THS actor gets event's top 'honor'

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – An actor from Tupelo High School got a taste of something big over the weekend.
Nathan Wallace, 18, was one of four THS Thespians to compete at the Educational Theatre Association’s 2011 Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Neb.
“He got to perform on the main stage on Saturday,” said Allana Austin, THS drama instructor. “That’s like the highest honor a thespian can get during the week.”
More than 400 other students auditioned for the chance to perform on the main stage in front of 3,000 people.
“Right before walking on the stage and seeing that many people and then walking onto stage is the most exciting thing I’ve ever been through so far,” Wallace said. “It was nerve-wracking, but if I could go back and feel that again, I would. Put me back on that stage. It was so awesome.”
He performed a comedy monologue from “The Boys Next Door” by Tom Griffin and a dramatic monologue from “I Never Sang for My Father” by Robert Anderson.
“I worked on them from January until the festival, until June,” Wallace said. “I kept practicing and performing in a mirror. Late at night, I’d film myself with my MacBook.”
In the fall, Wallace will enter the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he’ll continue pursuing his dream of becoming a professional actor.
In addition to Wallace, three other THS students competed in the festival.
Zoe Kelly earned superior ratings for her performance of the song, “And I’m Telling You” from “Dreamgirls.”
Holly Harrington earned excellent ratings for singing “If You Hadn’t but You Did” from “Two on the Aisle.” Wesley Burcham earned excellent ratings for monologues from “Monsters” and “It Never Rains Gasoline.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.