Center stage: Spotlight shines on theatre student

Ace Roueche

The curtain rises. The lights shine down. The actors take their places and wait for their cue. Sophomore Asher Hinton has found a home in theatre and looks to continue honing his craft while making memories and friends that will last a lifetime.

During the summer, Asher traveled to California with the Nicki Peterson Talent Agency, and was signed with an LA agency. The plan is to move to Burbank this summer and start working to earn a role in a professional production.

“I always wanted to act,” Asher said. ¨I was never confident in myself and I had lots of self-esteem issues when I was younger. I knew I couldn’t give all of myself to what I loved to do unless I actually started loving myself. Signing with an LA agency meant that I loved myself and I was able to do what I loved.”

Asher looks at acting as more than a career as he sees it as a way to represent and inspire others.

“Growing up, there weren’t very many people who looked like me on television,” Asher said. “If I were to become famous, I want to give other people who look like me, that opportunity to believe they can make it too.”

Asher has been acting for the past six years, and remembers one of his first experiences on stage as one of the most pivotal moments in his life.

“I was Sebastian in The Little Mermaid Jr. at my local theatre company and it was my first named character role,” Asher said. “I was so nervous that I almost didn’t even go to the theatre for opening night. But when I went on stage that first night, I knew that it was what I wanted to do.”

Making the move from a private school to a public school like Bryan High allowed Asher to gain more experience in both theatre and choir.

“I always loved doing art and singing and acting,” Asher said. “I went to a private school for about nine years and they did not have a theatre program and cut our choir program. Coming here was a really great experience because I not only get to do choir, but I get to explore my love of theatre through a real class.”

Asher sees the benefit of being in both choir and theatre as they operate on many of the same principles.

“In choir we’re taught to be loose and not really care about anyone looking at us and I feel like it helps in theatre,” Asher said. “If I have the mindset of ‘I’m just gonna do my thing and everything’s gonna go great and nobody’s judging me then it’s easier to be more confident on stage.”

Asher recognizes how his directors have contributed to his success in acting, and appreciates their guidance.

“I had Mr. Justice last year and he was just so supportive of everything,” Asher said. “This year I was super excited to take theatre again because Mrs. Robert doesn’t only know how to teach theatre but also has a big resume of directing and putting together shows, so it’s awesome to get theatre education from a teacher but also someone who has partaken in theatre all her life.”

Asher views theatre as a family and one of the main reasons he was able to meet people after first moving to Bryan.

“I just think if anyone wants to join theatre, they should,” Asher said. “It’s not only a place to explore your love of art but it’s also if you feel like nobody understands you or if you’re having trouble finding friends.”

Even a seasoned actor like Asher has experienced stage fright.

“I used to have stage fright,” Asher said. “You just have to remember that everyone that you’re working with loves you. If you have that mindset that you’re just going to be doing it with a family you don’t have to be afraid.”

Theatre director Bailey Robert commends Asher for his vibrant stage personality and enthusiastic attitude.

“Asher is energetic and eager to participate,” Robert said. “He always brings a lot of personality to whatever he does on stage and that helps the rest of the students jump in too.”

Choir director Mark Medlock feels the same way and appreciates Asher’s dedication to music.

“Two of the qualities that help Asher succeed are his humility and hard work,” Medlock said. “Asher has the ability to sing both classical songs and more popular songs.”

Asher wants to continue both theatre and choir in college and feels like the programs at Bryan High are preparing him for that.

“I think Asher has a lot of talent and he is also a very hard working student which will definitely help him in whatever he pursues,” Robert said. “I think a lot of doors will open to him through theatre and the musical.”

Asher encourages anyone who loves art and music, or who is simply just looking for friends to give theatre a try.

“I just think if anyone wants to join theatre, they should,” Asher said. “It’s not only a place to explore their love of art but a place they can go if they feel like nobody understands them or if they’re having trouble finding friends. I think some people are looking in the wrong places because in theatre everyone’s so loving. There are people of all genders and races, and people just come together and make art because they love it.”