Interview by Shaina Zaccagnino Nomination by Shannon Wickware Photography by Brooklynn Alexander Photography Oklahoma
The Nomination: Ally Wickware just released her first original song “Mean to Me” on iTunes, Spotify, etc. She plays piano & ukulele and is learning guitar. She does dance, theatre, art & kickboxing. She was chosen for the High Plains Leadership Team, volunteers in the nursery and works at a boutique where she does styling, modeling & social media.
How did you become interested in being a performer and how did you start?
I’ve been singing for longer than I even remember. We have home movies of me as a toddler singing country songs into a toy microphone at the top of my lungs. I then got into dance and discovered my love for being on stage! I’ve done everything from dance competitions & vocal performances to talent shows, pageants & a Broadway Revue.
How were you able to write and record your first original song, Mean to Me?
I co-wrote the song “Mean to Me” with my vocal coach, Bobbi Holliday. She helped me put my feelings into words and form it into a song that I am so very proud of. I wanted it to have a retro-pop, 80’s vibe and I love how dreamy it turned out. I recorded it with her husband, Nathan, who is a producer. I also got to shoot a music video for it that will be coming out soon!
Who has been your biggest influence in the music industry and why?
I’m so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had working with Bobbi over the years. I love her! She is definitely my biggest influence and mentor. I’ve also loved getting to know & sing with Jilian Linklater from Nashville. She is the sweetest person and a soulful singer/songwriter. I’ve been a huge Taylor Swift fan from the beginning. Her music really inspires me. I also love Halsey & Ariana Grande. They are so talented.
Tell me a little bit about the Student Leadership Team you were chosen for.
Besides homeschooling, I’m a student in the Multimedia Production Program at High Plains Technology Center. As a member of their Superintendent’s Leadership Class I’ve gotten to take field trips and hear from professionals in many different careers. These experiences cover things like leadership skills, goal-setting, business & professional etiquette and entrepreneurship. I’ve learned so much and had fun too. I’m excited for our visit to the Oklahoma Capital this month.
What do you like most about the nursery you volunteer at?
I volunteer in the nursery at Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church. I love getting to be around all of those babies! I’ve always enjoyed taking care of little ones. It’s so much fun to play with them and a great way to help out at my church. I also love my youth group and singing with the Worship Team.
Tell me a little about your job.
I work for a boutique The Hotpink Daisy and I absolutely love it! I get to style outfits, learn marketing and model things for social media. It is so much fun! I’ve always been interested in the fashion industry and I get to work with the coolest people. It is a dream job for me.
Anything else we should know about you?
I’m passionate about expressing myself and telling a story. I love all things art, travel and adventure. I’ve always been a dreamer and a creator. I have so much I want to share with the world and am just excited to see what God has planned for me.
Ally will be featured in Issue 17, coming out soon!
Interview by Zoe D'Angelo Nomination and Photography by Capture 1 Photography Montana
The Nomination: The sport that Madi most loves and excels in is "Mounted Shooting". This is a horse and rider competitive event requiring a combination of highly honed horse and marksmanship skills with dual pistols. At the age of only four, Madi acquired her first horse and has pursued her dreams as well as her love for horses ever since. She has competed in many other events through the years, but this remains her first love. She plans to attend the university of Montana and pursue a degree in teaching, as well as become part of the National Horsemanship program there.
Photography by Capture 1 Photography
Tell us about your mounted shooting experiences. Mounted shooting is such a different sport than anything else. The rush of adrenaline and the trust you have to have in your horse is something completely different. As soon as I enter the arena, everything else leaves my mind. All that is left is the clear path that I have chosen for the course, and my horse. My first year of shooting was rough, but every year I get better and so does my horse. This past year was the best. I had a shoot in West Yellowstone, MT and it was one of the best weekends of my life. I only missed two of 80 balloons the whole weekend, and my horse was a dream. The energy is so fun, and all the people are so kind and sweet. After the shoots everyone goes to town and eats at local restaurants, and some will ride on trails around the arena.
Image by Kristen Chaboya
Why did you begin a career in mounted shooting? The lady I stay with during the summers has always done mounted shooting, and I would always go to shoots and help in the office. But I also loved horses and riding, so it was only a matter of time before I got hooked on the sport.
At what age did you start riding and shooting, and what do you think is a good age to begin mounted shooting? I started riding at 4, but I only started shooting at 14. Most kids start around 5 in the Wrangler Class, and they just ride through the course without shooting. When they turn 12, they start competing with the black-powder loaded rounds and move up to a Level 1. I think the younger you start riding through the patterns and learning the correct way to do things, the better off you are when you get older. Mounted shooting is a great opportunity to learn a lot about horsemanship if you take the time and have the drive to do so and building that bond with your horse is a very huge part of it.
Photography by Capture 1 Photography
Would you be interested in teaching younger students proper mounted shooting techniques if you had the opportunity? Why or why not? Yes! I love teaching, and horses and mounted shooting is my main passion, so being able to do both at the same time would be amazing. I would love to see the younger students succeed and grow, especially with it being something so close to my heart.
Why do you want to pursue a degree in teaching when you attend The University of Montana? I love being around little kids, and one of the most influential people in my life was my BPA adviser and teacher. I also got the chance to aide in a second-grade classroom this year, and being able to help them learn and grow is one of the most amazing experiences that I have had.
Madison will be published in Issue 17, coming soon!
Where is there a place where learning is enhanced by fun, friends, confidence, social-skills and overall enjoyment? It's acting school! I've been attending classes for almost six years and have learned so much about myself, others and the art of acting.
When you first enter an acting class, you are greeted with a smile and a vibrant energy. Soon, you will begin various interesting, interactive and sometimes downright weird warm-up games to get your body and mind ready for the class ahead. It may take a week or two, but you will quickly become so close with the strangers in your class that you'll forget that you've only known each other for a couple of days.
Then we get down to business, your welcoming and patient teacher will brief you on the weekly goal (each week is a new aspect of acting!) and, often with excited squeals from the class, how we will learn that aspect. For improv classes, aspects are learned through a series of creative and entertaining games. For classes studying a script, you will be challenged to introduce the aspect into your scripted part for a fantastic conclusion game to end the class. One of my personal favorites is a focus game called Zip Zap Zop, where you have to focus on the pattern and the quick moving energy as it is passed around the circle. I have had the amazing opportunity to attend these classes for six years and have recently begun helping with younger classes. I get to work with kids of all ages and personalities. Each day is a new and exciting adventure that I could be more grateful to be a part of.