By Desiree Williams
Austin Davidson graduated from Hamilton Southeastern High School in 2013. A drama student, he graduated from New York University in December of 2016 and is preparing for his first post-graduate lead role in a production starting in June.
Q: What was it like to be class president all four years of high school?
A: The last couple years I really took initiative and really wanted to make a mark and have not only my name on the school, but the name of everyone on the school. I kind of wanted to be the voice for other people. So I created a couple clubs and I did an outreach where we raised money for a well in Africa. We were one of the first classes that did a senior year project and started that tradition.
Q: What was your favorite subject in high school?
A: I was definitely a science kid in high school, surprisingly enough. I did the four-year biomedical program, Project Lead The Way. Fishers and HSE both have this program, and it’s basically pre-pre-med.
Q: Do you remember your most influential high school class or teacher?
A: I would say it’s a solid tie between Jacquie Carson and Sharon Fisher. They just influenced me in two very different ways. Ms. Carson very much inspired individuality. Sharon Fisher just instilling an incredible level of work ethic.
Q: Is there anything you miss about high school?
A: I miss the encouragement from people to do things greater than yourself. I feel like that’s such a thing in high school to get involved and go out and do things in the world. You have the opportunity to do that the rest of your life, but it’s not as encouraged. I miss the encouragement to think outside of myself and I miss those people whispering in my ear.
Q: What drew you to New York and drama?
A: Being in New York is incredible. The world is an open window. I studied musical theater for the first 2 1/2 years and then the last year I studied film acting. I’m definitely more interested in film. I just finished a project in Florida on a film, and then I’m going to be at (Barrington Stage Company) in June and July doing a show called Speech & Debate.
Q: Do you have any specific kind of film you’d want to be a part of?
A: I’m definitely more into dramas. I very much fit the Indie film scene. I really want to tell narratives that aren’t being told right now. The gay narrative is very important to me.
Q: Do you have any advice for people going into high school or college?
A: I think I went in pretty much knowing that I wanted to be an actor my entire life and tried to do this whole biomedical thing and I learned so much from it, but the most important thing I learned from it was that I don’t want to do it. It’s OK to not know what you want to do in high school, and it’s OK to know exactly what you want to do. Just let that be your real dream and passion and then pursue it unabashedly.