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VH students trying to make it big

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Kris Bryant, Ryan Gosling, Adele — all of them were “normal” at one point. Before the money and the fame, they too were typical teenagers, confined to the walls of their local high schools. They had homework to complete, extracurricular activities to attend, friends to meet up with, and curfews to obey. As hard as it is to imagine, all of our favorite athletes, actors, musicians, and other public figures were once high school students like us, but with big aspirations.

Our school is a very close knit community and most of us have been going to school together since we were five. It is crazy to think that one day, you might see a former classmate on television, hear them on the radio, or walk into a movie theater and see them on the big screen! Here are a few students who are hoping to make it big!

 

Lily Walters (12):

Emily Whalen

After knocking on doors in support of President Obama during his 2008 campaign, eight-year-old Walters’ discovered her passion for politics. She lived in a very conservative town in Indiana, so when Obama won, she felt like she had actually made a difference and influenced some voters. It was after this that she realized just how important of a role politics play in our lives, and how many people they affect. She knew she wanted to be involved in politics for the rest of her life.

“I can remember, right after he was elected, my mom would get emails from his administration. I thought this was so cool, because MY mom was talking to the president of the United States. I would email back to the administration asking them to make sure that they keep the environment in mind as they made their policies.”

Walters’ ultimate goal is to be the President of the United States. She first hopes to become a state Senator, which would give her the opportunity to gain popularity amongst voters, so people will know her well enough to get votes in the presidential election. One goal she really hopes to make happen is ending poverty, so her idea of “making it big” is motivated by the idea of being able to help so many people.

 

 

 

Joey Acopiado (11):

Julia Hamer

While most juniors are taking ACTs and SATs, looking at colleges, and beginning to have an idea about what they might want to do with their lives, aspiring musician Joey Acopiado already has a pretty clear idea.

“My ideal job is to be a professional performer. That’s obviously a huge stretch right off the bat, but playing shows and selling records for a living is definitely the end game for me,” said Acopiado.

After graduating from VHHS in 2018, Acopiado hopes to attend a premiere contemporary music school, like the Berklee College of Music. There, he would be able to completely focus on music. He feels the atmosphere of a school like Berklee would really allow him do so.

In addition to sharing his music on his social media accounts, Acopiado has also had some success on Soundcloud. Last year, he released a 3-track EP and it generated a couple thousand plays. The original single he released also got a pretty good amount of attention as well

“In all honesty, “making it big” is a strange thing to strive for. There’s really no universal definition for making it or anything like that- and plenty of people hop into the industry with that goal in mind and no real plan to achieve it. I think in all honesty I want to meet as many people as possible to play shows with in college, make my money there as much as I can, keep pushing my stuff online and taking every opportunity for a paycheck from playing music possible” said Acopiado. “I don’t want to just be the world’s next major celebrity. That’s definitely not the goal. I want to achieve popular success for stuff worth achieving popular success from. I want to make the best music possible, with the best people possible, and push as hard as I can to get it heard. If I can do that, and end up playing big shows one day- I’ll really feel happy with my music career.”

 

Heidi Gold

Ryan Gold (12):

While some of his classmates have already decided on where they are going to college next year, Gold will not find out until late spring. He is hoping to earn a BFA in Acting from one of the 13 schools he has applied to. Due to the nature of this major, the college decision process is much more stressful and timely. During the first week of February, Gold will be downtown, auditioning for each of these 13 schools’ programs.

“I want to be an actor, although I don’t expect to be an A-list celebrity or be on Broadway. If I’m able to support myself financially and emotionally by just acting, I’ll consider that a success,” said Gold.

Gold has had a passion for theater since the young age of three. As a preschooler, he remembers having to force his classmates to rehearse plays with him during their free time.

In addition to his involvement with Backlight Theater Company and various community theaters, Gold has booked multiple professional acting jobs. During 5th and 6th grade, he
was a host on Into the Outdoors, a children’s television show. Later that year, he starred in a Culver’s commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLV. Most recently, he was on an episode of NBC’s Chicago Med. These jobs have given him glimpses of what it is like to act professionally.

 

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The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School
VH students trying to make it big