Artist Spotlight: Griffin Arnold

 Griffin Arnold ’22 on stage in Working: A Musical

 Western Reserve Academy has a reputation for producing magnificent musical performances. WRA’s newest production, Something Rotten, showcases the struggle of the Bottom brothers, Nick and Nigel, finding success within the theatrical world dominated by their rival, William Shakespeare. The musical showcases the talent of senior lead, Griffin Arnold, who is this month’s Artist Spotlight! Besides his presence on stage, you may also recognize his ability to play a plethora of instruments. 

Arnold believes his interest in theater stemmed from second grade when he played “the infamous ‘Toucan #1’” written by his former teacher about the rainforest. He additionally notes, “Although these plays were designed for fun, I realized I like performing for others, be it on-stage acting, or playing music.” In terms of future goals, Arnold wants to compose music for either movie or T.V. shows. Despite his uncertainty in relation to the future, his interests have switched between being a music teacher, composer, and film composer. He concludes, “As I start to understand more about what I want to do with my life, the more I believe writing songs like Hans Zimmer or Joe Hisaishi to assist a film interests me.” 

As for his time spent practicing, if not found playing an instrument, Arnold spends his time listening to music or composing samples. Fortunately, his “A Day” provides him with more time in Hayden Hall. While he cannot pinpoint the exact number of hours he practices, one can infer that he spends much time practicing. 

 Some of Arnold’s favorite instrumentalists include Louis Cole, The Band, Vulfpeck and Tennyson. His favorite production, as an actor, would be Beetlejuice: The Musical. He believes “the number of effects put into that show makes it seem more like a movie with CGI rather than a musical for the stage.” His role models, aside from his teachers in Pittsburgh, are Ms. Karam and Mr. Leonard who inspire him to pursue music and performance. As he notes, “The two of them have pushed me so much farther with music than anyone else has.” He mentions that both Ms. Karam and Mr. Leonard have shaped him into who he is today. 

As for his perspective on the power of theater, he states, “The great thing I have noticed when performing for bands and in shows is the audience. It doesn’t matter who they are…the audience will always come together to watch or listen or see art and can bond over something. In a world full of divides over many different issues, being able to step away and see art in person is truly something magical.”

– Angela Benzigar ’22

 

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