Seniors take on roles in Homecoming for the first time

October 28, 2015 — by Stephen Ding and Austin Wang

Many seniors participated in Homecoming for the first time this year.

“Young Skywalker, you and the rebels can do little to stop the power of LG and the dark side of school spirit,” senior Nate Ney said to the crowd before him as he played the role of Darth Vader during the “Star Wars” themed senior Quad Day on Oct. 16. “How will you defeat me when you have so little school spirit?”

While students in the audience were impressed with Ney’s accurate imitation of Vader’s voice and well-timed entrances on-stage, most of them would not expect that Ney was one of at least 250 seniors who participated in Homecoming for the first time this year.

Ney developed an interest in drama several years ago when he played a part in a Julius Caesar skit for his English 10 class,  but never exhibited his interest in acting in the Homecoming skit until last year. Only when he realized that time was running out and his wish hadn’t been granted yet that he finally tried out for a role.

“I hadn’t done [Homecoming] in freshman, sophomore or junior year,” Ney said. “Senior year, I decided that it was the last chance and last Homecoming.”

Ney said he was willing to take on one of the biggest roles in the skit, following his class’s motto “Go B16 or Go Home.”

“I wanted to have a major role because I thought it would be more fun and people would recognize [me],” Ney said. “It provided an opportunity for me to present myself in a different way and show a different side of me.”

Ney wanted others to view him in a different light and to expand his own horizons beyond the academic activities he is involved in at school, which including History Bowl, Science Bowl and Math Club.

Ney practiced for his role three times a week after auditioning for his role and every day during Homecoming week.

Ney said he was struck by stage-fright at the start of the performance.

“At first, I was very nervous, so I felt I was rushing my lines,” Ney said. “As the skit progressed, I got more comfortable and I could fully embrace my part without the nerves of being on stage.”

The experience left a lasting impression on him.

“Doing the skit taught me to be more open and [to] go with the flow.” Ney said. “[It also taught me] to take things as they come and adapt and trust that things will go smoothly.”

Like Ney, senior Nandita Mohan also took on a significantly larger commitment in Homecoming than she had in the past, participating in the girls’ dance, girls’ hip hop dance, the “21 Guns” singing act, decorations and the finale.

Although she had helped with decorations before, this year was the first time she got involved in the actual performance.

“When I first came into high school, I was confused [as to] what Homecoming was, because I had just moved from another country, [India],” Mohan said.

A heavy academic workload also prevented Mohan from performing in previous years’ Quad days. With less stress senior year and a desire to be more involved this year, Mohan was more motivated to take on a greater role.

“There was more free time and I didn't want to have any regrets about high school,” Mohan said. “ It was totally worth it. I got closer to so many people I hadn't had the chance to talk to much before, and the past few weeks of hard work really united our class.”

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