Tale as Old as Time
An inside look on why freshman Alexis Gearty was chosen to play the lead role in the school’s production of “Beauty and the Beast”
March 12, 2019
“Beauty and the Beast” is a tale of adventure, romance, danger and this year’s musical. At the center of the musical is freshman Alexis Gearty playing the lead role of Belle. Gearty has been in theatre for three years, ever since her sixth grade year when her mother insisted she try out for the middle school play. Although this is not Gearty’s first time being a lead, it is the first time she’s played a lead role for a high school production.
“At first I was terrified to do this because I was the shyest human being you would have ever met,” Gearty said. “Once I tried out for the first time, I honestly just fell in love and now I’m even more in love with it and it’s what I want to do as a career.”
Gearty has realized that acting on a high school stage is more professional and intense than it was for her in middle school.
“I’ve learned a lot from being in theatre, like how to act and build better friendships,” Gearty said. “Theatre does give me a lot of stress, but it’s ok because I love it and my love for theatre just cancels out the stress.”
When Gearty first auditioned, she had no idea that she was going to get a lead role and just wanted to try her best; she was also very intimidated by all the upperclassmen once she got the role.
“I thought all the upperclassmen would hate me but they’ve turned out to be super nice and I look up to all of them because they know a lot more than I do,” Gearty said.
Gearty especially looks up to junior Sean Hodges who plays the Beast in the musical.
“I was in the show [Les Miserables] with him two years ago and I’ve looked up to him since then,” Gearty said. “He has really helped me a lot with my voice and that show [we did together] got me so far.”
Theatre Director Rick Bodick said that while he doesn’t cast freshmen as leads often, he will always cast the best person for the role. Gearty has singing and dance lessons once a week and always puts the work in, which she said helps her performance a lot.
“[Gearty] is very good and obviously had experience with this like so many people here,” Bodick said. “The whole freshman class is very good and very strong just like this junior class is.”
Though Gearty loves being on stage, her favorite part is seeing everyone after the show and seeing how she made their day. She especially loves to see the smiles on all the children’s faces and how much she impacted them. Two months ago, for Christmas, Gearty and her fellow actors went to Beaumont Children’s Hospital dressed as Disney princes and princesses.
“It was so fun acting like we were them for two hours and just made magic,” Gearty said.
Gearty pretended to be Belle during this experience with the children at Beaumont, not because that is her role for the upcoming production, but because Belle has always been her favorite princess.
“I feel like I relate to her the most [out of all the other princesses],” Gearty said. “When I was younger a lot of people thought I was weird because I did different things than they did and I didn’t have a lot of friends because of it, so I relate to her the most. I love all her songs.”
While Gearty anticipates seeing how she made a child’s day after the show, she also loves pretending to be another person on stage.
“I like to dig deep into who the character is and instead of me acting like them, I truly become them,” Gearty said.