You get a little bit taller, a little bit older, a little bit better…all when you’re turning 13! Arriving as the second the a multi-part interview series, “A Little More Homework” TheatreBloom sits down with Jake Clark to discuss life at 13, middle school, and what being a teenager is all about.
Thanks for sitting down with us today! Why don’t you start by telling us who you are, where you go to school, and what part you play in the show?
Jake Clark: I’m Jake Clark and I play Ritchie. I go to Harford Tech, I’m a senior who is 17, I’m turning 18 in June.
Do you do a lot of theatre?
Jake: Um, no. This is my first year. We had a school play, I auditioned for it, I got in, and I fell in love with it. Then my school just did 13: The Musical and I was in that. And now I’m here. My school was supposed to do Of Mice and Men. I auditioned for it, I got George, my friend got Lenny, and we were excited. Then we found out that we couldn’t do it, there were copyright issues. So we switched it and we did a show called Just Another High School Play. That was great.
Did you play Ritchie in the production of 13 at your high school?
Jake: No, I was just in the ensemble at my high school.
Tell us a little bit about Ritchie.
Jake: I have no clue about Ritchie. This is actually my first day of rehearsal here. From the show we did at my high school I think Ritchie is one of the ones that follows Brett around pretty closely. He’s one of the “in-crowd” one of the popular kids.
Are you a popular kid at your high school?
Jake: I’m not in the jock group? I’m not a person that everyone thinks of when they hear “popular” but everyone knows who I am. A lot of people in that jock group I’m not really great friends with, a lot of them I don’t like? But people know me and know who I am just because of my style and what I do.
What about your style makes people know who you are?
Jake: I am very artistic. I try to leave my mark wherever I go in some way, shape, or form. I draw a lot. I paint, I play music.
What is your favorite subject in school?
Jake: Favorite subject in school is my trade class, which is Computed Aided Design. CAD is just something fun and it’s not like any other subject. If I had to pick a more normal subject I’d probably say English just because of the writing assignments that we get, they give me a chance to be creative and do creative things.
You’re in high school, what is it like trying to remember life at 13?
Jake: It’s actually pretty easy because a lot of the struggles I had when I was 13 I still have to this day they’re just a little bit worse. Like the identity crisis you get when you’re 13? You get that again in high school. Except now instead of thinking about who you’re going to be when you get to high school you’re thinking about who you’re going to be when you go to college?
Are you looking at going to college?
Jake: Yes. I want to do community college for two years, get my pre-requisites and then transfer to a better school and major in music and art.
Is that what you want to do when you get out of school?
Jake: Be a musician or an artist? Yep.
What do you like to do with your free time?
Jake: I play a lot of guitar. My friends and I are in a band; we don’t have a name yet. We just kind of get together and play a lot music whenever we’re bored. We jam a lot, mostly hard rock and punk rock. My favorite band of all time is Green Day. I love Green Day, Lincoln Park, and My Chemical Romance.
The show talks about bullying. How do you feel about bullying?
Jake: It’s the worst thing ever. I’ve never been bullied but I’ve had friends who were bullied and it’s not fun.
The show also talks about labels. How do you feel about labels?
Jake: Some labels I think are okay. Some are a little less okay. If you’re getting labeled for a positive reason, I think that’s good. If you’re getting labeled for a negative reason that’s not great.
What has been the most challenging thing about being in the show here?
Jake: This is my first day so I haven’t had any challenges here yet. But when we did it at my school, I think the challenging part was the physicalness of it. I was doing swim team while we were in rehearsal for it. So I would go swim in the morning at 4:30 in the morning, and then go to rehearsal after school, which was perfectly awesome.
What is your favorite song in the show?
Jake: Favorite song in the show is “Bad News.” I just think it’s hilarious. It’s great.
Do you have a favorite moment or scene?
Jake: My favorite scene would probably be…there’s this moment with Brett in the locker room where he’s trying to figure out what he’s going to do with Lucy and Kendra. And then Evan comes in and Brett’s taking notes, and then he moves over to his arm and starts taking notes on his arm. I think it’s hilarious.
What has being involved with theatre taught you about yourself?
Jake: It taught me that I can be weird on stage and people will accept me for it. Whereas freshman year of high school I was in a small shell, I did not like people. I was in my square and wanted to stay there.
What is it that you hope people will learn when they see this show?
Jake: I’m hoping that people will realize that doing theatre is fun. I hope that you won’t end up in my situation where you hide from it for so long and then finally your last year of high school you get into it and realize that you fell in love with it.
Why do you want people to come and see you in the show?
Jake: It’s not really that I want people to come see me, I kinda just want people to come see the show because I think it’s a great show.
13: The Musical opens on May 13, 2016 and plays through May 22, 2016 with Third Wall Productions at the Episcopal Church of the Messiah— 5801 Hartford Road in Baltimore’s Hamilton neighborhood. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 443-838-4064 or purchasing them online.
To read Part 1 of “A Little More Homework” featuring Taylor Casalena, click here.