Actress

Education after Hesston: B.A. in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Goshen (Ind.) College

Fjaere Harder

Learn more about Fjaere at fjaereharder.com and “like” her Facebook page: Fjaere Harder, Actress. Photo by Kristin Hoberbermann, Hoebermann Studios.

Tell us about your career.

It was a process of a few years after graduating from college that finally led me to pursue theatre not as a hobby, but a career. I spent two years as a nanny outside of Boston, and I did a lot of acting – I was in six stage shows and started doing television commercials and voice overs. Though I considered other “more stable” career paths, my incessant gravitation was toward acting. I finally decided that perhaps my relentless urge to perform came from God. Perhaps performance wasn’t the self-centered pursuit I feared it was. Perhaps if I heeded the urge to perform, God could connect this passion to a healing need in the world.
 
I moved to New York City in January 2011. My first long-term professional acting contract was at the Blue Gate Theatre in Shipshewana, Ind. This past summer I acted at the Arundel Barn Playhouse in Maine.

How did Hesston College help determine the path your life and career would take?

Many of my favorite moments at Hesston were the opportunities I had to perform musical theatre. While everybody else got nervous for and dreaded their weekly voice master class performance, I looked forward to them, reveling the opportunity to sing a song and coax smiles and laughs from my classmates. I loved the Musical Theatre Workshop led by Matt Schloneger ’92 and Talashia Keim ’02 Yoder. I learned my first dance steps and had the opportunity to experience and participate in a professional theatre audition.
 
Most pivotal was the chance to play Eve in Children of Eden in my final semester. More emphatically than ever before, I felt vivid and alive when I was performing in that show.

What are your biggest rewards as an actress?

It is rewarding for me to go to the theatre to get ready for the show and know that I am doing exactly what I want to be doing with my life while so many others don’t have that joy. I also enjoy shaking hands with patrons after a show and seeing their huge smiles, exuberant responses and the joy, happiness and diversion we brought to their lives.

What are your greatest career accomplishments?

Being cast in my first two shows in New York City for spring 2013, including one of my best roles as the Stepmother in Cinderella.

What are your career goals?

I love performing, but I am open to whichever location or capacity God has in store for me. After two years in New York City, I am moving to Eau Claire, Wis., to be closer to family and friends, and I hope to get involved with the vibrant theatre community in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

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