Jarred Manista is one of Dominican’s most iconic theatre performers. He has never failed to impress Dominican High School with his brilliant acting, singing, or dancing. From the stage to the classroom, you can be sure you will see Jarred doing his best. In other words, Jarred is hardworking. He shared his thoughts on mental health and shares his story.
- You’ve been very successful in the field of music and entertainment; did you feel an amount of pressure to keep up that image going into the musical?
Thank you 🙂 I feel pressure before every performance I partake in to be better than I have been in past performances. However, the pressure comes less from a place of trying to uphold an image and more from a place of continually wanting to grow and improve as an artist.
- Do you believe that Dominican has provided you enough of a platform to express yourself in the arts?
Completely; I’m extremely grateful for all of the performance opportunities that Dominican has granted me, and I’ve loved every show I’ve been a part of. When I am not in a show at Dominican, however, I continue to look for performance opportunities elsewhere to keep working on the craft.
- What was it that made you choose to stay on the path of entertainment?
For years, I’ve struggled to discern what exactly I want to do with my life. I’ve considered many options, but in the end, I always come back to performing. Nothing makes me feel happier or more fulfilled.
- You are one of the best students, have you ever felt stressed, given the work load, when balancing school and pleasure?
I’ve definitely been stressed—at times, very much so—having to balance school, theater, and a social/personal life. But in the end, everyone has to deal with stressors in their life. Although stress is no fun, my passion for theater motivates me to keep on going even during the busiest of times, and it’s always worth it.
- Has there been any criticism to your works, if so, what advice would you give those underclassmen that are on the fence about theatre and production?
Because theatre is art and art is subjective, all artists are going to face lots of criticism in their careers. I’m not perfect and none of my performances have ever been close to perfect, but I try to not to take criticism personally (although this is difficult) and instead use it as ammunition to improve. For underclassmen on the fence about doing theatre: if there is any part of you that wants to do theatre, I’d encourage you to try it out. There’s a place for people of all levels of skill and interest within Dominican’s theater program and within theatre as a whole, whether that be on stage performing or off stage I’ve been friends with many people who actually regret not doing it earlier.
- What influenced you to do what you love so much?
I’ve loved music and dance for as long as I can remember. I don’t know exactly why this is the case, but to me, there’s nothing else quite like it.
- Would you consider doing theatre in college or as a career? My desire to do theater comes mainly from my love for the art and for performance.
- What’s your favorite production that you’ve done so far?
This is an extremely hard question to answer, and the answer’s always changing. Right now, my favorite productions that I’ve been a part of are The Spitfire Grill, which I was a part of this fall at Dominican, and Hairspray, which I was recently in at Skylight Music Theatre.
- What would you say is the best part of theatre as a whole?
As a whole, I love theatre so much because it drives connection and change. Actors/performers connect with themselves and with each other to tell a story with which audience members can (hopefully) connect and take with them. I find that most performances have messages that need to be shared and that can bring about change within audience members or even more generally within society. These changes may be very small, but the ability to connect with an audience member and uplift them or change their perspective is incredible to me.
Featured Image: Jarred Manista during Big Fish
Photo by: Dominican High School