‘When I’m an EMT, that’s my job — I’m not a theater teacher. I juggle two worlds in that capacity. It really is weird and it’s wonderful.’
“Eventually, you let the universe choose for you and I think that’s why I became a teacher and, later, an EMT as well. More than 25 years ago, I had a career as a performer. I was working in regional theaters and with international tours. When my wife and I got married we realized that to have a family we had to be in the same place at the same time, so I went to earn my master’s degree and quickly lucked out with Syosset High School (SHS) because they were looking to start a theater program.
To be able to help somebody you know in their time of need, when they’re scared, is special.
“As a theater teacher, I get to see students create and learn in a unique way. My focus has always been on giving students a solid foundation so that if they want to go into the theater business, they are able to but even if they don’t, they have a foundation in problem-solving and looking at things through a different perspective and the discipline of creating that’s going to serve them in any profession. I never directed a darn thing before I started at SHS. All of these years later, I sometimes still think I have no clue what I’m doing. Other times, I sit back on closing night of a show and I think, ‘Wow. These kids really created something and I got to be a part of that.’ I have also been an EMT for eight years. I wanted to be able to help the community and I can ride a bike with the Northport Bike Squad, so I am able to combine two things I’m good at. Since I’ve joined the department, my family has felt more connected to the community. Often I go on calls and it’s somebody we know. To be able to help somebody you know in their time of need, when they’re scared, is special. You see them look up at you and realize that you’re somebody they know so they relax because they can trust you. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to help people in that way. In the summer I was a set medic for a couple of documentaries and commercials. I love working on the movie sets because of the atmosphere and creativity. When I’m an EMT, that’s my job – I’m not a theater teacher. I juggle two worlds in that capacity. It really is weird and it’s wonderful. I don’t have a lot of money to give to causes and support things like I would want to, so I give my time.”