Student Focus: Liam Ray III

Name: Liam Ray IIIman in glasses and a hat

Major: Performing Arts 

Planned Graduation Date: May 2024

In addition to Theatre, what are you involved with here at ISU and beyond?
At ISU, I've had the recent honor of TA-ing for the most excellent Cason Murphy and the Acting For The Camera course which has rather nicely coincided with my work on an upcoming short horror film, Casting Cull, created by several of my incredibly talented peers and me. I'll soon be working as a student producer for the Fringe Festival and otherwise spend the rest of my time as a composer, sound designer, and producer for short films, feature films, and podcasts or found reluctantly writing about myself for a Student Focus article.

What theatre projects are you working on right now or have recently completed?
I am presently - with coffee for blood - the composer, videographer, props artisan, assistant sound designer, and sound board operator for the upcoming production of She Kills Monsters, the co-writer, editor, composer, and sound designer for the aforementioned short film, Casting Cull (due to premiere at the Fringe Festival), the composer and soon-to-be editor for the ISU Theatre podcast alongside the frakking fabulous Tiffany Antone, and lastly a writer for a short play (to also potentially debut at the Fringe Festival). 

What is your favorite thing about your experiences at Iowa State?
Just about every experience I've had at Iowa State has been one I feel I've sort of stumbled into - typically unplanned and unexpected, but always some form of adventure, academically speaking. I never would have thought I'd one day be doing all of the aforementioned activities, but thanks to my ever-improving (sometimes via panic-induced, "Why-did-I-agree-to-do-this?-necessity) skillset and the delightfully welcoming Department Of Music And Theatre (which I say genuinely), I've been able to make so many friends and connections which assures me I've chosen the right path.

Why did you choose the Department of Music and Theatre at ISU?
I actually began my collegiate trek as an English Major and graduated with that degree (long enough ago now that it was a different decade), but at that time, I minored in theatre and fell in love with the department and opportunities - I even first met the dean of ISU during a directing class activity whilst I was covered in fake blood. I recently returned with my goal for a career in teaching and theatre to obtain my degree in Performing Arts and have had nothing but wonderful experiences equal parts fun and challenging.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to attend grad school to obtain a master's degree, still focusing on theatre/performing arts as well as film and very much hope to teach both of those subjects at the college level whilst continuing to take part in other theatrical productions and films.

Any words of wisdom for prospective students?
You may hear otherwise and it should be heard with all due respect, but by all means, be a jack of all trades (I implore you to look up the full phrase). Learn all you can, try all you can, and explore every facet of your own creativity and skills. Make mistakes so long as you glean something from them and remember that it is sometimes less important to be in the spotlight as it is to know the spotlight operator.