Director and Actor, Robert F. Mitchell details his journey in acting and writes about Making his own opportunities and Chasing His Dreams – Written by [Robert F. Mitchell]
It all started a few years before Kutztown University. Before college, I was doing stand-up comedy at clubs in New York and Philly. I had a dream to be more than a comic. It was cool to be funny but, I have always been that. So I decided one day that I would brush up on my writing and acting skills.
Philadelphia Community College was where I found that I could be good in both. I found writing to be pretty easy. People have always told me I was a great storyteller. I took on everything that had to do with writing. I had writing classes, joined writing clubs. I even had my very own weekly column in the school newspaper. “Yo Flash”
But something was missing. I had to be able to express myself in other ways. That’s when I started looking into theatre classes. I remember one of the first assignments the class was given. We had to prepare a monologue and perform in front of the class. I remember taking on this assignment like it was the most important moment in my life. When the day came and my name was called, the class nor the professor didn’t know what hit them.
I had a family member who used to always come in the house acting strangely. I would study his movements, his walk, the things he said. I had no idea then but, this was the basics of the character I created for my assignment. As I took the stage I immediately hit the on switch. When my performance was done I looked up and the entire class had was literally in shock. I forgot to mention, the family member was a junkie. After a moment of silence I received a standing ovation. Needless to say I made the Dean’s List for the next two years.
Upon graduation at CCP in had many offers and scholarships to attend four year Universities. My daughter was two years old at the time and I remember not wanting to go far from home or from her. Even with a journalism scholarship from Bridgeport University, I still thought Connecticut to be too far away. But the dual entries with Temple or Drexel University didn’t say much to me at the time either. I guess my main concern was my age. I didn’t want to be the old guy on campus. I knew everyone at the local Universities.
After a long conversation with my guidance counselor Mrs. Shirley Washington I decided to take an offer and enrolled at Kutztown University. The fact that only a hand full of people actually knew me along with the extremely young look that runs in my family, I thought I could just be a student and focus on the task at hand. It really paid off. Upon completing my dual major Electronic Media & Professional Writing, I had a very impressive resume. Along with the Associates Degree in Communication/ Theater Art, I was now ready to start my journey. I can’t remember how, but I was introduced to Diane Heery of Heery Casting in Philadelphia. I actually secured the lead in a would-be film by an ex- drug dealer who was actually on trial at the time he cast me as the lead “Bishop” in “The Player”. It was a hard pill to swallow when he was sentenced to life in prison. During my time with Heery Casting I got to be a part of three major films. Invincible 2006, Shooter 2007, The Happening 2008, all starring Mark Wahlberg. Last year, Heery Casting reached out to me again to be a part of the new television pilot, “How To Get Away With Murder.”
To those who have come from a less fortunate background: “The only obstacles in life are those we create and those we let take control of our thinking.” Robert F. Mitchell
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