By Gabby Swopes | Reporter
Freshman Jaredyn Goulet is sitting in front of junior Katie Ketchum, drumming his fingers off the side of his leg nervously. This is the first time either of them have sat down one on one and talked to each other. Ketchum looks just as nervous as her younger co-actor, although maybe not as jittery. Playing Romeo and Juliet can be a nerve wracking experience for anyone, but for these two young actors who had never met before the first read-through, it is a whole new type of nervous. Goulet, a prankster and jokester, snags a piece of tape from the wall and begins to play with it while Ketchum waits patiently for the Echo’s first question.
ECHO: So what was it like when you found out you got the part? Were you shocked?
K: I was like a mixture of happy and kind of like an “Oh crap!”
J: I first found out when Cameron [sophomore Cameron Sowder who plays the Apothecary] told me. I told him he was lying and a lot of other vulgar things. And I was kind of worried because I didn’t expect to get this big of a part. I signed up for like understudy and backstage roles.
ECHO: What was your reaction when you found out who your co-actor would be?
K: I had no idea who he was. I was just like, who is this kid? I don’t know him. I was scared because he’s a freshman, and I thought he might not be up to it, but so far he seems– he seems like he’s doing way better than I thought he would.
ECHO: How about you Jaredyn?
J: I don’t know. I just asked people to send me pictures of her cause I wanted to know what she looked like.
Goulet and Ketchum have only had a few weeks to rehearse together and in that time the two have been prepping for the big kissing scene. For both Ketchum and Goulet, this will be their first kiss in front of a live audience–and for Goulet his first kiss ever.
ECHO: Jaredyn, this will be your first kiss, I mean, if you don’t get one beforehand.
J: You had to tell people about that? You really had to tell people about that?
ECHO: Are you nervous and how do you prepare for it?
J: Actually, I’ve had my first kiss–15 times.
ECHO: How are we just now learning about this? Or are you lying?
K: He’s lying.
J: Yeah, I’m lying.
K: Yeah or else last night [at rehearsal] when I was like, “It’s going to happen,” he wouldn’t have said no.
J: It’s not going to happen.
K: It’s going to happen.
J: It’s not going to happen.
K: It’s going to happen.
J: Um, no. It’s not going to happen.
K: Trust me it will be okay.
J: I’ll figure it out.
ECHO: “I’ll figure it out.” That’s the best response we get? The big question and that’s the best response we get?
J: That’s like my entire life: “I’ll figure it out.” [Shakes head] I never figure it out though.
ECHO: So what has it been like getting all of the sudden attention that comes from being Romeo and Juliet? Is it good or bad?
K: I got recognized at McDonald’s. I was pretty happy about that, but I was kind of salty that I didn’t get anything free. But I mean it’s not really that big of a difference. Some people are like, “Hey what’s up Juliet!” And it’s just, I’m Katie. I’m not thirteen anymore. I’m a big girl now. At least I think so. Maybe, I don’t know.
ECHO: What about you Jaredyn?
J: I mean, there are people that have joked about it, but everyone seems pretty happy for me. We are reading Romeo and Juliet in class and when they assigned roles everybody just kind of looked at me. When he was like, “Who wants to be Romeo?” everyone just kind of sat down.
K: I was always Mercutio. I loved being Mercutio.
J: I wanted to be Tybalt, but they said no, and he told me I couldn’t be Tybalt.
K: That would be a good way to memorize your lines in class.
ECHO: So you’ve been in plays, Katie, but nothing like this. What makes Juliet different from the rest of the characters you’ve played and what are some of the challenges?
K: I’ve never had a lead before.
J: Me neither.
K: And it’s a lot you know, knowing that your part can sometimes make or break a show. Especially with Romeo and Juliet, the fact that just me and Jaredyn over there climbing the rails– we have to convey love, passion, hurt, and we have to do all of those emotions while getting Shakespearean lines down and blocking. There’s also trying to make sure Jaredyn doesn’t kill himself on accident by doing stupid things. It’s all very challenging, but at the end of the day I go to bed and I’m like, I finally got the shot that I wanted, and I’ll do anything to make sure the show is as good as possible.
ECHO: Where are you going?
Being somewhat distracted and a bit of a clown, Goulet takes a break from the interview to climb the stair railings in the nearby vicinity. From first look, it is easy to see how polar opposite the two Romeo and Juliet actors are, as Ketchum sits calm and collected waiting for Avon’s Romeo to get done swinging on the stair railing.
