For Point Boro Junior Tanner Gordon, a majority of his time is spent dedicated to the sport of football. He is the starting running back for a Panther program that has experienced recent success as division winners. Outside of his athletic abilities, Tanner possesses many qualities that have set him up for success outside of the game of football.
With that said, Gordon aimed to find another experience that would allow him to continue enjoying high school to the fullest. That experience would later be fulfilled as Tanner took on a lead role, playing “Curtis Jackson” in Point Boro’s re-creation of the musical Sister Act.
“This was the first play that I had an opportunity to be a part of,” Gordon explained. When asked about his decision to partake in the play, Tanner elaborated that it was the acting class which he enrolled in that fully persuaded him.
“It all started with my acting teacher. She convinced me to audition and when I did, she saw something that really liked and I decided to audition. I knew that I had a fear of singing in front of people but the new experience and the opportunity to conquer my fear really convinced me,” Gordon further added.
After he had received a key part in the production, Tanner expressed how the play enabled him to be a more well-rounded student. “From the perspective of a lot of people, I am seen as an athlete,” Gordon said.
“When I got the role as Curtis, I became very excited to be in the play and it pushed me to play my part the best that I possibly could. As much as I enjoy the game of football, I wanted to have that experience of being in a play and I am glad that I was able to be in it,” Tanner said.
In addition, Gordon credits the production in presenting something entirely new for him to experience. “Overall, it was one of the most exciting things that I have done in my life,” Gordon expressed. “Like football and other athletics, there is just so much that goes into the field of acting. There is just so much more than just the actors,” Tanner expressed.
Tanner also compared the emotional part of acting to competing on the football field. “As an athlete, there is nothing quite like scoring a touchdown,” Gordon said. “However, I can now say that there is also nothing better than bowing to the audience at the end of the show,” Gordon added.
“There is certainly a difference between athletics and acting, however, there is huge adrenaline rush in both of them,” Gordon said as talked about the both experiences.
While Tanner was excited for the production, he wasn’t sure how much preparation it would take for him to succeed on stage.
“I definitely did not want to disappoint anyone. I knew that if I worked hard, that I would be able to succeed. However, I was certainly nervous about acting at first and did not want to let anyone down considering the reputation that the school has for putting on great productions,” Gordon explained.
Overall, Tanner was quite pleased with the support that he received.
“All of my coaches saw the hard work that I put into the play and they saw how much it meant to me,” Gordon mentioned.
Tanner hopes that this experience will drive more athletes to the big stage just as he was able to do. “It was great to see both coaches attend the play. In addition, both my lacrosse and football teammates came to support me. Next year I am going to try to convince all of my football friends to do it,” Gordon said excitedly. Furthermore, Tanner hopes to convince other athletes that participating in a play is something that they can benefit from.
“Especially during high school, people can sometimes be afraid of trying new things. Coming into this, I felt as if there was a divide between the acting realm and the sports world,” Tanner mentioned. Tanner also talked about the overall process of getting ready for the show and how people viewed him leading up to the performance.
“I think overall, a lot of people were interested to see me on the stage,” Gordon said. “Since I’ve never acted before I felt that a lot of people may have been confused. It was certainly an interesting experience for those who have now seen me both on the field and on stage,” Gordon explained.
“I knew that it would be a grind,” Tanner said as he explained the preparation in contrast to preparing for a game.
“Not only was it difficult for the actors having to memorize lines as well as perfecting a certain tone of voice, but there was also so much going on backstage,” Gordon said. “Just like in sports, you have to consistently practice and develop your plays; that same concept applies to acting,” Gordon further added.
“When you spend so much time with a certain group of people, you eventually get to know everyone. It is a very similar experience to when I am on the field”.
After talking with Tanner, it was clear that he has plenty of motivation to take the same path next year as a Senior in high school. “I will certainly be back next year, Tanner said. “After opening night, I knew that this was something that I wanted to continue to be a part of.
“I just wish that this was something that I would have tried earlier in high school,” Tanner admitted.