There are many words that can be used to describe senior thespian Wyatt McCall. The word he uses for himself, however, is one that nobody else would.
“I’m stupid,” he said.
The definition of insanity is, “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.” Wyatt has chosen to follow the insane profession of acting. There are over two million people in the United States alone that are pursuing the career. The success rate is very slim.
“It’s crazy to say that I’m different than them when all of them are saying that, too,” he said. “I see all of these people that are getting rejected and can’t get a role. For some reason, I feel like I’ll be different.”
Wyatt has already set himself apart from his peers when it comes to musical theatre. He has accepted a scholarship to Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University is ranked as the third best conservatory in the country. He was one of around thirty-five kids that were accepted out of over 1,400 that auditioned.
“It’s a pretty prestigious program,” he said. “You’re networking constantly with big names. I think that was why I wanted to go there. I think that is the school that will set me apart when I work professionally.”
His passion for theatre started his sophomore year, when he auditioned for a lead role in Peter Pan. He was given the role of Captain Hook, which was unexpected because of his inexperience.
“Usually leads are upperclassmen only,” he said. “Having a lead role as only a sophomore was pretty big. I didn’t know anyone in theatre. I just went in there cold and they handed me the role.”
Since acquiring his lead role as only a sophomore, he has become extremely involved in the Olathe Northwest theatre program. This year, he is a member of both the thespian board and thespian society. Acting was something that came natural to him, and he has only improved ever since.
“I’m always trying to get a response from people,” he said. “I enjoy attention and making people laugh. I know how to entertain people, and it just kind of blossomed from there.”
Although his acting career has only blossomed for the past few years, Wyatt has always had a musical background. He began singing in the church choir when he was only four years old.
“Not being in the church choir wasn’t something that you could do,” he said. “I was gifted, so it was expected of me. I went to a Christian school where church choir and school choir was the same thing. You couldn’t one without the other. I was singing constantly. I learned to love it.”
As a member of the De Capo Choir, he has received a superior rating at the state choir competition two years in a row. He believes that his success in singing is attributed to his involvement at an early age.
“I think there is some natural talent to it, but at the same time, I don’t think I would be where I am without learning a lot from teachers and experiences,” he said. “I’ve surrounded myself with musicians that are better than me so I can better myself. I had the talent to begin with, but I got here by working really hard.”
Wyatt has also played the guitar since he was in eighth grade. Although he only plays it recreationally, it has added to his skillset as a musician. His grandfather gave him a guitar as a present, and Wyatt immediately took it on as a passion.
“It started as a competition between my little brother and I,” he said. “He had basic chords down by the time I got mine. We both taught ourselves. It really became who could be the better player in a year.”
His musical talents have helped him on stage. He performed in another production of Peter Pan at Theatre in the Park, the largest outdoor community theatre in the country. He prefers to do musicals, because they combine his two strongest talents: acting and singing.
“It wouldn’t be fun doing one without the other,” he said. “The moment something becomes monotonous and boring is when I don’t want to do it anymore. That’s why theatre lightens up choir and choir livens up theatre. You can’t have one without the other.”
Since he plans to major in musical theatre, he wants to make a living as a performer. His ultimate aspiration is to one day perform on Broadway.
“Broadway is the dream and getting paid is the goal,” he said. “If I could support a family doing what I love to do, I would be happy.”
He has also considered going into the television acting business, but he prefers to do musicals. Despite the fact that there is more money in television, he believes that he thrives best on stage.
“When you’re on stage, you get an instant reaction from the audience,” he said. “You don’t get that when you’re on TV. You can’t feel what the audience is feeling and play off of it.”
Although he has been looking into his future, he is still enjoying his remaining time in high school. His memories as a Raven thespian are something he will never forget. His fellow actors have ignited his passion for acting.
“The way that a show becomes really good and special is when there is a connection between you and your fellow actors,” he said. “That is something I’ve always appreciated here. We have a group of kids that really care about what they’re doing. It’s what keeps me coming back.”