Monday, January 28, 2013

Where are they now?

Where are the now? is a column on this blog featuring former students and faculty of the Patel Conservatory

Actor Andrew Wright working on a pilot
episode of the web series Strings Attached

If you’re studying at the Patel Conservatory and planning to move to New York or Los Angeles to make it big, Andrew Wright has one piece of advice for you.

“You’ll never be in a black box (theater) as nice as that TECO theater. If you move to New York or L.A., they’re not going to be as nice as that,” laughed Andrew.

He should know. A former Patel Conservatory student and teaching assistant, he’s since worked in enough local theaters in Los Angeles where he’s had to use his car as a dressing room.

Wright moved from Tampa to L.A. in 2006 to study acting at the University of Southern California, and stayed in the area to purse an acting career.

Now he gets to entertain kids every day, but not how he expected to be doing so. Wright  actually teaches kids chess and runs a local branch of Parker-Anderson Enrichment, an after-school program.

Working as a teaching assistant for Eugenie Bondurant’s on-camera acting camps years ago, the teaching seed had been planted without Wright even knowing it.

After a few years of pursuing acting, getting work sporadically, he realized he was having more fun at his side job teaching kids chess.

“I use narrative and teaching skills I learned at the Patel Conservatory every day,” said Wright. “Kids will not naturally want to learn about chess. You have to come at it in a different way, and turn your lesson into almost a stand up routine.”

Wright also performs regularly with Berkeley Groundworks, a playwriting group. He recently performed in Harry and the Thief at the Skylight Theatre in L.A., and will perform with Berkeley Groundworks in June.

“I’m not a big movie star or on a TV show, but I teach and I get to act for fun. It’s a nice balance,” said Wright. “Patel really set me on the path to where I am now - in a job I really like.”

So for all our students at the Conservatory, enjoy the fabulous facilities we have right here in Tampa!

For more information about our summer theater apprentice program, please click here.

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