“People don’t know that I’m smart because it’s not consistent with my image,” said Cassidy Boyd ’10, cracking a grin. “I try to be as coldhearted, vicious and glamorous as possible.”
Although it was a Monday morning at 9:30 in the library café, Boyd was ready to chat with me and whoever beckoned from her Blackberry. Worried that I had upset this theater and psychology double major with my slight tardiness, I explained that I nearly missed my alarm and took the fastest shower I could.
Boyd laughed and sarcastically confided, “I always feel like P. Diddy when I wake up, and dance naked around my room.”
Seeing that I had only met Boyd a few times prior to this interview, I did some research as to what people thought of her on campus. The responses I received circled around a common theme, some more joking than others.
A recent alum explained to me that “once you meet her, you will discover how cool she is in all her bullyness,” whereas one Campus editor admitted, “It’s tough, tracking down a diva.”
With a reputation for being somewhat intimidating, I wanted to hear Boyd’s assessment of the rumors.
“I don’t know exactly what I’ve done to get that stigma of being intimidating — it might be my hair, you know, I tend to do a lot of hair flips. These are animal kingdom signs,” said Boyd. “I might also intimidate people with my leopard print laptop case, but who knows.”
Contemplating a deeper reason, Boyd allotted her reputation to her confidence.
“You need to be confident if you’re going to live with yourself for a long time. I just don’t care what other people think of me.” Boyd said bluntly. “You know, if you don’t take risks, you don’t get to sip the champagne.”
Turning the conversation back to her outlook on her past four years at Middlebury, Boyd had much to say about her many activities on campus, the changing student body, and her outlook for the College after she returns to sunny California this summer.
People generally recognize Boyd for her provocative dances in Riddim, but she has become an integral part of many campus organizations. From working as a senior admissions fellow to being a member of the Community Judicial Board, this senior has made it a point to get involved.
“Of course I have formed fantastic friendships through Riddim, and it’s fun to be so well-supported on campus,” explained Boyd. “The 9:30 performances of our shows give everyone in the group the biggest high. Who wouldn’t love being on stage in front of screaming drunk fans?”
With regard to a lesser-known side of Boyd’s busy life, she is currently rehearsing for a faculty-led play, “Bad Blood,” which is part of her senior thesis work. In April, this aspiring actress will be one of 16 nationally-selected participants in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C.
When asked why she decided to transfer herself back East instead of staying in her native Los Angeles, Boyd made it clear that she wanted the authentic small college feel, going on to say, “I didn’t choose to come to the East Coast, I chose Midd — location wasn’t a priority.”
Being prodded to go deeper into her perspective on the vast differences between the coasts, Boyd couldn’t resist the chance to talk about fashion.
“I was originally concerned with fitting in, but now I don’t care what I’m wearing. Some people here wear jeans with sneakers — like, seriously?” said Boyd. “Comfort is not fashion. It was a whole new world out here — Top-Siders and fleece are, like, huge…and pants with whales? I just don’t get it.”
Somewhat confused on how to respond with Top-Siders on and my Patagonia fleece lying beside me, I asked her to explain what she was wearing.
Laughing, she said, “I have on equestrian-inspired white leggings.”
On a similar tangent about the student body, we decided to discuss the slow demise of social life on campus.
“The caliber of student applying to Middlebury now is incredible —a situation I can say has significantly benefitted me, as I am about to graduate from an increasingly well-known school — but I worry about the future of the social scene,” said Boyd. “When I chose Middlebury, I was not just selecting a school for academics, but a peer group.”
Sensing her disdain for the direction Midd may be heading for, I reminded her that she would be out of here soon enough; however, this was not the consolation she was hoping for.
“I love it here,” she said. “It’s difficult to imagine leaving. Middlebury is such a safe place, where life is isolated and easy-going,” she admitted. “This school facilitated my passions and has given me lifelong friendships.”
Before wrapping up the interview, it was necessary to end on a lighter, less melancholy note. I asked Boyd, who passionately adheres to a mantra of performing on stage and in life, what her ideal theme song might be. After a few moments passed filled by slight hair tosses, she said she was unsure. “Barbie Girl” by Aqua was once her anthem, but she has decided to move in a new direction — more badass.