Looks Bright: Modest Riverside student shines on stage & in band

Published 12:11 am Saturday, May 5, 2018

RESERVE  — Riverside Academy senior Kaleb Waguespack’s reserved nature doesn’t prevent him from stepping into the spotlight during performances.

He’s starred in several drama productions through RA Ovations and River Parish Community Theatre, most recently taking on the leading role of Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie.

An eight-year member of the Marching Pride of Riverside Band, Waguespack heads the group as an officer and exemplifies a passion for the arts, according to band director Darryl Clement.

His musical talent earned him a scholarship to play the trumpet in the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Pride of Acadiana Marching Band.

Waguespack said he looks forward to studying computer science while expanding his band family.

Since fifth grade, band has represented an opportunity for Waguespack to come out of his shell and meet like-minded people.

His steadfast dedication earned him the Director’s Award and the prestigious John Philip Sousa Award for superior musicianship.

Through band, Waguespack created gift boxes for residents at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans home. After tornadoes devastated parts of St. John the Baptist Parish in 2016, Waguespack and other band members aided in cleanup efforts.

Waguespack cited Clement as his inspiration, both in band and in his acting career.

Clement said he taught Waguespack for years without realizing he only knew half of his personality.

When Waguespack auditioned for Beauty and the Beast in 2015 and opened his mouth to sing, it was as if a stranger had taken the stage.

“Everyone who sees him on stage is shocked,” Clement said. “You have this quiet, studious, courteous young man, and then he’s like a completely different person when he gets up there to act and sing. When he came out in auditions, it blew me away.”

Principal Michael Coburn said Waguespack was phenomenal in Bye Bye Birdie, where he played a poet and former aspiring English teacher who fell into the music industry after penning a hit song for a rock star.

Waguespack said acting is different than a one-on-one conversation.

“You take on another role and become this fictional character,” he said.

Whether listening on the sidelines, leading the trumpet section or belting out monologues, Waguespack upholds a strong moral character, Clement said.

“He’s really a good guy,” Clement said. “He might not jump into conversations a lot, but he’s someone you can always count on.”

Waguespack is the son of Angela and Kerry Waguespack of Vacherie. He also enjoys participating in BETA Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.