- Name: Brooke McCord
- Year: Senior
- Major: Theater
- Hometown: Puryear, TN
- Quirky Fact: I can eat a whole cherry pie in under three minutes.
- Favorite place to eat on campus: T-Room
- Best movie you’ve seen recently: Don’t Breathe
- Favorite movie: P.S. I Love You
- Best play you’ve read recently: Living Dead in Denmark by Qui Nguyen
- Favorite book: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- What you like to do on campus: I like to sit in Johnson Theatre and catch Pokémon on Pokémon GO.
Q & A:
Tell us about yourself:
I’m from Puryear, Tennessee, but I have a lot of family here in Murray, which is one of the reasons I came here. I am a theater student here at Murray State, though I wasn’t always a theater student. I changed majors during my sophomore year. I had done theater throughout my whole life, and I thought I should try something different, which lasted for about a year before I realized just how much I missed theater and switched back. I haven’t looked back since, and I am very happy with the decision.
What made you come to Murray State?
Most of my family has come to Murray State, and it was kind of like a familial thing. They wanted me to go where I was happiest. But in the back of their minds, they were like, “Please go to Murray State so that you won’t go too far away.” So, I came to Murray. It has really become like a second home to me. Also, it’s nice to know that my family is just a few miles away.
Who have you enjoyed working with?
As far as in our department, I work a lot with Daryl Phillipy, who is one of the acting professors in the Theater Department. He is the one who brought me into the program when I took a THE 105: Intro to Acting for Non-majors and he asked me if I wanted to be a theater major. I told him that I had been thinking about it but wasn’t sure, and he took me over to the Theater Department and just kind of pushed me in and said here you go, and that’s where I’ve been since. I have worked with him a lot. and I was his assistant director for the production of Frankenstein that we put on last semester. I will also be working with him again this semester as one of his cast members in Treasure Island. I am really excited to continue to work with him in the future.
Who inspires you in life?
This might seem kind of cliché, but my mother has been and always will be my main inspiration. She has worked really hard throughout her whole life. She had me when she was very young, and she came to Murray State after that and graduated cum laude. I remember her graduation. She’s always supported me, especially when I started getting into theater when I was in fourth grade. It was always kind of a joke to our family since no one else in our family is into the arts. They worried that I would embarrass myself, but she was so sure that I’d be fine. So I went through with it, and they’ve supported me ever since. I didn’t crash and burn my first time on stage, thank goodness. She has always made sure that I knew that I had to work hard in life because dreams will only come true if you work hard for them. She’s been everything, a mom, a role model, a mentor, and a guide.
What made you choose the major you did?
It was one of those things where, when I graduated from high school, I had convinced myself that theater wasn’t a feasible thing that I could really do for a career and that I wouldn’t be able to thrive in the industry. So, I convinced myself not to go through with it. But as I kept on going I came to realize that I could never live without my art and doing what I love. Ever since Daryl pushed me into that office I haven’t left. It’s such a warm and inviting place. I have learned so much just from being here, as opposed to what I was offered in high school, and what I learned through community programs. It’s astounding, being here, and this is what I love to do. I’ve managed to find venues where I can even get paid to do what I love and everything about the Murray State Department of Theatre makes me feel at home.
What kind of work have you done related to your major?
I started working at the Krider Performing Arts Center in Paris, Tennessee, as the director for the children’s program about two or three years ago. I’ve directed about six shows now and am in line to direct a new show which I actually wrote this winter. That show will open February 17th and 18th. I am really excited and can’t wait to see how it turns out. I am also the head make-up artist and designer for a dancing studio out of Camden called Dancing Generation Studio. Along with that, I’m a student worker in the theater office, so if you ever need anything you can swing by and catch me there. My work is basically my life and I’ve never been happier to say that.
My biggest goal that I have is that I eventually want to come back to college and teach at the University level. I never thought I could be a teacher, but working with the kids at the Young Artists Program has really brought out something in me. I love to teach people about theater, and I love inspiring people to go and do the things they love—showing them that this is really a feasible path for their future. I teach them that if this is what they love, then if they just work at it, they can succeed.
“Brooke McCord is a truly talented student, actor/artist, and leader. I have cast her twice in shows under my direction, and she has also served as my assistant director for our production of Frankenstein, last spring. In addition to all she accomplishes here at Murray State University, she is also an active and important mentor, teacher, and director at the Krider Performing Arts Center in Paris, TN. I think she is a prime example of the great things that our students do and accomplish in the Department of Theatre at Murray State University.”