Senior Spotlight: Viktor Jonsson

By Jeweliana Register

Viktor Jonsson is a senior international studies major with a minor in theatre. Jonsson is an international student from Iceland who came to NSU on a soccer scholarship. Jonsson wants to encourage those who are involved in the arts to work hard and never be afraid to put in the work it takes to succeed.

How long have you been involved in the arts?

“I took Acting I as an elective my freshman year. I came here on a soccer scholarship from Iceland so I never really planned on doing anything in the arts, but I took Acting I and I had a lot of fun. Then I took Acting II, and after that it sort of just took off and I wanted to keep doing it.”

How did you end up at NSU?

“In my country, it is hard to be a student and a soccer player at the same time, but here they offer a really nice balance of being both. My dad was a soccer player, too, and he used the opportunity to get his degree as well as play, so he told me about that and I took that advice. I wanted to be in either Florida or New York, and coming from Iceland I liked Florida for the warm weather. I found NSU and I really like it here.”

Can you tell us more about your involvements in the arts at NSU?

“As I said, I took my first acting class my freshman year and then I took a class called Comedy and Improvisation, taught by Mark Duncan, who is now head of the PVA department. That sort of opened a new door for me. Improv has no script and it’s just going off the top of your head, and if I do say so myself, I was pretty good at it. That surprised me because of course it’s in English and that is not my mother language. So, I got really into that and I looked forward to that class every week. Then at the end of the semester, he told me that in January we would have the chance to perform at the ‘Improv Jam’ where you go and do these improv games for other people and you put on a show. So, I auditioned for that and I was asked to be in the show, which went really well. That was my first experience, but I have done a few plays and ‘One Acts,’ which are the student works directed and performed by students. I’ve done a couple of those. Then I played a small part in Hamlet in the fall of 2015, and I played the wizard in ‘Once Upon A Mattress’ this spring. I am also involved in the production of ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ where I play the lead male role.”

What is the best part of being involved in the arts at NSU?

“We are a very close group because there are not that many of us. You get to build a really close friendship with everyone. Being on stage with your group, you are so vulnerable in your partnership with them. The best part of it is how close you get to the teachers and students here.”

What has been the most rewarding moment in your arts career?

“The ‘Improv Jam’ has always been sort of my baby because that is where I feel the most comfortable, even though I have no lines. You sort of just go out there and do whatever you feel. I think my favorite moment was probably when I got cast as the wizard in ‘Once Upon A Mattress’. I’ve always had soccer, even in the spring, but since I am a senior this year I did not have spring practice. So, I decided to make the decision to dedicate as much time to theatre as I have to soccer. That put me into a place where I was able to create this whole character for myself. I worked really hard and I knew my lines very early on, which gave me the chance to really run with it. I think that since then I realized that this is what I want to do with my life. I think that was the most rewarding moment, when I not only created the character but also when I got the reaction for the work I put into that character.”

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get involved in the arts?

“Don’t be afraid. It is a scary thing to be onstage and have so many people waiting to see what you are going to do, but that’s the beauty of it, too. You are able to have a platform where you get to express your emotions and feelings in such an honest way, which is what is so beautiful about theatre. It’s different all the time. It’s not like the movies. I am also a fan of movies, but theatre especially is different, it is so honest every time. You never know, someone may fumble a line, but it’s that partnership that you develop with your cast. It’s just very, very pure. For people who want to get into that, just don’t be afraid. Take the first step because you won’t regret it. No one is going to judge you or laugh at you if you are not awesome at it right away. It’s a process just like everything else.”

What are your plans for after graduation?

“My plans have been changed very recently. I am going to take the opportunity of the fifth year of the Visa that you get offered as an undergrad that you can have to stay here and just work. I am going to take that and get a job and work on my acting craft. There are a lot of opportunities for non-professional actors here in South Florida, so I am going to take that year to try and do some stuff to improve myself. After that year, the plan is to go to grad school for acting in either London or New York. That’s the dream.”

Photo caption: Viktor Jonsson opened up for Trevor Noah in March 2017.

Credit: V. Jonsson

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