A Renaissance Man is classified as a person with many talents or areas of knowledge. In a high school sense, it’s a person who takes on many challenges and chooses to apply themselves to different teams and clubs. One such man who could be considered a Renaissance Man is senior Jake Ragotzy.
Ragotzy pushes himself academically; he holds a 3.6 GPA and has taken numerous AP classes. With many challenging classes at Gull Lake, Ragotzy has run his “course.”
“The hardest class I have taken in high school would be Chemistry, I don’t like the technical, mechanical, applied work of the sciences, and I’d rather focus myself on the creative introspectie viewpoint of creativity,” Ragotzy said.
Ragotzy is deciding between heading to Michigan State or the University of Iowa for his first four years of college. After that, he plans on getting his Master’s Degree in Screenwriting at UCLA.
“It’s a really hard decision to make right now because there’s so much to look at, and there’s so much that goes into the final decision. Either way, I know that either school will be a good fit for me and get me on a good path after high school,” Ragotzy said.
Ragotzy has also had success in sports. Wrestling in the 112, 119 and 125 weight classes, Ragotzy has racked up 96 wins in his four year career. Ragotzy had recent success in his senior year: He racked up 31 wins and advanced into the third round of regionals.
Not only involved in sports, Ragotzy performs for the schools Performing Arts Company and has taken leading roles in Peter Pan and most recently, Robin Hood and the Men of Sherwood Forest.
“PAC has helped me develop team-building activities because without the rest of the cast and crew working in tandem, there would be no show at all,” Ragotzy said.
Participating in the company has helped Ragotzy realize the inner workings behind production and performance.
“PAC has taught me an appreciation of patience and the spirit of belief in other people, and what they do,” Ragotzy said.
Ragotzy’s experience in the theatre isn’t only limited to the Performing Arts Company. Ragotzy’s family owns the Barn Theatre located in Augusta, Michigan. The Barn is where many actors have learned inner workings of a production and other advanced apprenticeships.
“The Barn is honestly unrelated to my love for screenwriting, but it certainly helped me appreciate art in general due to be surrounded by its atmosphere all my life,” Ragotzy said.
Ragotzy helps his family and works at the theatre when he is not busy with other extra curricular activities.
“I do technical work such as work spotlights and play minor or ensemble roles for plays if necessary,” Ragotzy said. “I even sometimes get the opportunity to play in the orchestra pit.”
Performing runs in Ragotzy’s blood. Not only is Jake a natural actor, he is a savant when it comes to the guitar. Ragotzy has played the guitar for 10 years and was first introduced to the strings by his father, who is also a skilled guitarist himself.
“I didn’t like it initially because of how mechanical everything seemed until the summer of 2014 when I discovered the pop punk music and its free form style of rock,” Ragotzy said.
Ragotzy took the Beginning Guitar class offered at Gull Lake and went through it with a breeze.
Through Ragotzy’s many high school achievements, none will ever compare to the Oscar he plans on winning for Best Original Screenplay, which he has assured me he will win one day.