Super Kid: Monroe High’s Rachel Lee eyes theater production

Question: Tell me about your interest in music?

Answer: I do band, pep and marching, so that takes a lot of my time. I’m president of Tri-M Honor Society. It’s a music honor society. I also run a 7th grade band camp every summer. I like that because it reaches out to kids who are interested in music. It shows them high school band kids are approachable and band is fun. It’s way more than just inside the classroom. This year, our wind ensemble qualified for Festival of Gold in Los Angeles.

Q: What are some of your other school activities?

A: I do tutoring through the National Honor Society and I’m also the president of that. It’s tutoring kids at Fryelands Elementary for an hour a week. You’re an older person for them to look up to so that’s really fun. I’m also the vice president of Knowledge Bowl, which is a trivia club. We’ve placed a different competitions and we’re going to districts.

Q: What are some of your new endeavors?

A: I started doing debate club this year. I jumped right on it. I learned that I like public speaking and civil discourse. You see in government that it’s not always so civil. I’m also working on a Hamlet class that basically breaks down the characters in the play into philosophies.

Q: I understand you landed an internship in theater.

A: This is my second year interning at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. My brother is an actor but I’m more interested in the administrative side. I applied for a producing position. I turned in a cover letter and resume and I got it.

Q: What drives your interest in producing?

A: I never really saw myself as a performer. I’m a behind-the-scenes person. It’s the stuff no one sees. I like the mystery behind it. It’s part of what gets the actors on the stage. We’re the first step. We’re laying the blueprints for what is built.

Q: What show are you working on?

A: Monty Python’s “Spamalot.” We do the exact same production as the professionals but instead of adults it’s students. You’re mentored by the adults. It’s pretty high stakes. There are students from all over Washington. You get to work together to create something. It’s a chance for teens to channel creative energy into a production they love. And it’s legitimate job experience before I get thrust into the real world.

Q: Are you considering a career in theater?

A: I applied for liberal arts colleges because they push you to get experience doing a little bit of everything. I love so many things, I hope to learn to channel what I’m most passionate about. My absolute dream is to go to school in New York City, which is a very theater-minded place.

Q: What schools are you considering?

A: My top three choices are NYU, Sarah Lawrence College or Barnard College of Columbia. I’d be happy going to any of those schools.

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

A: All the stuff I do is my fun. I like to go see plays and musicals. I read a lot of different stuff. I play clarinet. My brother and I sing songs. Someday, we want to write a musical. I like to be busy and productive.

Q: What is your secret to success?

A: I would say work ethic. My parents always encouraged me to do my best. Having that mindset, suddenly you want to surpass your best. I wanted to do something beyond getting good grades.

Q: How are your grades?

A: I have 4.0 GPA. I’m on track to being the valedictorian. My sister was a valedictorian so I want to carry on the family legacy.

Q: What makes you strive to achieve?

A: I have a vision issue that’s really debilitating. For awhile I was learning Braille because they were afraid I would go blind. Through that experience, I learned to never take things for granted. You never know when something could be taken away. Even though my condition has stabilized for now, I learned if you’re interested in something, you should make it happen.

Q: What’s been your favorite part of high school?

A: Learning to push myself and push past my limits. You’re only limited by yourself. High school has definitely taught me how capable I am. That’s a valuable lesson before going out into the real world.

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com.

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