From Smithville to the Big Screen


Drum Major. Stage Manager. A 19 thousand dollar scholarship offer. Aspiring film director. There’s one thing these all have in common: Cade Torkelson.

The scholarship was offered to Torkelson by Loyola University in Chicago. The Trustee scholarship is per year, totaling over 76 thousand dollars over four years. He is still waiting to hear back from Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University and DePaul University among others, Torkelson said. The scholarship is to attend their film production school. While film and photography is one outlet it is only a part of all the other things he does.

Torkelson is currently stage manager for the Smithville Theatre Company’s production, Footloose. In the past, he has held a variety of jobs in the Theatre Company, including running the light board and assisting the director.

Torkelson has been in band since middle school and has been a drum major for Smithville High School Marching Band for the last two years.

Colton James, junior drum major,  can see Torkelson in the future going further with any of his interests and is grateful for all that he has done for him as a drum major.

“He’ such a great role model for it. Because if I didn’t know what to do and he didn’t know what to do we’d just kind of go into it asking questions together, trying to make the best of it, either way we would do it as a team,” James  said.

While Torkelson is excited about his future and to graduate. He recognizes how much his friends have helped him over the years. When asked who impacted him most, Torkelson said his closest group of friends.

One friend, Jacob Newland, has known Torkelson since eighth grade.

“Cade is always someone who will put his friends first even when it may not be the right thing for him,” Newland said. “He always makes sure his friends are successful along with him.”

It is not only friend who sees these qualities in him. Taylor St. John, former teacher of Torkelson, recognizes Cade’s unique qualities.

I knew Cade through the theater department and he brought a consistently lively energy and enthusiasm to all he did. In addition, he is an incredibly hard worker and enormously self-reflective of the work he takes part in,” St. John said.

Torkelson has the rest of his senior year to make a decision about college, and with this offer from Loyola being one there are high hopes for the future. He will continue his work with the Theater Company and band.

“When he wants something, he gets it at all costs; no matter how much work it takes,“ said Newland.

Throughout high school, he has shown commitment to several different clubs and groups, but film is what he is looking to take him forward.

Torkelson has been running YouTube accounts for seven years and his current one, CadeHollis for three years. He worked several jobs doing photo shoots and making video projects for friends and businesses.

Film has found a place in his past, present and future. It’s what he’s been into his entire life,Torkelson said;it started with YouTube and now it’s changed into him wanting to major in film production.

“I think one of the most unique qualities of Cade is that he has pursued specific interests and styles that aren’t typical of young artists. Especially in high school, the focus is often on meeting other people’s artistic or academic standards and less on the development of your own unique aesthetic. Because Cade is drawn to specific styles and media, he makes a unique case for the kinds of films he might produce in the future  I couldn’t be happier that he has received such a generous scholarship from a significant academic institution in the heart of a great artistic city. It is well earned, “ said St.John.

2018-11-20T15:57:10+00:00November 7th, 2016|Student Life|