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Living in the moment
by Garrett Valenzuela
Sep 10, 2012 | 5470 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hayden Casey
Hayden Casey
SPARKS — Hayden Casey is not in a rush to graduate high school. Attending college on the West coast lies in the near future, but for now 15-year-old junior is content draining every bit of knowledge out of the teachers at Reed High School.

“I’m thinking about (college), but I’m also not at the same time. I’m trying to enjoy where I am now without stressing myself out about the future,” Casey said.

In his time at Reed, Casey has become fascinated with the English language and its use to convey meaning. A fan of fiction and adult fiction books, Casey hopes his studies in English will lead him to a career in writing someday.

He admits working only as a writer would be a difficult task, but still says it is his dream job. He said a second profession, which he has yet to discover, would be “something more practical to work with” and would help him avoid “barely getting by” financially.

“I like to write stuff that makes you want to read it, instead of just barking on and on,” he said.

Casey has packed this year’s schedule with AP classes in English, Biology, U.S. History  and a Honors French class in his pursuit to someday be Valedictorian. He said he does not “need to be number one, but it would be nice,” adding that seeking the nomination insistently would only place added pressure and stress to his already dense schedule.

On a typical weekday afternoon, Casey can be found in the music wing of Reed High exercising his love for melodic vocal arrangements in the school’s Intermezzo show choir. Casey, working in his third year in Intermezzo and his second year of the jazz choir ensemble, finds that being a member of the choir offers more than just a place to release his inner creativity not expressed in his writing.

“It’s like I have a whole second family in that class. I walk in and it’s like they welcome me with open arms,” he said. “That’s why I like the music side because there’s an equal balance of learning, knowledge, memorizing things and singing. I just love it here.”

Casey said he does not remember his exact age when his father bought him a karaoke machine to perform vocal performances for his family. At age 12, Casey won the annual Sparks Got Talent contest at the Sparks Marina and said his passion for singing “blossomed from there.”

“The awesome thing about it is that intermezzo and (jazz) ensemble are sixth and seventh periods, so it is a great way to end your day,” Casey said. “Every day you go in there, you sing and everything is better. I leave the building and I think that was a good day even if the first four periods stunk.”

Casey does not envision himself as a world-renown music star in the future, in fact, he recognizes the rare odds of becoming a recording artist. Still, his love for singing depends on the glimmer of hope that a dream so immaculate could come true.

“If I don’t continue to persevere and sing in my life it will take all the energy and fun out of it,” he said. “I’m never going to let that dream die. There is always this dream of being a big Broadway star and, as far-fetched as that is, I am never going to let that out of my head. There’s so many (vocal artists) out there and they all have such good ideas and sometimes it is kind of a harsh reality, but it is good to have that (reality check) because then you are not blown away when you realize ‘what if I don’t make it.’ I want to keep singing. I don’t want to stop because it is so fun and so rewarding.”
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