Phs Grad Picked For World Stage

PAYSON PEOPLE

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When Trevor Fithian was attending Payson High School, he said he didn't really fit in with the crowd.

But in just a few months, the 21-year-old will find himself part of a crowd of performers who will be singing and dancing before audiences around the world.

In January, Fithian joins the 2001 cast of Up With People the international multi-cultural program that blends travel, community service and on-stage musical performances.

"I never really thought of myself as talented or musical," he said. "I wasn't really into a lot of the school activities. I was in 'The Crucible' a few years ago, but I didn't really do any after that."

A 1997 graduate of Payson High School, Fithian said he attended two years at Northern Arizona University before moving back to Payson. He's been working at Macky's for more than a year while trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life.

Two customers this summer, however, helped him decide how he wants to spend the next year.

When Up With People made its Rim country visit, the advance team stopped by Macky's for lunch. Their exuberance, Fithian said, was infectious and he ended up "hanging out" with the team members for the few weeks they were in town.

"They kind of got me hooked on it, and I decided to apply," he said.

After two interviews and submitting his resume, Fithian was one of about 700 students selected from the more than 5,000 applicants for the 2001 cast of Up With People.

"It's a lot more than just the show performance," he said. "There's different angles of it. Part of it is being able to do the community service, and the travel and living with various families. You really get a feel for the different cultures in different parts of the country, and around the world."

In January, Fithian heads to Denver for five weeks of orientation and training. Then, he'll spend 10 months traveling with the cast of about 140 students to countries around the world.

"I don't really have any preference where I'd like to go," he said. "I'd kind of like to see Europe or Asia, but at this point, travel is travel," he said.

And, while traveling the country, Fithian hopes to find where his future lies.

"I'm not sure I'm looking for the bright lights and the big city," he said. "I've often wanted to get into acting or screenwriting, but just never really pursued it. I think, if given the right push, I might be willing to give it a try.

"I'm just ready to move onto something bigger ... Things change. You just never know."

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