Every Day is an Audition
CLASS OF 2001
In 2011, Jake Miser received a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre and graduated with the highest honor of summa cum laude. Now, Jake lives in Chicago, like many other alums from Wayland’s theatre department, where he pursues a career in film and theatre. Currently, Jake is an actor and writer by night, a dog walker by day, and an optimistic opportunist.
“Recently I’ve tried to focus more on writing; developing my unique ‘Fey meets Durang’ voice. Right now, I’m working as a unit production manager for a filmed sketch project with McKay Arts and I’ve just been cast in a production of Spring Awakening that will be performed at Piven.”
Although these opportunities help Jake advance his career, they also allow him to thank those individuals at Wayland who inspired his dreams and encouraged his goals.
“So often in theatre you have to write little bios to go in the program and so often it all has to fit magically into a tiny box because space is limited. How am I supposed to say anything of merit in such a crunch? And worse, it has to be about me? How do I do that without just blatantly bragging? I could write quirky true things about myself, like how I've got a moderate phobia of children or how my favorite TV show growing up was Murphy Brown, but that also feels like a waste.”
While the questions are comic, Jake concludes on a much more serious note.
“Instead I often use the space to thank people. I've thanked Dr. Runnels in a lot of programs that he'll never see. My education at Wayland, and specifically the guidance I received from Dr. Runnels, is integral to the work that I do. It provided a model for how things are supposed to be when working on a show, how to respect your colleagues and cast mates, and how ‘the most important audition is the one you give every day.’”
The lessons Jake learned at Wayland not only play a role in his daily life but also linger as special memories of friendship and family. Jake’s favorite things about Wayland, however, remain a “toss-up” between the Sacramento Mountain Theatre collaborative and his professors.
“[The Sacramento Mountain Theatre] was so much hard work that our down time was filled with strange, exhaustion fueled activities, like discussing the negative capability of The Dark Crystal, playing spoons with food instead of spoons (you had to eat it or it didn't count), and asking Dr. Runnels who would win in a fight between various animals.”
While there were days of hard work and sleep deprived entertainment, the hours Jake spent working alongside students and faculty allowed him to gain lifelong relationships. Many of these relationships also took place on Wayland’s campus where Jake recalls professors impacting his life and inspiring his future goals.