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Music teacher/Brennan Middle School, Attleboro

Executive Director/Triboro Youth Theatre

Age: 36

ABOUT HIM: Born and raised in Attleboro, graduated from Attleboro High School in 2000. Graduated in 2004 from Anna Maria College with a bachelor in music degree in music education. Lives in Seekonk with his wife, Christina, and their son, AJ, 6.

WHY YOUR FIELD? I was hooked into music by the program at my church. My grandfather nurtured my interest and bought an old upright piano for our house. I started taking piano lessons in first grade and have been playing ever since. I began working for Triboro Youth Theatre in 1998 when I played piano in the pit orchestra for a show. Over the next 20 years I've worn many different hats: Music director, carpenter, electrician, painter, mover, secretary, tour manager, ticket seller, grant writer, etc. In 2004 I became the Associate Artistic Director, and in September 2017 was named the Executive Director of the organization.

BEST CAREER ADVICE: “If it's not fun -- why are you doing it?” Not sure who originally said it -- but it's something that I try to instill everywhere. You have to have a sense of humor working in the arts, and even more so when working with kids. It's so important to maintain a fun and supportive, yet excellence-based environment so that families and kids will want to come back time and time again.

HARDEST LESSON LEARNED: It took me a long time to learn that my insecurities were not reasons to find fault with other people. As a high school senior charged with leading his peers as the conductor of a show, that was a hard lesson to learn. I'd love to travel back in time and tell 18-year old me to relax and go with the flow a bit more. Maybe my blood pressure would be a little lower today.

MENTOR(S): I wouldn't be where I am today without the guidance of a number of important people. My work ethic comes from my parents who have always shown that there is real value in doing your job well and always learning new things. My musical mentor is Dr. Bill MacPherson, my piano teacher growing up, and someone I'm truly blessed to be able to call a colleague now that I'm an adult. And finally, without Triboro Youth Theatre’s founder Vivian Humphrey, I never would have imagined myself being a theater musician, never mind the head of the organization. The lessons I learned while she grew this company out of her kitchen are too many to list. There was a lot of watching, listening, talking, messing up, starting over and finding creative ways to solve problems. It is her philosophy that guides me in my work with the theater every single day, and I'm honored to carry on the mission of providing a meaningful arts program for area youth that she started.

GIVING BACK: I serve as a building representative for the Attleboro Education Association, and have served on various committees at my church.

WHAT TALENT DO YOU WISH YOU HAD MOST THAT YOU DON'T NOW? Nothing comes to mind other than seemingly silly things like the ability to fly. But now that I type that out, it would be pretty cool to learn how to fly an airplane.