»John-David Currey, B.F.A. Film and Television Production ‘98

Current Profession: Adjunct Professor at Dodge College, Owner of First Cut Creative, Inc.

John-David Currey, alumnus, Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.What was your most memorable moment while at Dodge College?

There are way too many!  My most memorable moment had to be producing the first live episode of “Nightcap,” a late night talk show that aired on the local cable station. Many pieces had to fit into place, and everyone was just learning. It was truly a triumph for those of us involved.   

Were you involved with any other organizations on campus?

I did the play-by-play for the football games on the campus radio station. I grew up in a college football family (my dad was a coach) and always admired the radio broadcasts that painted a picture without images. It was a great experience to be able to do it myself. 

Were there any faculty members who served as a mentor to you?

Veston Rowe was both my boss in publications and a professor of mine. Even now, when I have a life question, he's a great guy to turn to. We all need that experience and wisdom to refer to for help. Veston showed me what it meant to be a good manager of people. 

Reflecting on your years at Dodge College, what one thing you would do again, and what one thing would you change?

My only regret in life was not studying abroad. There's so much more out there to experience and learn from. Once you leave college, you get a job…a family…kids.  Travel gets pushed back to retirement. 

What advice would you give to current students?

Getting a job isn't the toughest part. The toughest thing you have to do at this point in your life is figure out what you want to do. Don't get a job to make money, get a job to do what you want to do and accomplish in life. 

What is a typical day like for you at your job?

I wear many hats as a business owner, but my day is mostly dedicated to making sure talented people have the tools and information they need to do great work. When they go home, I make sure everyone's getting paid. It's also up to me to look ahead to new clients, and make sure the current ones are happy.  

What has been the highlight of your career thus far?

In this business, seeing something you created in front of millions of eyes is still awe-inspiring. I remember seeing a spot I put together while traveling out of state on a TV at a restaurant. That was a big moment for me. 

Now that you've graduated, what have you taken from the classroom and applied to your career?

The specifics about this industry will always be changing, but what doesn't change is story. At the end of the day, people gravitate towards a good beginning, middle and end. That's the core of what we do in the business, long form, short form, scripted or unscripted. Visual Storytelling is by far the most important class at Chapman for Film/TV/PR majors. 

Have your career aspirations changed since you graduated?

In general they've stayed the same, but the industry changes.  I'm constantly trying to look 5-10 years down the line and see what's next.

What drew you back to Chapman to teach?

I wanted to continue learning.  The big secret none of your professors tell you is that they get just as much from teaching as the students do. Yes, our core goal as a teacher is to impart knowledge about a specific subject, but I get to learn the world of a 20-something film student: what inspires them, what motivates them, and what they see the future being.

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