BRIGHT FUTURES: MHS’s Butler, Mosley look to the big screen

Theater means the world to Javaun Butler and Destiny Mosley.

The Memorial High School seniors have participated in every show produced at the school since their 10th grade year and most recently traveled to the Texas State Thespian Convention where they were collectively offered 22 scholarships from colleges across the county.

MHS Theater Director Henrietta Haynes said Butler and Mosley are a “cut above.”

“They are extremely gifted. Every now and then you come across one then there are some you can train,” Haynes said. Haynes also directed the students in the Beaumont Community Players’ production of Dreamgirls.

In a recent production of The Wiz, which included MHS students and community members, Butler played the Scarecrow and Mosley played Addaperle.

Memorial High School seniors and members of the school’s theater company, Javaun Butler and Destiny Mosley, participated in a production of The Wiz. MaryMeaux/The News

Memorial High School seniors and members of the school’s theater company, Javaun Butler and Destiny Mosley, participated in a production of The Wiz.
MaryMeaux/The News

Butler and Mosley first showed their theater skills during University Interscholastic League Theater competition. Mosley earned best actress and Butler won best actor, a “rare fete to win both categories,” Haynes said.

The stage and theater is now a part of who the students are.

“Theater saved my life, Butler said. “I was a kid who wasn’t athletic, not much coordination. I liked to write and sing. Since I was three years old I would look in the mirror and mimic. For years I was ridiculed, called strange and weirdo. When I got here (MHS) I found people who were just like me. That’s what drew me in and kept me here.”

Butler competed for musical theater scholarships and was offered to Loyola University in New Orleans, Texas Tech University, Relativity School in Los Angeles and St. Mary’s University in Michigan.

Butler plans to major in theater then return and give back to the community.

“It’s important because in this area people are not exposed to the arts as much,” he said.

Mosley has a lifelong love for acting and remembers thinking “I can do that.” Then she got into theater and realized it’s not as easy as it looks.

“My ultimate goal is to be on film, acting,” Mosley said. “I dream about it and I don’t go to sleep without thinking of theater.”

Mosley likes comedy and feels actors should be able to do both. Her favorite is dramatic acting.

“Crying, emotions. Where you peel back the layers of the character and make connections with yourself,” she said. “There could be a character that everyone hates, you understand why she acts that way.

Mosley looked back to the 10th grade UIL auditions for Fences by playwright August Wilson. She performed the role of Rose Maxson and described how she learned to pull emotions into the character.

“The show is set back when women depended on men. The husband (Troy Maxson portrayed by Butler) tells the wife he got another woman pregnant. I understood her anger,” she said. But it’s more than initial anger that needed to be portrayed, a mentor told her. “I was told by a mentor to slow down. He broke it down for me. Emotions start deep inside you then come out. The pain hits you and I realized it was from here (deep inside).”

Portraying the character of Rose helped mold Mosley who realized the layers and emotions of action.

During the Texas Thespian event Mosley competed for acting scholarships and received 18. They include: Texas A&M University, Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, New York Film Academy, Texas Tech University, Drew Academy, SCAD University, KD University, Loyola University in New Orleans, Texas Women’s University, Stephen’s College, Saint Mary’s University, The New York Conservatory, Lee College, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Midwestern University, Sam Houston, Santa Fe University and SUL Ross State University.

Neither Butler or Mosley have chosen a university.

“I love acting,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I can’t imagine life without acting.”

Mosley has heard naysayers say it’s a one in a million chance to make it on the big screen.

“I want to take that chance,” she said.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

 

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