Student headed for the spotlight on stage

Ashley Soley-Cerro

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Destler is no stranger to the stage, having been a performer since the age of six. Photo courtesy of DeAnne Destler

Many people aren’t lucky enough to find their life-long passion as a child, but DeAnne Destler found just that at 6 years old when she discovered acting.

Destler, 21, theatre major, said she first discovered acting after seeing a family friend in a play. Immediately awestruck, Destler convinced her family to enroll her in musical theatre classes.

“It was so strange that I got into it, ironic really, because I was really shy as a child. So, I suppose theatre was an outlet to express myself, which eventually got me out of my shell, and it was a lot of fun,” Destler said.

Although no one in Destler’s family is in the entertainment business besides her, they have been very supportive.

Since acting in her first play, “Fiddler on the Roof,” when she was 6 years old, she has performed in more than 10 plays, including two at CSUN. She’s also landed several small roles in television and film.

In 2007 Destler attended an intensive summer studies program at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. During this time she studied Shakespeare and classical theatre and realized theatre was the clear decision. Soon she began auditioning for theater and acting roles.

“I just figured it was ultimately the path to take, especially living where I do. There’s a lot of work in TV and film around here, and a lot more paying opportunities as well,” Deslter said. “It was also another perspective of performance I really wanted to explore, I was curious. I’ve always wanted to become more involved with film.”

Although Destler said she could not choose between acting on film or on stage, she has made it known where her passions lie.

“What I love more about theatre is that it’s a fleeting art form, we work so hard to create this piece of art but it can only be ingested in the moment and every performance is completely different. With film, it captures it, it’s always there and it’s a keepsake,” Destler said. “Theatre is more dangerous, it’s a living monster, and definitely more of a magical experience.”

Destler expects to graduate in Fall 2011, and maintains a 3.5 GPA.

“At the beginning I wasn’t as much immersed in the program and hadn’t been in a play until last semester,” Destler said. “In terms of my craft, acting, I got to study under some great instructors and being in plays has definitely helped me to grow, not only as an actor but it’s had a positive affect on me.”

Destler said she is going to school part-time this semester so she can enjoy as much of her school experience before graduation.

“At the beginning, the first couple years, you just want to get it done and be out, at least that was my perspective on it,” Destler said. “But now that graduation is coming up I just really want to get everything I can out of all my classes and experiences at CSUN.”

After graduation Destler presumes she will go on acting auditions for film, since she has taken a break from the process while performing in the play “Big Love” at CSUN, but isn’t completely certain.

“This is one of the times you ask, what do I really want to do and what can I be successful at, so it’s a intersection at life I’m approaching and I just need to hone in on what path to take,” Destler said.