He faces a very unique and challenging part in the upcoming PTG production of Our Town, a three-act play written by Thorton Wilder and set at the start of the 20th century. Makovik is the Stage Manager for the production, which opens Feb.6.
“The Stage Manager is the Narrator,” says Makovik. “I shall be walking the audience through the play, telling the story, setting the scene, as well as stepping into roles of certain characters where needed. The biggest challenges that stem from this role are memorizing multiple two to three page monologues and then learning how to deliver that information in an engaging and entertaining way.”
But Makovik is more than up for the challenge. And he can’t wait for opening night and “put on the best show I can possibly do.”
“This play puts into perspective what it means to be alive,” he says. “Something we’ve all lost in this day and age is our ability to stop and really look at everything around us, as all of it will one day be gone. To know how to live, really live, every day of your life is something that all of us should strive to achieve.”
An excellent student (3.773 GPA), Makovik plans on pursuing acting as a career.
“But less so in the theatrical sense and more so as an actor on the silver screen,” he says. “I plan on getting into a performing arts school or a conservatory like Juilliard, UCLA or the Tisch School of the Arts.”
For now, he’s quite happy doing what he loves to do. “I plan on performing for PTG until the end of my high school career,” he says. “It’s something I truly enjoy.”
By Terry Jacoby