Business student performs as Dracula at Fine Arts Center

Nov. 3, 2014

Alexander Nedd
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Instead of waiting for a bus, one student is featured on one.

Business marketing major Matt Radcliffe headlined as the lead actor in “Dracula” at the Fine Arts Center.

Radcliffe heard of the Fine Arts Center’s production of “Dracula” in May. He was invited to audition by those who had seen his previous work at Springs Ensemble and at the Millibo Art Theater of Colorado Springs.

He prepared for the audition and was stunned to receive a call back. Upon a successful read through, Radcliffe was awarded one of the biggest roles of his life.

“I freak out still to this day,” he said. “They have billboards up. It’s a little bit surreal to me.”

Radcliffe began rehearsing for the show during the fi rst weeks of school. The schedule consisted of long nights and 12-hour weekends.

“I had to miss out on sleep,” he said. “I never had any free time.”

Originally from Texas, Radcliffe made Colorado Springs his home after leaving the military after a career that included receiving a bronze star and a 27-month deployment to Iraq over seven years.

Acting has been a hobby of his since attending Sam Houston University in Texas.

“I love it,” he said about his first semester at UCCS. “I’m with a group of students who seem to be committed to whatever it is that they are studying.” He also works for Theatreworks as a graphic design artist.

“I volunteer at other theater organizations, I do [public relations] and marketing for Springs Ensemble Theater,” Radcliffe said. “When I’m not acting I like to hang out with family and friends.”

Radcliffe hopes that his major will open the door to success in the future.

“A lot of artists only do the work and don’t know the business side of things,” he said. “They don’t know how to market themselves, how to make a production spread and how to make money.”

“It’s great to be a sustainable actor and build a living off of that but the reality is, unless I build that business myself, it’s probably not going to happen,” Radcliffe said.

“Dracula” ended its four-week tenure on Nov. 2. Radcliffe now looks to further himself in the theater world.

“A lot of the work that I am going to be doing is behind the scenes, business administration work at Springs Ensemble Theater,” he said.

“I really want to tread the boards here at UCCS either with the student theater or the professional company.” Radcliffe shared some advice that helped him transition to being a student and an actor.

“On the business side of things, just volunteer,” Radcliffe said. “You can learn from some of the best people in town.”

He warns that you shouldn’t expect to be paid immediately, but he urges aspiring actors to remain diligent with their goals.

“You can’t get down if you don’t get the role,” Radcliffe said. “You just have to keep auditioning, the only way I [was able to] play Dracula now was because I have two years of doing whatever theater people threw at me.”