Gracing the halls of Saugerties High School is America’s next household-known name — Morgan Bach. Morgan, a senior, is determined to make her way to Hollywood to become a director, producer and actress. She’s been quoted time and time again saying that she “wants to do it all.” Of course, she knows it will take some time, but she’s always quick to reply with “it’ll all be worth it in the end.”
As it turns out, the high school is a good place for an aspiring triple-threat: there are classes on video production, acting and creating writing.
When she entered Scott Wickham’s computer video production (CVP) class in 10th grade, it was purely for fun. She would see students carrying around cameras, making films in the hallways and she wanted to “give it a whirl.” She had no idea how fateful that decision was to become.
Mr. Wickham gives each of his students an introduction to the world of film. However, for Morgan, she wasn’t just introduced – she was taken in completely. Her passion has consumed her since then. She describes it as her calling. Kristen Degroat, a close friend, claims she’s “never heard [Morgan] say she wants to do anything else. That’s her passion and she’s determined to go to college for film.”
Mr. Wickham is very impressed with how far she has come. “Morgan is very hardworking. She comes into class every day ready and excited to get to work.” After taking both video production classes offered, Bach returned to sit in on the class again for no-credit. “She was extremely successful last year and decided to take it again this year just to remain in the class,” said Wickham. “That is the kind of drive that will make her successful in this field.”
Morgan has two other classes on her schedule this year that have enlarged her passion. She’s taking Jamie Rabideau’s creative writing class as well as the acting workshop taught by John Wells. Morgan has been “writing for as long as I could pick up a pen.” She said she’d love to write screenplays.
She took the acting workshop to help her become more outgoing and get an idea of what to expect when taking higher level classes. It’s turned out to be “all that and more,” she said, helping her discover a whole new side of herself and her passion. Mr. Wells, who was also Morgan’s 10th-grade English teacher, is very pleased to work with her again. He was initially surprised that the shy student he remembered from English class signed up for the acting class.
“Now that she is a senior, I can see how she has grown and changed into a different person, one who is definitely more vocal,” said Wells. “One trait that Morgan possesses in a high degree over many of her peers is maturity and a sense of purpose” — a quality not often seen in an elective many consider just fun and games for the student.
“Morgan has a natural stage presence,” he said. “She never tries to force any characters or emotions, and because of this the roles that she experiments with come across naturally; many new actors try to force emotion, and this often stilts a character. She doesn’t have this problem.”
After graduation, Morgan is off to SUNY Ulster. At first, she wasn’t sure it was the right place. “But since I met with the director of admissions there and saw the school, I’m actually excited to start college there.” She believes it will be a good experience and a great start to her next level of education, wherever that brings her.
Is she worried about entering a field where the competition is fierce and odds of success are relatively low? Not likely. Morgan said her originality sets her apart from the pack. She claims she’s “full of fresh ideas and can’t wait to bring them to life!” Her friends and teachers don’t disagree. Morgan’s wheels are always turning. She’s always thinking of a new movie idea or a new music video she could make with the help of her family members. “Some people feel the need to help people or save lives. But me? Nah. I wanna freak ‘em out, keep ‘em thinking, and inspire them.”