Aspen 14-year-old was born to perform
ASPEN – Lindsay Nelson can pinpoint – to the second – the moment she knew she wanted to act.
“It was ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ and I pulled a pair of those toe socks on my hands and got on stage … I just loved it. I was hooked,” she recalls.
Hooked might be an understatement. In the few short years Nelson has been acting, the 14-year-old has performed with Jayne Gottlieb Productions, Theatre Aspen and in Aspen Country Day School’s annual play. She made her professional theater debut two years ago as JoJo in “Seussical,” and is on the Theater Aspen stage again this summer as reporter Nancy McGill in “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs.”
If this weren’t enough, Nelson also has a role in Theatre Aspen’s production of “Aladdin,” which is at the tent Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, and will be part of “Aspen’s Got Young Talent” on Aug. 1.
It’s a full plate of performing for a seemingly “regular” Aspen kid. Her family, which includes five siblings, lives full-time in Aspen, and no one else is an actor; she plays soccer, juggles school work and hangs out with friends (on the evening of our interview, she was off to see a movie at the Isis with a posse of teens).
“I don’t really think of myself as an actor or different than anyone else. I just love to act, so that’s something I do,” she says, casually mentioning the rehearsal schedule for “Pigs” which included three weeks of intense, all-day work. “Yes, it can be a lot, but I just do it. I want to do it.”
Indeed, in acting, Nelson has found her niche.
“I don’t know how to explain it, but when you’re on stage you can do anything you want, you can be anyone you want to be,” she explains, with an enthusiasm for the art of acting that is in no way an act. “Nobody judges you when you’re on stage; it’s like you’re in another world.”
Her enthusiasm is well placed. As the piggy reporter out to find the truth about what happened to the three little pigs, Nelson ushers “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs” from start to finish seamlessly. She engages the audience as she asks them to help decide the guilt or innocence of the Big Bad Wolf. On stage for the entire show, Nelson shines as an actor and singer, even though she is younger and less experienced than her five castmates.
“At first I was intimidated … the other actors have done so much more than me,” says Nelson, who auditioned for the role with a pool of some 40 other young actors. “But from the very first day we all just connected, and they were so supportive. It’s been my best theater experience by far.”
In addition to her fellow actors – Chris Carson, Zoe Levine, Flynn Holman, Luke Seamans and Kidd-Duhe Solomon – Nelson credits the play’s director, Marjorie Treger, with much of her success – and that of the play.
“Marjorie has been the most amazing director,” says Nelson. “She has taught me so much, and has made it so fun … honestly, it has been such a great experience.”
Nelson hopes the experience will serve her well as she moves ahead in her acting career and school life. The latter will actually take a big turn this year: Not only will Nelson enter high school; she will leave the Roaring Fork Valley to attend Cate, a boarding school in Santa Barbara, Calif.
“Oh, I am so excited about going away to school,” says Nelson, whose studies will include acting but not be solely focused on the arts. “I think it’s going to be a great experience.”
“The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs” is in rotating repertory at the Theatre Aspen tent through Aug. 14. For more information, visit http://www.theatreaspen.org.
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