Artist of the Issue: Fernando Borges, Div. 584



“When you see something you don’t like about a character onstage, it makes you think about why you don’t like it and it makes you self-reflect.”

By Alina Panek

For Fernando Borges, theater is his life.

“I once was in three rehearsals at one time. It goes wake up, go to school, go to rehearsal, go to rehearsal after rehearsal, go home, study lines, go to other rehearsal on the weekend. It stresses you out, and I was definitely exhausted, but when I get on stage, I get into character, I remember why I love it.”

In the past year, Borges starred in an independent film, “The Dance,” directed by Nikola Stojkovic. Stojkovic approached one of Lane’s drama teachers, and had student actors audition. Borges was called back three times before he got the part.

“It was nerve-wracking,” Borges said.

The film premiered late in April this year at the Latino Art Beat. The film is described as a romantic comedy with a twist. Borges plays Ernesto, the main character.

“Ernesto is an introvert. He doesn’t get a lot of social interaction. He goes to a school dance and meets a girl,” Borges said. “He’s awkward and kinda falls in love with her. He dances the whole night away with her. The next morning he goes to her house – or what he was told was her house – and finds out the girl that he dances with was dead for 60 years. It was really sad because the one interaction that he actually has feelings for, it turns out they’re dead. It was one of the first times that I got to play a normal teenager.”

Borges found this life and passion when he was a freshman at Lane and auditioned for the musical “Grease.”

“I became addicted and it offered me a chance to get my mindset out of my problems and my daily life and into the mindset of the characters. It opened my eyes to many different things that I never thought was possible,” Borges said. “I was able to empathize with a million other people and I began to really understand human nature and the people around me.”

Since his first experience with one musical, his resume has been filled dramatically. Borges participated in Lane’s past two musicals, landing lead roles both times. He also participated in an After School Matters program, “Musical Theater Experience,” for the past three years.

Borges’ involvement with with theater inspired him to write about theater for his senior research paper. He wrote about how theater is a vehicle for political and social change because of the way it displays the human experience.

“What I love about acting is that I can see the direct results of my efforts.You get into a character’s head space and you go through their emotional journey and in the end the audience can relate,” Borges said. “The audience wants to empathize with the character and in seeking that they find themselves within that character. When you see something you don’t like about a character onstage, it makes you think about why you don’t like it and it makes you self-reflect. That’s what theater is about in a sense, it’s a mirror for humanity to look upon itself.”