Sarah Borne ’14 is on a path to a career in acting that has always felt perfectly in character. After putting her talents to the test throughout high school and college with roles ranging from the true crime show “Your Worst Nightmare” to the classic “Goosebumps” series, the Atlanta native has graduated from Wake Forest University and is ready take on her hometown’s vibrant TV and film market
Sarah Borne ’14 is on a path to a career in acting that has always felt perfectly in character. After putting her talents to the test throughout high school and college with roles ranging from the true crime show “Your Worst Nightmare” to the classic “Goosebumps” series, the Atlanta native has graduated from Wake Forest University and is ready take on her hometown’s vibrant TV and film market.
We talked to her about what it takes to chase her dream, how her fifth-grade play started her love of the stage and why acting made such difference in her life. >>>
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO ACTING?
My older sister Emma ’12 and I started at Holy Innocents’ the same year. I was in third grade, and she was in fifth. It was her first year, but she got the lead in the class play, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” I just remember how excited she was. The fifth-grade play was a big deal! Definitely the highlight of the elementary school experience. So, when I got to fifth grade, I auditioned for the play that year – “Rumpelstiltskin” – and got the role of the main girl’s maid, it was huge. That really started it all for me.
WHAT OTHER SCHOOL PLAYS DID YOU DO AFTER THAT?
We did all the classics like “Music Man” and “Grease,” of course. In eighth grade, though, I got my first ever lead role in “Up the Down Staircase,” and that was a pivotal moment for me learning all those lines and stage directions and really seeing how much work goes into the process. My junior year I got the role of Emily in “Our Town,” and started learning more about developing characters and the ins and outs of more dramatic acting. And my last play at Holy Innocents’ was Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” which was my first experience with his work and more classic techniques.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU SERIOUSLY WANTED TO PURSUE ACTING?
It was really during the rehearsals for “Our Town” that I knew acting was something I wanted to do beyond school. Playing Emily, I discovered how to work through a character and the director/drama teacher at the time, Ms. Rehm [Prather Rehm ’98] took a lot of one-on-one time with me to teach me character development techniques. It sparked something in me, and I wanted to go after it. I talked to my parents and then enrolled in a year-long, intensive acting class. I met my agent soon after that and started auditioning, and I booked my first professional role the summer after my senior year.
DID YOUR CLASSMATES KNOW ABOUT YOUR NEW CAREER?
At first, only my close friends knew about my new career. And of course, Ms. Rehm knew and she helped me so much. She really was the one who gave me to the confidence to follow through and take the leap. Once I booked my first role, it was hard to keep it under wraps, but everyone was super excited for me – my parents and sister, my friends and everyone at Holy Innocents’ – they were really awesome and supportive, which can be rare but is really important when you’re taking such a chance.
DID YOU CONTINUE TO ACT WHILE AT WAKE FOREST?
At Wake Forest, I still worked with my agent and sent in audition tapes from Winston-Salem. I drove back to Atlanta to film the roles I booked. I considered pursuing a theatre major here, but acting is more of an outlet for me, and I didn’t ever want to make it academic. My major is psychology with a minor in communications. Psychology is great because you can do so much with that, and there are a lot of parallels with acting and studying human behavior.
WAS IT HARD BALANCING COLLEGE LIFE AND ACTING?
It was tough, but I definitely felt prepared to take it on. Going to a school like Holy Innocents’ and getting to be in as many productions as I was – not only would I probably not have discovered this passion – but I learned early how to balance school and acting. And I’d already learned that I needed hard work and perseverance to achieve what I want in life.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
I’ll be sad to leave Wake and my sisters in KD, but I’m excited to get back to Atlanta and continue acting. For now, I’ll be working as much as I can there, and eventually I want to make the move to Los Angeles. You can get a lot of great roles in Atlanta, but the big stuff is still in L.A. Right now, I just want to get more credits under my belt, and then I would love to do more work with real characters and TV.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FIFTH GRADERS CONSIDERING AUDITIONING FOR THE PLAY?
If you’re a fifth grader considering auditioning for the play next fall, just go for it! You never know what can happen next. Really, just because you may feel like it’s a small, school theatre show, it can still lead to bigger things. I hope more and more kids take the opportunity to be on the stage when they can. It can instill real confidence and be a transformative experience in so many ways.