The Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village, Actor (Thomas Alva Edison)
Ford Motor Company, Product Specialist
PRTC Apprentice Credits:
- “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams
- “Bleeding Red” by Michael Brian Ogden
- “Wake” by Carey Crim
- “Escanaba” by Jeff Daniels
What or who inspired you to become an apprentice at the Purple Rose?
I wanted to work for the best. After graduating with a degree in Theatre from Ohio Wesleyan University, I was seeking an intensive theatre program in Michigan. I had previously worked as an intern at other professional theatre companies, but I wanted something much more. I wanted to be challenged. I wanted to be a part of something. The apprenticeship was exactly what I was looking for.
What is the most useful skill or piece of knowledge you gained from your apprenticeship?
The most useful skill I gained from the Rose was passionate discipline. The apprenticeship teaches you that mediocrity is unacceptable. Whether you want to be an actor, a designer, stage manager, baker, zookeeper, fisherman, or whatever, the disciplinary skills you acquire from the apprenticeship program stay with you for the rest of your life in whatever your career might be.
What job opportunities (theatre-related or otherwise) have you had following your apprenticeship?
After my apprenticeship, I was released into the wild and it didn’t take long for me to acquire a number of theatre-related jobs in Detroit. I had already made connections from previous internships, so it was pretty easy for me to get somewhat established in the Detroit theatre world. I worked as an actor, Technical Director, Stage Manager, Lighting Designer, Carpenter, Scenic Designer, as well as all sorts of crew jobs at theaters all over Detroit. I even built and established a box office at a new 650-seat performing arts building.
How has your apprenticeship prepared you for/contributed to your current job?
Only with the attitude, work-ethic, and discipline instilled in me from the apprenticeship was I able to accomplish all my past work achievements, and let me grow into who I am today.
Do you have a funny moment or favorite memory to share from your apprenticeship?
During the run of “Escanaba” by Jeff Daniels, David Wayne Parker (Actor) had to take a few bites out of a pasty. By the end of the run, his bites became smaller and smaller, so each night the apprentices would decide who was the hungriest and would get to eat the rest of the pasty… It sounds gross, but late at night, at the end of every show, we were hungry!
Of the shows on which you worked, which one was your favorite? Why?
During the run of “Escanaba”, I was in charge of set maintenance. I really liked this job because I was allowed to come into the theatre any time I wanted to get the job done. I took a lot of pride and ownership in my work, and after a while, I started to have the feeling that it was “my” set. That’s what was unique about the apprenticeship: it gave me a sense of ownership over the work I did.
We were all part of a family, and the theatre was our home.