My parents were skeptical about having their son pursue a theatre degree, but they have always been supportive. Both of them are people who stop at nothing to pursue their passions in life, and that has rubbed off on me. When I told my mom at the beginning of eighth grade how much I loved theatre, she started to cry, because she saw how happy it made me and she knew I had found my true passion.
There isn’t just one person who inspired me to do theatre. In junior high, the theatre director, Maria Cason, introduced me to theatre and gave me confidence to pursue a seemingly daunting path. In high school, Silas Lindenstein and Tina Thomas taught me about theatre’s art form and how to love that art. I can count on these three to help with my career even now.
My biggest inspiration, though, was my Aunt Denison. She was an actress and truly my biggest fan. Aunt Denison encouraged me to do what I loved, and hearing a positive voice concerning theatre from my own family was huge. She passed away in my junior year of high school, and since then my drive to pursue theatre has been even greater.
When I first came to SPU, I was going to major in Business and minor in Theatre. That plan didn’t last long, though. After a few short weeks in the Theatre Department, I knew it was where I belonged, and my experience has been nothing but positive. Theatre is very collaborative, and you always have to be a jack-of-all-trades. Even though my focus has been mainly sound design, I am confident I can be placed on an electrics crew or in the scene shop and do well. That is really what has given me the confidence I need for the future, because I don’t feel restricted.
Professors Don Yanik and Jerry Collum have had the biggest impact on me. It is truly a huge honor to be educated by two people who are some of the best in the theatre world. It is an even bigger honor that they are always so willing to help me and have shown that they want me to be successful in our field.
SPU as a whole has amazing professors who are always there for every one of their students. The Theatre Department, in my opinion, has the best group of professors; they are focused on building strong relationships with their students and truly care about their students’ futures. Professor Yanik and Professor Collum have taught me how to be successful in theatre but they have also given me a very professional experience in the department — so much so that I feel confident going out into the theatre world, able to deal with anything that is thrown at me.