By GUY KOVNER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
“All the world’s a stage,” Shakespeare wrote, and for Jazmin Gudino, 17, a stage is the best place on Earth.
“It feeds me,” said Gudino, an Elsie Allen High School graduate and drama star. “I love the adrenaline.”
Audience applause is gratifying, said the 11th and youngest child of Mexican immigrants who settled in Roseland a decade ago.
But the thrill comes from the immediacy and the movement of the theater.
“It’s like real life but more exciting,” Gudino said.
Her eyes truly light up at the mention of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where Gudino and eight other Lobo drama students will perform a trio of one-act plays in August at the world’s largest arts festival.
Gudino, a petite brunette, plays Barbie the doll, a judge in purgatory and a seductress/CEO in the three plays, all written by Elsie Allen students.
The Lobos are one of the 48 high school troupes selected from among 2,000 nominees for participation in the three-week festival.
Just winning an invitation was a coup for Elsie Allen, the southwest Santa Rosa high school with the highest percentage of English-language learners and economically disadvantaged students among the city’s five high schools.
But as adept as they are on stage, Gudino and her fellow actors also excelled in real life, mounting a year-longcampaign to not only meet their $63,000 fundraising goal to pay for the trip but winding up with more than $75,000.
“She made everybody believe in her dream,” said Brien Farrell, who teaches government at Elsie Allen. “She was indispensable.”
At a major fundraiser last July at the former Rialto Theater in Santa Rosa, Gudino told the crowd that as a youngster in Cotija, a village in Michoacan, Mexico, she longed to be an actress.
“Even at the poorest times of my young life, when food on the table was limited, I pictured myself somewhere far away, doing something big,” she said.
Gudino came to Roseland at age 6, starting the second grade at Kawana School without knowing any English. She’s bilingual now and intends to learn French and Italian to facilitate her plans for global travel.
At Elsie Allen, Gudino maintained a C average, largely because of her immersion is extracurricular activities, including the soccer and swim teams and student government.
She got into Elsie Allen theater director Rob Burt’s program as a junior and “fell in love again” with acting, Gudino said.
In the fall, Gudino will continue her theater studies at Santa Rosa Junior College, with plans to earn an associate degree and transfer to UC San Diego.
Next up, of course, is the two-week trip to London and on to Edinburgh for the festival, with time reserved for seeing such sites as the fabled Loch Ness.
Gudino said she will dip her foot in the highland lake with hope for some extreme drama.
“I want to see the monster,” she said.
You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born: Cotija, Michoacan, Mexico
Lives with: Parents Vidal and Rosalina Gudino
Hobbies: Volunteering in community events, listening to live jazz at my favorite coffee shop
Dream job: Stage actor
Favorite Play: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare
Favorite food: Mexican