“If you’re not having fun, then why are you here?”
I thought I’d start out with a quote from one of my former professors from Salem State College (now Salem State University). I started doing theatre because it was so much fun – the stage, the dressing room, the laughs. Before I reached my twenties, I realized theatre was so much more than that. But the day it stops being fun is the day I look for a new career.
Lucky for me, I find fun in just about everything. And that includes my job waiting tables.
My name is Tony Rossi. I grew up in Melrose, Massachusetts, about twenty minutes north of Boston. I’m a die hard Red Sox fan and once had dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. Around the time I reached middle school, I started reading the Harry Potter books. I’ve never been a big reader, but I was obsessed with these books. What made it even better was that I was a skinny kid with glasses and messy hair – how cool was that?! By the time I heard it was going to be a movie, I thought to myself “I can be Harry Potter!”
…I didn’t get the part. I didn’t even audition. I didn’t know the first thing about auditioning for a movie. And on top of that, my next door neighbor/best friend David Kendricken made a good point: “You don’t have any experience.”
I joined drama club later that year.
From there, I met director of the school play, Marcy (and if you ever read this Marcy, I hope to god I spelt your name right!) She cast me in the show, and even asked me to do a non speaking role in the high school play….HIGH SCHOOL PLAY! I was only 13! What a sweet deal that was.
I ended up following Marcy to Stoneham Theatre in Stoneham, Massachusetts to audition for Peter Pan. It was the first show for Stoneham Theatre’s Young Company. I’m proud to say that their company has THRIVED since, and is still going strong over ten years later. Stoneham Theatre introduced me to a plethora of artists, both young and old. I took classes and performed with them all through high school. I was 100% sure that this was something I was going to study in college.
Then I moved to Salem, Massachusetts for school. It wasn’t my first choice. But they had a good reputation and it was the only school I got into….granted I didn’t apply to many schools. Even so. Off to Salem I went.
I fell in love.
Well okay, not really. I was single my entire stay there. But I loved the school. I loved the city. And I got a damn good education from a school that doesn’t get nearly enough credit. Salem quickly became a new home. In fact, whenever I go back to New England to visit, I stay in Salem over Melrose. Granted, Salem is where I became who I am today. Melrose is where I spent my awkward teenage years. Not to mention all the history Salem has to offer. And is hands down the best Halloween town in the country. (Sorry, Madison).
And now I’m chasing my dreams in Chicago. I’ll go into why I chose Chicago in another post. We’re coming up on my two year anniversary being here! What a great city with great opportunities. Even if it’s not New York.
So why a blog? There are so many ideas that literally make me jump up and down with excitement when it comes to acting and art that I want to share them with as many people as possible. I’ve also been inspired by blogs such as greenroomblog.com. Check ’em out if you haven’t already, they’re fantastic.
And on that note, I’m going to leave my favorite Starbucks right next to Second City and hit the gym. I’ll end with a quote from another one of my Professors, David Allen George, from Salem State – “Go away, be creative!”