Senior Spotlight: Jack Rogers

When you think of creativity and sharing people’s own individual stories through the internet – you would usually think of animatics or writing. But what about different mediums than that?

In the last two years throughout quarantine, mainly in 2020, different types of mediums have popped up. One of these includes character telling, whether their own personal original character or a character fully based on theirselves that themselves and their fanbase have come to accept as another part of themselves.

One person that likes to explore these kinds of mediums is Jack Rogers. Eighteen years old and ready to graduate in a month. He came here with nothing under his belt,but now he’s stage director in his theater class and had a big role in Shakesphere in Love, the recent winter show here at Capital High school.

“I really like writing, and playing DND. I’ve been DND-ing for 6+ years, and have been doing it since I was 8. My dad and brother fully supported it. I was into British men. I used to watch DSMP as well. In Tennessee, there was a lot of quarantine.”

Having originally been raised in Tennessee for the first 17 years of their life, coming to Olympia with certainly nothing but their views and willingness to be creative, they joined the theater program. They were originally put into Intro to Theater – but were put into Advanced Theater after one semester, because they’re a senior, maybe all of the freshman and sophomores were a tad bit under his skill level. 

Now, he is a Stage Director  in a show that the current Advanced Theater is doing, Crime Unit Fairy Tales. He helps with doing the entire thing, even though it’s one of their first years here. They’ve made their mark, with being known in their class, along with gaining respect from the sophomores who originally didn’t know him, managing to keep a class that is notoriously known for being off task (at least in my experience), under control. 

Usually, with most seniors coming in for their last year here, are more likely to keep their head down – but Jack has made themselves quite known – in the theater community and with their friends. Joining a high school as a senior – most would wanna get it out of the way, lying low, but instead Jack joined a group of juniors and seniors that are on the outskirts of the theater community, and fit in well. 

Coming from a conservative area, where, “There were portraits and statues of KKK members,” it was a bit of a whiplash for Jack to come here. “I didn’t feel safe living there.”

There were all kinds of problems in the deep south, especially in Tennessee. There were KKK monuments in the middle of the square, and confederate flags in the classrooms. As someone who identifies with the queer community, Jack didnt feel safe living there. 

It is how someone was raised, they explained, “There was a lot of stigma with masculinity and shit.” Instead of internalizing and being spiteful to the people around them, Jack has a different kind of view: “People may have twisted views, but they’re good at the core. Someone was ignorant, and after they moved, they came out as trans. People are good at the core. Hatefulness is the default setting in Tennessee. Louisiana is deep south. It’s not that far north, but still having that kind of environment.”

“Generation after generation, people have had internalized views, and it takes a while to get away from those kinds of mindsets. Even if there wasn’t a reason to dislike you – people don’t like you. Southern hospitality is a thing, which is kind of ironic because people can deeply hate you. Having family members that were racist, and homophobic was the normal for me growing up.”

Even with this kind of mindset growing up, Jack’s partner held him to more liberal views. Which came as no surprise that they’re heading off to Evergreen State College in a few years. They’re going to SPSCC first, to get their associated degree in filmmaking when they hope to major in film and script writing at Evergreen State College.

It was amazing to see a senior who is confident in their ways of thinking, along with having that confidence in a theater role at Capital. Having the heart to be open to the people around them in an area that wasn’t the best to live in, and still having the positive mindset within them. Talking with them was fun, along with the positive and optimistic energy they exacerbated. 

Hopefully they can take that creativity far into the future with them, and create films in whichever kind of medium or focus they want – bringing that optimism wherever they go.