ECHO: How are you guys similar and different from your characters?
J: I am literally made to play Romeo.
J: No, don’t put that down! Don’t put that down. Don’t write that down please!
K: Fine really, then how are you different from Romeo?
J: How am I different from Romeo? Jeez.
K: He can’t get a girl.
ECHO: You can’t get Rosaline.
K: He can’t get Rosaline.
J: No, really, like I can’t get a girlfriend. I literally cannot get a girlfriend.
K: Just wait, after this like 20 girls are going to come up to him and be like, I’ll be your girlfriend.
ECHO: Oh, yeah, they always do.
J: No, I think you guys are saying that, but that’s really not true.
K: No, just wait.
ECHO: Alright, Katie?
K: I guess me and Juliet are kind of similar in the way that we don’t really have a lot of freedom, you know? Our parents try to dictate what we do, and we are different because for one, I’m not thirteen. I’m actually way older than thirteen.
J: And I am literally 18.
K: Yeah, whatever. And another thing is that I wouldn’t really say I’m as sheltered and innocent I guess.
J: I feel like Romeo’s…
K: They both whine a lot.
J: Romeo’s a little more mature than me.
ECHO: That’s saying a lot if you’re more immature than Romeo.
J: [Laughs] Yeah, I am probably just a little more immature.
K: He’s playing with a piece of tape right now and hanging off a rail.
ECHO: How has it been working together? Are there any difficulties or maybe even positives?
J: None at all.
K: I really like his speaking voice in acting–it’s very emotional, influential, and honestly the only hardship is that he’s too kind of hyperactive sometimes. He likes to kind of wander off sometimes and mess around.
ECHO: Really? We had no idea.
K: Yeah, absolutely no idea!
J: Well you know sometimes she’s fun to be around. But she uh–
K: I’m bossy.
J: Yeah… but for the most part it’s alright.
K: Yeah, he’s pretty cool.
J: But she needs to clean up after herself–
K: I do clean up after myself!
J: Because the ritualistic sacrifices, those are getting out of hand.
K: Stop! I hope no one believes him.
ECHO: Okay, what’s your favorite scene and least favorite scene?
J: Act 1, Scene 4 is my favorite.
ECHO: Which one is that?
J: That’s the party scene.
K: Oh that’s the party scene?
J: Where I first see Juliet.
K: Aw, why’s that your favorite?
J: Because I don’t have to like actually do anything with you.
K: Wait, at the party? That’s where you first kiss me!
J: No it’s not.
K: Yeah it is!
J: No Act 1, Scene 4? That’s where I’m with Benvolio and Mercutio, and we just chill at the party and then we walk away. I never go over to you. That’s Act 2.
J: Yeah it is!
ECHO: So just chilling out with Benvolio and Mercutio, that’s your favorite?
J: Yeah just chilling out with Benvolio and Mercutio. That scene.
ECHO: What about you Katie?
K: What’s my favorite scene?
J: Wait, no you asked me what my least favorite is too!
ECHO: Oh yeah, what is it?
J: What scene do I kiss you in?
K: [Laughs] Somewhere in Act 2 maybe?
J: Just kissing scenes.
K: Okay well my favorite scene is–
J: The kissing scene.
K: No. You think I really want to kiss you? No, my favorite scene is the one where I think he’s dead, but really Tybalt’s dead, and I find out that Romeo’s banished, because I really like the emotion in that scene. I would have to say my least favorite scene is actually Act 1 Scene 4 because that is where I first meet him… I will prove it, my script’s in my back pack.
J: No, you don’t talk to me. You don’t talk at all in Act 1 scene 4.
K: Yeah, I do.
J: No, you do not.
K: I’m in Act 1 scene 3–
J: You talk a total of zero amount in Act 1, Scene 4.
K: [Shakes head no]
J: You have zero lines! How much do you want to bet? I will bet you right now.
K: Go get your script.
J: I’ll bet you a quarter pounder.
ECHO: It’s great to see that Romeo and Juliet get along so well.
J: I bet you a quarter pounder right now. Shake on it!
K: This is why our marriage failed.
J: No, stop. I bet you a quarter pounder that you don’t speak in Act 1, Scene 4.
K: A quarter pounder?
And with that, the bell rang sending the two leads back to class in suspense of who won the quarter pounder. Find out on April 28th through the 30th at 7:00pm at the Henricks Regional Health Performing Arts Center when Goulet and Ketchum take the stage as Romeo and Juliet.