Who am I? 24601
Where are you from?
I'm a southern guy originally from the state of Texas. I'm from a traditional army background. My grandfather, the Col., was VP of Fort Hood for much of his military career. I grew up with a father that was a bi-lingual drill Sargent who's family was from Chihuahua Mexico. He retired and was a substance abuse counselor with the Texas Prison system. Due to his new job and the military I grew up attending multiple schools a year.
How did I get into the theatre?
Growing up in Texas there was not a lot of opportunities for theater; however, my mother and I would always watch the Macy's Day Parade and that was my major exposure to the performing arts. I did school plays when I was in elementary school. However, in high school, I got more attention and praise for performing and thought I could make a go at it in college. I was a double major in Art and Theatre. I met Dr. Helen Cogan, my first theatre instructor, and she opened my eyes to the professional world of theatre. She took me, and my theatre colleagues, to New York for the first time, as well as college theatre productions at Texas Tech and, traveled to conferences such as USITT. Dr. Cogan was the largest influence in pursuing this craft.
Where did you study?
I attended Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas. I went to a junior college since I did not come from money and it was a great environment for me to learn and grow in Art and Theatre. I graduated from WTC with an Associates in Theatre.
After WTC, I was accepted at West Texas A&M University to continue my education in theatre. This is where I really fell in love with performance and the production process. It was my studies and involvement at West Texas that really helped me understand my passion for performance and how it was also leading me to the directing chair. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance with a minor in Communication.
I was then accepted to Illinois State University to pursue a master's in Theatre History, Theory, and Criticism. I met so many wonderful people in the theatre department at ISU. Though I learned the history of theatre and how to comment on the theory and practices of the industry, I was not actually part of the creation process.
Then in 2017, I was accepted to the Florida State University Graduate Program. I completed my MFA in Directing right in the beginning of Covic 19. Hopefully, the virus will be under control soon so live theatre, and work will thrive once again.
What have you been up to?
After graduating from Illinois State University, I got a job in Roswell, New Mexico. I have been teaching since 2006 at Eastern New Mexico University Roswell. I, and a colleague, directed two shows a year from 2007-2017. We had a theatre that sat 412 people and would focus our seasons on a straight play in the fall, and a musical in the spring - which I was mostly responsible for. We rebuilt the theatre and as well as building all the sets, program the lights, mix the sound, and ended up selling out most of our shows within our 10-year run. I spent time directing in my MFA program at FSU, and now wait to for the theatres to reopen. In the meantime, I spend several hours a week networking with SDC and NAST. I am also currently writing the book for two musicals.
After the college decided to no longer support the theatre on campus, I figured it was time to move forward and was accepted to Florida State University MFA program in Directing.
What are your future plans?
I would like to direct professionally. I hope that my time in Flordia will lead to new connections and I can then work on new plays, musicals, or both throughout the country.