ST. MARYS — Roughrider senior Austin Dysert exudes everything artsy — the energy in his voice and mannerisms shout theater, but Dysert says this was not always evident to him.
“When I was in elementary school I thought I wanted to be either a chemistry teacher or a chemist,” he said.
His family was big into football, and games would be on every Saturday and Sunday at his house. Dysert hated musicals and had no idea the people he watched on TV were paid to do what they do.
It wasn’t until he was 12 or 13 that he officially had a change of heart.
“I used to be part of (a) kids’ drama club and we’d just gotten done with rehearsals,” he said. “The instructor was talking about how her daughter does theater — shows off Broadway in New York City, and I thought if she could do that, I could do it.”
Five years later, Dysert is knee-deep in the arts and loving it more than ever. He is a three-year member of Glitter N Gold, has been in jazz band for the past four years, and also participates in pep band, drama club and art club.
His passion for theater and the arts is obvious when he talks about his activities, Glitter N Gold especially.
“I love the fact that we sing and dance and perform in front of people because that’s basically like doing a musical — and i love musicals,” he said.
Dysert said he has learned a lot about dealing with people of all temperaments.
“I learned that miracles don’t always just happen,” he said, referring to the show choir’s ability to work as one. “You’ve got to have the mindset of it’s gonna happen.”
Each year, the show choir goes to other schools in the district and performs for the younger students, giving them an idea of the activities that will be available to them in high school. They are always “glued on us,” he said, dancing and singing along with the Glitter N Gold members.
“It’s just a rewarding show to do,” he added.
Drama club, which Dysert has been in for his entire high school career, brought the realization that not everyone shares his passion for theater.
“I’ve learned to try to match the energy of other people,” he said. “There have been situations where they’ve told me to tone it down a level.”
Overall, though, it has been a great experience where he has had many unforgettable roles. The best one, he said, was for a production called “Midsummer Night’s Teen,” a spoof on the William Shakespeare play.
“I was this overdramatic theater guy who tries to take over drama club,” Dysert said.
His performance during his own death scene had the crowd roaring, he said.
“When I go onstage and perform, then at the end get applause, that applause fuels my need to perform,” he said.
It also motivates him to be better at what he loves to do and earn even more applause in future performances.
After graduation, Dysert will be attending Wright State University in Dayton, majoring in theater studies and minoring in music.
Dysert said he is ready to embrace big city life, and his excitement is evident when he talks about the extracurriculars offered at WSU. During his two visits to the campus, he saw the Men’s Honors Choir Festival.
“It was one of the best experiences in my life,” he said. “Down there you get like 50 guys and the sound is just amazing.”
On his list of things to do are the men’s choral and jazz band — both definites, he said.
The only thing Dysert is apprehensive about is for the rest of his life to finally start — life away from his parents, away from high school.
“Now it’s getting to the point where my goals are set in motion,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the fact that I’m going to get some in-depth knowledge about what I want to do.”