Taft has opened up doors and given me opportunities that I never thought existed. Here, other highly motivated students with ambitious goals surround me. Taft provides a culture that cannot be duplicated.
When I came to Taft, I did not know anyone, and everything from rooming assignments to class choices overwhelmed me. Somewhat randomly I decided to enroll in Video 1 my very first semester. It was the first year of the new video program here, and only 15 or so students got involved. I quickly became the go-to-guy for all video projects at the school, ranging from class assignments to promotional videos. I began to be recognized as a unique, yet important part of the Taft community.
I continued my studies with Intermediate Video where my teacher, Mr. Serafine, challenged me to create a “company logo” to incorporate in all my videos. As I struggled to come up with a name, I thought about my place at Taft and what specific role I had in this community. One day in the back of Bingham Auditorium during an assembly I was standing on my box (I used this because as a very small underclassman I struggled to reach the camera). I turned to Mr. Serafine and said a four-word phrase that would eventually shape my identity at Taft: “Jack on the Box.” Jack on the Box Productions has become an enormous part of who I am, and who I am at Taft.
Taft, as a community, never stops moving. Because of the school’s approach to developing well-rounded students, there’s always a sporting event going on outside, a Collegium concert in Woodward Chapel, or club meeting. One of the most crucial skills one learns at Taft is how to manage all of this while taking full advantage of all the opportunities Taft offers. The film program has taught me the critical art of communicating clearly with others to ensure that everyone is on the same page, as well as how to manage large groups of individuals, and balance their unique schedules and commitments with my own. It gave me the opportunity to work with Taft alumnus Peter Berg ’80 on major Hollywood films, including Patriot’s Day and Deepwater Horizon.
Being exposed to the arts here at Taft has allowed me to grow as an individual more than I would have ever imagined. I am motivated to pursue my passion by the energy of the faculty and the students around me every day.