Constance Owl10th Grade
Constance Owl is a young person focused on honing her many talents and sharing her heritage. In addition to excelling in her classes at Laurel Springs, Constance also manages a growing career as an actress and writer.
Constance began acting in North Carolina community theater when she was a preschool-aged child. As her level of experience increased, Constance’s talent was recognized by a local agent, who helped to develop her career with some initial jobs. Constance also began taking acting classes at The Company Acting Studio. Eventually, Constance’s professional career evolved to the point that she gained representation by a Los Angeles-based agency. “Being Native American, I was able to be cast in a lot of ethnic categories. However, now I am most interested in representing Native Americans, and prefer to pursue only those roles. If I become a successful writer, it may be a way that I can help to create more of those roles.”
“Writing makes me more appreciative of the creativity and thought behind some of the most amazing literature. I’m one of those people who actually enjoyed Beowulf and The Iliad.” Her English teacher, Melissa Hart, said, “Constance is joyfully engaged in all her literature lessons, turning even the smallest writing assignment into a literary work of art. She’s compassionate, diligent, and a whole lot of fun to teach!”
Recently, Constance and her older sister, Patience, wrote a play together called Cornbread and Cornbeads, which is “about growing up between two cultures, and having strong grandmothers on both sides.” The play was selected for The Autry National Center’s Native Voices Short Play Festival.
Constance’s experience of seeing their play performed as part of the festival was inspiring:
“Watching our play performed was an unbelievable experience! We met the talented cast, and were given front row seats for the performance. We heard the people in the audience around us laugh during the funny parts, and then they cried at the end. We were crying as well. It really touched us to see it all come to life on stage right before our eyes. The characters we created were based on real people in our lives, and it was magical to see how the actors were able to capture them so perfectly. Many people came up to us and said how much they loved the story and the characters. We are now thinking we might expand the play into a full length piece. It was an experience we will never forget.”
Constance, a 10th grade student who began taking classes at Laurel Springs four years ago, said that “I started becoming more confident in my writing about halfway through eighth grade. I love to write creative essays, short stories, poems, fables, and now plays!” She finds connections between her acting experience and academics: “My training as an actor makes me focus on the characters in my literature lessons. Actors pay attention to details and my mind has become conditioned to do that. It helps when I need to recall facts and themes, which also pays off with classes like science and math. Her Math teacher, Joyce Estes, agrees; she said that Constance is “a sweet student who is a joy to teach.”
Because of Constance’s writing and acting pursuits, her family sought a school that would allow flexibility without sacrificing quality academics. After examining many options, they felt that Laurel Springs was the “best of the best.” Constance said that, “I can’t imagine not being a student here. My teachers are unbelievable. I look forward to their feedback, suggestions, and comments more than the grade on any given lesson. I have more of a personal relationship with them through that direction communication than I do if I were in a traditional classroom with many other students. I stay in touch with previous teachers, and look to them as mentors.”
When she looks to the future, Constance said that she is interested in attending Stanford University “if I can; my older brother is a junior there,” and may be interested in pursuing law as a career. She also enjoys the opportunities that acting and writing offer her, and plans to attend Space Camp next summer. Most of all, she said, “I really like where I am right now, enjoying my family, pets, school, and acting opportunities. I am enjoying just being a kid.”