MARQUETTE - For most people, the theater is a place to go enjoy a good play or musical, but for others it's a place where they can grow as an actor or actress developing many different talents along the way.
David Bashaw, 17, appeared in his first play when he was 8 years old and has been participating in plays ever since. Bashaw said his mom took him to his first audition where he got a small role in the Lake Superior Theater production of "Beacon on the Rock."
"I enjoyed it a lot. I actually feel in love with theater, so I kept going," he said.
David Bashaw as Lumiere and Jill Vermeulen as Babette perform on stage in the City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center Youth Theatre's 2010 production of Disney's “Beauty and the Beast.” This is one Bashaw's favorite roles he's played over the years. (Photo courtesy of Nikke Nason)
David Bashaw as Oliver Warbucks with Karen Ludwig as Annie perform on stage in the 2012 Lake Superior Youth Theatre production of Annie Jr. (Photo courtesy of Camilla Mingay)
Over the years Bashaw has done many plays but he said his favorite role was playing Lumiere in "Beauty and the Beast."
"I put a lot of work into and I fell in love with my character," he said. "I feel like it's one of the two best shows I've ever been, so it's definitely something I'm never going to forget."
Not only can Bashaw act, but he can sing and dance as well. Bashaw said he took hip-hop classes and workshops for two years.
"It's basically just something I like to do for fun," he said. "Then, of course, when it comes to the plays, I have to do jazz and Broadway."
Bashaw participates in plays put on by Marquette Senior High School, where he is a junior, and through the Marquette Arts and Culture Center. He has also acted in two local films, "Encounter" and "The Ice Brigades." He said the experience of being in front of a camera is a lot different than being on stage and he's not quite sure which he likes more.
"I always thought I would like live performances a lot more because there's a crowd and a big reaction, and I like that, in a sense, but being in front of a camera is a lot more fun and intriguing than I thought it would be," he said. "I guess I would have to do more work with film to really find out if I like stage performance or film better."
Bashaw said the intriguing part of film is how much goes into the making of it; how much has to be right -the light, sound, movement and positioning of the actors. And every little thing has to be right or the actors have to do the take over and over until it is.
"Something nice about film is that you can fix it, where on stage if you mess up, that's gone and there's no chance to make that up," he said. "So I found that really, really interesting. I didn't know that there was so much work put into a film and all the focus you have and the muffling you need to get out of the sound. It just fascinated me."
Bashaw was recently cast as Sebastian in "The Little Mermaid" and plans to try out for his first Peninsula Art and Appreciation Council play in the spring.
"I like the fact that when I come to theater, do a show and on stage that I get to get away from all of the stressful aspects of life," Bashaw said. "I'm a different character for a little while. I'm someone else and I don't have to worry about school or sports or anything else that's going on."
Bashaw also plays football and basketball for MSHS. According to Bashaw his family has always been supportive of his theater career and hopes to continue it after high school.
"If I can pursue it after high school, I will," he said. "But if not, I hope to always to continue it as a hobby I enjoy."
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org