CIP Brevard’s Dr. Michele Ramsay and Jessica Stacey recently caught up with alum Daniel P. A 2019 graduate, Daniel had a positive experience attending CIP and is now having remarkable success pursuing his career and academic goals. Daniel is currently attending Boston University and was recently selected to serve as the stage manager for the university’s upcoming production of Hamlet.
As a student at CIP, Daniel served as student body president and the student government treasurer at EFSC. CIP is a national transition program for young adults with autism and learning differences. Daniel has been diagnosed with Asperger’s and ADHD.
“It took Daniel a solid year to believe in our recommendations and embrace the strategies he was given,” commented Jessica Stacey, Assistant Program Director at CIP Brevard. “During the next two years, Daniel flourished at CIP and held onto his dream of someday becoming a stage manager in a big production.”
In his own words, Daniel describes stage management as follows:
“My interpretation of stage management, on any given production, is that we are the traffic light and intersection through which all information flows. Stage management helps to coordinate most things that happen on a daily basis, and is there to support the process. Stage management, to me, this is one of the most critical roles on a production, we provide the structure and framework on which the entire process rests. We run/manage the rehearsal and room stage on a daily basis, coordinate schedules across the entire cast and creative team, and make sure things run smoothly, along with many other things. Above all else, the most important thing a stage manager does is help make sure everyone is safe.”
Daniel is so comfortable with his surroundings at BU that he took Jessica and Michele on a virtual tour of the enormous booth Theatre Building, and shared all of the fun and exciting things he is learning. Dan credits a lot of his confidence and successes today from his experiences at CIP and EFSC. ”I’m grateful that I was pushed out of my comfort zone, given direct feedback, and had a place to try new things with support,” Daniel commented.
While Daniel was a student at CIP, he believes his experience as a student there helped him gain skills for his future. “They did a good job preparing me to go out and make my own smart, informed decisions,” he stated. “I am a much better communicator now.”
“Dan is truly committed to making a difference and leaving his footprint. Those fortunate enough to be around him will be energized by his passion for theater and more importantly his compassion for others,” commented Dr. Ramsay, CIP Program Director.
One of Daniel’s favorite classes while attending CIP was called Reframing. “I’m almost surprised by how much I learned from my Reframing module class,” he commented. “I learned the value of this after leaving CIP, and now see it with the benefit of hindsight. Although difficult to see at the time, being able to look back in hindsight helps me see the value in having had this experience.”
Daniel is now enjoying living in a dorm at BU. His favorite part of his college experience thus far is being a member of the vibrant theatre community. “Working in the theatre industry is more like having a family,” he commented. “It is not unusual that after a show or class that a large group of us will gather to talk about our experience. We might find each other in the dining hall or in the theatre working together. It’s a great honor to be at BU,” Daniel commented. “All the faculty members here are working professionals in the field of theatre arts”.
When asked about his goals, Daniel stated "My goal for the future is straightforward, I hope to complete a BFA in stage management which will then lead to a successful career.” Eventually, he would love to live and work in New York or London.
“Theatre is magic and that magic does not arrive without effort. In theatre, you work as a team. I want to inspire others and be the driving force for that team,” Daniel shared. “I understand you have to start small, and I'm ready for that. I am going to use this degree to launch myself to better heights.”
The College Internship Program is a comprehensive transition program for young adults on the Autism Spectrum and with Learning Differences. Our Mission is to inspire independence and expand the foundation on which young adults with Autism, ADHD, and other Learning Differences can build happy and productive lives.