Meera Gosein is not your average high school senior. She is many things in one: actress, musician, vocalist - just to name a few. In fact, her schedule is packed from now until May with musical and theatrical performances.
“I like having the ability to make audience members laugh or cry or feel a certain emotion; I like knowing that I made that happen and that it provided them with entertainment,” said Gosein.
Her love for the stage and all things related to it began during a second grade Christmas program.
“From that moment, I realized that I liked performing,” Gosein said.
Since that point, Gosein made it her business to get involved in plays and choir activities whenever possible.
Now a senior at Joliet West High School, she has participated in at least seven JTHS theatrical performances including Beauty and the Beast, the Secret Garden, Fiddler on the Roof, Check Please, Leaving Iowa, and Chemical Imbalance – a Jekyll & Hyde Play.
“My favorite musical role was Fruma Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof, I had my own scene and I got to be a wild and crazy dead woman with hair and makeup that was different than the tone of the rest of the show,” Gosein said.
She received several ovations for this standout solo performance.
Her most challenging role to date was that of the twins in Chemical Imbalance:
“I really had to work to change my voice and my body language to portray two different people, one good and one evil," Gosein said. "People actually thought there were two different people playing the part.”
Gosein is also member of the concert choir, J-Tunes (an a capella singing group), symphonic band and marching band.
“I like the competitive aspect of marching band; we start in June and work through October getting our show together and then we compete and we usually do pretty well," Gosein said.
Academically, Gosein has been an honors student since elementary school. She is currently the Secretary of the National Honors Society.
Of the many influences present in her life Gosein credits two of her teachers as primary sources of inspiration.
Mr. Deboer, my musical director and choir teacher, and Mr. Carroll, my band director, have helped me through a lot in high school and given me advice about life in general," Gosein said. "Every time I go to band or choir, I am happy because they are teaching me new things…leaving them behind is going to be the hardest thing I have to do when I graduate in May - they are like family."
Gosein, who is from Trinidad recognizes and embraces the fact that she is different from her peers.
“I am the only Trinidadian in my school and I am from a different ethnicity and race and religion," she said. "I come from a Hindu family, where you see most of them being doctors or doing something with medicine… It surprises people when I tell them I’m into acting.
I like being different, even within my culture,” Gosein said.
In college, she has decided that she will major in musical theater with a minor in English. She has not decided on a school yet but is looking at DePaul University, Columbia College, and the Universities of Michigan and Cincinnati.
“No matter what I do in life, I know it will revolve around acting or theater…money and fame would be nice, but I actually don’t care about that as long as I can wake up every morning and say that I love my job,” Gosein said.
Gosein’s next endeavor will be The Red Velvet Cake War, in which she plays the lead role of Gaynelle Verdeen Bodeen. Performances will be at Joliet West at 7 p.m., Nov. 15,16 and 17 and 2 p.m., Nov. 18.
Meera Gosein lives in Shorewood with her family and is the youngest of three siblings.