Area of Study: BA in Theatre Arts
Current City: Houston, Texas
Graduation Date: May 2001
Current Occupation: Managing Owner, Callahan Sports Broadcast Crewing
Company Website: Callahan Sports Broadcast Crewing
Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
Growing up I always wanted to work in the Entertainment Business. I applied to West Chester with the hopes that I would be accepted into their Theatre program. It was a great day when I found out that I was and I took every advantage I could while I was a student there. Normally, first year students didn't start working on productions right way but I was different I wanted to be involved and I didn't care what I needed to do. My first assignment was sewing the costumes for the play The Miss Firecracker Contest.
What training or education did the Dept of Theatre and Dance provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
The Department tought me how to handle and deal with people both professionally and as a student. Our Technical Director at the time, James Murphy, approached me and asked if I wanted to be the Assistant Stage Manager to The House of Blue Leaves. I was honored that he would have thought of me. He mentioned to me that my attitude was the right temperament for the job. He was right because you need an even temperament to work in Entertainment and Sports Television. Working part time while going to College along with my studies was hard but going into the real world in real life situations took the cake. What I learned while a student in the Department of Theatre and Dance provided me with just the right attitude on how to deal with all the different personalities that I came across.
What is a typical day like for you?
My day is pretty simple as I work day to day but also months in advance. I need to make sure that everyone working has their call times, where they need park and who they need to see onsite… I then deal with our clients with any questions they may have. I telecommute so I am pretty much glued to my computer, cell and office line during the day. I normally do 85% of my work via email. It really has changed from when I first started in the business when it was all done by phone calls.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
Be tenacious don't think that just because you went on a job interview they will automatically hire you. If you want that job figure out a way to let them know how much you want the job without going too far. It's a delicate balance. Know the company you are working for or want to work for. If it's anything that I learned people love to talk about themselves and how they got started. Ask questions don't be shy. Entertainment/Sports Television is hard to break into but the right combination of your personality and what you put into landing that first job will get you noticed.
What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I loved working the High School Theatre Festival. It was a great way to bring in High School students and offer them advice on what to do next or how to approach certain areas of the craft. Overall, I throughly enjoyed my time at West Chester in the Department of Theatre and Dance.