I was 13 when I found my love for theatre. I actually wanted to act at first but I quickly realized that I don’t like being the one always being helped. I wanted to help other people make something we could all be proud of. So I stage managed at Rhodes Jr High, but it wasn’t until my freshmen year that I realized that this is what I want to do with my life. I walked in a cocky little kid thinking I knew everything I would need, but the first rehearsal for Little Women showed me I knew nothing and I would need to work ten times harder than everyone else if I wanted to be the best. I’ve always wanted to be someone that people can rely on if they ever need anything—a jack of all trades of sorts.
There were 4 people that I immediately looked up to. Grant, the teacher for that class that I met way back in 7th grade once when he was giving us some lights. Molly, another new stage manager but was coming at it like she had been doing it for years. Dawson, a lighting designer who really pushed me to be impressive and is now a really good friend. Gabe, a sound designer/stage manager that had a very similar experience at Rhodes where he was a stage manager before coming to Dobson. In fact, on my first day, I remember hearing someone in the back say, “Oh! Another Gabe.” Which made me excited and nervous because it felt like there were already expectations I had to meet.
I would like to think I met every expectation set for me last year, besides the one time I stage managed. It was 2019 Winter Showcase and it was a great show but a train wreck on my part. The one thing I came there to do I failed at, but it was honestly the most important learning experience I’ve had in my life. It motivated me to improve in a way I never thought I could. I was able to try again with our 2020 Winter Showcase and managed an amazing show that has now become one of my proudest experiences.
I was lucky enough for Grant to give me opportunities to learn more. I took on many roles after that. I became the “lead production assistant” a sort of meaningless title that was basically me assisting in rehearsals the most I could. I found a greater understanding of sound design, a new passion for scenic design, a love for lights, and I became the P.A. Manager which put me in charge of all of the production assistants. The experience really instilled in me a sense of leadership, as someone they can rely on. And more recently, I was given the opportunity to be the scenic designer for In The Heights. And with Grant’s help I have been able to make something that not only looks amazing, but also something that I can be proud of for years to come. It’s shaping up to be the best show Dobson Drama has done to date.
This program has instilled a lifelong love for theatre and a passion that I don’t think I’ll ever lose. Many people go years without truly finding what they love to do and I’ve been so lucky to find something as amazing as the Dobson Drama program. If you’re even remotely interested, give it a shot! I’m sure you’ll find something to love about it!