Calvin Martin: Acting, performing, kumquats and meteorites

By Maxine Taylor, Lifestyle Editor

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEvFvUN6QYA

Calvin Martin’s enthusiasm, height, and refined wardrobe makes him stand out in a crowd amongst the hundreds of students at MTHS.

His theatrical debut began in sixth grade, when Martin decided to audition for one of Terrace Park Middle School’s plays, which would lead him to find his hidden talent and new love.

“It was a spur-of-the-moment decision,” Martin said. This impromptu choice of his turned out to be, “Huge fun,” he said.

The start of his four years of high school got off to a rough start when Martin put to test the rumor that freshman year doesn’t matter in the long run.

“I decided I wasn’t going to do a single homework assignment outside of school. Just to prove that it [was] really easy,” Martin said. “I made it through the skin of my teeth.”

Of other things, freshman year was pretty standard, according to Martin. Ups and downs brought new adventures. Some of which come as he was walking out the door.

“Freshman year, I was leaving. I was leaving the school one day and someone said, ‘Hey Calvin!, are you auditioning for the play?’ and I said, ‘What play?’” he said. “So I auditioned for it, and I got in and I’ve been doing the plays here ever since.”

Beyond the walls of Terrace, Martin wants to go to college and become an engineer.

“You see I want to wake up in the morning every day, eat breakfast, and then commute to work on the freeway, sit at a desk, do computer work, and then commute back on the freeway [to] get home. That is actually what I want to do with my life,” he said.

Coming from a performing individual, this might seem strange. Why not go into the arts?

“I don’t feel like it would be a good career move for me. So maybe something on the side,” Martin said.

As for a standard desk job, “It just appeals to me, like adventure appeals to other people,” Martin said.

Inspirations were few for Martin, but one sticks out in his memory.

“When I was a freshman, there was a senior here named Ryan Woodyard. I looked up to him a lot. He and I were very similar, in fact we still are,” he said.

Ryan Woodyard, an MTHS alumni, was very actively involved in the theater similarly to Martin.

Of the 13 shows Martin has performed in, his advice to the upcoming thespians might seem simple, but much needed in order to succeed in the theater. “Prepare. Really, really prepare…If you just try to coast through, it’s not going to work,” he said.

In addition to the choir, Jazz 1 and theater performances keeping him busy, Martin also hosts a Friday night music show at Café Louvre in Edmonds from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. every week. A coincidental meeting brought him to the hosting position at the end of October.

“There’s three different musicians spots. Between all of them, I’ll get up and say hilarious things and make the audience laugh. Just generally have a good time and every other week, I get a performance slot,” he said.

Not only does the weekly show bring musicians from the community together, it allows the café to house live entertainment.

While Martin enjoys performing, he definitely has a favorite show which would have to be, “‘Larry and the Werewolf.’ Hands down. It was the first show that I did here. What happened [was] Ryan Woodyard, he was the lead. He did not know his lines and we had about a month to prepare,” he said.

“In the middle of the scene… He doesn’t know what he’s saying; I don’t know what he’s saying. We improvised the whole thing.”

Martin added, “That was the most fun I have ever had!”

As the theater gives him the opportunity to portray different characters, Martin prefers to act as the villain.

“It is very, very fun to be evil. In the theater, you are actually accepted for being evil, whereas in the real world, you’re not and that’s fantastic. You can go all out with it!” he said.

Acting out these different characters brings the cast closer together and they have formed a family in which Martin, “tend[s] to be the big brother,” he said.

Performing as the older brother has earned Martin a nomination for a Fifth Avenue Award for Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role for “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” he said.

Choice is something Martin has while performing and when asked, if he could be anyone for a day, he responded, “I think, I’d like to be just a random person… living in a different culture, from a different point of view entirely, that would be a huge perspective shift. I’d see the world differently after that, for certain.”

Most people want to be remembered for something and for Martin, it’s, “My voice. I’d like to think that I have a pretty cool speaking voice and I want it to haunt people at night,” he said.

Martin came up with a sentence that he thought would best describe him, “I like to take abstract concepts and quantify them,” Martin said.

“I do a lot of music playing and all of it is just numbers to me…so I try to take that and put it into concrete ideas,” he said.

Martin’s last words to the students of MTHS will be as memorable as he is,“Kumquat and Meteorite,” he said, “They’re just kind of cool words. I figure I’d throw it in somewhere.”