Sean Mirkovich playing with the pros in summer theater festival
SAN RAFAEL, CA - Sean Mirkovich of Greenbrae would be the first to admit he didn't have the courage to even consider performing as an actor after an unpleasant childhood experience on stage.
But, this summer Mirkovich is learning the ropes and earning his acting chops as an intern and company player with Marin Shakespeare Company. The 25-year old was cast in two of the professional company's outdoor productions presented at Forest Meadows Amphitheatre in San Rafael.
"I endured a really bad experience performing in fifth grade," said Mirkovich. "It mortified me and I just couldn't get over it. I have always dreamed of being involved in acting and performing on stage, but after that event, it took a long time for me to consider trying it again."
Mirkovich redirected his acting dreams to film studies at Redwood High School and went on to major in Film Directing at the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
"If you majored in Film Directing, you were required to take a class called 'Respect for Acting.' So, I took the class and the teacher liked me and encouraged me to take more classes in acting," said Mirkovich. "I took a few and ended up in a Shakespeare class with a teacher named Andrew Hurteau. He was very inspirational and after college was over, he recommended that I consider taking more classes at A.C.T."
Meanwhile, Mirkovich took a trip to England and was inspired there to give acting another try. He returned home and signed up for a Studio ACT, an adult actor training program at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Later, Mirkovich signed up for the 2011 Summer Training Congress at ACT, a course which helps actors develop a broad range of acting skills and audition techniques. The course also included two weeks of intense study of Shakespeare and the classics.
"It was a intensive seven-week course and it was transformative for me," said Mirkovich.
Later in 2011, Mirkovich made a bold move and auditioned for a local production. He was cast in his first stage role as Marlow in the Ross Valley Players' 2012 production of "She Stoops to Conquer."
"I knew about Marin Shakespeare Company and so I decided to audition for their 2012 summer season. Managing Director Lesley Currier suggested the internship program and it's been great," said Mirkovich.
In Marin Shakespeare's first summer production of "King John," Mirkovich played a minor role as French soldier and messenger and served as fight captain for the production. He had a few lines, but Mirkovich says it was the physicality that was the most challenging.
"It was decided that there would be very distinct physicality for the French characters," said Mirkovich. "We performed with a slight accent, but the physicality for the French characters was determined to be played as cocky, beautiful and dignified. At first, getting into it was a challenge. I had to remind myself to pull in my toes."
Director Robert Currier set the company's second production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Hawaii. The outdoor production of Shakespeare's enchanted comedy, which plays in repertory through Sept. 30, evokes fun references to Hawaii traditions and culture. For Mirkovich, who plays the Attendant to Duke Theseus, it also meant learning to play the ukulele.
"I play the guitar, so surprisingly enough there weren't than many hurdles for me in learning how to play the ukulele. It's a very easy instrument to learn," said Mirkovich."It's really fun playing the ukulele and audiences love it."
"Being a member of a professional repertory company is a great learning experience. It certainly makes me admire the actors with big roles and how they have to switch between those roles depending on the performance schedule. I admire them and that is what I aspire to do as an actor," said Mirkovich. "The only fear I have now is not doing the best that I can."
"The main reason I love being part of the Marin Shakespeare Company internship program is that you've got to learn to swim. Some might call it 'baptism by fire.' You just get thrown in to it. Because of my limited experience on stage, I've had dive right in and start swimming," said Mirkovich. "I haven't felt this passionate in a long time. I'm loving every minute of it."
For tickets or more information about the 2012 Marin Shakespeare Company summer season call 415-499-4488 or visit the website at www.marinshakespeare.org