Meet the Jimmy Awards INSPIRING TEACHER AWARD Winner, Ian Sullivan

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Interview: Meet the Jimmy Awards INSPIRING TEACHER AWARD Winner, Ian Sullivan

Whereas all eyes can be on the 92 gifted performers on the Minskoff Theatre stage on June 27, two different offstage honorees have already been anounced for the 2022 Jimmy Awards.

Wells Fargo will bestow the Inspiring Instructor Award on Kristin Winchester, Durham Faculty of the Arts (Durham, North Carolina), and Ian Sullivan, Hickory Ridge Excessive Faculty (Harrisburg, North Carolina). These lecturers are being acknowledged for his or her tireless efforts in guiding their college students with the coaching and help essential to thrive and in the end win the coveted Jimmy Awards for Finest Efficiency by an Actress and Finest Efficiency by an Actor throughout final yr’s 2021 Jimmy Awards ceremony.

Ian resides in North Carolina along with his spouse and three kids. He has labored within the area of theatre schooling since 2003, in quite a lot of completely different roles and atmospheres. At Kids’s Theatre of Charlotte and Ballantyne Arts Heart, he has labored as a instructing artist and director, instructing theatre intensive programs and camps, and directing theatre for youth/by youth productions. As well as, he is labored as a public faculty theatre trainer since 2008, having begun his tenure at Hickory Ridge Excessive Faculty in 2016. He’s presently enrolled at Gardner-Webb for his grasp’s diploma in Curriculum and Training. A author, director, masks maker, and (typically) actor, Ian considers his major position to be that of an educator and appears ahead to persevering with to develop this system at Hickory Ridge.

We sat down with Ian to study extra about his instructing model and discover out what makes him an inspiring trainer. Learn the complete interview under and click on right here to fulfill Kristin Winchester!


How does it really feel realizing you might have been chosen because the recipient of the Inspiring Instructor Award?

It feels completely unimaginable! I am awestruck and nonetheless reeling a little bit! It is such an honor to be acknowledged on the Jimmy’s, this wonderful nationwide program that does such phenomenal work for college students. I’ve participated within the Blumey’s for years and all the time been impressed with the help and highlight they provide to college students and the way accessible they make every part for college students and colleges of all walks, and the Jimmy’s is similar. My college students love collaborating and watching the awards exhibits, and the work that these two packages do is so inspiring to them. For them to provide me an award for being inspiring has been so uplifting for me.

Outdoors of the classroom, what are your pursuits? Are you able to inform us a little bit extra about your self?

I am a father of three stunning kids, all below 4. So numerous my time outdoors of the classroom is spending time with my spouse and youngsters. I am additionally pursuing my Grasp’s diploma at Gardner-Webb, making an attempt to enhance myself as an educator. Once I do have free time, I get pleasure from writing scripts, masks making, and tabletop, video, and board gaming. It has been a short while since I have been capable of be on stage, however I additionally get pleasure from performing in group theatres when there’s a chance.

Along with your steerage, your pupil Bryson was awarded Finest Efficiency by an Actor, what strategies did you employ to assist him practice and rehearse?

Bryson already got here into my program with this unimaginable voice. The primary time I heard him sing in an audition, I used to be simply blown away. I do not know that I handled him any completely different from the remainder of my college students, although. I consider within the course of, not the product. I consider that as an arts educator within the public-school setting, my job is to assist college students develop. To present ALL of them alternatives to achieve success, but in addition to problem themselves.

When Bryson began, he labored his manner up from minor roles to robust supporting roles, to leads. I had the chance to deliver Bryson in to my musical theatre class this yr to speak about his awards and his time at Boston Conservatory to this point. And one of many issues he talked about was that he knew he nonetheless had room to develop. That his friends had been wonderful people with completely different strengths, and that he felt impressed by them. I might wish to consider that a few of that mindset, that perception in progress and help for others, was strengthened by his time in my program. After we acknowledge others and their contributions, the completely different skills they carry to the desk, and try to construct an ensemble and a program that acknowledges everybody, I believe we construct a way of empathy, humility, and a real need to help others. And from that, I believe my college students develop confidence. They know that they’ve all their friends behind them. That everybody genuinely needs them to succeed.

What strategies of coaching do you employ within the classroom to assist your college students develop into higher performers?

I really like Uta Hagen and Michael Chekhov! We undoubtedly discover their methods, in addition to Meisner, Stanislavsky, and Strasberg. However I believe Hagen and Chekhov in all probability come out probably the most in my directing. However I believe one of the vital efficient strategies I exploit is sensible utility. We’ve got at the least one manufacturing each month, with a number of alternatives for college students to write down, direct, and design along with carry out. This offers them extra alternatives to observe their craft in entrance of a dwell viewers, in addition to work for quite a lot of completely different administrators. I am a agency believer in studying by doing, so I try to provide my college students as many probabilities as I can to “do”.

What’s your one piece of recommendation for performers simply getting began of their careers?

Be the form of particular person individuals wish to work with. You will be amazed by the variety of occasions you may stumble upon individuals you’ve got labored with earlier than, and an excellent repute goes a great distance. Kindness, enthusiasm, dedication, and a willingness to enhance and develop make individuals stand out. There is a ton of gifted individuals on the market, however I all the time suppose again to the individuals who I loved working with due to how they interacted with the forged and crew. These are the individuals I might like to work with once more.

Why is arts schooling wanted in colleges?

The humanities do not simply develop expertise, they develop individuals. We work on constructing empathy. We work on collaboration. We work on seeing how we will influence our communities. These are the sorts of expertise that keep on into any occupation. Everyone wants to have the ability to step into the footwear of their workers, employers, and prospects. Each job requires some aspect of teamwork. And that is what we excel at doing. Constructing these expertise.

Is there something you want to our readers of Broadway World to learn about you or your instructing profession?

Simply an enormous thanks! I am so grateful to the Blumey’s and the Jimmy’s for the fantastic alternatives they supply and the popularity they provide to performing arts in our colleges.


The Jimmy Awards/The Nationwide Excessive Faculty Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) program impacts greater than 140,000 college students who take part in 46 regional highschool musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of touring Broadway productions all through the USA. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, this system has been the catalyst for greater than $5,000,000 in instructional scholarships.

Click on right here for a ful llist of 2022 nominees!

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