Johnson earns Best Actor for second time

Published Wednesday, May 9, 2018

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Slidell senior Shelby Johnson relished the opportunity to bring out Niccolo Paganini’s flaws on the stage over the past few months during the school’s production of the comedy “Paganini.”


“It was his fatal flaws that brought him down – his love for the violin and women. I had to convey that to the audience,” Johnson said. “I had good direction from my directors.”

After the curtain fell on each performance, Johnson was named Best Actor, including last week in Round Rock at the Class A UIL one-act play championships. It was the second straight year for Johnson to bring home the award for the best performance at state.

Johnson quickly gave credit to his cast, crew and directors for the honor.

“You can’t get an honor like this without a strong ensemble,” he said. “It’s a nice honor, but the team comes before it. We wanted to win [state]. But it’s a nice honor to have.”

Johnson said it’s his competitive drive that helped him in winning the awards.

“I just like competing. [Acting] is something I gravitated toward in the seventh grade, and I have been able to do it with the same people since,” he said.

After being named Best Actor at the Class A Region III competition last month, Johnson expected the state competition to be his final time on stage. He said he is now considering pursuing roles after high school. He has been accepted at the University of North Texas and plans to major in business with a focus on human resources.

“I plan to get a business degree and may act as a side job and see how it goes,” Johnson said. “I enjoy it, but I don’t know if it’s something I could make my livelihood.”

For now, Johnson is focused on his next challenge of competing at the UIL speech championships May 20-22 at the University of Texas in Austin. Johnson will compete in poetry and persuasive speaking.

“We have an outside chance to win state. We have six speaking events left,” Johnson said.

Sydney Keating earned honorable mention all-star cast.


Slidell’s Stone Coston won the Class A title in computer applications at the UIL academics meet.

Coston was one of three Slidell competitors to place in the event. Tristyn Talamantes finished third and Warren Johnson was sixth.

Layton Shelton earned a bronze medal in news writing. He was sixth in theatrical design marketing.

Paradise’s Hailey Holt finished fifth in news writing. Bridgeport’s Jacob Richey garnered fifth in editorial writing.

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