David Clotworthy: A Star in the Making
In this week’s edition of Student Blogs, we introduce Year 11 student David Clotworthy. Originally from New Zealand, David has been with Yew Chung International School of Beijing for 6 years, where – through his passion for drama – he’s become one the most well-liked and visible students on campus.
In speaking with David, he shares why he feels that the YCIS Beijing student community is so special, what he hopes to accomplish during the Year of the Dog, and offers advice for other students who are interested in getting involved in school performances as well.
Please introduce yourself.
My name is David Clotworthy. I’m a Year 11 student from New Zealand.
How long have you been a student at YCIS Beijing, and what was your first impression when you arrived?
I’ve been at YCIS Beijing for a long time, since Year 5. I remember that our family arrived in China on a Sunday, and then I started classes on Monday, the following day. It was a lot to take in, as it was a totally new environment, and I definitely experienced culture shock at the beginning. It was a good experience, but it was just different from what I was used to back in New Zealand.
How do you feel about the YCIS Beijing school community?
We have a great school community, with students from all year levels being able to get along and connect with each other. I think that in many schools there are clicks within the student body, such as groups of athletes staying together, and academically-focused students forming another group. But at YCIS Beijing, I find that students from all different backgrounds and interests get along. We’re a diverse student body, and we’re able to share our uniqueness with each other.
What do you feel are the unique advantages of being a student at an international school?
I was just speaking about this to my mom the other day. I think that if we’d stayed in New Zealand, I’d be an entirely different person.
New Zealand is a small country, and we come from a tiny city of only about forty thousand people. On the weekends, the things you’d do for fun would be to take bike rides or go fishing. But here in Beijing, when I ask people what they’ve been up to recently, some of them say that they’d flown to Shanghai, the States, Europe, etc. It’s quite amazing to see the different experiences that everyone has. And it makes every day exciting because you never know what’s going to happen.
What is your best memory of your time at YCIS Beijing?
I have many, but if I have to single out a specific thing, I’d say the school musical (Legally Blond) from last year. It was a huge production, with a large cast and crew and elaborate stage designs. I played two roles, both the abusive ex-boyfriend and the father of the main character.
Is there anything specific that you hope to accomplish during the Year of the Dog?
Of course, I want to do well in my academic coursework, but I also want to become more outgoing. I’ve found that if I’m in a large group, I tend to stick to one or two people. But I’d like to expand a bit more and talk to everyone in the group.
How was your experience being the MC for the concert?
Actually, I wasn’t meant to be the MC originally, but one of the co-MC’s got sick, so I was notified the day before. It was a bit stressful because I didn’t know the script too well, but Bobby (the other MC) and I are good friends, so we were able to improvise a lot.
The thing I enjoyed the most was entertaining the audience. It’s very fulfilling to get a laugh out of the crowd.
What advice do you have for your fellow students who are interested in becoming more involved in school performances?
Just join. Once you’re involved, you can’t really back out. But the commitment to the group will help motivate you to keep going. Once the performance is over, chances are that you’ve done a great job. If for some reason it wasn’t your best performance, then give it a week and people won’t remember it anyway.
But just join to start off with. And if you believe you can do it, then you can.