More than just a series

Kateland Dittig

Equinox Staff


Alex Katz is so much more than a twenty-year-old college student dressed up as a fictional character; his love for golden snitches, sorting hats, horcruxes, and wands do not truly define the real human behind the painted-on lightening bolt scar and makeshift glasses.

Notoriously known around the Keene State College campus as “Harry Potter,” junior Alex Katz gave a real insight to his personal life. He is a scholar who thrives on learning new skills as well as writing, reading, and practicing photography. He took the time to explain how certain circumstances and experiences made him to be the person he is today.

His love for Harry Potter originated in the second grade when his elementary school teacher shared an excerpt from the fantasy novel. That night he went home to his mother where the two of them began the tradition of reading the work of fiction every evening before bed. Night after night his mind would embark on a spectacular journey. She would amuse him by acting out and reading the character’s lines in silly voices.

His enthusiasm for the wizardly world really escalated when he found himself in the hospital for medical issues. Katz was born without an esophagus; therefore a majority of his childhood was spent in the doctor’s office due to complications. When times seemed grim, the books allowed him to get his mind off of all the negative aspects and escape. While reading “Harry Potter” he saw a world that he could make real.

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Most people do not understand that this is not only a hobby for Alex, but it is also part of his identity. He enjoys dressing up in costumes, acting out scenes, and devoting time towards other

Potter related things. The story itself is about coming of age and overcoming fears. These messages helped him through the hard times. It also created a special bond between him and his parents.

Katz expressed how grateful he is of his supportive family and friends. They all share an appreciation for Harry Potter. If it weren’t for them, he wouldn’t have had so many amazing opportunities.

His grandfather even taught him how to carve wood, which gave him the ability to design two homemade wands, adding to the 17 other replicas from the movie, which he owns.

People might find it strange that he has dedicated a chunk of his life towards Harry Potter, but he honestly adores the attention he gets from people when he walks down Appian Way dressed from head to toe in his costume. A member of the Harry Potter Club, Nora Gallogly, commented on his fearlessness.

“He doesn’t care what people think when he wears his outfit, he rocks it,” Gallogly said.

The stares and reactions towards him are priceless. Who cares if people think he is weird, Katz stated, “Being normal is overrated and boring I think.” The truth is, the majority of folks find it marvelous that he can be so comfortable with himself and follow his dreams.

Students around KSC have nothing but wonderful things to say about him. Suitemate and general member of the Harry Potter club, Rachel Carmine stated, “Alex is without a doubt the most fascinating person I’ve ever met.”

Others are quick to agree. Former President of the Harry Potter Club, Kelsey Krehviel, raves that, “Potter is magical and one-of-a-kind. I’ve never met anyone like him; he has such a passion for life. Just the way he talks, he is a good-hearted person.”

It is clear to see that Alex is an inspiration to others to be whomever they want to be. Harry Potter has been such a major part of his life and he feels like he needs to give back.

Now that the series is over, what he is going to miss the most is the midnight premiers and book releases. Not only of the new material being published, but also because of the collection of people he met.

He has met some extremely interesting characters over his time. He said one of his favorite parts of all these events was having little children run up to him and ask to take pictures. He felt like he was helping inspire the imagination of little ones.

Alex Katz has been through a lot during his lifetime. He has had to conquer issues related to his condition and he continues to battle every day. Harry Potter allowed Alex to grow and express his passions. If there were one bit of wisdom he could leave you with, it would be,  “Do everything, and live every day as best as you can.”


Kateland Dittig can be contacted at

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