MHS student shines on stage and in the classroom

MHS student shines on stage and in the classroom
Posted on 01/18/2018
McCollum HS student shines on stage and in the classroom

When McCollum High School senior Michael Roberts isn’t busy juggling school work and college applications, he is most likely stealing the spotlight as a stage actor.

Michael’s love for acting began at a young age when he would spend countless hours watching movies. However, it wasn't until his freshman year that Michael finally decided to pursue acting and began taking classes.

“I knew I always wanted to act,” he said. “But, I didn’t know how to begin.”

His then theatre teacher, Juan Calderon, encouraged Michael and helped him land his first role in MHS’s theatre production “Carlos and the Chocolate Factory.”

“I was one of the parents and didn’t have many lines, but I got to work with a lot of great students and learned so much,” he said. “I loved being on stage, it was very automatic, and I haven’t stopped since.”

Over the course of high school, Michael participated in every school play and credits Calderon for teaching him everything he knows.

“I’ve learned so much from Mr. Calderon,” he said. “And even though I am still in high school, I try to be as professional as I can during each play.”

All of his hard work has paid off as his talents have now transcended from McCollum HS. He was recently cast in The Public Theater of San Antonio’s production of “A Bright New Boise,” which has taken Michael’s acting to a whole new level. 

“It’s a different audience, and it’s something I’ve never done before. My character is a very anxious kid, who feels alone and abandoned, but he’s very impressionable and strong at the same time,” he described.

His performance has earned him rave reviews from local media publications, which is something Michael did not expect but feels grateful for.

“It’s pretty crazy, I’m not used to that,” he said. “When people think I’m doing good, it’s really nice because I don’t know them, and they don’t have to say anything, so it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job.”

Michael will continue to appear in “A Bright New Boise” until Jan. 21 and is already looking forward to his participation in the theater’s spring musical set for April.

“My favorite part is the experience of it all,” he said. “You get to meet and act with a lot of new people, learn different techniques and words, and it helps you grow as a performer and as a person.”

Besides acting, Michael is also a bright student focused on his many school duties at McCollum HS.

He is his graduating class’ salutatorian and historian, as well as a member of the National Honor Society and debate team.

“Sometimes finding the time to do everything can be a little challenging,” he said. “But, I love it, which helps me stay motivated and focused.”

After graduation, Michael hopes to continue his studies and acting career in Texas or New York.

“I’ve been accepted academically based on my GPA to some places, but in order to get into a theatre program it’s a whole other process,” he explained. “I’ll find out within the next couple of months, but ideally, I would either like to attend UT Austin, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York or the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.”

Way to go, Michael! Thanks for making HISD proud! 

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