Anyone who spends time with UT junior Wendy Fernandez and senior Pamela Laredo would assume they’ve been life-long friends. They laugh easily with one another, reference inside jokes, and both hail from Round Rock, Texas, where they lived 15 minutes apart. When Pamela’s high school opened, it drew from the student population of Wendy’s school, so both partook in many of the same traditions and spirit events. However, that’s not where the pair met.
It wasn’t until a Hook 'em Arts meeting during Wendy’s freshman year that the two finally crossed paths. Their friendship was sparked over a shared love of musical theater, comedy, and random YouTube videos. A year later, they discovered that they also shared a hometown and similar high school experiences.
So, did fate bring them together?
Wendy: More like Hook 'em Arts.
Pamela: Or Tim [Rogers], specifically.
As two of the most active members in Hook ‘em Arts, one or both of them can often be found in the TPA Student Engagement office. (Wendy is the organization's historian and Pamela is in charge of all things Bass Pass.) In addition to their roles with Hook 'em Arts, they are Texas Performing Arts student employees too. They view TPA as a haven among their busy schedules; coming here provides an opportunity to spend time discussing life outside of academics. Wendy majors in English, Pamela in Government.
Wendy: We don’t really see each other during the day except at Texas Performing Arts. It’s great because I’m around English majors all day and you can only talk about Milton so much before you want to explode. It’s just nice to come from [main] campus and talk to someone.
Pamela: It’s fun to come here and not have to talk about all the books we had to read or all the different policies. Don’t get me wrong—I like that stuff, that’s why I’m studying it—but it’s just nice to have those random talks with Wendy.
When asked what they admire most about the other person, each of them noted not only what the other brings to their friendship, but to their involvement with Texas Performing Arts and Hook 'em Arts.
Wendy: [Pamela is] this never-ending ball of energy and I don’t know how she does it. It’s strange because I do one thing and I’m dead for five days. We also have the same kind of sense of humor and we’re into the same things which is great because being from Round Rock, you don’t meet a lot of people who love show tunes as much as you do. We definitely bonded over that.
Pamela: Wendy is always learning new things and sometimes [our conversations are] intense and academic, or sometimes they're just silly. There's always something to talk about and that’s really great because usually when I talk to people, the conversation just ends and then we’re just awkwardly sitting there in silence. She has the knowledge and dedication with everything she does with Hook 'em Arts and Texas Performing Arts which makes me want to be involved. [turning to Wendy] So good job!
Spending time with each other is just an added perk of the job for these two who are hard at work preparing for the rest of the Loft Events for the Texas Performing Arts season. And while they might get caught up in the craziness of stamping Bass Passes, creating larger than life Marauder’s Maps for events like Harry Potter in Concert, or organizing Broadway karaoke, they always know someone has their back.
Pamela: It’ can be kinda chaotic, but we get everything done and it’s a lot of fun.
Wendy: There is not a single day that I dread coming to work.
Learn more about Hook 'em Arts, Student Employment, and other opportunities for UT students at texasperformingarts.org/students.