Switching the Wrestling Mat for the Spotlight

Tommy Brands '19 chose the arts over following in his father's footsteps.

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Switching the Wrestling Mat for the Spotlight

Tommy Brands '19 in

Tommy Brands '19 in "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Jacob Strathearn

Tommy Brands '19 in "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Jacob Strathearn

Jacob Strathearn

Tommy Brands '19 in "To Kill a Mockingbird."

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My family supports my interests.”

— Tommy Brands

He switched the wrestling mat for the spotlight. In the short time since his debut into the arts, the Iowa wrestling coach‘s son, Tommy Brands ’19, has made his mark on the City High Music and Drama Department.

“I did wrestling for two years and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do,” Brands said in reference to his past, short-lived wrestling career. “Freshman year I auditioned for show choir because some friends encouraged me to and from then on I loved it.”

Although his dad is the famous Iowa wrestling coach, Brands choose to stray from his father’s footsteps and take a different path for the future.

“My family supports my interests,” Brands said. “They love to come to whatever I’m performing in. My dad doesn’t put any pressure on me to do wrestling. He’s always just said, ‘do what you want to do.’”

You’re able to show a side of yourself you don’t usually get to show everyday and it’s fun to see people’s reactions to your performance.”

— Tommy Brands

Brands had a very successful year so far, engaging in City High’s varsity show choir, 4th Avenue Jazz Company, as a sophomore. He also starred as one of the leading roles in the fall play, To Kill a Mockingbird, and auditioned for All State Choir as an underclassmen.

“As of right now, I don’t really know what I want to do but most likely something in the performing area when I’m older,” Brands said. “So far, ever since I participated in the musical [Grease], I want to focus on acting more.”

Brands has found acting to be an escape. 

“It’s fun to perform in front of other people. You’re able to show a side of yourself you don’t usually get to show everyday and it’s fun to see people’s reactions to your performance.”