New cast member discovers inspiration beyond ‘status quo’ among talented crew

By: Agatha Fenech

My bright-eyed fourth grade self sat in my cousin’s bedroom, watching the student body of East High bounce throughout the lunch room while belting “Stick to the Status Quo.” “Wow,” I thought, “High school is going to be so cool!”

I proceeded to watch High School Musical 2 and 3 as they came out and listen to the High School Musical soundtracks, memorizing all the words to “Breaking Free” and “Fabulous.” I loved the spontaneous musical numbers, as well as the “staged” ones. They were cheesy and cute, and I loved how high school and high school theater seemed almost magical.

This past fall, now a high school senior, I decided to audition for the spring musical, Footloose. Aside from Cabaret (Peet’s variety show) in junior high, I had not really done anything acting or theater-related since watching High School Musical all those years ago. It had always lingered in the back of my mind, but other activities took center stage (metaphorically), and my seriously horrible singing voice caused me to avoid any musical ventures.

However, after watching the fall play and hearing the great stories of people “finding a new family” through theater, I figured why not? The worst that could happen was that I would not make it. Now, I can honestly say that deciding to audition and do the musical was one of the best decisions I have made yet.

Not only have I had to face my fear of public singing, or at least I will have to this weekend, I have met some truly fantastic people. As much as I love doing cheesy dance moves in a hideous prom dress, getting to know people I had never met and strengthening my existing friendships is what has made the musical such a rewarding experience.

I was a little bit scared going into the drama department as a senior, never having done theater before. My fears were ill-placed. I encountered an extraordinarily welcoming and hard working family of students, equipped with more snacks than I ever could have imagined.

In addition to introducing me to these wonderful people, my musical experience has been personally gratifying. At late-night Monday rehearsal, we were cleaning up after dinner. My fellow Cowgirl Catherine and I started singing “Stick to the Status Quo,” and just like we were in High School Musical. Many more people joined in, dancing and singing around the cafeteria. I do not really know how to describe it because it was so casual yet so special. Thanks to an actual high school musical, my High School Musical dream came true.

Following the impromptu song and dance, we walked back up to continue working scenes, and I remembered the first time I had ever watched High School Musical. I remembered putting “spontaneous musical number” on my mental high school bucket list. More importantly, I remembered how much I wanted my high school experience to be like that. Not merely the singing and dancing, but the family unity and community. Being in the musical has shown me that we really are all in this together.

Finally, the shameless plug. I could tell you to come to the musical because of all the hard work we have put in and how much you will enjoy it; both these things are true. However, while working on the musical these past three months and getting to know some extremely talented people, I have seen how unbelievably amazing the entire cast is. The whole student body and community deserves to see how amazing and talented they are as well.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.