Me: “Try not to curse, because I’ll have to cut it out.”
Josh: “Right, right. I’ll say, like, ‘darn.’”
What’s your favorite memory from CPS?
“I’ll just do that theater one, from CPS, that production. Should I describe it? Okay, so it was sophomore year, and I was in acting class….We were gonna do a play and I had done some acting, but a lot of people in the class had never acted before and were just doing it because they thought it was fun. Salil had us do a play that we were gonna present at the end of the semester. It was, like, an old Western, but it was this really weird thing where it was a play in a play. It was the Western, and then there was a murder and we broke the Western and we were playing actors talking about the murder. It was weird.
In the first scene, we were still in the Western. We were [supposed to be] frozen and the lights were off and the narrator was gonna come out and do a monologue. So he came out and just looked at the crowd, took a big deep breath, and started, sort of, cracking up for like thirty seconds. He was just laughing, he couldn’t do any of his lines, and all of us on stage–we were frozen and we weren’t supposed to be moving, but I was laughing, too. We all were laughing and like ‘What the fu–what the darn.’ He got a couple of words out over a couple of minutes and was laughing the rest of the time. Salil just shut the lights on him, didn’t let him finish, just turned it off, and we left the stage and somehow just kept doing the play.
The next scene came out, and I think it was a little more composed, I managed to get some lines out… That scene was okay, but we were all smiling a lot. It was really hard, the whole situation was really funny. And then Jose came in; he was playing ‘Fat Daddy.’ It was extremely funny–he had this huge fat suit. He came in and delivered his lines and kept going. The lights went out, and there was a gunshot” (in the play) “and there was some scurrying that was supposed to happen.” We were supposed to run around and make noise–we did that, it actually happened–but there was a lot of laughing. The whole time, there was a bunch of laughing. The lights were out and everyone was running around, and at that point I went up to the rafters of the auditorium where the techies live. I was looking down and the lights came on and Jose was there as Fat Daddy. He was supposed to be dead–he was lying in the wheelchair with his hat over his head. Saachi, who was playing his wife, walked up to him and was supposed to be really sad, lifting his hat like ‘he’s dead…’ Instead, she just lifted his hat like, ‘He’s’” (laughing) “‘dead!’” (laughing). “I don’t know what happened in the rest of the play, but in every scene people were cracking up in between lines. I think a couple other times during the show Felipe came out and tried to do a monologue and started laughing. After the show, we didn’t see Salil. We finished and he was not there.”
Who’s the most influential person in your life?
“Definitely my older brother. I don’t know, I’ve kind of physically and emotionally looked up to him my whole life. He’s three years older than me and my only other sibling and he’s another guy and we’re both… we did a lot of the same things. I kind of took him as an inspiration… he was kind of my inspiration for sports and school. I don’t know, he’s kind of helped me with a lot of homework and figuring that stuff out. I just love to spend time with him so I just totally feel like…I kind of just ask him all my questions for life, so I can just dump my brain to him, and he’ll give me whatever advice he can. He pretty much knows everything about me and I know everything about him, so it’s just really easy for me to listen to him. And I feel like he’s just made a lot of good decisions for most of his life so he’s a pretty good, easy role model to follow.”
Has someone ever saved your life?
“Let me think… Not that I can immediately think of. I feel like I’ve almost died many times while biking down certain hills, but usually, I just, like, don’t–you know what I’m saying? There was this one time though, when I was little, and I was in this canoe with my mom and dad… Then this speedboat came by and sent a bunch of ripples, and this was like a shi–uh, a darn canoe, so it flipped when the waves were coming and capsized. We fell out, and I thought I was gonna die underwater, I thought I was gonna drown… even though we were like 40 feet from the shore. I really wasn’t [gonna drown], but I thought I was gonna die.”
Tell me about your pet(s).
“I have Zenya, she’s my cat, she… right now she doesn’t really love me that much, cuz I stopped feeding her and taking her outside. My mom does that–I’m not killing her, she’s not starving. She’s very cute. She’s a Russian Blue which is a cat, not a person. She’s from Latvia. She was born in Latvia and somehow illegally immigrated to the US and got into Ohio, and then we got her from Ohio. She’s very small, so we keep her inside because she would not do well against the neighborhood cats, it’s a little worrying. She’s very annoying. She meows a lot and has kind of perfected her meow to be the most annoying. At this point, we’ve had her for a year and a half or so and she is very good at making noises that are just the worst thing ever.
She loves my mom. She spends 24 hours a day with my mom, it’s very cute. They have conversations. My mom will say hi to her and she’ll meow, and my mom will say, ‘Oh, it’s very hard being a cat,’ and then she’ll meow again. It’s actually very funny, she meows like talking.
She’s a total lap cat; she loves sitting in between your legs. If you stretch out your legs on the couch she goes right in between them and lies like a hot dog, she just gets really long. She’s getting a little fat, in my opinion. She eats a lot of treats–my mom puts out treats every day in a treat bowl for her… She likes to go in my drawers. If I open the middle one she just goes in the middle one and then goes back into the lower one which is closed and just stays in there. One time, at three in the morning, I heard a sound coming for the dresser and I was just like, ‘What the hell is this?’ I was very scared–it was totally a horror movie thing. [The dresser] was shaking, and she just peeked her head out and jumped out.”
What are you most proud of?
