A New Beginning
When my wife, Kristy, tells the story about how we started dating, she will typically start off with the story of the weekend before our first date. She had been engaged before we met and had been on a couple blind dates since her engagement was broken off. Her mom had come down for the weekend and they went to Branson, MO to White Water water park. As they sat in the wave pool, Kristy lamented “being done with guys” and that she was going to focus on college and not concern herself with guys at all. That was Saturday. Fast-forward to Monday (two days later). Through a series of funny events (which would be too long for this entry…especially since it’s not exactly what the entry is about), by the end of the day, I had asked her for a date and she had accepted. She and her mom now warn that you should be careful about “swearing” off of things as it’s when you’re not looking that God will drop it in your lap.
My undergraduate major was in Theatre Education. I taught theatre for about 6 years and ran a non-profit theatre company for about 6 years (they overlapped). The theatre company was when my three kids were very young (we celebrated my youngest’s first birthday during rehearsals for our first production). As productions became larger and more frequent, the strain on the family get to be way too much and we decided to close the company and move on. Over the subsequent years, we did smaller, mostly holiday, plays at our church and I did some one-man shows there too. I moved from teaching drama to teaching math and computer applications. Slowly, most of the production time was taken out. During the summer of 2015, I started looking to get involved in productions again. I found a local production of West Side Story that I auditioned for and was cast as Officer Krupke. I auditioned for a few other shows after that including You Can’t Take It With You last summmer where I was cast as Mr. Anthony Kirby. Through that production, I was offered the opportunity to get back into directing which brings me to the productions I’m doing this fall, next spring and likely next summer. I wasn’t looking for a directing position when I auditioned last summer but through the series of events the opportunity presented itself.
Had to be a God thing.
A lot of times, you will find your desires when you stop actively looking for them.
The End of Two Chapters
Over the last weekend, I finished up a rehearsal/performance process for West Side Story with the Next Generation Theatre Company in St. Louis. I played the part of Officer Krupke and also designed the sound (which my wife ran for the performances). It was the first production since college that I’ve acted in that I neither directed nor produced. In short, I had a blast! It was fun from auditions to final curtain call. I made friends with the cast members and re-acquainted myself with some old friends too. The director (Janelle Wilger) was great to work with!
This week, also marks the end of another chapter in my life. As of Thursday, September 1st, I will no longer be working for The Christian Activity Center in East St. Louis. I’ve worked for them since January 2014 as computer teacher, website designer and “data daddy”. I’ve also made a lot of friends here that I will remain in contact with throughout my life. However, it’s been made clear to me over the past several months that it is time for me to re-focus on my talent the drama and step out in faith to further pursue that calling. I look forward to the excitement that lies ahead in my life as I do that as well as continuing to teach at DaySpring School of the Arts in Maryland Heights and begin homeschooling my daughter, Rebekah, as she enters high school.
My Latest Adventures
Tomorrow (January 27), I will go audition for my first professional production. I’ll be auditioning for the St. Louis Muny’s summer season–specifically The Wizard of Oz and The Music Man (as those are the shows that my summer schedule will allow). Not only is it my first professional audition, it is only my second audition (as an actor) since I was in college and my first since 2004. While I’ve run dozens of auditions in that time, it’s been a long time since I’ve been on the other side of the table. It’s also, of course, been a long time since I’ve acted in a production that I was not either directing or mentoring the director.
I’ll be sure to post about my adventures (and whether I got a part) after they are over…