When the curtains roll back, the lights shine the brightest, and the roles are the most important, center stage is where you will find senior Alex Welz. His unprecedented rise to the top of the Prep-Villa theatrical program has been nothing but captivating, and his acting skills are nothing short of impressive.
Alex reignited his theatrical career at the end of his sophomore year here at Cathedral Prep. He spent his freshman and sophomore years playing basketball for the Ramblers, but after he decided to no longer pursue his passion for basketball, he resumed his acting career. “I have done shows for my grade school in seventh and eighth grade. I enjoyed them, but never took them all that seriously,” said Alex. “It was really my parents, Father Mike [DeMartinis], and some of my friends who were already in the program that got me back into it.”
The Prep-Villa theatrical program had found a gem it didn’t know it had, and were quick to polish it. “It’s so easy to work with Alex,” said director Father Mike DeMartinis. “He has the talent, works hard, and demands the best out of himself and those around him each performance.” It didn’t take long for Alex to get the recognition he deserved. In the production of Footloose, the program saw one of its largest auditions in history with more than one hundred students vying for a role. In this fun-filled drama Alex landed the part of trashy boyfriend, Chuck Cranston. “This role was a lot of fun. It was the perfect part for me to secure and gave me a lot of confidence moving forward.”
While many of the productions put on by Alex and his cast members are fun, like Peter and the Star Catcher and Dominic Montefiori’s Let’s Talk, some works look to convey something much more. When Alex played the lead as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird they gave the crowd a true message. “When we perform, we can use the crowd as motivation, but during To Kill A Mockingbird you could see the emotions in the crowd, and that’s something I’ll never forget.” When you make an audience vulnerable, you can make them think differently than they may have before. “If I can make just one person leave feeling different, or giving them something to smile about, I can’t ask for anything more.”
It truly takes a balance of skill, and showmanship to bring a crowd to its feet or to tears, and these are just a few of the qualities Alex has brought to his performances. “I know I have a lot of talent, but working hard has benefited me the most. Talent got me here, but it’s my attention to detail that has been the roots of my success.” His successes are not celebrated alone as he accredits his cast members for his performances. “The trust I have on stage is unparalleled to anything I’ve experienced in sports. When something goes wrong, you can just improvise and reset. In a show, you have to trust your movements and echo those of everyone on stage, and that’s why we practice so much, so the crowd doesn’t know when something’s gone haywire.”
Alex’s cool and collected demeanor sets the tone not only for himself, but others, and he thrives in the limelight. If you were to watch him, you wouldn’t believe he could ever have any self doubt. “Confidence is something I struggled with for awhile,” commented Alex. Like many famous actors, self-doubt is all just a part of showbiz,” But acting has given me the confidence I can translate into multiple aspects of my life.”
It has taken a very short amount of time for Alex to gain his impressive repertoire, but even a shorter time to find his true love, being on stage. “Some of my best high school memories come from the plays. I’ve met so many great people and learned some great life lessons.” This has convinced Alex to start planning on continuing his acting career on the collegiate level come the fall of 2018. “College is where you can really get noticed, and it will be a perfect way for me to meet new people and help me pay for my degree.”
As his high school acting career is coming to an end, he has no regret on his decision to immerse into the theatrical program. “This has been the best choice I’ve made in high school. I highly encourage anyone to come out for the plays. We have football state champions to members of the debate team. The only regret I’ve ever heard is not starting sooner.” Alex also added, “My favorite aspect of theater is that I am able to meet the audience in the same place through only our imaginations, the set, and the space in between us. It can be so powerful and moving.”
Alec Thomas, staff writer, is a member of the Cathedral Prep Class of 2018. He is a member of the swimming and tennis teams at Prep, and he is a member of the National Honors Society. He enjoys writing about school events and sports as well as writing reviews. His spirit animal is a narwhal.