Charlotte Howard-Check: Managing Crew and Comp Sci

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Charlotte Howard-Check: Managing Crew and Comp Sci

Freshman Charlotte Howard-Check practices her ukulele before Variety Show auditions as a friend holds her music to the side.

Freshman Charlotte Howard-Check practices her ukulele before Variety Show auditions as a friend holds her music to the side.

Freshman Charlotte Howard-Check practices her ukulele before Variety Show auditions as a friend holds her music to the side.

Freshman Charlotte Howard-Check practices her ukulele before Variety Show auditions as a friend holds her music to the side.

By Ella Ilg, Staff Writer

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Following a quiet moment in the Niles West Theatre department, freshman Charlotte Howard-Check gets to go home and spend time preparing for her first finals season. With two honors classes on her plate, she can enjoy her free time away from theatre.

Howard-Check’s first semester at West included staying after school to participate in crew for two of the Niles West Theater Department’s shows, involving herself with the school improv team, and spending the rest of her day on homework.

“My grades are a little bit shakier than I had hoped, but I’m just hoping to get used to it all and have a good time. It’s the aspect of having mainly no homework and then getting hit with a test and thinking that I thought I knew what I was talking about,” Howard-Check said.

The stress of finals season hasn’t kept Howard-Check from planning for her future. She has already begun preparing applications for summer jobs and having her dream college ready in her mind: University of Texas at Austin.

“She applied as a camp counselor for a summer job, and I was more than happy to write her a letter of recommendation. I have no doubt that she will do a fantastic job. She definitely sets herself apart from your typical group of freshmen,” Andrew Suarez, Howard-Check’s Spanish 2 teacher, said.

For her ultimate career goals, Howard-Check’s dream is getting into the acting world. Since she was eight years old, she’s been dedicated to Devonshire Theater and later starred in a Lincoln Junior High Production, Pirates of Penzance. When she came to Niles West, the competition in the theatre department really pushed Howard-Check.

“It’s so jarring, everyone here is so talented,” Charlotte said about the members of the theater department.

Despite the competitiveness, she has not given up and continues to audition for every show. If she does not get cast, she makes sure that she’s on the production crew to ensure she’s involved in the theatre department in some way.

Howard-Check is a pragmatist though, and she’s made sure to enroll herself in computer science classes to have a foundation for a backup career if acting doesn’t work out.

“I decided that if acting doesn’t work out, I might as well choose something with a steady pay,” Howard-Check said.

Her interest in the computer science realm stems slightly from her father, who is a sound engineer who used to tour with AC/DC and the Rolling Stones. Unfortunately, she was too young to go to any of the concerts, but was able to see an Austin Mahone concert her dad was working on more recently.

“In a sense, I want to possibly emulate him, but I don’t think I want to go into the direction of backstage. I think I really want to be acting onstage,” Howard-Check said.

Musically, Howard-Check has loved learning the Ukulele for the past two years, which she has to practice using her little sisters plastic pink Minnie Mouse instrument; she hopes to get a new one for Christmas or her birthday. She’s played the ukulele in front of an audience before at the Lincoln Junior High talent show, but is also really excited to possibly perform in the Variety Show next semester.

After moving from a 500 person school to a 2600 person school, Howard-Check has made several new friends from her classes and her work with theater crew. One of those friends is fellow freshmen Elizaveta Kolesnik, who she became close with while working on the school musical 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee earlier this year.

“She’s always very funny, and she’s really nice and sweet. I’ve known her since Putnam and it’s been really fun doing theatre with her,” Kolesnik said.