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Lights. Camera. Buddy.

Senior wins Mr.Hebron competition

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Senior theater member Buddy Kennedy won the Mr.Hebron competition on May 14.

“I didn’t originally know about the competition until [senior] Loren Querickiol told me about it during AP Macroeconomics,” Buddy said. “She knew I was in theater and told me that the winner gets $500 in college scholarships.”

Buddy decided to do singing as his main talent. After finding out he was was participating, Querickiol decided to give him a few tips.

“I gave all the contestants the same information,” Querickiol said. “They needed to understand that the judges were all girls and that here, classy not trashy would win. Buddy approached me with two kinds of singing: Frank Sinatra and a funny rap. I told him the Frank Sinatra and he absolutely slayed it with roses and a suit.”

Buddy has been singing since he was about 5 years old. Though his family was musically inclined, with an older sister active in musicals and a father who took theater in college, Buddy didn’t enjoy singing or performing in front of others.

“I was kind of obligated to do singing and theater,” Buddy said. “I remember my first audition for a church play in like second grade. My dad kinda forced me into it and I was crying.”

Eventually, in fourth grade, he began receiving recognition for his singing talent and receiving roles in local musicals, such as Jesus in Godspell, Horton in Seussical, and J. Pierrepont Finch in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

“I wasn’t into theater,” Buddy said. “But then I started getting pretty good and it motivated me to do more.”

Buddy had been homeschooled from kindergarten to 8th grade. During this time, he picked up basketball as a hobby and played with local teams and his father to pass time. Eventually, he moved to Prestonwood Christian Academy (PCA), using varsity basketball as a way out of homeschooling.

“I didn’t really like being homeschooled,” Buddy said. “I had a friend whose dad was really involved in PCA basketball. He really wanted me to play so I went ahead and played there. I loved it.”

After joining the PCA team, Buddy was able to play with PCA graduates that are current National Basketball Association (NBA) players during practices, like Julius Randle of the Lakers. Buddy was also a part of theater.

“It was hard to manage, just because theater and basketball took so much time,” Buddy said. “At PCA I was able to maintain it. My freshman year was my best year even with my extracurriculars.”

Though Buddy was able to manage his time, he said he couldn’t keep his motivation when he moved to Hebron his junior year. He decided to do only varsity basketball.

“I moved my friend groups,” Buddy said. “It was kind of hard and I eventually started to miss theater.”

His senior year, he decided to drop basketball for theater, but said it was a tough decision.

“[Basketball and theater] are both 4th period so I could only do one,” Buddy said. “It was weird at first, [the team] was all like, ‘Buddy what are you doing,’ but I wanted to do it. I’d be able to use more of my talent in theater. Basketball was draining.”

Now that Buddy has found his niche in the arts, he plans to pursue it during college at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

“I applied to the college of journalism there,” Buddy said. “I want to be a late night TV show writer. My ultimate dream, though, is to do what Jimmy Fallon does. I admire his enthusiasm, even though his job is so demanding. I love to make people laugh and engage them. The way he does it effortlessly is awesome. I want to bring joy to people.”

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Lights. Camera. Buddy.