Sophomore Chase Moore has branched out as an actor during his time at Mercer, and is currently directing his own play with a professional acting job on the horizon.
Moore’s first experience acting was in high school, but his school’s theatre program was relatively small and underfunded.
“I never really started acting until college,” Moore said. “I was in a one-act play in high school, but half the cast never learned their lines, so we never performed.”
It was during this time that Moore started creating short films with his brother.
“Before I ever entered the theatre world, I always wanted to go to film school and become a movie director,” Moore said. “I’ve been making my own short films since high school, but I’ve never been supported on that front, so going to film school was something I wouldn’t have been able to do, financially speaking.”
Moore got his chance to pursue both acting and directing at Mercer. When he saw the Mercer Players at Bear Fair, he grabbed a flyer for auditions.
“I just thought to myself that it would be something good for me to do, to keep me busy and make some friends,” Moore said.
He was cast in “A Flea in Her Ear” and has since been in six plays at Mercer, with his seventh now in the works. Earlier this semester, his directing class put on a showcase for 11 short plays, allowing each student to direct a play according to their own vision.
“I directed a show called ‘4 AM (Open All Night),’ and I believe I had the perfect actors to pull off the most technical of the 11 [plays],” Moore said. “I am really proud of my first show, and in many ways it was a dream come true.”
After “11 x 10” wrapped up, Moore began directing another play, this time a full-length production of the play “Tracks” by Peter Tarsi.
“Being on the other side of the stage as a director is different, and while I really want to be back on stage acting, I’m thoroughly enjoying being at the helm and banding all these amazing actors together to form something only we can make,” Moore said.
Moore’s experiences in the Theatre department has made him reconsider what he wants to do for the rest of his life.
“Midway through my third show here at Mercer, I quickly began to realize that acting was something I would never be able to not do,” Moore said. “I vividly remember sitting in the dressing room getting ready for a performance of ‘Hedda Gabler,’ and I saw myself in full costume, and I knew that I would never be able to do anything else if I wasn’t acting.”
This past January, Moore drove up to North Carolina to audition for multiple theatre companies looking to cast their summer shows. Moore got a couple of callbacks, and a little over a week ago he was hired by one of the largest outdoor theatres in the country: Tecumseh Outdoor Drama, a 3000-seat historic venue in Ohio.
“It’s really surreal, to go from only imagining something like this, to actually being paid to go and act at a place like Tecumseh,” Moore said.
A week after class ends this semester, Moore will drive up to Ohio and join the cast of Tecumseh.
“Deep down, [acting] was something I always wanted to do, but I always viewed it as something unattainable, just a fun little dream that I never really considered as something I could do and be good at.”