Jim moved to Florida from Tucson AZ in 2002 after losing his software engineering position to the IT bubble burst so prominent in his field at the time. Always the traveler, he chose to leisurely cross the country, finally settling in Saint Petersburg. "Florida was the only place in the southeast in which I knew anyone, so it was logical to end up here for the next chapter."
Following the advice of a friend, Jim auditioned for a show "to meet people and mingle". That audition lead to a part in the GCP One Acts aside Tom Frawley, notably "The Manhattan Cure". From there, Jim learned sound engineering, directing, and joined the GCP Board as Treasurer along the way. In 2010, at the advice of Frank Hale, Jim performed in his first SPCT (then SPLT) production as Foreman in "Twelve Angry Men". After befriending Carlos, the sound tech at that time, "I became quite interested in sound engineering, as it was a sensible and fun extension of my love for both music and theatre. I love creating oriented, complex, layered sound effects that require fading in and out over singular sounds in the forefront, for example, switching on a radio and tuning it across bands of music appropriate to the period, all the while modulating radio static, whistles and pops, finally landing on the required music, fine tuned so the audience is convinced the sound is being projected from the appliance onstage, although actually from the house speakers."
Over the last 9 seasons, Jim has primarily engineered and run sound for SPCT mainstage productions, though you would easily recognize him onstage as well. Having acted in both comedy and drama, Jim enjoys the ranges of both. "I'm often asked if I prefer one or the other. For myself, it really depends on the piece and the character. Camp, like 'Dracula', is the most fun because I can paint a broader picture of what is funny. However, drama requires more focus and honesty. Believe it or not, one can become more physically exhausted from the emotional strain of a good dramatic performance than one can by running around the stage like a buffoon!"
When Jim learned that there was an opening to direct this season, he quickly put his bid in for a comedic farce. "I love farce! It's absurd that these characters, all in one location, seem never to quite figure out why each is there, or their predicament or its solution. Farce always includes misidentification and misdirection. Also, the precise timing amid rapid delivery is what makes good farce work. I'm very fortunate with the cast of 'Funny Money' that they understand that and put their best foot forward to exact the timing and pace of the show, while pausing at precise moments to let the audience breathe."
This is Jim's third go at directing farce for SPCT. In the past, he has directed "See How They Run" and "The Sensuous Senator". Having played Gary in "Noises Off", directed by Elineen Navarro at GCP, "I knew that farce was gong to be a favorite stage form for me. It is very systematic, which appeals to the software engineer in me. At heart, I am an introverted nerd. The stage offers me a safe place to express my insecurities in confidence through a good playwright's words. Farce is the best combination of both."
SPCT is thrilled to have Jim directing Funny Money and in all his other commitments to our theatre. We would not be the theatre we are without Jim's talent and commitment!