From her first acting role in elementary school, Jocelynn Johnston was hooked. She knew her passion was performing on the stage.
Her love for acting grew at Grossmont College, where she appeared in several plays while taking Theatre Arts classes. The last play in which Johnston appeared, Clybourne Park, only had one performance before the college campus shut down in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johnston, 21, hasn’t let the pandemic stop her from performing. She recently appeared in Breathtaking, a play put on over Zoom by Moxie Theatre and Common Ground Theatre. Johnston, a June 2020 Grossmont College graduate, portrayed a student about to graduate who is talking to her mother on Zoom because the mother, suffering from COVID-19, is quarantined.
“It was so weird not being in the same room with the other actor,” Johnston said. “When you’re performing on stage, you can feed off the energy of the audience. On Zoom, you don’t know if a joke landed or if the audience is even enjoying the play.”
Johnston was around eight years when she got her first acting role as the narrator in Charlotte’s Web. Her love of acting developed quickly.
“I love that I can create a character from nothing,” she said. “I can use a character to tell a story to an audience and make them feel a certain way and make them think about their own thoughts and behavior.”
Johnston began attending Grossmont College after graduating from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. She said Grossmont College seemed like a good alternative when she realized she couldn’t afford to attend the arts schools to which she had applied.
“The arts at Grossmont College are so good,” she said. Asked to name her favorite instructors, she listed the entire Theatre Arts Department faculty and staff.
“Grossmont has been amazing for me,” she said. “I’ve learned so much and developed so much.”
Johnston will be attending the University of California at Irvine in the fall. Classes will be offered online, and she has already auditioned and gotten a callback for a play to be performed online at the university. She hopes to focus her acting career in the theatre.
“I love the craft and I want to do this,” Johnston said. “I love being on stage.”