On Oct. 24, Van Nuys High School student Jacob Zelonsky entered a daylong competition held by the Drama Teachers’ Association of Southern California (DTASC). The Varsity Festival tournament was held at Los Angeles High School of the Arts (LACHSA). He triumphantly made it to the finals round of the competition and received an honorable mention award for his success.
He was completely new to the DTASC scene, but went along with it after being prompted by Mr. Olea, VNHS’s drama teacher. This is Zelonsky’s first year in Van Nuys, and he is in 11th grade.
He had to prepare two contrasting monologues – comedic and dramatic – that he performed several times at the competition. He moved up the brackets and was supported by several other Van Nuys students who also competed.
Now that he knows what it takes to win, this is a competition he will be entering again. Zelonsky may have been relatively new, but a lot of hard work and preparation paid off. He spent days going over his pieces with his fellow actor Lauren Cinturon, whom he says, “helped immensely.”
“It was an exciting way to be part of something I really love doing and to get closer to people from the school who share similar interests.” he said.
He is involved in Actors in Action, a theater and acting club at Van Nuys High School, and performed in the school’s play, “Almost, Maine.” For any students looking into acting, he believes, “if you’re interested in finding a way to express yourself or get to know yourself better, I recommend acting. It’s really shaped my life. If it is something you may be interested in, you should definitely go for it.”
— Oscar Guerra and Keshan Huang