For the final Senior Spotlight of the year, the Department highlights Jeremy Smock, who's no stranger to the St. Ambrose stage – nor its backstage. He has primarily served the department as a stage manager, but has also tread the boards a bit as an actor, dancer, and choreographer.
Smock was born in central Indiana but has lived in the Quad Cities since 2014. He is an extremely talented, dedicated, and busy student. He has a major in English, with minors in theatre, museum studies, and art history.
When asked how he would describe himself, Smock said "I would describe myself as someone who is comfortable in his own skin. I am confident in myself and in my abilities."
He has stage managed at SAU more than a few times."Most recently, I was the stage manager for the 2020 spring production of Dancing at Lughnasa. I think, so far, that has been my favorite technical position," he said. "Although it was cut short, it was wonderful to see all of the skills and abilities that I accumulated over my four years with the Department come together."
It's unfortunate that Dancing at Lughnasa never debuted on stage, but the Department is lucky to have had four years with Smock as the stage manager. Despite this, Jeremy's favorite experience onstage has nothing to do with stage management.
"The show that I enjoyed working on the most was Cabaret in the spring of 2018," he said. "I was able to revisit my background in dancing, and it was so much fun!"
Advice for Theater Students: "Enjoy the process; it isn't prescriptive and cookie cutter."
But his favorite memories at St. Ambrose go beyond performances or specific shows.
"My favorite memories have been the late nights (and sometimes early mornings) that I've spent in the theatre alone. In a quiet theatre, your mind becomes clear and the weights of the world are lifted momentarily," Smock said.
The theatre can certainly be a loud and raucous place, full of music, yelled lines or funny onstage foibles, but the quieter moments theatre students experience rarely get discussed.
Smock's major is not theatre so when asked if his future would at all include theatre, he said "I don't necessarily see theatre in my imminent professional and occupational future. I think, however, it will be a lifelong passion for me that I might return to every once in a while," he said. "In terms of theatre, I would enjoy seeing myself working for a small theatre possibly doing a few different technical aspects at the same time. I have experience backstage and front of house. I would love to see my experience in both meld and be used together."
Smock gave some final thoughts, specifically advice for other theatre students, "Enjoy the process. The process isn't prescriptive and cookie cutter," he said. "Understand this when you take on a project. You will have a much better experience."
He also left some parting words,"Thank you to everyone I've met along the way. It truly has been one hell of a ride - in every sense of the word," Smock said.
Thank you, Jeremy Smock. You've done a great deal for this Theatre Department and for a lot people in it as well. St. Ambrose will miss you, but more than that, everyone in the Department will miss you. At the very least, the Department knows you'll be out there doing something amazing and making the world a better place.