Kristal Grindley is a rising junior at Wyandanch Memorial High School in Wyandanch, New York. She was introduced to ACT-SO last year by her science teacher, who suggested to her entire class that they each participate in the program. When she joined, she was not expecting to win the competition; however, to her surprise, she proved to be quite the competitor. This year, she competed in the 2017 local Huntington ACT-SO branch competition in the Short Story category, where she won a gold medal for her short story titled, I Am Not the Stereotype. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Kristal has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!
Kristal was a national ACT-SO gold and bronze medalist. She competed in the 2016 national competition, in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the Music: Vocal Contemporary and Short Story categories. She won a bronze medal in the Short Story category for her short story titled, When It All Washes Away. She placed as a gold medalist in the Music: Vocal Contemporary category for her performance of Rise Up by Andra Day.
Three Words to Describe Feelings about National Competition
Excited, anxious and nervous. Kristal is excited because she has competed at the national competition before and knows that it will be a fun experience with great people. She is anxious to attend the social thrown for all of the ACT-SO competitors, because it is always a fun and memorable experience. Lastly, Kristal is nervous because she is unsure of what the judges will think about her short story and whether her work will place.
Then vs. Now
Kristal is a lot more calm leading up to this year’s national competition than she was last year. At last year’s competition, she was very restless and could not stay still, because she had so many different emotions building up inside of her. However, this year she is more experienced, and she feels that she will be able to handle herself in a more stable and relaxed manner.
Nerves & Excitement
Kristal is most nervous about how her short story is going to place in the competition. She is unsure of whether her work will win a medal or not, but she is hoping for the best. She is looking forward to attending the social because it is an opportunity for the ACT-SO competitors to mingle and get to know each other better. At last year’s social, Kristal was able to let loose and truly be herself as she made some incredible, new friends. This year, she hopes to improve her writing skills, learn from the brilliant people around her, and grow as both an individual and an artist. She is also excited to meet professionals who can critique her work and give her specific advice on how to improve as a writer and a singer.
“Choose something you’re good at and practice. Also, don’t go into the competition too cocky. If you go in too cocky, you start to lose sight of what you came to do and, when you don’t win, you want to beat somebody up. Just stay humble, and then if you win, you can freak [out] like I did.” – Kristal Grindley
We wish you the best of luck, Kristal, in the 2017 national competition!