Jay began performing at the age of six or seven, with small magic shows. Granted, it was only for his immediate family and neighborhood kids, but those people started the ball rolling with their applause and positive feedback.
Jay's first appearance on a real stage was in the bi-centennial play, 1776 And All That. High school, community theatres in Danville, Illinois and in Murray, Kentucky provided many opportunities to find new roles to explore. Jay attended Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky, where he studied Audio/Video Production and Theatre.
The National Scouting Museum moved to Murray in the early '80's and Jay began his tenure as Director of the national touring storytelling troupe - SPINNERS!. As the primary storyteller for nine years, Jay traveled across the U.S. performing to a total of more than 450,000 audience members. In 1985 he toured through Europe, performing at bed and breakfasts, in storytelling festival in England and in Wales, and at an international scouting jamboree for over 7500 scouts in Northfolk, England. In additional to performing stories, Jay also conducted Storycrafting Workshops for teachers across the U.S., sharing with them how to incorporate storytelling into their classroom curriculum.
In 1997 Jay was accepted into the MFA program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. As a graduate student he taught 5 semesters of Introduction to Acting classes to underclassmen. After graduating in 2000 he moved to San Antonio, where he held adjunct positions at the University of the Incarnate Word and at Trinity University, also teaching Introduction to Acting and Acting in Everyday Life.
Some of Jay's more memorable roles over the years include: Enid Dobbs in The Professionals (The Overtime Theatre), Dr. Prentice in What the Butler Saw (Cameo Theatre, San Antonio), Rick Steadman in The Nerd (Boerne Community Theatre, Boerne, TX), Brother Martin in Incorruptible (Boerne Community Theatre, Boerne, TX), Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, Lady Bracknell in Earnest in Love, Don Quixote in Man of LaMancha, Bernard Nightingale in Arcadia (all at the University of Wisconsin - Madison), Mortimer Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, Van Helsing in The Passion of Dracula, Jonathan Harker in Dracula, Young Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, Billy Crocker in Anything Goes, El Gallo in The Fantastics (Murray State University or Playhouse in the Park - Murray, KY), and several other roles.
Jay is currently a voiceover artist and producer of training videos for Pearson, Inc, San Antonio. Other hobbies include photography, videography, and editing various media projects. He's very excited about SWALDA and the opportunity to work with other talented performers in the San Antonio area. It's going to be fun working together!
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