The Perfect Role: Joshua Prisk as the New Dramatic Arts Teacher

By: Belen Robles

          There is nothing more exciting and reassuring than having a teacher who is passionate about their job, especially in the performing arts. Joshua Prisk, the theatre teacher, is a perfect example. 

          From a young age, Joshua Prisk wanted to be an actor, director, and writer. He participated in at least a “couple hundred” productions throughout high school and college. This kind of experience and commitment is a major advantage for students who are passionate about the theatre, allowing them to receive real advice and valuable guidance. 

          His earliest memory that sparked the love for the dramatic arts began when he was at least “three or four,” running up and down the halls of his childhood home “dressed up like Batman” and yearning to be in the movies. There is even evidence, or so he claimed, of four-year-old Mr. Prisk getting into character in a video proclaiming, “Call me Batman."

          Throughout his career on the actual stage, Mr. Prisk said, “there is a lot of rejection” and if they are lucky, actors receive “one out of every hundred parts [they] try out for in the real world”.

          Although he was optimistic and understanding about the business, describing the process of actors seeking work like “ a leaf in the wind,” he found solace in the steady position of teaching theatre every day.

          So far, the transition from actor to teacher has been a smooth and quite similar process, believing that a “teacher and performer are really close, and the same skills go to both” careers.

          Initially, not a particular aspect pulled Prisk to Ayala but since being here he has “fallen in love with the staff, students. . . and lovely community.” 

          Starting off the year with one of his favorite productions, the Ayala Theatre Company is on a journey to present the play Dracula

          For Prisk, the hardest part of his new job was casting the students into roles. With only so many shows and “so many people wanting to be in a show,” making a decision is difficult. However, that rejection does drill into the students a taste for what is to be  inevitably expected in the real world. Also, it is better to have so many students passionate and vying for a role than an awkward absence of potential actors. 

          Nevertheless, they are all “learning to deal” with the constructive criticism that correlates with the acting industry and in Mr. Prisk’s perspective, the director’s side as well.

          Mr. Prisk did not hesitate to proclaim that "the easiest part of the job for me is getting up every morning to go to work.” 

          With obvious passion for “bringing the love of theatre to others,” Prisk uses his “love for stories” to teach theatre which is “all about storytelling.” He brings an exciting and fruitful education to his students and some valuable advice: “Remember what got you into the field in the first place and try to show that passion to others as well.”