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Kameron and Sophie Bustetter

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Kameron and Sophie in the drama room, home of one of their shared extracurriculars.

Kameron and Sophie in the drama room, home of one of their shared extracurriculars.

Outlook/Claire Ramsey

Outlook/Claire Ramsey

Kameron and Sophie in the drama room, home of one of their shared extracurriculars.

Claire Ramsey, Writer

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The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “twin” as “one of two persons or things closely related to or resembling each other.” When it comes to twins at Capital High School, it can be hard to tell if pairs are even related. That, however, is not the case with the Bustetter twins. Despite the many similarities that they share at first glance, they prove that even the closest of siblings possess unique differences that make them intriguing in their own ways.

It goes without saying that this was not going to be your average, conventional interview. We conducted the interview in one of the instrument locker rooms outside the choir room. The obvious choice seeing as our two subjects were just getting out of zero hour chamber choir, a fine example of one of the extracurriculars they share. Upon entering the room, an odor, possibly wafting from the unclean locker of some band student, greeted us. Kameron took initiative to put the scent into words, proclaiming, “it smells very sulfurous in here.” We had very little time, yet, fell into a relaxed, humorous attitude throughout the whole conversation.

The chat tipped off with a discussion about the ideal superpower. Sophie jumped in right away declaring, “I think I know mine, I’ve thought about this a lot.” A power way cooler than I guessed, the ability to transport anywhere in the blink of an eye. The practical use of this super ability, as Sophie explained, is to sleep-in every single morning because you wouldn’t need to take the time to get in the car and drive wherever you’re going. On top of that, a day trip to Hawaii any time you want? Yes please.

Kameron brought a more complicated response to the table with both a practical superpower, and a flat-out awesome one. The power for everyday use, being invisibility, would be for “the days that I don’t want to deal with other people,” Kam remarked. “I could just turn invisible and I’d still get all the information I needed from school.” The power for superhero use, to be able to transform his skin into any material he touched, now I see that as one heck of a superhero.

With not a lot of time to get to know these two even further, we shifted the conversation into a deeper topic, discussing the experiences that have shaped the people they are and those they want to become. Exploring their pasts presented me with an opportunity to see a different side of the theatrical pair. Even though the twins underwent many of the same experiences throughout life, it seems they each were most affected by different ones.

I offered the twins some time to gather their thoughts and then Sophie gave the first answer. She chose the MAP program at Marshall Middle School as one of the biggest experiences to shape her life. Sophie recounted how being involved in a group with varying grade levels and personality types definitely made it easier for her to get along with all sorts of people. Farther back, she explained how her first theatre experience, at seven-years-old, gave her a strong connection to theatre and now it is her most prominent extracurricular as she currently holds the presidential position of the Capital High School Thespian Troupe. Lastly, Sophie told me that her exchange to Spain last summer played a huge part in expanding her horizons.

After some thought, Kameron delved deep into his childhood, to the exploration of sports and his “jock” side. He explained how he tried all kinds of sports and athletic activities, never finding the right fit. On a deeper level, he described the feeling of not fitting in with his friends who were excelling at sports. With this estrangement to sports, Kameron found theatre, soon discovering many of his current extracurriculars such as film and photography. He related an early career goal of wanting to be an animator and knowing from then on that the entertainment business was where he belonged. Kameron rounded it out by describing the idea of little negative and positive experiences piecing themselves together to shape his life and personality.

We wound up on the topic of ghosts, discussing whether or not they could be real. Both twins agreed that ghosts do exist and gave very philosophical answers, or more accurately, Sophie gave a very philosophical answer followed by Kameron’s statement, “I don’t know, I’ve seen some weird stuff.” Whereas Sophie expounded her theory that a person is made up of more than a physical being, therefore, when they physically die, it doesn’t mean that their whole being is dead, seemed a logical theory to me.

Something that I was dying to know was what the Bustetter twins thought their biggest similarities and differences were. The first consensus for difference was organization which makes sense, Sophie has a method and a system to most everything. Kameron followed the first difference with the statement, “we’re both motivated by completely different things,” a statement that Sophie agreed with as well. Later, we also addressed likes and dislikes in food to which Sophie said, “he hates tomatoes, I love tomatoes, I hate mustard, he loves mustard, he loves steak, I hate steak.” As for similarities, Kameron declared right off the bat “we’re both really weird,” another statement that Sophie seemed to agree with. Sophie went further, saying that they held similar values such as music and education, backed up by a friend of both twins, Elise Braseth, “I think you’re both really musical.” Elise just so happened to be in the room at that point in the interview.

