Iwo Wicinski is a new Upper from Poland and an actor. Wicinski started his acting career at an early age and was one of the first All School Meeting speakers. In his free time, Wicinski pursues photography.
Back when I was five, I had a favorite Cartoon Channel and one day, there was an ad that popped up with a big “casting” [written on the] screen. I didn’t know the English word or what that meant, so I went to my mother, and I asked, “Hey, Mommy, what does a casting mean?” And she said, “Oh, you go there and if you make the cast, you may get on TV.” And I was like, “Yeah, why wouldn’t I want to do it?” We went, I won my first casting, so that was a stroke of luck.
There were two. The first one was in a play in Warsaw named Dogville. I think it was too much of an adult play for me to do because I was a little kid back then. I played with a lot older actors [in their] 70s [and] 80s and they taught me so much. My second favorite [role] was probably one of the last things that I did. It was a movie that I played the main role in. It was probably the biggest project that I did, [there were] so many passionate people, and I experienced things that I would have never experienced anywhere else.
I try not to think about it. I think that my goal is to start acting in English, but there’s still a lot that lingers in my mind. Acting for years and years back in my childhood showed me how difficult it is to be an actor, in terms of the luck it takes to become successful… That kind of repelled me from the idea of fully committing to acting full time and not having a plan B.
I have a big family in the [United States of America] and a long time ago, one of my family members applied to Andover. This notion of Andover stayed in my family and there was also always a plan to send me somewhere. When the opportunity came, when the time was good and my grades were okay, I just took a shot.
It’s just a regular thing, but it stuck in my mind. I’m so grateful I could do that. It came out of nowhere and it was one of the best things that I did here. It absolutely boosted my self esteem and confidence as a new student here. Plus, English isn’t my first language, that’s still a big barrier. But, as you speak in front of all of you guys, amazing, brilliant people, you gain so much confidence in just thinking, “Wow, all those guys heard me.”
It’s the first time [my dorm] watched football together. The feeling was so weird because I was so out of my element yet I felt like [I was] in a new family. The funniest part was sometimes all the people would start screaming and then talking. I wouldn’t understand a single word of what they were saying, yet I was kind of in a flow and I loved it. That was one of the first times that I felt that I fit in here.
I did some photography summer camps when I was little, but then [my involvement] died off. I didn’t do photography [again] until the first lockdown in 2020. Then, I dug through my great grandfather’s attic and I found an old film camera. Film photography is rejuvenating and that’s what got me back into taking photos.
[By taking photos], I tend to pay attention to details and it makes you focus more on your subject because you have this burden of “each shot costs X.” I try to take five or six rolls of film, just shooting what I see and developing it. There’s a joy in getting the photos back. It’s almost like I’m [un]packing a birthday present.
I would say now. The first lockdown made me appreciate the rebirth of nature and how the birds started singing again. [Especially when] you start feeling the warmth of the sun. It’s either that or late summer.
Down in the Makerspace, there is this rolling red [chair]. I roll in it, [while] listening to white noise. That’s my go-to relaxation thing, but I also like to meditate. It opens your mind and lets you get another perspective.
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