A star on the field and on the stage: Alex Aviles

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When he’s not busy practicing outside for the next football or lacrosse game, he’s inside marking scripts and getting into character for Northwood’s next theatre production. Having been simultaneously involved in sports and theatre at Northwood, senior Alex Aviles is not afraid to take risks when it comes to the myriad activities he gets involved in.

Victor Chang: How did you get into football and lacrosse?

Alex Aviles: Well, my brother, who is two years older, was into football. So I went to a few of his games and I would always have a good time. And he always told me to get into football because once you play, you never regret it. For lacrosse, the sport has been a part of me since sixth grade. I had a friend who played it and he kept on encouraging me get involved. A lot of people say that you never know whether or not you are interested in something until you try it. So I did, and I ended up loving the sport. I have been playing lacrosse ever since then.

VC: What about theatre?

AA: One of my friends, during my sophomore year, motivated me to get involved in the production “The Drowsy Chaperone.” However, I didn’t know if I wanted to do acting or cast, so I ended up choosing to be part of the running crew backstage. Unfortunately, I ended up waiting too long to get involved in acting or singing. By that time, it was for the last production, “The Little Mermaid,” of my senior year in the middle of my fall and spring sports seasons. So I auditioned for that and I ended up getting ensemble, which is really fun and I really enjoyed it a lot.

VC: How did you manage to maintain such a diverse schedule?

AA: Playing sports, your coaches are always telling you to make sure that your time management skills are maintained and that you have a balanced schedule. It’s not really good to get off track of what’s really important because it would then affect your scores and how you play on the field. So I just stayed really focused and engaged in what I did. And it has just been going from there.

VC: What motivates you to continue playing sports and performing on stage?

AA: What motivates me from going to practice to the game is winning. You always want

to feel like you did really good and achieve what you strived for in your goals. This has been my primary motivational mindset for the past three years ever since I got into sports at Northwood. For theatre, it’s just the sensation of being able to express yourself in a way that is both creative and, like sports, wholly fulfilling. It’s an experience you can get nowhere else.

VC: How has keeping up with these activities at the same time defined you as a person?

AA: It has helped me a lot with my time management skills. I think it’s something that’s very important to have in life. You don’t want to get yourself involved in so many activities that really fill up your schedule when you can’t control and handle it in a way that maintains your health and well-being. It would just end up creating a lot of stress. Having to go to the practices and the games, and then finding myself doing schoolwork at the end of the day is a little rough. But doing these activities—theatre, football, lacrosse—are things that I have grown to love. And being able to love what I do just reduces that stress.

VC: Have you found yourself applying skills that overlap between sports and theatre?

AA: Yes. Just always being able to adapt to the situation. Going from football and lacrosse to theatre, I have learned to keep an open mind. For example, I didn’t really know a lot of theatre starting out, but having prior experience in sports and athletics has always allowed me to maintain the mindset that you always want to be coachable and eager to develop new interests.

VC: Do you have any future plans involving sports or theatre?

AA: Yes, I’m planning to go to Saddleback Community College, and I’m looking to get into the theatre program there. I actually wanted to play lacrosse in college, but what ended up happening when I did “The Little Mermaid,” was a shift toward theatre. I just loved it so much. It’s just the environment you’re in and how much love and support people show towards each other. The theatre production field is just so amazing. So hopefully, while I pursue theatre in college, I would also get a job working at Disneyland and the productions there. Unfortunately, I won’t be playing any sports in college. I want to dedicate my time towards the theatre route.

VC: What is one piece of advice for those who are deciding between diverse interests? AA: Just take risks. You never know what you’re going to get out of them and what you’ll

put in. So I think a really great thing to do is just to take more risks than you would usually do and you’ll more likely have a great outcome. No matter what you get into, the most important thing is to just love what you do and just go from there.