Performer Spotlight: Mikail Herrera tells stories through theater


Photo by Leslie Fireman

Senior Mikail Herrera is an All-State performer and member of WeGo Drama.

By Jennifer Carvajal-Romero, Reporter

How many years have you been involved in the theater?

I’ve been part of WeGo Drama all four years.

How did you get into drama?

So it’s a club, so you can just go to the club meetings and have fun, but there’s also some informational meetings about upcoming shows, like our spring musical. But I started my eighth grade year. There were auditions for the upcoming fall show for the next school year in May, so I auditioned for high school shows while I was in eighth grade. That’s how I got involved with WeGo Drama.

What do you like best about drama?

I love telling a story. That’s my favorite part about theater. That’s my driving force: telling a story and telling important stories. That’s the purpose of what I’m doing; that’s what theater has been historically, telling stories for people so people can learn. It’s an important thing to me. I grew up with my grandma telling me stories, and from there, I was like, ‘this is great.’ I love listening to stories. I was so interested in all of it.

Herrera performs as Elwood P. Dowd in WeGo Drama’s production of Harvey. (Photo by Yearbook Staff)

Tell me a bit more about how your grandma inspired you.

She would read me stories every night before I would go to sleep, and I just loved listening to the stories. She would voice the characters, and it would be such a great time. I got really close to her because of that, and I still am close with my grandma because of that. When I read, I imagine the character. And it really translates now into reading scripts because I put myself, essentially, in those characters. And just reading a script for fun, I picture myself as that character, and it has helped me because what she would do is become the character, speaking the words on the page.

Herrera prepares for a role in Marvel’s Squirrel Girl Goes to College last autumn. (Photo by Mark Begovich)

Who has really mentored you as a performer?

I’ve had wonderful directors. Middle school, my first director really embraced me as a part of theater. She really ignited that flame. And then here, Mr. Begovich is my director. He’s always pushed me, he’s always tried to get the best out of me, and I’ve appreciated that because I’ve always tried to be the best at what I’m doing. And then, recently, I had a director from an outside show I did and he opened my eyes to everything being an actor is: what it means to tell a story, what it means to be another person, how to, more or less, affect an audience. Affect people on stage. My directors have really taught me everything I know.

How do your parents support you through the drama club?

I’ve been blessed to have supportive parents in whatever I do. I started acting in seventh grade – before that, I played sports. I played on travel teams, I was in a club, and I stopped liking playing sports, and I was like, ‘I want to try acting.’ And I did. There was never any tension between my family and I. They were like, ‘Go out and do it. If it’s what you want to do, then do it.’ That’s how it’s kind of been my whole life. As a little kid, I was always put into so many activities, and it really opened my eyes to what I can do, and I’ve always had that support behind me. They believe in me, and I appreciate that.

What is next for you?

I’m currently going through the audition process, getting emails about callbacks, all of that. I plan on going to college for acting, and from there, I hope to get jobs. Who knows? Hopefully. I’m planning on looking for potential jobs while I’m still in college because if I can find an opportunity to get a job while in college, I’m going to take it so I can start getting my name out there, being a person in the field, on the scene.