Take Five with Daria Umansky

| 26 Jul 2012 | 12:21

This week we Take Five with Daria Umansky, an up-and-coming junior at West Milford High School. Daria was an actor in the high school musical last year, part of the tight-knit drama program that produced the wonderful "Beauty and the Beast." Daria likes to cook and has lofty goals for her future. And she is remarkably proud to be a Highlander. Be sure to go to our Web site, westmilfordmessenger.com, to see our bonus five with Daria. 1) How did you get involved with acting? I have been acting and performing since the age of six with Etude Studio. When I got to Macopin, I was in both of the plays there. Though I was unable to be in the school play last year, I really love acting and singing, so I decided to try out this past year. 2) Who is your biggest inspiration? In the acting industry, my biggest inspiration was my teacher, Yelena Solovei. She is a Russian-American film and stage actress, and has received numerous awards for her works. She had been my coach and guide since I was six, and I look up to her as my mentor. As for life in general, my biggest inspiration was my dad, for his persistence, strength, perseverance and dedication. 3) What does being a Highlander mean to you? Being a Highlander means perseverance, dedication, and lots of hard work to achieve your goals. Being a Highlander means never giving up, no matter how hard it is or how bleak the outcome looks. Being a Highlander means taking responsibility and, with your goal in mind, doing everything it takes to get to where you want to be. 4) What do you do with your time when you are not acting? This year I was the yearbook editor-in-chief, so as soon as the play was over, I went right back to my job to make a memorable yearbook. However outside of school altogether, I paint and draw a lot, I act and sing, I’m learning how to play guitar, I like to read, I spend time with friends, and I just try to make the most of my experiences. I also love traveling and photography, and I try to find time to do both as much as possible. 5) Share something no one knows about you. Something no one knows about me…. Well, I once aspired to be a chef. I love cooking, it is sort of a hobby of mine, but I decided that I will keep it as simply that, a hobby. I now aspire to become a pediatric oncologist and find the cure for cancer. Tough goal, but who knows? Maybe one day! We are rooting for you, Daria, to make the world a much better place. Do you know someone who should be featured here at Take Five? Send us their name and email address to njoffice@strausnews.com and tell us why. We want to feature all of the great kids here in West Milford. Bonus five 6) What would most people be surprised to know about the acting? Though it doesn’t seem so from the audiences’ perspective, the play (performed by West Milford High School in the spring) is actually very hard to keep up with. There is a lot of athleticism involved, with all of the dancing and whatnot, and between memorizing lines, singing all of the songs, and the grueling rehearsal schedules, it’s actually a lot of work!

7) Who is your favorite teacher of all time and why? Wow. Tough one. I’m going to have to go with my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Runne. Not only did he make class as fun and entertaining as he could, and challenged us to learn more and get better, but fifth grade was a really tough year for me personally, and he was a tremendous support and help. Thanks Mr. Runne! 8) Name three things you would bring with you if you were on a deserted island. Easy. How to Survive on a Deserted Island, How to Build a Boat, and sunscreen. The rest would somehow work out. 9) Share a favorite moment with your acting cast. Friday and sometimes Saturday nights, after rehearsal, we all drove down to the West Milford Diner and have a great time discussing the week and bonding as a group. It’s sort of a small tradition the play kids have built up over the years, and this year I was very fortunate to experience it with all of my friends. 10) What is your favorite movie/book/character and why? My favorite movie is The Godfather, just for how amazingly amazing it is. My favorite book, as of now, is The Fault in our Stars by John Greene, because of how realistically and heart-wrenchingly it is written. My favorite character is Katniss Everdeen, for her cunning wit and great archery skills.