Brooke Bowling did cheerleading when she started at McCracken County High School, but she soon took another path after taking drama. It became a passion.
“I eventually left the cheer team and dove right into theatre. ... I chose drama classes as my elective classes and I absolutely loved them and just found a great environment there — such great people and loved everything about it,” she said.
“The more I got into it, sophomore year, the more I learned that I have never done anything that I liked this much.”
The 17-year-old McCracken County senior aims to study acting in college and has aspirations for a future career in film or on stage. She’s applying to several schools, including the University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles.
Bowling, who also loves to sing, has participated in productions at Market House Theatre and through her school’s own theatre department. Her favorite role so far was portraying Darlene Henshaw in “The Diviners” at McCracken County.
“I think it’s like my creative outlet, of course,” she said.
“Anytime I’m upset or feeling down, it’s a way of kind of escaping and learning more about another person. I feel like I gain a lot of myself through playing another character — like I adopt certain attitudes from each character that I play and I love the idea that it’s never going to be the same.”
Bowling, daughter of Tara and Heath Bowling of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Each Monday and Tuesday, The Sun publishes profile stories on area high school seniors chosen from a group of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a committee names one of these students as Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At McCracken County, Bowling has earned a 4.296 cumulative weighted GPA and received a 30 composite ACT score. She attended the Governor’s Scholars Program for dramatic expression at Centre College and had been accepted into the Governor’s School for the Arts program for drama.
Bowling has participated in many clubs and organizations, which include leadership roles. She’s taken part in Mustangs on a Mission, Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Pep Club, Drama Club and other activities. She also holds a part-time job, while balancing her school work and obligations.
As for senior year, Bowling described herself as a sentimental person and it’s been hard to let go of some things that you expect as a senior, in reference to COVID-19.
“All the inconsistency and the ‘I don’t knows’ have been difficult, but I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the year,” she said.
“Because the further along we get with COVID-19, if we do the right things and we wear our mask and we socially distance, eventually — I’m hoping for more normalcy and being able to do those activities that we weren’t able to do.”
Looking back on her experience at McCracken County, Bowling encouraged others not to be afraid of change. She advises to find where they fit, find what they love and to do that, noting there are many different clubs and classes for students to get involved in.