Following His Family's Footsteps
Eric Sebek Takes on Pippin
Eric Sebek, 17, is a junior at Nutley High School and stars in this year’s spring musical, Pippin. Eric isn’t new to singing and acting though. His father, Christian Sebek, sang opera around the world, and was even in the broadway play, Phantom of the Opera, for five years. Eric’s brother, Zach Sebek, also sings opera and plays the saxophone.
Eric began to hone his singing skills when his mother gave him lessons during the fifth grade. “Music has been a part of my whole life,” says Eric. He always sang, but he never really acted. He considers himself a singer first, then an actor. Eric started singing because he realized he enjoyed it, and he decided to follow in his family’s footsteps. He got really interested in acting during high school.
Eric, who performed for several years as part of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular credits his dramatic training with his desire to pursue acting. “Right before I did Radio City, I was in an intensive [program] for drama and musical theatre and that's when I started thinking that it was something I wanted to do when I grew up,” says Eric.
“I would love to go to college for this, but things do change,” stated Eric.
Eric’s first play was during his freshman year, in the NHS production of the musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, where he played the role of Bun Foo. He felt like he had butterflies in his stomach, but he knew had acting in his blood and he could do it. Two years later, as a junior, he stars as Pippin in this year’s musical.
"We knew that, vocally, Eric had what it took to play Pippin, which is a very vocally demanding role," said the musical's director, Mr. Michael Gurrieri. "Pippin sings at least ten songs in the show, so we needed someone who not only could hit the (sometimes very high) notes, but who also had the vocal stamina for the part, and Eric has that in spades. It really came down to the interpretation of the character. Pippin is an everyman, a dreamer, and the audience needs to be able to see him or herself in that character. He needs to be relatable. Pippin can sometimes be whiny, selfish, angry for no good reason, and yet the audience stills needs to root for him in the end. That's not an easy thing to pull off as an actor. Eric brings all of those complexities to the character. It's a challenge for sure, and he's rising to the occasion every day."
“I’m happy and very excited for Pippin. I got the lead role!” Eric states.
The NHS Production of Pippin will take place on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 8, 9, 10 and 11.