“My other life” meets “Who’s who?”

June 15, 2012 by JoLynne Lyon

We’re combining two features this week. We’re telling the story of a CPD employee’s performing alter ego… and we’ll let you guess who it is.

Daddy Warbucks and Annie, surrounded by servants

Here’s what he says about his other life:

My dad sang in a barbershop chorus when I was little. That started my love of music. I loved being around it.

In middle school the music teacher produced school musicals—that was my start and I was hooked. I always loved singing best. I grew up in southern California and had plenty of opportunities to be involved in community theater productions. In high school I even delivered “singing telegrams.” It was a GREAT way to make money by making a moderate fool of myself in front of lots of people (some of whom were drunk; they gave the best tips).

By the time I was 18, I’d done more than 20 shows. I played parts ranging from Fredric in Pirates of Penzance, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Courier in 1776, to Kenicke in Grease!. The part of Prince Charming in Cinderella is how I got to Utah. I moved to Utah County for a summer theater gig and never really left.

When I started college I had music and theater scholarships, but I quickly realized that I wouldn’t be able to make a good living as an actor, so I became a teacher (said with a smile on my face). Life took off and more than 25 years passed before I did another show. I’d wanted to play Daddy Warbucks in “Annie” since I was 12. I saw the traveling Broadway production and put Warbucks on my “want to do someday” list. I just had to wait until I was old and bald.

Daddy Warbucks and Annie

Music Theater West publicized auditions and I figured this was my chance. I auditioned and got the part. The show ran at the Ellen Eccles Theatre in September 2011. It was fun to be on that particular stage with a full orchestra underneath—kind of a bucket list thing.

I’m not sure how I fit it into my schedule. I traveled over 75K miles last year. But I made it work and my wife is tremendously patient. There is a certain thrill in being on stage with others who have as much fun as I do. It is great to live in a community where people are so willing to share their talent. It’s fun to be a part of.

I’m supposed to share the role (with Scott Hunsaker of the TEAL department in the College) of Mr. Brocklehurst in the October 11-16 production of Jane Eyre, but I’m not sure my schedule will allow it this time. It is a wonderful part. Brocklehurst is mean, nasty and self-righteous—all the things I try not to be. Who knows what I’ll do next, but I’m pretty certain that I’ll do another show.

So that’s his other life. Who is he?

“My Other Life” is a recurring feature detailing the exceptional things CPD people do away from their desks. It reinforces a suspicion we’ve held for a long time: Some people don’t watch much TV.