The final question of our in-person interview related to whether or not Kameron and Sophie thought they would be close after college. The two answered yes at the exact same time, followed by Sophie saying “we always talk about how we’re gonna kidnap each other’s kids and be, like, really bad role models for them.” To which Kameron replied, “No you talk about how I’m gonna do that with your kids.” I think it’s safe to say that whoever the bad influence is, these two are going to be a pretty cool aunt and uncle. Long-time theatre friend, Tatum Zimmerman, gave us her idea on why the pair can be so close, commenting, “they are both very outgoing and funny people so they compliment each other really well. They also tend to not fight very much…like we see from a lot of siblings.”

After a few days of down time and recording notes from our first interview, I decided it would be nice to get to know Kameron and Sophie even better, separate from one another so I asked a few more questions over text message.

We started with a question about their favorite place, Sophie gave the first reply. She described the bench down the street from her house that overlooks the water, portraying it as a relaxing place to “take in nature, listen to music, read and book, and reflect,” as she put it. Unfortunately, she mentioned that she doesn’t get around to going there as often as she used to, what with all the schoolwork, theatre commitments, and prep for graduation. She commented “I will miss the bench a lot at college just because it’s brought me lots of peaceful moments in the last two years. However, I’m excited and hopeful to find new favorite spots in Portland.”

For Kameron’s favorite place, he chose the ocean, not just the ocean, but the ocean at night just as the sun is going down. He explains, “I just close my eyes and let the waves move me.” What a peaceful and serene image. He described how that place takes him to a nice calm, relaxed state of mind in a way that no other place can do. Of all the bodies of water to relax in, among his favorites are off the coast of Hawaii and the Mediterranean Sea, as well as Ken Lake on a much more local level.

After basking in the idea of relaxing places, it is simply natural that we touch on our subjects’ most embarrassing moments next. For Sophie, I like to call it the grocery store fiasco. She recounted a time when she was ten, or at least ten-ish, and at Costco with her mom. All little Sophie needed was a costco pack of Oreos so she pulled it off the shelf and brought them to her mom’s cart, so she thought. After asking the stranger with the cart if they could buy the cookies, Sophie quickly realized that it was not at all her mother. On the bright side, her most embarrassing moment was with a total stranger that she probably never saw again. Kameron replied with no clear most embarrassing moment that he can remember, just a level-headed statement that sums up the way he lives his life, “I do a lot of stupid stuff that I later regret.” He went on, “Sometimes I do stupid stuff that I don’t regret though, I think that’s one of the best ways to live your life is to just be yourself and not worry about what other people think because as long as you’re having fun and you’re enjoying what you do, it doesn’t matter.”

We briefly touched on career goals. For Kameron, the answer to this question is clear after having as little as two conversations with him. Kameron aspires to become a cinematographer for Netflix in Vancouver BC. He’d like to work for Netflix to stay away from the big, Hollywood studios and as he puts it, “I would love to work for a company that puts out such quality work and is so universally respected.” Sophie is less sure about her specific occupation. For her main goal, she desires, “something where I can utilize Spanish and travel,” a few options include a translator, a cultural anthropologist, or an English teacher in a foreign country. This path was greatly inspired by her exchange in Spain last summer, she was motivated to pursue a career in language and culture under the knowledge that the closer we are to understanding each other, the more peaceful our society becomes. The two will be attending Portland State University this upcoming fall to further their education toward these goals. Though both twins strive for different career paths, it is clear that their dreams, passion, and drive are equally as strong.

For the absolute final question, I wanted to know Kameron and Sophie’s favorite things about one another. I heard back from Sophie first. She replied, “my favorite thing about [Kameron] is either his kind heart, or his fun-loving attitude toward our crazy adventures.” Soon after, Kameron replied as well. “I love that she is so different than I am and we still manage to get along most of the time. I love being able to grow up with somebody that has the same interests as me so I’ve never really been alone in that aspect. I also love that she truly cares about everyone, and she makes an effort to be kind and understanding to those who normally get pushed aside.”

Even though this dynamic duo is constantly seen together, whether in class, at lunch, at extracurriculars, or at work  (Don Juan’s Mexican Kitchen), they have their own individual quirks and experiences that make them intriguing in their unique ways. Last thing I have to say, the only quote Kameron requested that I add, “everyone thinks that out of the two of us, I’m the weird one, they are very wrong.”

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Kameron and Sophie Bustetter