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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

After decades in the film industry, Michael Reynolds settles down as new custodian at WA

Simrah Azmi
Mr. Reynolds smiles for a photo in the cafeteria.

After spending the past 45 years traveling around New England helping to make movies, Michael Reynolds has decided to take on a new job closer to home, working as a custodian at WA. Although he just started the job a few weeks ago, he is quickly adjusting and is looking forward to having more time to relax and pursue the activities he enjoys.

Q: What made you decide to come to WA?

A: I worked in the film industry for the last 45 years, and after the writer and actor strikes, I needed to put food on the table.

Q: What was it like working in the film industry before this?

A: It was a lot of work. It’s not glamorous like everybody thinks it is. A normal day for me would be about 16 to 18 hours a day; you could be starting on a Monday at 3 in the morning, and then Friday, we would call a “Fraturday” because it would start at, say, 2 in the afternoon and finish at 9 or 10 on Saturday. So you really don’t have a “life,” you just work, work, work.

Q: What position did you have in the film industry?

A: I did a lot of different things throughout it, but, I was a generator operator for a lot of the movies, meaning I was the electric company: supplying the power for all the lights and any of the electrical stuff they needed.

Q: Have you enjoyed [your job as a custodian] so far?

A: So far, yes. I come in, clean up, and hopefully, you know, no one’s seeing too much dirt in my areas.

Q: Is there anything specific you’ve liked about working at Westford Academy so far?

A: Well, it’s me being lazy. It’s close to my house. Before, it would take me at least two hours to get to work; then I’d do work all day, and then have another couple of hours to get home. Now it’s only 10 minutes away from my house, and that’s a very, very good thing. We have set hours, so we might do a little here and there, but it’s within set times.

Q: What kinds of challenges, if any, have you faced so far while you’ve been working at WA?

A: The biggest thing, I think, is that it’s a lot of repetition for me here. Because when I was making the movies, it was different places all the time; I went all over New England making movies, so one day you could be up in Vermont, the next day you could be down in Rhode Island; so it was different scenery every day. So to that point, it’s just the [repetitiveness] when I know where I’m going to be and what I’m going to be doing and everything. 

Q: As a custodian, do you feel like you get a different view of the school than what students or teachers might get?

A: For the most part, probably, because [the students] aren’t around a lot when I’m here, you know? Unless you’re playing sports or something, whenever I come in, the students are gone and so there isn’t as much interaction. 

Q: What are some interests you have outside of your job? 

A: Actually, I just like being home. Because when I was working [in the film industry], I was never home. But just mowing the lawn is so relaxing to me. Just cleaning around my house. I’ve traveled enough and so just being home is great, and listening to music. I don’t really watch TV or anything, because it’s basically what [I did] at my previous work.

Q: You mentioned that in your old job, you used to travel around New England a lot. Have you traveled a lot ever since?

A: I haven’t, because I wasn’t sure what was happening with work, and now it’s gotten to the point where, after 40 years, I’m down to relax and be at home. It’s a little pre-retirement, you know. I’m not ready to retire, but to kind of have time to myself, not always work, work, work. 

Q: Do you have any plans for when you do retire?

A: That would be when I die. I’m one of those people who started working when I was 15 or so. It’s just how I am. I want to move; otherwise, there’s not that much. My big thing will be to finally get a dog and relax that way. Because that is one thing I haven’t had in a long time, a dog.

Q: Have you ever had a pet dog before?

A: Yes, but there’s always been someone else in the house; other family members around who would take care of it if I was away or something. When I was working in the film industry, and you’re away for 16 hours a day, you come home and all you want to do is sleep. That’s when you’re going to spend time with a dog. I do look forward to getting another dog, and relaxing that way.

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About the Contributors
Simrah Azmi
Simrah Azmi, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m a sophomore and this is my second year on the Ghostwriter. I love spending time with my family, reading everything from novels to webcomics, drawing, editing photos & videos, and satisfying my sweet tooth! I’m really looking forward to this upcoming year and having all sorts of new experiences on the Ghostwriter!
Penelope Zambrana
Penelope Zambrana, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Penelope Zambrana and I’m a sophomore at Westford Academy, as well as a staff writer on the Ghostwriter. In my free time I like to read, listen to music, and I enjoy traveling as well. In the summer I also love going to the beach, and in the winter I like to ski. This is my first year in journalism so I’m very excited to discover what it’s like and learn about it.

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