Artist of the Month: Rae Bell
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She stands in the wings, preparing to take the stage. When she walks out, she is momentarily blinded by the light, but is no stranger to this feeling. She waits for the roar of the crowd to die down, relishing the feeling, and then she commences her twenty minute monologue.
Senior Rae Bell is an 18-year-old high school student, whose day consist of homework and stress like every other student. However, there is one difference: Some nights, Bell comes home at midnight after acting in a professional show; singing, dancing, and acting on stage. It may seem like everyone’s dream is to be a famous actress, but Bell said that she means business.
“I don’t know when I knew I wanted to be an actor, but it has always been the way I described myself,” Bell said.
Bell says she began by acting in student-directed films and worked her way up to performing with professional theater companies, including even performing at Carnegie Hall.
She wishes she had started acting professionally earlier than in high school. However, her parents did not want her to become an actress.
“They’re not unsupportive, they just worry. They worry that I won’t make it, but I think they know I can hold my own,” Bell said.
Bell’s friend, senior Evan Paris, says Bell has a lot of drive to be the best actress she can be.
“I think she is very committed; it’s something she wants to do for the rest of her life. She was in a show called Eight by Ten earlier this year where she had a show almost every night of the week,” Paris said.
Senior Francesca Hsieh describes Bell as being very confident, and notes that this is an important quality for actors to have.
“I think she’s very extroverted, she’s very comfortable around people and talking to others,” Hsieh said.
For Bell, it is sometimes difficult to have school and her shows, but she admits that she would rather do a balancing act with the two than give up her job.
“Last year, I did a film where every weekend it would be twelve hours a day filming. I had to talk to my teachers and asked them to give me weekend homework early for a month. Earlier this year I did a show that was seven shows a week for two months. That was really hard because every day, I would take the T to the theater and then come home at eleven thirty at night,” Bell said.
While Bell says that her theater idols change fairly often, she has particular roles she hopes to play in her career.
“My dream role in terms of theater is Molly in Peter and the Starcatcher, I think I would be perfect for that role. In terms of movie roles, my favorite movie is Ten Things I Hate About You, so I would love to play a part like Kat,” Bell said.
Bell will be attending Muhlenberg College next year. When applying to colleges, Bell said that the first thing she looked for in a school was a good drama program.
“I’m majoring in acting, and I’m going to a school that is close to New York so I can keep auditioning and hopefully working professionally in school,” Bell said. “I’ve talked to my parents about the fact that if a major opportunity came up we would have to have a serious discussion about what direction I would go in terms of school.”
Bell knows she wants to perform as a career, and she is determined to get to where she wants to be by going after every opportunity.
“It’s always been what I love, I really enjoy it, it’s something I consider myself good at. I like the culture, I love hanging out with other actors and film crews, I love the atmosphere of being on a set or being backstage during a play,” Bell said. “I just love the whole world of it. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”