The End of the Beginning

Caiden Falstrup-Finney’s Acting Journey


(Photos courtesy of Caiden Falstrup-Finney)

Eva Mayrose, Opinion Editor

When one thinks of the PVHS drama department, a few words come to mind: unprecedented, talented, and Caiden Falstrup-Finney.

Having immersed himself in PVHS’s drama department since his freshman year, senior and actor Finney began acting from a young age.  

“My brother did high school theater, so I grew up watching him. I started acting when I was five at my community theater in my old hometown of San Diego. My first show was ‘Lion King,’” Finney said. 

Finney has cultivated many passions throughout his youth. They range from zoology to engineering, but he truly felt that he wanted to begin working towards a career in theater in middle school where he “set in stone that [he] wanted to do acting for the rest of [his] life.” 

“Right away you could tell that Caiden had something special, and he didn’t have that ego that often accompanies that sort of talent,” said drama teacher Nicole Thompson. “It was refreshing to see someone work so hard and not take it for granted. He is really grateful for every opportunity that he has  been given over the past four years and he’s earned them.

”Finney has not only poured his blood, sweat and tears into the department throughout his high school career, he has also been an inspiring figure and helpful mentor to the rest of Thompson’s actors and actresses.  

“He’s really funny, and he’s also an incredible leader. Caiden leads with his kindness and is such a wonderful role model for my younger students,” Thompson said.  

As much as Finney has made his mark on the PVHS drama department, he emphasizes the fact that the family he has found here and the department in general has “really shaped [him] as an actor [and] definitely paved [his] path in wanting to pursue comedy and a life of theater and acting.” 

In the midst of preparing for the final show of his PVHS career, Finney expresses how bittersweet the cast’s preparation has been. 

“I am sad that it’s going to be my last show, but I think it’s important that we as seniors move forward and step down from the mantle and give a chance to the younger actors.”  

The charismatic young artist is looking forward to putting his best foot forward on the spring musical, “Something Rotten!.”

“I am super excited for this show. It’s one of the funniest musicals I’ve ever watched. It’s gonna be really good,” Finney said.

Finney isn’t the only one excited for this musical.

Thompson is looking forward to seeing her star student play the role of Shakespeare in “Something Rotten!.”

“Caiden is a very versatile actor,” Thompson said. “The way that he uses his body and is comfortable within himself to carry himself with confidence on stage is very unique and neat. You just believe he’s that character, because he puts everything into it.”

So, what’s next for Finney?

Well, before we see him on the red carpet in 10 years, he will be studying screen acting at Chapman University as one of the 12 actors chosen nationwide for Chapman’s highly selective screen acting BFA. 

As Finney looks forward to cultivating his passion in university, Thompson reminisces on her four years with Finney as a student and as a talented individual. 

“He’s created relationships and friendships with the whole department,” Thompson said. “I already know I’m going to know him my whole life, I can’t wait to see where he goes.”