By Stephen Figueroa
What brought you to RU and why do you choose to work here?
“I was looking for full-time work in theater, preferably a school. I saw the job posting at RC, applied and interviewed. Actually, the first time I interviewed I didn’t get hired. A year later, the person who had my position quit and RU called me and offered me the job. I like that it was a smaller school, so you can give more individual attention to each student. RU also had the promise of teaching opportunities, and I could still work in theater and also teach a class.”
What’s the easiest and hardest part of your job? Why?
“The hardest part of my job is the communicating and balancing my responsibilities for the theater and the responsibilities for other university events. I’m trying to figure out the balance for all of the things that I do. The easiest part is after the actual setup of the events is done, just running the event is easy.”
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
“Watching the students be able to actually do my job. The students are able to take what I have taught them and use it to actually run events, which is my goal, the student being able to perform what has been taught. I want them to be able to run the events as I can’t do the whole event by myself.”
What do you do outside of your job to stay sane, relieve stress, etc? or What are your hobbies?
“I’m a serious binge-watcher. I’ll find something on Netflix and just watch it. I like watching TV shows a lot. Sometimes I hang out with friends and relax and sometimes we'll watch TV together. My favorite TV show is "The Sopranos." I’m an Italian American, so the fact that the show is centered around an Italian American family—they sit down to dinner together. Very much how my family acts. I totally identify with that.”
Where did you grow up? Describe.
“I grew up in Northville, Michigan. 40 minutes away from Detroit.
What is your favorite thing to do in the Rochester area? Or in Michigan?
“I love going up north and spending time on the water. Love to kayak.”
What is your most prized possession?
“Broadway shows. If I like the show, I will buy the hoodie of it. I have a little collection of theater hoodies. My favorite article of clothing.”
What is your most embarrassing moment?
“When I was in college, I worked in maintenance. I must have gone the whole day before someone told me I had a giant hole in my jeans, right in the butt. Nobody told me until the end of the day. I don’t think anybody really noticed. But, if anyone saw it, they were probably laughing and said nothing about it to me.”
What is the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?
“It’s still a thing I have to overcome, and that would be stress levels. I tend to get stressed out pretty easily. That’s just something that I’m still trying to work on. Especially with a job, I’m not familiar with. I still look at the stuff I still have yet to do, in the time frame I have to do it in, and I freak myself out a little bit. I would say managing my stress. I try to be organized. When it comes to doing events I am, but in my personal life, I’m not as organized. If I’m not organized at work, things can go out of whack.”
Who was your biggest influence?
“I have two. In high school, the drama class teacher, Kurt Kinde, was a huge influence on me deciding I wanted to go into theater. When I got to college, I first took an acting class. Jeromy Hopgood, one of my professors, started teaching me technical theater stuff. I realized I could still act, but the more I know about everything else, the more likely I am to find a job. He basically molded me into a technician and taught me everything I know.”