Theatre Spotlight: The Great Frank Demma
By Isiah Miranda
If you have ever been to a MSA play, chances are you have seen the extraordinary talents of senior Frank Demma. Earlier this year, Demma starred in “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” and most recently was a standout performer in the play “Sense and Sensibility.” I sat down with Demma for an exclusive interview to discuss his thoughts on theatre and the future ahead.
ISIAH MIRANDA: What were your favorite aspects of performing in Sense and Sensibility?
FRANK DEMMA: Being a woman was a little confusing with the dress and breasts and everything, and I was old. Not only was I a different gender but I was a different age. It was an experience. I typically play myself in other roles and this was a genuinely different person.
IM: Do you prefer musicals or dramas? And what are the positives of both?
FD: It depends; no one breaks down into song in real life. It’s more exciting. People would always rather see a musical. You go to Broadway, they want to see the Lion King, everyone wants to see the Lion King every [expletive] time. I like both. I don't really prefer one or the other. It depends on my mood.
IM: What were some of your favorite memories from MSA throughout your entire Novato High School career?
FD: I first performed in Hello Dolly and it was pretty [expletive] orgasmic. People are vastly more talented than you, so yeah. And this Sense and Sensibility was great too.
IM: Do you want to do stage acting or act in movies in the future? And why?
FD: I’d love to do film, small screen kind of stuff. I’d love to do my own films. I’d like to do it all, it’s about whoever wants me.
IM: Did you come into Novato High School knowing that acting is what you want to do in the future?
FD: No, I decided this year that I am going to get a theatre counselor. I’m going to college for it. I’m going to UCLA for my BFA in acting.
IM: Have you had any bumps in the road or rough phases in your career so far?
FD: My mom told Mr. Franz I was on drugs my junior year. I don’t know why she would ruin my relationship with my teacher.
IM: In your opinion, Wwhat is one of your best performances, in your opinion?
FD: I did a student directed version of 12th night William Shakespeare. I had no perspective then but I thought it was really funny. I had yellow tights on. I thought I was pretty sexy.
IM: Describe some of the wisdom you have learned from your teacher, Rodney Franz?
FD: He would do this thing where he’s like ‘don’t do it that way’ and then he does it for you. I feel like he just knows exactly how a show is supposed to be put on. He’s a brilliant man.
IM: What inspires you as an actor?
FD: People who are genuinely moved when they perform on stage. You can tell there are some people that are really doing it and some people just throwing it in.
IM: Who is your favorite theatre performer of all time?
FD: I don’t know. There’s not a lot of known stage actors and that's the problem with the profession.
Frank had many amazing performances here at Novato High School and we should all be on the lookout for what his future holds.