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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.

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Hey, readers! Your weekly dose of the Jaradoa Blog is coming from Jen today:

Just yesterday, Brian, a friend with whom I studied theater in college posted this status on his facebook page:

“When people are starving and out of work, why should the government fund the arts?”

Now, Brian’s incredibly thoughtful and a great lover of art, and he asked the question in order to start a discussion on a topic that’s pretty vital in this economic climate. Unsurprisingly, it resulted in a wide range of comments:

Tim: “Because some people are artists.”

RJ: “And many artists are among the broke and starving…”

Brian: “I’m not trying to be generally patronizing. For example: Right now NYS has to cut every part of the budget–including basic health and education for children. I think it was easier to argue the value arts bring to society in times of prosperity. If a $20k production of West Side Story at a 501c3 could pay a cast and crew of college graduated theater artists for a month or a keep a few underprivileged families fed for a year… should I write letters to my local government asking to fund the theater? It’s a serious question.”

Jen: “Because the arts are for everyone to enjoy, not just those with money to burn. No government funding for the arts=arts only for the elite. In my book, most objectionable are cuts to arts education. Studies have shown that an education rich in the arts leads to better scores all around (and presumably, more well-rounded kids.)”

Brady: “I feel like art is important, but I feel that it should come after kids being fed. That being said, there are plenty of places for NYS budget to trim…the budget is flipping ridiculous, with lots of waste.”

Brian: “Jen — So arts=education? That’s something I could get behind. But why aren’t the arts valuable enough to the general population to pay for themselves the way commercial media does?

Brady: “That’s kinda what raised the question for me. When I left SUNY over a year ago, tuition money was already going to bail out other parts of the State (and not towards anything on campus, as students would expect). No cost of living raises for public employees (except where unions were able to push it through). Cuts in funding for mass transit led to MTA fare hike. We’ve heard about debt and cuts all year long. Now schools, hospitals, public services, and… at the end of the list… the arts. Where’s the fat?”

Mary: “Art education puts the rest of the world into perspective with a sense of history, creativity, and integrity . I think it is one of the genuinely most important subjects for a society.
Having said that, if all funding goes towards art education, and nothing towards job development or employment, where is the means to spread your education to those less-informed? You have to be able to take what you know and apply it.”

This led to so much discussion in the office — the economic impact of the arts, how our spending reflects our values, what it means to be human. Thoughts?

What have we been posting?

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