South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Affton High student takes stage at Muny

Affton High School freshman Spencer Slavik took the Muny stage this summer to perform in the campy thriller/comedy, “Little Shop of Horrors.”

The cast for the production was small compared to typical Muny shows – there were only nine adults and 16 youth ensemble members cast. Because of this, Slavik had a variety of things to do during the show.

“The dentist, who is sadistic and likes to rip people’s teeth out, I got to get the pliers in my mouth and he ‘pulled out’ some teeth, so that was fun,” Slavik said. “And then I got to do a plant dance at the end when the plant takes over. Spoiler alert, in the musical, the plant wins and the plant eats everyone.”

Slavik also “bought flowers” at the shop as it started becoming successful and sang off stage during songs where additional voices were needed.

Due to the small size of the cast, Slavik and the other members of the Youth Ensemble were invited to the cast party on opening night, a privilege only the adult cast members usually get.

“I was expecting, like, Papa Johns pizza and stuff, but they had actual food. It was pretty cool,” Slavik said.

In addition to the good food, the cast party was a great chance for the actors to mingle. Despite many of the adult actors being Broadway stars, Slavik said they acted like “normal people.”

“They’re all just like, friendly, funny people, you know, who enjoy what they do,” he said. “It’s like, you can see yourself in them, sort of.”

Slavik is no stranger to the stage and stars, though. He has been performing since he was 8 years old in shows in the St. Louis-area, and even worked on a few local movies and short films this summer.

Though only 14, Slavik has seen success in the ultra-competitive field that is acting. When asked to give aspiring performers advice, Slavik said:

“I would say that if you want to do it, you should try, because if you don’t audition, then you’re not going to get in. If you audition and you don’t make it in, that’s okay. It doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have the skill, or the character, it just means that you’re not what they’re looking for, and there are other places that are looking for people like you, so you should find those places and keep auditioning.”

In addition to performing, Slavik is also involved in basketball, cross country, piano and orchestra. He plans on joining a chess club and a book club at Affton High School.

Because he is so busy with numerous activities on top of acting outside of school, Slavik may not be able to do any theater at school. Despite this, the Affton teachers have not shied away from showing their support.

“The teachers at Affton have been so supportive of Spencer with all of his theater endeavors,” Spencer’s mom, Andrea Slavik, said. “They even stay after the show and wait through family and friends, to say ‘hi’ and give congratulations to Spencer. We are so grateful for the amazing Affton teachers and all of their support.”