Jayce Montelongo – Actor Extraordinaire

Freshman sees stars


Tori Rath-Finkelstein, Staff Writer

Jayce “JP” Montelongo is an up and coming star at Cumberland Academy due to his playing the lead in the school’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher. When asked about what personally interested him about the play, he said that he learned how to do a lot of different things with his acting that he wasn’t previously able to do, such as portraying sadness. Not only this, but he has to play a child much younger than himself, which is an added challenge. 

“… [When I’m getting into character] I kind of breathe a little bit and then imagine how that character feels and then put it into my own emotions and go into it from there.” Montelongo said. “[It works for me] because it [allows me to find] the similarities so it’s easier for me to portray.”

Being in a play is hard work, but after doing it for a while, most get the hang of it. For example, Montelongo has been doing theater for almost two years now. He was inspired into doing theater when he saw that there would be a play at the middle school.

“I thought it would be interesting to have a new experience.” Montelongo said.

Being in a play is an interesting experience, but playing the lead in a play is a completely different one. Especially when you happen to be a freshman! It can be a rather scary thing to do. Having all eyes on you while you perform on stage alongside people who may have been doing this longer than you? Sounds terrifying.

“[Playing the lead as a freshman is] kind of scary because you feel like everyone else is judging you,” Montelongo said, “[People are like] ‘this freshman kid, he doesn’t know anything, he needs to get better.’ It’s really, really scary.”

Montelongo hasn’t let this fear stop him, however. He’s been in many plays, including Cumberland Academy Middle School’s production of Mulan where he played Mushu the dragon. Of course, we can’t forget that Peter and the Starcatcher is currently the role he’s most known for. Only a freshman in high school and already so many people there know who he is. Being an actor, he knows some special tips on how to do it well. He says that getting into the emotions really helps, but you can’t take yourself too seriously.

“[Also],” he continued, “no matter how silly you think you look, you can always be sillier.”