Spotlight Shines On Student

ST. MARYS — For Braeden Tuttle, performing is a key aspect to his life.

The 17-year-old Memorial High School senior performs in the multiple groups he is involved in and out of school — Drama Club, Symphonic Choir, Glitter n Gold, Footloose and other plays, as well as Relay for Life and Friends of Rachel.

“I love to sing and act,” Tuttle said.

He also has the opportunity of portraying Rocky the Roughrider throughout the year — he chose his favorite memory of school as being Rocky the first time.

“It was my sophomore year of high school and we were getting ready to do it,” he said. “The process was crazy. They were like, ‘Well, you have to put this on first, you’ve got to put the shoulder pads on and you’ve got to pull up the suit and you’ve got to put the head on.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh this is too much work.’ As soon as I got the thing on, they said, ‘We’re going to lead you out there, and we’ll come get you during halftime.’ So we go out there, and all of a sudden these kids just come and swarm me. I couldn’t see anything, there’s two eye holes and a mouth hole but I’m pretty much the same height as Rocky would be, so it’s really hard for me to see out of it and see little kids. So I just felt all these hands hugging me and asking for high-fives. It was a amazing and crazy at the same time. I love doing it, and that’s why I keep doing it.”

Tuttle noted the costume can be very hot.

“Another time I did it my sophomore year, and we were at a volleyball game at Cook Gym, and I stayed in that thing for like two and a half games,” he said. “As soon as I took that thing off, it looked like I took a shower. Even with football games, it’s so hot ... It keeps the heat in and it hardly lets any cool air in.”

Tuttle noted what he enjoys about performing.

“It’s the thought of you being on stage, not being the center of attention, but being on stage and knowing that somebody out there is watching you, watching everything you do, and to know for a fact that you’re doing that and to know in your mind that you’re doing a really good job, it’s just that much more exciting,” he said.

Outside of school, Tuttle is involved in his church youth group, he is a sandwich artist at Subway and he takes dance classes in Celina and Wapakoneta, something he said he believes sets him apart from other students.

Tuttle said his favorite teacher is Mrs. Taylor, who teaches one of his favorite classes.

“Probably drama with Mrs. Torres or choir with Mrs. Taylor,” he said of his top classes.

As for someone he admires most, Tuttle chose his cousin, fellow Memorial High School senior Devlan Taylor.

“I’ve always admired him because of just the way he looks at life,” Tuttle said of Taylor. “He’ll do something that no one else will do, and he doesn’t care what the feedback is because it’s his life and that’s how he chooses to live it. That has always struck me as amazing how he can do that and not give a care what everybody else thinks.”

Tuttle also noted what he enjoys about being a St. Marys student.

“The fact that I know everyone or just the staff,” he said.

Tuttle encouraged other St. Marys students to be themselves.

“Don’t do stupid stuff, and whatever you choose to do, it’s your choice and don’t let other people change you,” he said as his advice to underclassmen/other students.

Tuttle hopes to attend a four-year college and major in musical theater and drama. Tuttle’s parents are Michelle and Derek Pridgen, and he also has a half-brother, Charlie.

— This is part of a senior feature series to appear in The Evening Leader on Saturdays, showcasing members of the 2012-13 St. Marys Memorial High School senior class.