Name: Darren Locke
School: Bayview Secondary School
Hobbies and Interests: Dramatic arts, writing, anthropology and social dynamics, film history, hockey/baseball statistics
Appearance: Darren is 6'1" and weighs 160 lbs. He is Caucasian with a very mild tan and has a slender, lanky build. He keeps his dirty blond hair cut short and mussed up with styling wax. He has large, round blue-gray eyes, a sharp hawk-like nose, hints of blond stubble, and a friendly, toothy smile. His fingernails are in poor shape due to habitual nervous biting. He prefers to wear form-fitting t-shirts or button-downs along with acid-washed jeans or khaki shorts. He is currently wearing a plain grayish green t-shirt, white khaki pants, and brown sneakers.
Biography: Physically, Darren very much resembles his father, Tom, a comparison everyone in his family will often point out. It's an occurrence that gets tiring for him in a hurry. His father is an engineer by trade and has spent several hours a day following and talking about the stock market since Darren was very young, and as a result has led him to think of his father as immensely boring. His childlike impatience did not lend itself well to his dad always trying to teach him to play golf or baseball, either. He became highly critical of his own lack of success in all aspects of sports, fostering a pessimistic attitude from a very young age. He now prefers to follow sports from the sidelines. Tom has spent the past several years working at an auto-engineering plant in Ohio, and contact between the two has been minimal yet civil, something Darren doesn't mind in the slightest.
Darren's mother, Angela, has always had a much more active role in his life, keeping him on his toes and calling him out whenever his pessimistic immaturity got the better of him. Life was a lot more humbling with his mom as the prominent parental figure. Despite her best efforts, Darren developed an awful habit of procrastination in school, something that has stuck with him to this day. Angela's role in her son's life stems from Darren being an only child, and therefore all of the attention in the household ended up on him, for better or for worse.
Darren's impatience and tendency towards pessimism defined a great deal of his early high school life. Despite his grade school teachers' constant reinforcements that he was gifted, he had a self-defeatist attitude that was only made worse by an incredibly frustrating academic transition from the eighth grade to the ninth. It was an adjustment that, combined with has procrastinating nature, saw his grades plummet. As a result, he had an enormous amount of difficulty outgrowing the negative (and by his own admittance, melodramatic) mindset of a jittery grade school student.
Darren's best friend from grade school, Jake, went through similar experiences, and it gave them something to bond over even though Jake now went to a different high school. This friendship gave Darren a bizarre sense of pessimistic solace at the end of the school day whenever he needed to unwind, which in the ninth grade was quite often. It also fostered an unpleasant sense of pride and superiority over his classmates, as the gifted students (or "gifties" as he called them) that he was once compared to in grade school now filled him with disgust, and though he would not admit to anyone, not even Jake, jealousy.
Things started to take a turn however, in the tenth grade, when Darren decided to take dramatic arts as an optional course. The first lesson of the day went to the effect of "if you're afraid of standing up in front of a group and making a fool of yourself, youre in the wrong course." Darren initially took this as a challenge, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life. He found unprecedented joy and catharsis in the theater arts, in putting on a persona before dozens of classmates. He found he was able to adapt quickly and relate to the other students, likewise thrown into this style of learning for the first time. It also instilled in him a great respect for theater and film history, particularly the careers of Jack Nicholson, Sir Ian McKellen, and Alan Rickman. He became so personally invested in every facet of the industry that he was even inspired by the idea of one day writing scripts worthy of the actors he so admired. Within a month of classes, he knew he had found something to stick with for the remainder of high school.
As a twelfth grade student on the verge of graduation, Darren is fond of saying that he'd "love to go back in time and beat the crap out of his old self." He no longer has such a negative worldview and, now very critical of how he related to his fellow students in the past, has learned to be much more empathetic to his friends and family. This has helped him become adept at avoiding petty conflicts both at home and at school before they happen. His optional credit in anthropology was a big factor in this new outlook as well, as he had begun challenging himself to question why people behave the way they do in social situations, and particularly why he himself had been such a negative-minded person. Classmates that he hardly ever spoke to in four years of high school would occasionally remark how much more outgoing he seems these days, something he appreciates more than words could express. This does mean that he's not nearly as close to Jake as he once was. He has taken care to remain civil and accommodating to his former best friend, but Darren no longer shares the same harsh outlook on life that the two once held in common. Although Darren has made sure that they never had a melodramatic falling out, they have grown apart over time as he now works diligently towards having a fulfilling life.
Advantages: Three rewarding years in the dramatic arts program has fostered in Darren a genuine and kind nature that ought to earn him the trust and friendship of his classmates. His empathetic outlook should also afford him many opportunities to speak up and diffuse tense situations, keeping them from getting too out of hand. He also has excellent metabolism that has helped keep him from becoming out of shape.
Disadvantages: Deciding from an early age to study and observe sports from the sidelines rather than become actively involved means that Darren isn't exactly physically fit. A good metabolism will only do him so much good if push comes to shove. More notably, a strong sense of empathy isn't much a desirable trait when the situation is "kill or be killed."
Designated Weapon: Gladius
Conclusion This...is...SPARTA!! No, too easy. I am interested in how B106 will fair on this journey of self-discovery. I mean after all, drama geek, actor, long standing relationship with his friend, watched the sports from the sidelines. That gladius may not be the only thing doing penetrating during B106's stay.