Issue 24 | September 14, 2012 | The Play's the Thing!

Newsletters Archive

James Lynch may seem like an average high school student studying to pass the next test, but in the world of theater, it is obvious that he is going places.  Having been raised in the larger metropolitan area of Seattle, Washington, opportunities are more abundant for training, casting and schooling in the arts. But when opportunities meet talent, the possibilities become limitless.

Inside NARHS: Taking the SAT/ACT?

A message for (especially) juniors or any student interested in taking the SAT for college admission.  The first test date coming up is October 6.  You must sign up for it on the College Board website by September 21. The SAT homeschool code that you will enter is 970000.  If you choose to take the ACT test, the homeschool code is 969999.   If any NARHS student takes the SAT and gets a (combined) score of 1180 or higher, the NARHS program offers you the chance to earn a regionally accredited transcript through CED but then to still graduate through NARHS. If the ACT (combined) score is 63 or higher, the same offer stands. For more information, call our business office 800 882 2828 or email me at athome@narhs.org

FEATURED STUDENT: James Lynch

James Lynchre Having home schooled James from the start, his mother liked to take advantage of community-based courses for his education. When she found drama classes offered at the Seattle Children's Theater for six-year-old James, she had no idea how big this experience would become. It awakened passion, exposed talent, and provided training that James grew with for the next 10 years. His first role was playing Romona's friend Howie in the play "Romona Quimby", but later his first professional role was Fleance in Macbeth. When you look at his attached resume, you will see how diverse and abundant are the roles he has played.

I asked James what it is about theater that he likes so much and his answer led me to another question. "I like to create a character who is different from myself and present it to other people."

It seemed to me that he loves what most people would find the most difficult. So I asked him to answer the key question for all of my student interviews - what kind of obstacles has he overcome in order to grow in the skills he needs for theater? 

 Here is James' reply: 

"One of the biggest issues all actors face is the necessity of getting out of their comfort zone. In classes, I've actually seen other actors cry when they've had to go too far out of their comfort zone. Last year, I did a show called 'Reindeer Monologues', and it's a good example. The overall topic was out of my comfort zone (it was NOT a happy-go-lucky Christmas show).

I had great teachers early on who helped me be able to step out of my comfort zone bit by bit, in a safe place (the classroom). One teacher in particular helped me distinguish between who I am as a person/actor, who my character is and the fact that they are two distinct people."

 My next question involved character issues that can be so influential in those formative years. "How has participation in theater made you a better person?"

 James' reply: 

"There is no community more diverse than in the arts. Backstage, during various shows, I have worked with people who are straight, gay, bisexual, Jewish, Muslim, etc. In one show, I had cast mates who were athiest, Muslim (I think), Christian, Wiccan,( and any number of other things that I didn't pick up on). All of these people had to share a small space and even smaller dressing areas. This has taught me that no matter what your religion, sexual orientation etc.; everyone is a person and most people are decent."

 Now that James is almost finished with his high school studies, his current plan is to get a BFA, either at Cornish College of the Arts or Seattle Pacific University. After that, he would like to be able to make a living acting, preferably in classic theater.

 Then I asked him the all important question: "How has home schooling helped you get where you are in you drama skills?"

 James' reply: 

" All directors love to hear, 'I have a completely open school schedule.'"