Senior Spotlight: Taylor Fjellstrom


The two sides of Theater and Drill shine no clearer than in these two images; Taylor nails both. Courtesy of Taylor.

Ethan Verderber, Writer

   Students have to manage a lot. Family, friends, and the six hours of our day we dedicate to our academics. This doesn’t count a zero period or any of the time we dedicate to our after-school electives. Sometimes, it can be a lot to handle.

   Meet Taylor Fjellstrom. As a Senior looking into college, an Officer for Drill/All Male, and a member of Play Production, she’s got a lot on her plate. “It’s very hard mixing the two,” she says. “I had a few overwhelming nights but I got through it. I think it was worth it because I have gotten where I am.”

   But how did she do it? Performance arts demand a lot of time, energy, and commitment, alongside everything else we do for school. Fjellstrom revealed her secret: “Plan. Planning really helps me. I’m a big procrastinator and if I don’t write down what I need to do for Drill, Play Prod, homework, or college, it’s not gonna happen.” Each of us has heard it before, to write it in our planners and mark it on our calendars, but Taylor’s one of the stars who actually goes through with that. She recommends trying to make a list of what you need to do and when you can do it, should you find yourself neck-deep in the mess of life. 

   Admitting life is hard isn’t an easy thing to do, but dealing with hardship is a whole different beast. Taylor has an answer for that too, luckily for us. “If you get overwhelmed, calm down. Take a breath.” It sounds easy, but it isn’t. Everyone needs to find ways to make what we want work. For Taylor, that’s taking two academics a day, giving her more time to focus on her passion of performing.

   And a passion it surely is. Taylor started dancing, tap and ballet, at a young age. She learned her responsibility early too — from first grade, she was mixing dance and soccer. Eventually, she dropped soccer, and picked up acting and theater. Coming to high school, she quickly found her niche at West. 

   Early on, Taylor learned what responsibility meant which is why she is now able to flip between Drill and Play Production so well. Drill being so “cutthroat when it comes to cleanliness,” and Play Prod demanding “real feelings for a character” are two very different things — and she manages to nail both.

   Whether you’re considering joining a dance team or are just an ordinary student, there’s definitely something each of us can learn from Taylor. Time management skills, coping mechanisms, an up-and-at-em’ attitude, but most importantly, the virtue of working hard.