Inside the actor’s studio with “Nerd” star

Ryan Hall

Interviewer: Ryan Hall

Featured Guest: Jacob Hofer — theatre major & representative from State University Theatre .

Ryan: Do you have your silly interview hat on?

Jacob: Oh, I do.

R: Excellent, we are ready to begin. Who are you?

J: I am Jacob Hofer, and I was one of the actors in “The Nerd”.

R: Why theatre?

J: Originally I was in the nursing program, but I had a strong theatre background from high school. I’ve always really enjoyed it. When I got to SDSU, I found that nursing wasn’t for me, and I wanted to go back to what I was passionate about. I promptly switched to the– atre and have been happy ever since.

R: How many productions have you been in since you’ve been up here at SDSU?

J: “The Nerd” was actually only my second play here during the school year for the State University Theatre. I have been involved in a lot of our summer performances which is the Prairie Repertory Theatre.

R: Take us through the process. If someone would like to get into shows, how might they do so?

J: It starts with auditions. We put up posters all across campus advertising auditions for our different plays. You’ll show up to the audition with a prepared monologue or, a lot of times, they will ask you to simply dry read from the script. After you’ve auditioned, the cast list goes up, the people who got in, get in, and you start the rehearsal process from there.

R: Assuming you don’t make the cut, do they offer other ways to help out for those who still wish to do so?

J: Yes! We would love to have anyone involved in the theatre. We are a friendly group of people. There are a lot of other opportunities, besides acting, that are great to be involved in and a lot of fun as well.

R: Tell us about “The Nerd”

J: “The Nerd” is a comedy. What happens is there are these three friends: Tansy, Willum and Axel. Tansy is going to move away, and Willum is under a lot of stress as an architect. The stress is more compounded when one of his old army buddies — who actually saved his life—shows up, randomly, when he is very busy with a hotel project for a stern, ill-mannered man. This friend is, just as the title suggests, an extreme nerd. He is very bad with social situations and really awkward. So Willum, Tansy and Axel have to deal with this nerd as well as the boss Willum’s working for while he’s trying to get this hotel up and running.  Wallgraves is the name of his stern, not-very-friendly boss.

R: Who did you play in “The Nerd”?

J: I played Axel. I was one of the friends,

Waldgraves is the name of his stern, not-very-friendly boss.

R: Who did you play in “The Nerd”?

J: I played Axel. I was one of the friends, I was actually a theater critic, which is ironic for you (laughs). I got to observe a lot of the action and make some witty remarks. He was a smart-aleck character, but he cared for his friends and he had them at heart. He was a fun character to play.

R: How did it compare to previous roles? Was he a challenge for you?

J: I was definitely challenged. It had been awhile since I had a bigger role in a show, so this was a unique challenge both for memorizing lines and building a bigger character. A bigger character is one with dimensions and layers; someone the audience can believe. It was a realistic play, and that was a challenge as well; to make a character real.

R: What’s next for you? Future plans?

J: I’ve auditioned for “Legally Blonde: The Musical” as well, because we had dual auditions this year. So we auditioned for “The Nerd” and “Legally Blonde” at the same time. I will actually be designing lights for “Legally Blonde” later this year, which I’m really looking forward to because that is the career area I want to go into professionally with theatre. Acting has always been something I’ve done alongside of lighting.

R: Any acting tips or advice?

J: If you come to auditions and you’re scared or nervous, just go out there and do your best. We’re all friendly people and we want to see new things. If you think of a weird way to play a character, go for it anyway. Go out there and give it a try. Theatre is a wonderful thing to get involved in, either technically or through acting. We are always looking for more people.

R: Alright, we’ve reached the silly question conclusion. Jacob Hofer, I now must ask you: pancakes or waffles?

J: Very, very tough question … probably the toughest question you’ve asked thus far. Although pancakes are flat and quite circular — I mean it’s very nice if you’re interested in even things with flat surfaces — I would honestly have to go with waffles. I am very much a syrup man and I really like the little pools that are created by the divots in the waffles. It’s very nice, it’s almost like a syrupy-waffley hot tub — if you will — that I then place the butter into and proceed to thoroughly enjoy from there.