The East Texan Thespian


David Stutsman, Staff Writer

There are all types of actors at Texas A&M University-Commerce and one that has been in multiple shows since 2006 is Chad Pope, an actor and technical director for the theatre.

In the theatre, “there is one shot to make it work and whatever happens, the show must go on,” Pope said.

He started his undergraduate studies in 2006, left school, came back in 2008, then left again to work in theatre in Waco.

In 2011, he came back to A&M-Commerce to continue his bachelor’s degree which he finished in 2013. He is now working on his masters degree.

Productions Pope has been part of include “Once Upon a Mattress,” “Into the West,” and his first appearance in “Ballerinas Choose Your Weapons.”

Pope claims to be a Commerce local since he moved to town with his parents in the third grade. This is when he became interested in acting, early on from church when two professionally-trained mimes visited and performed.

After high school, he joined the Navy and took time away from theatre.

The late Jan Swart helped influence him into getting back into shows when she cast him in one of her shows.

Actors have their ways of getting into character. Pope is a stern believer in memorizing, not just his own lines, but all the lines of a show and knowing the material backward and forward.

“The people that make the shows possible are the ones working behind the scenes that the audience never see’s, otherwise known as the crucial cogs of the show,” Pope said.

There are other aspects the audience never sees and the actor’s job is to, “play their part as if it is the first time and lead the audience to believe it is genuine,” Pope said.

To prepare for a show, there is meditation, breathing exercises, physical stretches, vocal warm-ups and “energize games.”

Some actors who live their role are called method actors but Pope has had the most success researching the plays and knowing the entire show inside and out so if someone makes a mistake or drops a line, “the show must go on.”

Pope has also been working with the “Cricket City” musical and in the future hopes to take his acting to the next level.