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The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye June 2024 Issue
1st Amend Award School

Jack Williams: Moving schools as well as hearts

Jack+Williams+portrayed+Gomez+Addams+in+the+musical+the+Addams+Family+while+singing+Trapped
©HAWKEYE image credit: Efrata Solomon
Jack Williams portrayed Gomez Addams in the musical “the Addams Family” while singing “Trapped”

Just as the intoxicating smell of the graveyard captivates the Addams Family, senior Jack Williams has a serious obsession for theatrical acting, which developed from a love of film  ever since he  was young.

“I watched a lot of movies as a kid, specifically animated movies, and I remember that even as a kid, I was fascinated  by the performance of certain voice actors, and how their vocal inflections fit perfectly with the emotions being shown in the animation,” he said. “When I decided I should try acting myself, I didn’t have a video camera, and my friends didn’t live nearby, so I did the next best thing and joined the drama program at my middle school.” 

As such, Williams stepped into the spotlight in his eighth grade year. Gradually throughout the years, he’s built up his talents, taking it to a level that is almost professional, starting off at Kings High School, his first of three high schools.

Williams went into his freshman year  at Kings High School, unsure of his place in school and powerless. As he tried to get out of the slump of middle school depression, he started to realize that he needed to take control of his life and do things his way, not leaving himself a victim to fate. 

“Leaving Kings was the first step in doing that,” Williams said. “I told my parents that I can’t spend the next three years of my life at this private school, I hate it here, and I need to be transferred out.”

After leaving Shorewood High School, attending online in his sophomore year, Williams has found his place in MTHS in his junior year. He became an actor in the MTHS after-school drama program, giving him opportunities to express himself and make a network of friends. He flourished as an actor by working on productions and roles such as being Dennis in “Midsummer/Jersey” and later, Emmett Forrest in “Legally Blonde the Musical.”

Senior year has truly given Williams a final chance to show the world all the acting talents that he has to offer, with him taking a major role in three out of four of the productions that premiered this year. His most recent role is as Gomez Addams in the “Addams Family Musical,” which premiered from Wednesday, June 7 through Saturday, June 10. In the “Addams Family Musical” in particular, Williams has taken his role as Gomez as a way to hone his ability to speak in accents.

“[Since Gomez Addams] has a Spanish accent, I’ve been really trying to work on that. I’ve been pronouncing different things with that accent, working on rolling my R’s…. so that’s been fun for me,” Williams said.

However, the production of the musical has been held back by problems with communication and stress built up. The musical this year is a no-cuts show, meaning everyone that auditioned got a role, which caused gaps in experience and how to run the show.

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Despite the hardships of the latest production, this hasn’t affected Williams’s overall experience in theater and making connections with others who share the same interests as him.

“I’ve met a lot of really nice people, and really talented people as well, who, if they put themselves out there, could really succeed in the acting world,” he said. “I also enjoy playing different types of people that are these larger-than-life personalities, so that’s a really big thing for me.”

Small moments helped bring Williams closer to other actors, such as little goofs with wigs falling off and jokes like that helped bring the ensemble together.

“Those little moments stay with you for your entire life,” Williams said.

Outside of theater, Williams became interested in the social sciences over the pandemic, taking a general interest in science starting in his junior year. One specific interest in the subject he has is in chemistry.

“I’d like to learn more about chemistry going forward. I didn’t really take any chemistry classes all throughout high school, which is both a pro and a con, because those kinds of classes can be stressful. I’d definitely want to learn about it more in the future.

Williams is planning to pursue political science at Western Washington University as a “settle for it” career.

“I like to think of myself as someone who is up to date on current events, so I think I’d do well in political science,” he said. “[My interest] in political science probably started during the pandemic, which was right around the time the 2020 elections were happening, so that was on everyone’s minds. And yeah, that’s when I started paying more attention to current events and getting more interested in consuming political content, then I started developing opinions, and then I thought, you know, maybe this is a career I can see myself doing.”

This future career of his won’t get in the way of his passion for acting, however. Williams had partly chosen to go to Western Washington University because of their esteemed theater department.

“I still want to do theater, because I don’t want to be middle aged one day thinking to myself: ‘Oh, what could I have done! I could’ve done this, I could’ve done that,’” he said. ”I’ll definitely still do acting. Perhaps, I’ll even make a career out of it.”

Through the art of theater, Williams has found a place full of people who share the same passion as him, gaining invaluable connections, kindness, and positive feedback along the way. 

“This year in particular has probably been the best year of high school for me,” he said.  I feel very liberated and free and like I’m in control of my life, a big contrast to my freshman year where I felt powerless.”

As Williams concludes his high school career on the stage and in the spotlight, he’s cemented his spot among MTHS not only as a star who is able to manipulate his audience’s emotions to his will, generating laughter, sadness, tension, and more through his talents, but as an important friend to many. How lovely is it, that the final high school production he participated in would be about strengthening connections with people close to you while facing change and adversity!

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About the Contributor
Efrata Solomon
Efrata Solomon, Photo Editor
Photo Editor Efrata Solomon is a junior at MTHS and in her second year of journalism. She joined journalism in order to engage more with school activities and find a community of like-minded people, as well as learn about newspaper production. Outside of journalism, Efrata hopes to pursue a career in forensic biotechnology to exonerate those wrongfully convicted. She also participates in TSA, HOSA, Girls Who Code, orchestra and NHS, and her hobbies include completing puzzles, reading, hiking, going to local concerts, thrifting, and spending her money on overpriced boba.
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