For the love of the stage
13 years ago Bill Findley 0
by Billy Findley, Triangle staff writer
For actors, performing is more than a gleaming spotlight, an eager audience and a bouquet of roses at the end of a curtain call. It is an art, requiring dedication, ardor and tenacity.
When it comes to performing and striving for perfection, senior Musical Theater major Eve Hildebrandt doesn’t back down.
She’s passionate about theater. She’s passionate at just about everything she does.
However, she doesn’t suggest people try to do all she does or that her way of doing things is necessarily the best way.
“I am a major over-achiever and over-committer,” Hildebrandt said.
“I want to do everything.”
She has been a featured performer in numerous plays and performances at Bryan. Some of her latest feats include playing Grandma Kurnitz in “Lost in Yonkers” and preparing for a cabaret – a floorshow consisting of singing, dancing and comic acts – which debuted Feb. 20.
Along with singing and acting, she loves dancing and crafts of all kinds, including weaving, spinning and even blacksmithing.
“It’s an amazing stress reliever,” Hildebrandt said referring to blacksmithing.
As a child, she was home schooled along with her two younger siblings. Her father is a Lutheran pastor.
Hildebrandt remembers being drawn to the theater at an early age, about 4 or 5 years old. Her mother was a pianist who sometimes would accompany in musicals in which her sister performed.
Hildebrandt remembers these musicals.
“I danced in the back of the auditorium,” she said.
Hildebrandt also remembers being inspired by the live production of “Beauty and the Beast” when she was 8 and living in Houston. This and her first ballet performance in the “Nutcracker” when she was 13 were significant moments for her in her development as a performer.
Eve started acting when she was 14.
“Acting,” she said, “was never really hard.”
While her parents did not try to push her into theater, they supported her all the way.
“I like to step into the shoes of a different person,” she said. “I love the feeling of the audience.”
Hildebrandt says the audience’s reactions to characters feed her adrenaline rush as an actress. She wants to make people cry. She wants to get people to laugh, to really laugh.
“I like complex characters,” she said.
Some of her favorite movie characters include Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” and the character Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada.”
Along with the more serious roles, Eve says she also likes to be funny. Some of her favorite comedic performers are Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball, both of whom Hildebrandt says are great at physical comedy.
Despite her love for acting and reaping audience’s reactions, Hildebrandt says her greatest challenges have been trying to juggle so many things at once. With the amount of things she’s involved in, her days usually consist of some classes in the mornings, classes in the afternoons and then singing, line memorizing and rehearsals from 7 to 10 p.m. almost every night.
She said there have been times when she was involved in three or four shows at the same time.
“Don’t do it,” she said.
She also has a firm stand on how Christians should pursue art.
“I feel more connected to God when I do art than when I do school sometimes,” she said. “A lot of Christian art is poorly done. Christians should be the best at all we do.”
Hildebrandt said that art tells a lot about the culture and that the arts are what cultures are judged on in history. Hildebrandt aspires to use art in her career after school either through acting or by starting her own business with her crafts.
“I don’t need to do Broadway to be happy,” she said.
Hildebrandt says there are so many other ways to make money than just Broadway. She said she personally would like to work at one of the playhouses in Houston, Texas if she could.
While Hildebrandt doesn’t suggest everyone be an over-committer like she is, she does believe people should do what they have a talent for.
“God gives you talents for a reason, so use them,” she said.