“I don’t know. I feel like it’s tough at CPS in general to be proud of things because the standard is so high and everybody around you is so good at things. But personally, I’m proud that I eat more vegetables and eat healthier now. I used to eat a lot of pasta and that was all I ate–I’d just eat a lot of pasta for lunch, and then in the afternoon eat leftover pasta, and then for dinner eat other pasta. Now I eat, like, salad and eggs and broccoli. So I’m proud about that.”
What is something you want to leave behind at CPS?
“Well… this is gonna be weird, but like I feel like I’m done being cool. Does that make sense? I feel like in college I just want to do whatever I want to do, you know? And I feel like in high school… CPS doesn’t have a lot of it, but high school still has some social norms and social structure. In college, I don’t care, I don’t want to care about any of that. I just want to do what I want to do, be friends with the people I want to be friends with.”
What’s a story you tell that no one believes?
“Well, I have one from a while ago, that’s okay. When I was little, I was at this waterfall called Carlon Falls. It was pretty big, there was a swimming area at the bottom that was maybe six, eight feet deep, and the waterfall was maybe thirty, forty feet tall, maybe more. These people were walking across the top of it–like, they were just dumb. They were just walking across the very top and one of them just fell off, and fell down the whole waterfall and landed in the bottom, and was fine. He just hit the ground, went into the water probably pretty deep–the water was not that shallow–got out, kind of had a scratch–but not really–and was just like ‘Oh, ****!’ We were all like, ‘Are you okay?’ But he said ‘Yeah, I’m fine,’ and then hiked back from the trail. He just left.”
What’s your favorite place in the world?
“I mean, I really like California. It’s kind of tough, I really don’t travel that many places. I really like the California coastline–oh, **** I got it: Monterey Bay Aquarium! That’s my favorite place. And the outside area with the otters, the outside kelp forest. I just ******* love that place.”
What’s your favorite book of all time?
“I really like fiction. I feel like my favorite is The Lord of the Rings, but I also like Harry Potter, and when I was younger I really liked Percy Jackson. But that was, like, when I was younger.”
If I asked you at age 5 what you wanted to be when you grew up, what would you say?
“Oh, I think I said… it was either, like, billionaire or millionaire. I was just set. They would be like ‘What’s your job gonna be’ and I’d be like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna be a billionaire.’ And they’d be like ‘What are you gonna do for work,’ and I’d be like, ‘Well, I’m gonna be a billionaire, that’s my thing.’”
What’s something you want to do before you graduate college?
“Before I graduate college… I kind of want to go skydiving. I just don’t know what else I want to do that I haven’t done. I don’t know… it’d also be really fun to get really good at mountain biking. I’ve been thinking about that. But apparently the thing for skydiving is that it’s only like $170 or something like that. Isn’t that crazy? And here’s the thing, here’s the thing: If you die–no skydiving place is gonna stay in business if people, like, die doing it. I was talking about it with Elie the other night, and he was just like ‘I feel like it would be so pretty.’ I was just like, ‘You know, that’s not the first thing I was thinking of when I thought of skydiving.’ I was thinking like, really scary, really exhilarating, not that it would be a really nice view.
Have you ever been in a free fall? Have you ever been bungee jumping or something? In Costa Rica this one time–I think it’s in Costa Rica, I don’t know, somewhere with a lot of green trees–I was doing this ziplining place and then they had a bungee drop thing where you went down and it was a cord and it slowly lowered you down, but you had like three seconds of free fall. You had to jump off of this platform backward and it was really high up and it was just so ******* scary. I thought it was just gonna be, like, jumping off the slide or jumping off a rock into water, but it’s just so much worse.”
What’s your biggest regret from your time at CPS?
“Biggest regret…. I kind of wished I did one of the school plays or something, but I didn’t. I used to do a bunch of drama in middle school and stuff, and then I also did acting at CPS and it’s pretty fun, so I wished I did some of that.”
Who’s your favorite musical artist?
“That’s tough. Right now I’m listening to a lot of Kid Cudi. I don’t know, his music is really inspirational and good. I feel like it’s a lot of positive energy. I really like hip hop–I like the way it sounds–but a lot of hip hop in my opinion is super gangster which I can’t really listen to… It’s just like listening to a bunch of people talking about a bunch of gangster things and I’m, like, going to private school. I don’t know, it feels weird, I’ll be listening to people rapping about hoes and selling a bunch of cocaine and I’m like, ‘I have a math test tomorrow.’ It’s just a little weird. I don’t like a lot of the misogyny and just being di–uh, being rude people. But his music sounds good and it’s inspirational.”
What’s a skill you wish you could have?
“I wish I was good at managing my time and actually doing things I’m really bad at. Like, if I’m the only person making myself do a thing, it just doesn’t really happen on time because I just like, ‘**** it, nobody’s telling me to.’ So I wish I could do that, because I end up wasting a lot of time just lying on my bed, looking at my phone, almost like I’m waiting for something to happen even though I have a lot of things to do. I’ll just not do any of them and be like, ‘Oh, I’m just waiting for things to start happening,’ but [they] just [don’t]. I also wish I knew how to play an instrument well, but it’s just never gonna happen.”
If there is one thing that you think everyone should know about you, what would it be?
“I don’t know. It’s kind of cheesy, but I like having fun and being nice to people, and if you’re nice to me I’ll be nice to you. Just don’t be mean to me, you know what I’m saying? Like, I don’t have a great way to phrase that but, that, yeah, I guess.”