I graduated from St. John’s in 2014 and received my Bachelor of Science in Television & Film. I am comedic improviser and sound designer/engineer working in post-production audio. My fellow Chappies elected me as their President my senior year. I also founded SJU’s improv team, the Bad Astronauts. As most of you know, Chappell Players are the jacks of all trades when it comes to many practices of theater. We’re like swiss army knives. During my tenure, I acted, directed, sound designed, produced and light designed many shows. All while havin’ fun!
How was the transition from college to the real world? How was life after graduation?
My transition to college was like something out of a bad indie coming of age story. I faked it until I made it. I’ve slowly morphed into an adult who watches too much HGTV (SHIPLAP!), listens to podcasts, and checks his credit score too often. All while still havin’ fun!
3 months after graduating, during a fateful game of flag football in Prospect Park, I met a friend who would help land me at Sync Sound, where I now work. Now I get to work as an assistant sound editor on TV shows such as The Americans and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I’ve also continued my passion for comedy by taking improv classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade. I’m currently performing with my indie improv team, PENCIL.
Did being involved in the Chappell Player prepare you for life after college? How so?
Heck yea! Being a Chappell Player taught me how to be scrappy and use what I had at my disposal. Life after college, you will realize that you have to figure things out even when you don’t know the answer at first. Being a part of countless productions with the Chappell Players I experienced a lot of trial and error. Ultimately we were always able to put on a great show because learning and dedication were part of the process. Shows would miraculously come together at the last second because of countless hours in the Little Theater and gallons of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Now I keep that same “figure it out” mentality when technical errors happen at work, or when an improv set seems to be going south. All while still havin’ fun!
What was your favorite CPTG memory?
My favorite CPTG memory has to be during the final performance of our 2011 production of Little Shop of Horrors. I had the honor of playing Seymour, and during the song “Feed Me”, I decided to pull some final show antics. Instead of singing, “Does it have to be human?”, I sang, “Does it have to be Asian?” The audience took a second to process it, but I still remember the huge laugh it received. I was so close to breaking on stage. It was worth it. I was havin’ fun!
Have you been able to remain involved in theatre as much as you hoped/wanted?
Both yes and no. I would still like to be more involved in theatrical sound design, but thanks to Olivia Hartle, Mike Wirsch, and Sam Tella, I’ve been able to act and design a few NYC Fringe Festival shows. I have also delved into the crazy and wonderful NYC indie improv world, and I love it. I’m also an actor for Story Pirates, a wonderful organization that acts out stories written by children all over the country. My experience with acting in children shows definitely gave me the edge in auditions. Auditions were fun!
What is professional theatre like compared to what you accomplished with CPTG?
think experience is the difference between the Chappell Players and the professional level. In CPTG, barely any of us were theatre majors. Most of us did it for the love of theatre, some of us even found out that we wanted to pursue this FOREVER. In professional theatre, you will find individuals who have been acting, designing, and producing for years and their efficiency/quality of work showcase that experience. CPTG is definitely an amazing platform to learn the craft. The experience was so hands on, and that’s something we shouldn’t take for granted. We even get to see hired professionals do great work during the musical. Your experiences here, as you’ve seen with our other amazing alumni, will take you on the path to become a professional. And professionals also have fun!
Do you have any advice for Chappell Players who are going through college or have recently graduated?
1. Just live in the moment. Four years go by quick. 2. Get off your phone once in awhile and pay attention. 3. Be passionate about what you do. It will take you far. 4. Lastly, and I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH, have fun and laugh :).