Union Street Journal

The Max Gomez behind the curtain

Max+Gomez+collects+money+for+the+Phamily+Theater+Company+as+an+STO.
Max Gomez collects money for the Phamily Theater Company as an STO.

Max Gomez collects money for the Phamily Theater Company as an STO.

Photo by Jack Congel

Photo by Jack Congel

Max Gomez collects money for the Phamily Theater Company as an STO.

Cameron Barnard, Editor-in-Chief

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Parents and students sit silently in the small black box theater. On stage the four actors fluidly deliver their lines with natural emotion. Standing in the director’s box, senior Max Gomez directs his senior play For Whom the Southern Bell Tolls.

Usually an actor on the stage, the show was his first foray into the director’s chair.

“I see things happening on stage and say ‘I would love to be a part of that’ but as soon as I’m acting in a costume center stage, I look offstage and I realize there is something there I’m missing,” Gomez said. “Directing is a really good opportunity for me to step into that leadership role and take charge of a production and impact it and design it the way I want it to be conveyed.”

Having done almost everything in theater at one point or another, Gomez saw the directing spot as the best of every world.

“You’re only in charge of part of the message when you’re building or acting, but when you’re directing you have full-say over what you are telling the audience,” Gomez said.

Gomez acts as the president of the theater Troupe 1730. The troupe works to create a positive environment by supporting local Colorado theater and encouraging others to join theater.

Acting since the seventh grade, the stage is part of who he is.

“I think whether it’s the social skills I’ve developed from handling conflict during productions or the comfort I have with public speaking or just the general understanding of other people and life through theater and texts, it’s a really rewarding experience and it broadens the view of the world I have and it sort of give me the opportunity to see something outside of myself and create art,” Gomez said.

He got the position of State Thespian Officer this year, the first Creek student to be honored in ten years.

As one of ten elected officers in Colorado, Gomez is on the Thespian Board which also works to support local theater whether professional, community, or other high schools.

“Creek has that stigma against it in the community, you know that rich, white, wealthy school, and [it’s important] for [other schools] to meet kids who don’t necessarily fit that background or who are nice and kind and excited to make art,” Gomez said. “It’s really rewarding for me to be able to bring kids I work with and have them meet other kids so that we can little by little chip away at that reputation Creek has.”

The student Thespian Board also works with arts advocacy groups to speak with government representatives about the importance of arts education.

“It’s really important to me to give other students the chance to enjoy something that I find so much pleasure in,” Gomez said. “To get those skills, it shouldn’t be in the hands of parents and teachers to pay for those things. It should be the government’s responsibility in a way.”

Gomez also sits on the student government as a senator where he has made a point to advocate for school minorities.

“Student senate I saw as an opportunity for me to step up and set that sort of environment I want at my school and speak up for the things I believe in, whether that’s something as trivial as ‘what’s the prom theme’ or whether or not we have an issue of racism on campus,” he said.

He also happens to be the only student in state government who is also involved in theater.

“It can be frustrating sometimes to be in a group with 25 athletes when you’re the one kid who focuses on the arts, but I try to speak up and advocate for the interests of everyone at the school,” Gomez said. “Usually I like to think that I broaden the range of issues senate discusses and sort of broaden the range of support that senate tries to give to the groups of Creek.”

Few people have made the impact on the theater community that Gomez has. From his acting to his position as a State Thespian Officer to student body senator in the school government, Gomez has garnered the respect of his peers.

“He’s very intimidating to work with especially as director,” junior Sabrina Vachris said. “He’s always been ‘oh he’s the president of the thespian club’, and he’s STO, and he’s on senate, but Max as a person, he’s pretty great.”

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About the Writer
Cameron Barnard, Editor Emeritus

Cameron Barnard is a senior at Creek. This is his fourth year on the USJ staff. Cameron enjoys pop culture and writing. He plays tennis and supports the Bruins.

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