Senior Ranked Superior

Actor qualifies for National Thespian Festival

Photo pulled from video done by Brenda Cottrell

Pictured: senior Aidan Cottrell

Photo pulled from video done by Brenda Cottrell Pictured: senior Aidan Cottrell

Nate Carr, Editor-in-Chief

He sat dressed in black from bottom to top: a collared dress shirt, slacks and dress shoes that reflect the ceiling lights above. He stands up from his chair, runs his hands down his torso, down his legs and walks in front of his three judges. Senior Aidan Cottrell performs his music piece, “Bright Side of Life” from the musical Spamalot and leaves the competition room thinking he royally screwed up, but in actuality, qualified for National Thespian Festival.

Recently, from November 15 through the 17, the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine hosted the Texas Thespian Festival. There, attendees participated in workshops, watched shows and musicals, and competed in I.E.s, or Individual Events. Cottrell participated in the performance category of Solo Musical Ensemble. He worked tirelessly for three months on his chosen piece: memorized the music, planned out his own choreography, helped create a story and then polished it. He perfected it to the utmost extent. Several students from across the state participated in this event. All of the participants worked hard on their pieces making the competition extremely difficult.

“You go into an audition room and they judge you on vocal technique, vocal emotion, etc,” Cottrell said. “To go to nationals, you have to be ranked superior in all of the categories.”

After the competition, Cottrell checked the callback list and thought he outright lost. Disappointed, he shrugged off his supposed loss. However, the festival organizers posted another list.

“The next morning, Ms. Fryman, the theatre teacher, comes to me and says, ‘Aidan, I’m mad at you. Why didn’t you tell me you made it to nationals?’,” Cottrell said. “I looked her dead in the eye and said, “Because I thought I didn’t.”

The International Thespian Society plans to hold National Thespian Festival in Nebraska in the summer of 2019, giving Cottrell just over six months to raise money to attend.

“There will be a lot of fundraising to do, that’s for sure,” Cottrell said. “But ultimately, I would love to go to International Thespian Festival also.”

(Hopefully, Cottrell raises the necessary funds to go to National Thespian Festival, and also remembers to check the right cast list.)

Check out a run-through of his musical piece at:

Be on the look out for any chance to help fund his trip to National Thespian Festival! Any updates regarding his fundraising methods will be posted on The Journal’s Twitter page.