Jack Machesky accidentally became a theater kid, and he’s not looking back


One of Jack Manchesky’s senior photos

Senior Jack Manchesky is not a theater kid. Or, at least, he wasn’t until this year. He auditioned for the spring musical because he needed something, and it was a life-changing experience.

“I needed a letter of recommendation for Arizona State honors college in a matter of three days,” Jack said. “I went to [English teacher Robbin] Demeester and asked her what I had to do for her to write me a letter, and she said to do the musical, or at least try out, so I said ‘okay.’”

Jack auditioned for the musical to get a letter of recommendation, and he had no intention of actually liking it. But, he quickly realized that theater isn’t something you can not take seriously. He was cast as one of the leads, the scarecrow, and was doing something entirely new to him.

He quickly started enjoying rehearsals and getting to know his character and his fellow cast members. He realized that acting is something that he actually enjoys, and he believes it to be more fulfilling than playing sports.

“No, [I do not regret auditioning],” Jack said. “It’s way better than any sport, and you don’t understand that unless you do both.”

Theater is a community that is very often stereotyped, and sports teams are also very often stereotyped. It is nearly unheard of for a “sports kid” to also be a “theater kid.” But, Jack squashed that and did both.

Theater is also a community that creates a lot of memories together, both backstage and onstage. It is nearly impossible to spend so much time with a group of people and not make a lot of memories. It is also nearly impossible for there to be no drama. In the theater world, drama happens both on and off stage.

“My favorite memory is all the drama that happened behind the scenes and talking about it,” Jack said, “specifically during the last week when everyone was at the Fine Arts Center. My favorite part was the tea parties I had with [seniors] Annie Douma and Ali Grendel.”

Through the fun moments in the show, Jack started to regret not being a part of theater sooner. He did not attend FHC during his sophomore or junior years, but if he had, he is certain he would have enjoyed being in the shows before this year.

“I wish I would have done it earlier,” Jack said, “but I was not here my sophomore and junior year. I wish I would have done it my freshman year [though].”

Jack regrets not participating in theater sooner, and he wishes he would’ve joined before his last year. He made some incredible memories and got to experience something completely new.

It’s like winning the state championship every time you perform.

— Jack Manchesky

He believes that more people should audition. It isn’t something that a lot of people do, and Jack implores new people to audition for shows. It is an eye-opening experience, and it would be good for the theater department.

“Other people should audition because then we could get more diversity in the musical which could make it better because of all the different backgrounds,” Jack said. “We could spice it up.”

If more people auditioned for shows, Jack thinks the theater could be more diverse. And, more people would understand exactly why theater kids love theater. Jack is unbelievably glad that he was cast in The Wizard of Oz because it really helped him become a different person. He would do it over again if he could.

“100% [I would do it again if I could],” Jack said. “It’s like winning the state championship every time you perform.”