BY AVOLIN SEN / STAFF WRITER
Christopher Bullough is a freelance actor, director, playwright, producer, instructor and creator of theatre based in Edmonton. You can find out more about his background and previous performances here: (http://www.jana-chris.com). He is currently teaching Directing and Oral Communication at Augustana. He has also taught Play Analysis, Acting, Scene Study, and Improvisation at the University level. As a fellow student of his, I wanted to find out more about his background as a Fine Arts professor and what that job entails. I also wanted to know what options drama majors have on their hands, with an unconventional degree like theirs, which a professor like Chris could help with. Read along for more!
What is your educational background?
Chris: I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting), and a Master of Fine Arts (Directing), from the University of Alberta.
What got you into teaching?
Chris: After I completed my graduate studies at the University of Alberta, I was invited to stay on and instruct Acting and Play Analysis. In subsequent years I was invited to direct and coach students in productions of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Concordia University of Edmonton and MacEwan University; The Glass Menagerie at the University of Alberta, and The Wind in the Willows here at Augustana.
What is your favourite thing about teaching at Augustana?
Chris: I find the students are so welcoming and open to learning and applying the concepts and tools we learn in drama. It is vulnerable work, but I am always blown away by the bravery and willingness to try shown by my students here at Augustana. It’s very inspiring to me.
Name a memory that you are very fond of in your career:
Chris: It’s hard to choose just one, but I will never forget writing and then performing my first play in front of a sold-out crowd at the Fringe in Edmonton. I had worked hard to fulfil my dream of becoming a professional actor, and that moment felt like all my hard work had paid off.
What would you recommend drama Majors do with their respective degrees?
Chris: I personally know drama majors who started their own successful businesses; excel in sales; have great jobs in admin; plan events; teach; run not-for-profit organizations and NGOs, and work at all levels of the government. Drama provides prospective graduates with the skills they need to adapt to a world where change is the only constant. As technology continues to develop at a mind-boggling rate and best practices are always being updated, the “on-your-feet” training in improvisation, collaboration and creative problem-solving gives those who master the skills of the dramatic arts a huge advantage in an ever-changing world, where the successful never stop learning. There’s an adaptability and resiliency that is fostered and developed in this training that gives drama majors the freedom to pursue their dreams as they continue to develop, and the tools to land a job to pay the bills in the meantime.
Last but not least, what are your hobbies?
Chris: I like to play my guitar, collect records, and explore Alberta’s natural beauty with my family.