Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Daryl Ray Carliles, most people call me Daryl, but if you’re one of my students, you call me Mr. Daryl. I am an actor who has been living in New York for the past three years and I was happy to have the opportunity to become a member of Jaradoa Theater last year.

Now every story has a beginning and I want to enlighten you a little bit about mine. Upon my first year of college, I was given two opportunities at the same time. Based on my performance at local theaters in North Carolina, I was given the chance to teach music and drama at a charter school, which allowed me to not only to teach, but also be in charge of directing and producing two plays for the students to perform each year. I found this to be one of the most rewarding experiences up to that point in my life. I was also offered an acting scholarship to a two-year college for a Musical Theater degree. Now this created a moment of truly difficult decision because I felt as though my path as an actor would never fully fulfill me on the same level as being a teacher, yet it was still very much a passion that I had to pursue. I chose to become an actor.

So upon that decision, I moved away and began my acting career, which eventually led me to New York City where I became a professional actor, all the while holding on to the thoughts that hopefully one day I would be able to teach again and also inspire the same passion for performing that I felt.

Since becoming a member if Jaradoa Theater, I have also been involved in our Play On! Literacy Program which involves us as teaching artists going into schools lacking funding for the arts. The Play On! Literacy Program, consists of two teachers over a six week period helping the students to write their own plays by developing characters, finding conflict and working towards a resolution. The end result of the program is the opportunity to perform their own plays in front of their peers, teachers, and family.

On a personal level, since being a part of this program I have continued to grow as an artist simultaneously with these students, which has been incredibly fulfilling.

July starts our Off-Broadway production of I’ll Be Damned which allows me the opportunity to perform and fulfill the dream that I was driven to choose. In July we will also be having our Summer Jam Event, where one of my recent students will be able to perform a play he wrote in front of hundreds of people, which means a lot to me.

This means a lot to me because during the first week of class we allowed the students to share personal stories in helping to develop their characters. I was really touched by his personal story. He was encouraged by our Artistic Director April Nickell to use his feelings to help develop his play. So through out the process he was very brave in sharing with the class, and upon informing him of the decision to put his play in our show, his excitement and pride created the full realization that I had once again been a part of something bigger than me: inspiring a young artist to truly believe in himself.

I also find it a little serendipitous that two worlds I thought would have to remain separate have come together at the same time in my life, and have and proven once and for all that you really can have the best of both worlds.