Academy Awards/Mr. NDA: ‘The Hype Is Real’

Max Timmer, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

On December 1, Notre Dame Academy’s 23rd annual Mr. NDA was held with 15 contestants performing for the crown.

Being one of the contestants, I’ll be the first to say it: The hype is real. Even though I didn’t place, this was the best thing I’ve ever done in my high school career.

When I was voted in to the top 15, I was so excited and blessed to even make it in the next round, let alone be a contestant. Even though I was happy to be in it, I didn’t really believe the “brotherhood” idea that past contestants kept saying. I just thought that we all do our own acts, compete and that’d be it. I also didn’t believe the idea of the community of Notre Dame. It wasn’t until practices started that I understood what everyone meant.

After many brainstorming sessions and coming up with different ideas, I had finally figured out my plan for Mr. NDA. I had my intro planned with the amazing man himself, Owen Campbell, and I had students and staff participating in the filming. I had my talent planned with the video made by myself and choreography for the live dance by myself and dance team members Yana Williams, Bridget Kapic and Megan Zasuly.

Side note: the dance team does not get enough respect for how much effort they practice with and how hard it is. I practiced for a good minute and was extremely tired.

After all of the filming and planning, I fully understood how great Notre Dame’s community is. The teachers were nice and willing to help me achieve what I envisioned and my peers were helpful and truly interested in helping me succeed, which is different than other schools.

The brotherhood belief fully hit me the day before Mr. NDA. We had our dress rehearsal after school and practiced our acts again, perfecting anything we could. All the contestants helped each other and gave ideas on how to make it better. We all were just having a fun time while still making the show amazing. Everyone was so willing to be in the act as well, if needed. It was so refreshing to see that the brotherhood idea the past contestants kept saying was actually true and not a myth.

The seniors that you’d never usually talk to were the most helpful and nice people to ask for help. The friends that I’ve gained and the friendships that have gotten stronger because of Mr. NDA is unlike any other. Everyone in the show truly wanted everyone to do well. One of my favorite parts was after the show when we’d all just go to each other and congratulate each other. It truly didn’t matter that I didn’t place because I realized how fun this was.

Mr. NDA was by far the best experience in my Notre Dame career, and hopefully next year I’ll get another chance to be this happy.