Nia Dubourg is a junior majoring in theater studies at Montclair State University. She will appear in the student-run on-campus production of “Really, Really” the weekend of Oct. 25-27. She sat down with The Montclarion entertainment editor Thomas Neira to discuss her love for acting and her upcoming play.
Q: How did you first get interested in acting?
A: I think I’ve always been interested in acting. Ever since I was little, my mom would take me to Broadway shows and I just thought it was the most magical thing in the world. It was so cool to see people tell a story on stage to a bunch of people. It felt kind of like grown-up playtime, like playing with Barbies. It was so cool and I’ve loved it ever since.
Q: When did you perform in your first ever production?
A: I think technically my first ever production, doing theater, was in high school. I feel like it’s kind of late, but it was my freshman year and I didn’t want to audition for the play. My mom was like, “What do you mean you don’t want to audition for the play?” And I was like, “Oh, I don’t know,” and she was like “You’re gonna do it.”
So I said of course I’m going to listen to my mother and I’m going to audition and I saw Ms. Lombardi, who was my director at the time, and I was like, “Hi, I’m really sorry, I’m really scared and I don’t have anything prepared but I’d really like to audition,” and she just gave me a monologue to perform, and I did it and I waited the whole week to see if I got in. I got in and it was a really good part and I was like, “Oh my goodness! This is so exciting!
Q: Which actors or actresses do you consider as inspirations?
A: That’s a good question. I’ll say Anne Hathaway, for sure. She’s just so versatile and just amazing, like you could see her in “Les Miserables.” That’s incredible, that’s a super hard show to do. Jake Gyllenhaal is also really good. Most people don’t know that he does theater, but he started off doing theater and he’s so into his character. He’s really good at just breaking down a story and getting every single detail of the character right. So, I think those two are really big inspirations.
Q: How do you prepare for a role?
A: My directors that I had my freshman year of college, Erin Gaydos and Melody Appeal, like to break down the character and really make the character kind of a person. So we build a story around the person. I usually go through the script again and see where the character starts off, and obviously where they end, and I like to build a story around it. See where they grew up and why they behave the way that they do and their relationships to other characters. So, I feel like that helps.
Q: How has Montclair State helped you develop your craft?
A: I think Montclair State has helped me develop my craft by giving me so many outlets to explore because it’s not just an after-school kind of thing. Doing FAST [Friday Afternoon Student Theatre], the shows that we usually do, it’s of course on our own time. Also in classes I have really great professors who really get into detail about what you’re doing and push you to be the best actor that you can be. It’s kind of like no nonsense, which I appreciate because it is something I want to do for the rest of my life. Why not try my hardest and be the best that I can be?
Q: Which production that you’ve been a part of has been your favorite so far?
A: I don’t know because they all have something special to me. I think my favorite one will always be from back in high school, we did “Into the Woods.” It’s such a hard show, but when you get it down it is the most fun thing in the entire world. And I have so many memories from that show, so definitely that.
Q: Can you tell us about your upcoming play?
A; Yeah! I’m actually really excited. It’s called “Really, Really.” I’ll admit that when we first read the show, I was like “I don’t know if I really like this.” But I ended up falling in love with it. I’m obsessed with it and it’s so good. There are so many layers and intentional details in it when you get to immerse yourself in the show that you don’t even realize, you wouldn’t even expect. There are characters who seem a certain way and they completely change by the end of the show and it’s cool.
Q: When and where can we go see it?
A: You can see it in Life Hall in Room 0325, in Memorial Auditorium. It’s at 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25, 26 and 27.
Q: What other interests and hobbies do you have?
A: I love listening to music. I listen to music every single day. I like to go out and hang out with my friends. That’s super fun. I like spending time with my family too. That makes me really happy. And sleeping is the highlight of my life, always.
Q: What do you plan to do after you graduate?
A: It’s crazy to think about it as a junior that I only have one year left, but I’m in the master’s program. I’m going to be getting my master’s here, so that’s fun. I don’t have to worry about big adult stuff yet, but after that I want to go to graduate school probably in the city. The dream has always been to go to Broadway, so hopefully I’m there.