Different Strokes For Different Coats

Paint crew in full bloom with their crew chief, sophomore Lourdes Flowers

Odochi Akwani, Co Online Editor

As the bell rings to end the school day, many students race to the parking lot to beat the traffic as they make their way home. But for sophomore Lourdes Flowers and the rest of her paint crew, they race to the scene shop, grab their paints, and begin their creative process.
Flowers started her paint crew journey last year with the fall musical during her freshman year. That makes the spring play, What Happened After Once Upon A Time, her 8th production overall and 5th one as paint chief.
Originally, she planned to stick to soccer, a sport that took her to state as a freshman. But through the musical, Flowers discovered a newfound lifelong interest—art.
“I was lucky enough to be tossed into the department really early and I even got to feel the family-like environment the moment I started. I was so involved my freshman year that I received the ‘Most Likely To Be In The Scene Shop Even When There’s No Tech Award!’ I also received the ‘Outstanding Techie Award’ and consider it to be one of my greatest achievements to this day,” Flowers said.
As chief she has many responsibilities that are usually given to upperclassmen who tend to be in the tech chief positions for these productions.
“I’m in charge of approximately 15 students. As paint chief, I not only have to delegate jobs accordingly to a new group of people each performance, but I also have to teach them all sorts of skills. I’m also responsible for designing exactly what the set will end up looking like and I work side by side with the directors and other chiefs as well,” Flowers said.
On Mondays all the techies meet with the director for instructions on what needs to be done that week. Then, the paint crew, along with all other tech groups, have their separate meetings throughout the week. For Flowers and the rest of her team, it means staying until 5:00 P.M. to accomplish these tasks which include priming, base coating, dry brushing drying, and adding details.
As a sophomore in a leadership position, Flowers has to oversee many upperclassmen. This is a different dynamic than even she was used to when she first started.
“Although it’s somewhat of a unique experience, I think that it keeps me humble and I truly appreciate all the people who have respected me despite my age,” Flowers said.
Flowers has gotten to work with other students she used to admire and share this experience with them, growing in the process.
“It has really improved my leadership skills and given me the opportunity to not only express myself, but help others to find something that can help them like it does me. Whether it’s finding a safe place to be after school, doing something with your friends, expressing your feelings, or finding what you want to do for the rest of your life, giving that gift to someone is my goal as chief,” Flowers said.
She plans to continue on this path as paint chief for the rest of her time here at MN.
“This is something that I have a strong passion for. Walking into the scene shop to see my paint crew gathered around, chatting about their day, smiling, singing, having fun, that’s what reminds me of why I love theatre at Millard North and the people involved in it,” Flowers said.
As Flowers rushes to the scene shop to continue to assemble her portfolio of all her work, every stroke of the brush and coat of paint she applies reminds her why she loves art and theatre.