Italy resident, Gus Allen, graduated from IHS this year. Parents Leslie and Brian Allen are very proud of their son. Gus didn’t leave empty handed when he left that campus in May. He received several scholarships. The Shelley Nance Memorial Art scholarship, band scholarship and theater scholarship from Navarro College in Corsicana.
“From an early age, Gus loved being in the spotlight,” confirmed Leslie Allen. “About the time he started kindergarden, Gus would watch a movie over and over until he memorized the lines. When his older sisters would have friends over, they would have him recite the funny parts of the movie and provide the entertainment.”
As an older student. Gus found interest in acting with One Act Play under the direction and guidance of Andi Windham. In his junior year, he held the lead male role in Kamakaze Kate and in his senior year, Gus shared the lead male role with Ty Windham. “I’ve always like to use my imagination and act out or pretend to be a character from a movie. It wasn’t until high school that I really wanted to start watching plays. I’ve seen Sweeney Todd, Pahntom of the Opera, Jeckyl & Hyde and Les Miserables,” Gus explained. “My favorite movie of all time is The Green Mile with Tom Hanks. My favorite actor is Tom Hanks because he is so versatile. He plays funny and serious roles and he’s good at both.” Other favorite actors of Gus’ include Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Clint Eastwood. “When I was younger, I would watch funny movies and imitate them because it made people laugh at me. But, as I got older, I enjoyed watching more dramatic, action and horror movies. I pretty much like all genres of movies and I just love to watch movies,” Gus stated.
Teasing he wants to be a huge movie star some day, Gus explained, “I know my few years of One Act Play in high school was just the beginning. I’m taking two theater classes in the fall and I know there is a lot more I have to learn before I’m ready to start auditioning for roles. I hope to get a good start at Navarro and then transfer to TCU and continue in their program. Who knows where acting will take me? But you never know unless you try….”
Also, loving art, Gus would sometimes go on his lunch period and work with Marilyn Seidlitz in the Art Department. “I enjoy drawing and sketching. I took Art in jr. high but I was unable to work it in as an elective in high school. However, Ms Seidlitz would let me spend my lunch period in her room and work with me. I entered the Ellis County Art show in my junior year, although I wasn’t officially taking Art that year. I finally got in the class my senior year and I had a chance to do some painting with water colors and oil paints. I’m going to continue with Art in college. I enrolled in a drawing class my first semester and I’m really excited,” Allen said.
Talented musically as well, Allen began in junior high in the percussion section. With the guidance and mentoring of Jesus Perez, Gus was drumline captain his senior year. “When I started in marching band in 8th grade, there were some really talented people I was fortunate to play with. Trevor Davis and Jazmine Wallace were both great to work with. They helped me a lot and had a great deal of patience!” Gus explained. “As far as someone that really stood out as an inspiration…that would be Mr. Perez. He is a strong Christian guy and I always felt like he wanted me (and everyone else he worked with) to do better in band but also be a better person in life,” Allen stated.
Gus credits Windham, Seidlitz and Perez with helping him improve and grow in the Arts—the things he loves to do.
Keep searching the Broadway lights for this young man. This won’t be the last time you hear the name Gus Allen.