Grant Fitzgerald dances as the lead in the university play, "Singin' in the rain". (Photo provided)
Grant Fitzgerald dances as the lead in the university play, “Singin’ in the rain.” (Photo provided)

Senior Grant Fitzgerald is no stranger to the stage or to film. But starting in June, he will choose the stage – for now.

Fitzgerald, a film production major, received five call backs and two contracts after auditioning for the Ohio Theatre Alliance in January. Fitzgerald accepted a contract for Blue Gate musicals for his first professional acting role.

He will be performing in “Half-Stitched” at a hotel venue in Arcola, Ill. He will live at the hotel until his contract expires in November.

Fitzgerald has been acting since 4th grade.

“I started in 4th grade doing community theatre shows,” he said. “When I got into junior high and late elementary, I started doing some of the high school shows. … I think I’ve done 18-20 musicals.”

Fitzgerald has performed in three university productions and is set to play Paris in this spring’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

“What’s really different about plays, I mean, regardless when you’re acting, your acting should be steeped in truth,” he said. “Especially with a drama, it has to be more natural, dealing more with realism than a big show, or a musical. I really had to ground myself because musicals are my forte. I prefer doing musicals, and they’re a lot more broad.”

Fitzgerald said he had to decide last semester whether or not to pursue a career in film.

“Ever since my freshman year, I’ve kind of been seen as the actor in the film department,” he said. “I never really found my niche in any of the other areas in film. I really liked directing ‘COOL’ last year. … Whenever people ask me, I say, ‘I want to act.’ It wasn’t until last semester that I realized I didn’t want to go to L.A. [for a film internship]. I wanted to stay back and do some theater classes.”

This semester, Fitzgerald is taking more drama classes to prepare for his acting career.

“I’m doing it to train myself,” he said. “A lot of people ask if I ever regret being a film major. I don’t regret it at all. I learned a lot of things, and I love film. I definitely would love to act for the screen in the future or get involved in the film industry at some point. Right now, I’m kind of leaning toward the stage.”

Fitzgerald said the last month has been “surreal” and that he has received “a lot of support from my family.”

“It’s kind of surreal because I’ve been living my last three years thinking I’m going to make films,” he said. “I don’t know. It just kind of snuck up on me. It’s starting to come together. I feel really blessed.”