There was a purpose originally given to the past president interviews currently on this website. That purpose was to give perspective on what TEC had done for the presidents that had loyally served it. Seeing as my interview was done while I was still in high school I could only guess at what I had learned. Now that I am nearing the end of my freshman year in college, I have gained even more perspective.
I walked down the halls of Westlake High School for the first time just like every other 14-year-old freshman. I had gone through middle school thinking that I knew everything I would need to know, felt as if I was on the top. Then I got to Westlake and realized that reality was very different. I found myself suddenly in a place where getting ‘lost in the shuffle’ wasn’t an uncommon thing. Luckily for me there was something that separated me from the rest of my class.
I was already involved with something, that something was the Technical Entertainment Crew. At the time, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, nor do I wish that I did (for fear that I would have shied away). TEC for the longest time has been somewhat for the ‘lost kids’, not meant to be demeaning in anyway but really to show that we tend to be the ones with nowhere else to belong. Looking back, I am stunned at the different kinds of people that we got to work together in my 4 years in TEC. There were basketball players, football players, baseball players, dancers, musicians, computer geeks, lacrosse players, and even a volunteer fireman. Despite all of that, we had this common love of spectacle. We wanted to put on the biggest, baddest show that had ever been seen.
You could say that TEC shaped me because I learned skills like lighting, sound, video, photography, etc. but I would tell you that you would only be scratching the surface. The things I really appreciated getting out of TEC were not tangible skills. I learned leadership, camaraderie, teamwork, respect and responsibility. Everything I learned outside of the classroom and in the theatre or TEC office could be summed up with those words.
From the beginning of my high school career I was pushed out of my comfort zone by David Poole and essentially kept out of it until I graduated. That was an extremely important reason why I grew the way I did. Being an officer all 4 years and TEC president for the last 2. I had to learn to adapt quickly. Going through all of the events, teambuilding, hardship, and celebration I gained a fair amount of confidence in myself. Learning the ability to believe in yourself and your own abilities to go on and accomplish great things.
Since getting to TCU, I have done what every college kid does, nap, eat, and make friends. I was able to take the confidence and camaraderie skills I learned while at Westlake and apply them in a whole new setting. Making friends would have been much harder had it not been for what I had gained from TEC. After TEC I also found handling my class workload to be fairly easy, (the lack of 11pm crew calls had to help). Plus this spring I started an internship with a company down in Austin doing some marketing work. Now sure some of these could have been possible without TEC, but definitely not as easy.
I have found that there are very few skills I learned while in TEC that haven’t transferred to college. Of course I will rarely if ever need to program intelligent lights to do a left to right chase on a Road Hog Full Boar, but I will always need the ability to bring a group together and make something special. For that I hope that everyone who is in or will be in TEC will get as much out of it as I did. I hope that the organization continues to flourish so that it will always be there to transform lives and bring in shy freshman and send out strong leaders.
If you haven’t seen the video shot between Boyd Stepan, and myself, see what he and I had to say about TEC last year.