MARYSVILLE — Brady Uker, 17, lives life out loud. The senior has relished his leadership roles and stage roles alike in helping to make Marysville Arts & Technology High School a place where everyone is known.
Question: So what’s keeping you busy this year?
Answer: Oh, a lot. I’m ASB president and that’s a lot on its own. I don’t like to say I’m a pack mule but it sometimes feels like that. People kind of just throw paperwork at you. But it’s nice.
I’m president of the drama club, and that’s probably the favorite thing out of things I currently do. I’m a really big fan of performing. Our play is (7 p.m. Jan. 18 and 19 for $5). It’s called “Curse You Jack Dalton”; it’s a melodrama set in ’20s New York. I’m very excited.
I’m involved in the Marysville Mock Trial team… It’s Arts & Tech, Getchell, M-P.
I’m in a LAN Club. We set up a bunch of computers and play games. It’s one of the less-demanding ones, which is nice.
I used to be on winter guard, which is just the dancers with the flags and it’s indoors. I did that for four and half years. I stopped this year because of physical issues — back problems. But I’m hoping to do it in college if they get better. I’m going to take an off year just to see if it helps.
Q: You say leadership is a relatively new thing for you?
A: I lived first grade through freshman year in Wisconsin. I didn’t do much. I was just in game club. My high school was like 1,500 students. So I didn’t do much because there was a lot of competition. But then I came here and it’s so condensed and small. I kind of just fell in.
Q: What was that transition like?
A: I like Wisconsin more than here just on a personal level. But I think on a schooling level I really like how close everything is. There are people who would say everyone knowing each other is a not-great thing — it definitely is in some situations, with all the teen drama and angst you have around. But I think just on a personal level, especially as a leader, knowing everyone you are leading at least by name is always really helpful.
Q: What are you thinking of beyond high school?
A: I’ve been considering going down to Evergreen (State) College in Olympia. I’m not entirely positive, but I have a lot of options open. I considered going to major in dance. I haven’t applied yet, only because I want to get my physical issues solved first.
I’m probably going to take a gap year to get a job down in Olympia. I have a 6-year-old little brother … He asked my mom, “Is Brady leaving soon?” And he was super upset. I felt really bad. So that kind of tipped me over. That also gives me time to think about whether I want to do Evergreen or not and get the back issues sorted out. I made the choice to give myself more time.
Q: What are you considering beyond dance?
A: I’ve looked into law a little bit because I’m on the Mock Trial team. I don’t know if I’d like that as a profession, though. It’s not as “out there” as dance would be. I’ve also looked at acting, because I like drama. My options are open. Anything social. When I go and find a job soon, I’d really like to be a waiter or barista because I really enjoy talking to people. I don’t want to go work in the back of a Walmart and move boxes all day.
Q: What role do you have in this week’s play?
A: I’m playing the main antagonist. I’ve been the token “evil” guy in all the plays we’ve done. I like it, honestly. I think it’s very fitting for me. Not to call myself a villain. But it’s nice to bring out a side of me that isn’t — not to say that I’m a shining hero or anything like that — but it’s nice to bring out a side of me that’s not that idea. That’s why I like drama. You get to be not-you.
Q: You’ve played the roles of witnesses and prosecutors in Mock Trial. How does it compare to drama?
A: It’s intimidating. I don’t get stage fright — you have the rush, but I don’t get afraid. But Mock Trial is definitely a much more serious thing. It’s a nice change, because it definitely gets you to twist your viewpoint on it.
Q: You visit friends in Wisconsin often. Do you miss it?
A: It’s so different out here. Even the roads are different. Wisconsin’s just one flat thing. This place you’ve got all the hills. I live down in Stanwood, so every day I drive Marine Drive to get here. It’s just so different. Which is not a bad thing. No one likes change, but I’m not exactly against change. I went through the biggest change in my life and it led me to be super leader man, and it’s good.
If you had asked me in Wisconsin before we moved here, I would not have told you I’m going to lead three clubs and be part of 8 million things. It’s a nice time.
Q: You describe yourself as outgoing.
A: I don’t want to say I never cared about people’s opinions, because that’s not true. Everyone cares about opinions to some degree, but I don’t think I’ve cared to a degree. Nowadays, I dress kind of odd. I’ll admit I wear a skirt sometimes. I used to dye my hair. I get looks for it, and it’s fine. I also think I get enough good attention and validation to keep on keeping on. It’s nice to not to be weighed down by what other people think in situations like that. It’s nice to be able to be yourself.
Q: What does it feel like to be at this stage in life?
A: Honestly, really good. I look at my future and I think, I have no idea what I’m doing, I don’t know a single thing I have planned. A lot of questions you see, like where do you see yourself in five years … I have no idea. But it feels really good to be sitting here, talking to you, being the Super Kid of Arts & Tech… It’s nice to have the recognition.
Melissa Slager: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3432.