Artist Spotlight: Wilson shines as a triple threat


Katherine Grimm

Junior Ella Wilson portrays the character Mary Poppins while singing the song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from the musical “Mary Poppins.” Wilson had always been familiar with the JC theater department and had decided to be apart of it during her shadow day.

Junior Ella Wilson’s stomach fills with butterflies and her hands shake with anticipation. As she steps out on stage, her eyes drift over the audience, seeing every seat filled. The nerves quickly melt away, almost like they never even existed before, and she begins the lines she has practiced for the last three months.

Wilson is an actress, singer, and dancer, as well as an active member of the theater department. She has been singing her whole life, but didn’t start acting until she became involved with in the plays at her middle school. She recently played the lead role of Mary Poppins in this year’s fall musical.

Even before attending JC, Wilson was familiar with the theater department. “I came to all of these shows for as long as I can remember, and I just love them so much,” Wilson said.

When Wilson visited JC, she decided that she wanted to be a part of the productions, “When I came to my shadow day, I meet Ms. B and I fell in love with the theater department and I just decided that that was what I wanted to do,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s mother was an inspiration for pursuing acting. “My mom did theater and she went here. She would talk to me about it, and I always sang, and my mom was like, ‘well, maybe when you get to high school you can sing in the musicals,’ and that is what grew my interest in that].” Wilson said.

Being a part of all of the productions helped Wilson grow the most as an actor. “I was shy about acting in front of people, but gradually, Ms. B and Mr. Hensley have taught me that the whole point of acting is not be shy and not be yourself, and this had become easier throughout the years,” Wilson said.

A show that helped Wilson grow as an actress was last school year’s spring production of “The Addams Family.” It was Wilson’s first time getting a callback after an audition. “When I got the callback, I hit that moment when I realized this is it. I gotta start being more professional about it.” Wilson said.

Wilson was able to learn from watching other cast members of “The Addams Family,” but specifically sophomore Rachel Miller. “I watched Rachel do the role and watch her do it amazingly, and it helped me grow to see another person get a part that I was interested in,” Wilson said.

Mary Poppins is Wilson’s first major role in a production. “It means a lot because it is my fifth show, and I have always been an ensemble member/dancer, which I love doing, but I’ve always wanted to be a lead,” Wilson said. Becoming a lead is a new experience for Wilson, which  she is still is adjusting to. “[Being a lead performer] is a lot more exciting and a lot more stressful, but I like it a lot,” Wilson said.

To prepare for the role, Wilson spent a lot of hours in rehearsal, listening to the “Mary Poppins” album and practicing lines with her mother. “Rehearsals are the main thing, and repetition really helps,” Wilson said.

However, it is not easy being a lead, as Wilson has a lot of responsibility. “I feel very responsible to not mess up, and the character is very hard to portray, so it has been a little difficult since it is my first lead role, but overall I am really excited to be a lead. It is extremely fun.” Wilson said. “I love the costumes and the show in general, and being a lead you are on stage more, and I just love being on stage.”

Wilson is looking forward to continue being apart of the theater department and to keep learning and growing as an actress. “The role [of Mary Poppins] has prepared me for the rest of the shows I will be doing,” Wilson said.

Adriana Guidi is a Perspectives Editor for the Patriot and