David Stammen, senior, began his acting career in middle school, when he joined a travelling theatre for a performance of The Little Mermaid. His freshman year at Leesville, he found his home in props crew instead of on the stage. In his sophomore year, he auditioned for the fall play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Rehearsals are a big part of the acting world, and, like most actors, Stammen recognizes the positive and negative aspects about rehearsals. “Interacting with the actors is always fun, and it’s a very rewarding feeling when you finally know all of your lines, or when you get a scene perfect,” said Stammen. “On the other hand,” he conceded, “the process of actually memorizing your lines is no actor’s idea of a good time.”
Stammen’s family is very supportive of his involvement in the theatre. “None [of them] are actors, but they will always help me when it comes to memorizing my lines or helping me improve my performance.”
Kim Towns, junior, met Stammen her freshman year when she was on makeup crew for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “He was sitting in front of me, and before I even started on his makeup I said, ‘Just look at my boobs now so you can focus on what I’m saying later,’” said Towns. “Since that day, we’ve been pretty good friends.”
Brooks Jordan, junior and fellow actor of Stammen’s, said, “[David] is a great guy who will help you out when he can.” Jordan was in Leesville’s 2010 spring musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers with Stammen, and said that Stammen was “great to have in the musical,” and that “he brought great energy to the stage. “I can definitely see him having a career as an actor once he graduates high school,” said Jordan.
But Stammen has friends outside of the Leesville theatre department, one of them being Ian Billingsley, senior. “I met David some time after [Leesville put on the show] Dracula. My first impression was that he was chill. Different, but a good guy,” said Billingsley.
“I love acting,” said Stammen, “I love the community, the techies, the directors, and the feeling I get when I’m on the stage. I hope to continue acting after I graduate from high school.”