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Creative students like a good challenge

Katie Lago and Noah Gillispie are two very different students who have dissimilar interests in hobbies and activities. Yet they do have one thing in common: they can both appreciate a challenge when it comes to the creative activities they enjoy.

Gillispie, a sophomore, has been acting in local theater productions since he was 11 years old. It's become one of his favorite activities, but it was originally something his mom insisted he do.

When the Children's Theatre of Charleston held auditions for "Treasure Island" once upon a time, Gillispie's mom made him try out. From there, he was hooked.

Gillispie is not only grateful that his mother introduced him to acting, but he has even acted with her in plays such as the Kanawha Players' "Fellows Inn" -- where she played the role of his mother.

"She doesn't cramp my style," he said with a grin. 

Gillispie has quite a bit of acting experience, regularly performing with Children's Theatre of Charleston and Kanawha Players as well as in productions at The Alban Arts Center in St. Albans. Some of his favorite performances include Children's Theatre's "Beauty and the Beast" and Kanawha Players' "Tom Sawyer."

In December, he was in a production of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" for a second time, and he hopes to audition for Children's Theatre's upcoming performance of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

Reflecting on whether he ever feels threatened by other performers auditioning for the same part, Gillispie simply stated, "I like the challenge."

Lago, an artistic senior, agrees with Gillispie's statement. She has a variety of interests and hobbies, including drawing, making useful objects out of duct tape, crocheting, karate and, most importantly, painting.

Lago has been involved in karate for five years, earning black-belt status. She has created numerous items from duct tape, including a backpack that withstood two years of lugging around textbooks, and she has big plans for a duct tape prom dress in her future. She currently carries a purse that she crocheted in a week's time.

However, those things are not as important to her as painting. Lago has been painting since she was a child but didn't become heavily involved in the art until recently. As an AP Studio Art student, she has been investigating new ways to improve her work.

"[In AP Studio Art,] we get to explore different mediums of developing a voice in our work," she said. 

Although she admits she is probably better at drawing than painting, Lago said she still likes painting better. Part of the reason why she enjoys painting more is because she is still working on perfecting her style. 

"Whenever you see one of my paintings, I want you to know it's one of mine," she said.

The quest to perfect her work is exactly why Lago loves painting so much.

"Painting gives me a goal, something to work on," she said. "I love the challenge."

Despite their different interests, Lago and Gillispie agree that a creative challenge can make activities much more interesting.


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