Shelby Noble, a senior at Kennett High School, has been acting since the age of 10 and has appeared in numerous productions of Arts in Motion Theater Company. She recently was accepted to tour with Up With People, an international educational and cultural program. Noble, the daughter of Glenn and Jane Noble, will join Cast B 2012 for a world tour that begins in July. Each year hundreds of young men and women between the ages of 17-29 apply to join the international, educational and cultural program for a one- or two-semester experience that visits diverse communities on a multi-continent tour.
Tell me about Up With People.
It is an organization like People to People except the difference is they perform for communities instead of just helping communities.
And what will you be doing with them?
I will be touring with them. I don’t get a final printed schedule until January of all the places I’ll be going to. Basically, I leave July 1 to go to Colorado and I meet with all the other people that have been chosen and then I get to learn the show and we start touring all around the world.
Do you know what sort of things you’ll be performing?
The only general overview that I have are the videos they have on their website, and then on YouTube they have videos of their shows. That’s all that I’ve seen so far.
What sort of things have they done in the past?
In the past, they do everything from like Macy’s Day Parade to the Olympics. They do all sorts of different performances. Usually, they go to a specific community, like last year when Haiti was undergoing all their distress, they went there and built reforms and helped with their community and then at the end of the week they put on a big show. That’s basically what they do.
How did you find out about this or get chosen?
My dad had someone he had in his theater shows back in the day and eventually he went on to do Up with People and that’s how my dad heard about it. We’ve always talked about it and it wasn’t until this year that I was like “Hey, that might be something I’d want to do.”
What was the process like for the selection?
First you need to apply online. There’s a standard $20 fee. Then you just fill out what you’ve done community-service wise, performance-wise. I actually knew a guy because my dad is also trying to get Up with People to come into town and do performances with Arts in Motion. So, this guy named Brad Good was e-mailing me before that and saying he was excited to have an interview with you. Then I had an interview and after the interview they were like, “We’ll let you know in a few weeks at how you placed or whether you got in” and then a few weeks later I got an e-mail saying congratulations and I got a phone call. That’s the general process.
And when did you first become interested in performing in general?
I think it is just in my blood because my dad went to college to be an actor and then he came up with the non-profit organization Arts in Motion, and so ever since I was really outgoing. I just started acting when I think I was 10 or 11 and my first production was “Alice in Wonderland.” That was when I first started.
What was your first role?
The Gryphon. It is not in the movie so your probably have no idea what I am talking about. That was my first role. It wasn’t a very big role.
What would you consider your favorite performance?
Probably Annelle in “Steel Magnolias” because I am named after the movie, so it is special to me and the opportunity to be in it was really cool because I went there to try out and I was like “There all these older people and I’m only 16 years old.” I didn’t even think I was going to place because my mom was going to try out with me. So I was like, “Alright, I’ll go for support” and when I got a role I was really surprised. That was definitely my favorite.
That was a fun performance.
Yeah, I like working with close-knit casts of only a few people because you get to know everyone better.
What was it like doing “Ordinary People” because that’s obviously a fairly dark show?
Yeah, “Ordinary People” was definitely a lot different than all the other shows I have done — well, I don’t know, it was kind of like “Steel Magnolias” with the tight-knit cast thing. It was a dark show because I’m used to doing musicals and happy things, but I prefer when I watch a show or I am in one for it to be more dark. I feel like it challenges people to act a certain way because I am obviously not in this gloomy life, but when I’m asked to be in a show like that I just think that is more of an opportunity.
And how do you get to a darker or gloomier place?
I don’t really know. I don’t know I act a certain way. I guess to try to take on the whole character and be that character when I am on stage. I don’t have things constantly going through my mind like, “Oooh, what am I going to do after this.” I’m thinking of if I was that person how would I be acting, so I guess that’s how I get to any place when I take on a role.
What are you hoping to do after high school?
After high school I leave July 1 for Up With People and when I get back I plan on applying to colleges. I don’t know where yet though. I had some in mind, but I’m not sure. I do want to pursue acting as my major though.
And will you continue to participate in community theater?
Probably, yeah. Community theater is where I started. I feel like obviously I’d have to continue.