Brainerd High School senior Paul Klapperich worked behind the scenes in plays in fifth grade and took up acting two years later.
He has never looked back.
Klapperich has been involved in drama most of his life. Two years ago he made his debut in "Lady Windemere's Fan" and since then he has been an important part of the drama program at the high school, said John Wanninger, the drama director.
Wanninger nominated Klapperich as this week's Fine Arts Student of the Week.
"He (Klapperich) will be appearing in the upcoming fall play and he has already started off with good performances in practice," said Wanninger. "He is very talented and his intelligence helps him get at the heart of his roles."
Klapperich's first play was "Charlotte's Web," where he played Mr. Arable. At this time, Klapperich attended Agassiz Middle School in Fargo, N.D. He moved to Baxter his sophomore year.
Fine arts student of the week
Art focus: Drama
Art activities: Drama and A Cappella Choir
Favorite subjects: Advanced Placement physics, German and calculus
Most memorable fine arts achievement: His role in the play, "Antigone"
Artist most admired: Bach
Favorite movie: "Sphere"
Favorite TV program: "The Simpsons"
Favorite song: "Tonight, Tonight"
Parents: Dave and Jan Klapperich of Baxter
Klapperich said when he started acting he thought it was fun.
"I've always been showy and like being on stage," said Klapperich.
Klapperich said when he is acting he does not pretend to be someone else, rather he tries to become the character. He studies the background of the character he will play so he knows the character inside and out.
"I like serious roles the best. ... The ones that show a range of emotions," he said, "because they are the most difficult and I like the challenge."
Klapperich's favorite plays were "Ant" and "Rumors." In "Ant," the cast members fit and matched their parts so well and the show was emotional. He liked "Rumors" because the play was funny.
This fall the Brainerd High School drama program is working on six one-act plays. Klapperich is in three. He plays Jim in "Wanda's Visit," Mr. Wilson in "The Doctor Will See You Now" and John in "Naomi In The Living Room."
"Lines are easier to remember (in one-act plays), but assuming the character is more difficult," he said. "The one-act plays are shorter so there is no time to build up the character."
The plays will be performed for the public in December.
When Klapperich practices his lines he has verbs written down on the script to help him perform. He meets with the other drama members after school from 4 to 6 p.m. to practice the plays. He said if he works hard he can memorize his lines in a week or two. Klapperich uses flash cards to help him memorize his lines or has a student read the line before he does to help.
"I try to get off the script as soon as I can," said Klapperich. "Then I can work more on my acting."
Klapperich offered the following advice for students beginning in drama: "Don't feel foolish because you think you look like an idiot. ... Because you don't unless you think you do."
Klapperich plans to attend college after high school to major in electrical or computer engineering or computer science. He plans to be involved in the drama program at the college or the community program.
Megan Groenberg, senior, Art: "Megan has brought industriousness and creativity to her work in design," said Groenberg's art adviser. "Her work is well executed and well designed and work ethic is appreciated."
Matt Smith, senior, Symphonic Band: Smith is a three-year member of Symphonic Band and is the tuba section leader. He received superior ratings at the Solo and Ensemble Contest and was selected as a member of the 2002-03 Minnesota All-State Band.
David Zelenka, junior, Fifth Street Journal: "David has been a strong voice in the Fifth Street Journal's entertainment section," reported Zelenka's adviser for Fifth Street Journal. "His passion for movies and music, as well as his dedication as editor, have proven helpful to our publications."
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