Monthly Archives: February 2019

William Gabelhausen profile story

William Gabelhausen wasn’t supposed to become a theatre artist, but an Aha! Moment in his early high school years caused him to approach the rest of his life with a thirst for the performing arts.

“Somebody said, ‘You wanna try out for a musical?’ And I was like, ‘Heck yeah!’ So I got hooked,” said William Gabelhausen, department chair and associate professor of theatre at Piedmont College. “And then after high school, I debated — I really wanted to do theatre. But the commonsense side of me said I should go into mechanical drafting, which I was really good at. And every male in my family has worked at Caterpillar Tractors, so that just seemed the logical step, but I chose to study theatre.”

Gabelhausen abandoned the family career path to study theatre at Illinois Wesleyan University, and then moved to New York City to pursue his dream. His first day job was at a casting agency called Soble/LaPadura Casting, where he was able to take off work to attend his own auditions when possible. Gabelhausen, who is originally from Peoria, Illinois, moved away after awhile because the city began to make him feel restless.

“Living in the city kind of made me into a person that I didn’t want to become,” said Gabelhausen. “And I had seen other people like that — friends who graduated before me. I felt very hardened. And being from the Midwest, after so many years in New York, I felt very closed in.”

Gabelhausen didn’t let that stop him, however, from experiencing life in the Big Apple— if only for a short while.

“I did a couple other smaller things in New York. I never made it to the big old Broadway,” said Gabelhausen. “But then I got national tours and ended up touring with “A Chorus Line” and “1776.” And then after I did my master’s degree, I toured with “Taming of the Shrew” and “The Elephant Man” and that’s kind of what left me in Atlanta.”

Gabelhausen’s heart, however, lies in education.

“I got my MED (master’s of education) in secondary English education and was very lucky right upon completing that,” said Gabelhausen. “I was hired at Oconee County High School as part-time English, part-time drama (teacher) my first year, and then my second year I went full-time drama.”

During his 11th year teaching at Oconee County High School, Piedmont College reached out to Gabelhausen and he accepted a job, thinking he would only work there for a year. Instead, he fell in love with Piedmont and decided to continue teaching there.

“I really love working with Bill because he is so passionate towards his profession,” said Tyler Vandiver, a junior theatre arts major and student assistant to William Gabelhausen. “The one thing that I admire about him is that he is really caring towards all of his students.”

Gabelhausen uses his professional experience in his teaching and directing methods at Piedmont College to help his students.

“Bill has already taught me so much about the process of seeking jobs in the world of theatre in audition techniques,” said Kaitlyn Echols, a senior musical theatre and theatre for youth double major, and one of the students in Gabelhausen’s audition techniques class. “I’m learning so much, and beginning to feel more and more prepared for graduation in May.”

One show in particular that Gabelhausen directed this past fall is very dear to him for several reasons. Gabelhausen’s passion for directing “A Chorus Line” was contagious and made an impact on the students involved, as well as sparking some old memories for Gabelhausen too.

“The second [Broadway show] I ever saw was “A Chorus Line” and just fell in love with that,” said Gabelhausen. “And I haven’t touched that script really in any way, shape or form until I directed it this season and it brought back some really amazing memories.”

Gabelhausen is a firm believer in using real-life experiences as tools for teaching students the art of theatre.

“Really in any class that I teach here, I try to rely heavily on the real world because that’s the ultimate goal for any student,” said Gabelhausen.

Even though Gabelhausen’s talents and dreams led him to New York City to pursue performing, his heart led him to Demorest, Georgia to teach students the art form he so dearly loves.

“I love that Aha! Moment when, all the sudden, somebody gets something or realizes something,” said Gabelhausen. “That’s very exciting to an educator.”

Source: William Gabelhausen, wgabelhausen@piedmont.edu 706-778-8500 x1320

Profile: Dr. Kathy Blandin

Anna Watson  

Media Writing 1 

Dr. Joe Dennis  

23 February 2019 

Profile 1: Dr. Kathy Blandin 

Email: kblandin@piedmont.edu 

Phone: 678-575-3982 (cell) 

Many people search happiness and contentment in their careers, and Dr. Kathy Blandin found it at Piedmont College.  

 Blandin worked at Sautee Nacoochee, an arts center near Helen, Georgia, in 2007 when she was contacted by the former chair of the theater department at Piedmont College to teach children’s theater. She took the job as an adjunct teacher, commuting back and forth from Sautee Nacoochee to Piedmont College, daily. After four years, Blandin realized she enjoyed teaching at Piedmont more than working at Sautee Nacoochee. She transferred full-time to the college after someone stepped down.  

“Every day is a little bit different,” Blandin said, describing her job as something that’s “meant to be.”  

Directing, teaching and occasionally acting, Blandin enjoys letting her creative juices flow. In the first year of the Make Mom Proud fundraiser – a fundraiser started by a student who lost his mother to cancer and wanted to raise money for a local organization – Blandin performed the role of the mother in the student-written play. She also used the leftover show posters from her first summer season here to create her own wallpaper in her office. 

Since teaching theater for more than seven years at Piedmont, Blandin has had a direct impact on the students and coworkers she works with.  

“I am always inspired by her ability to not only teach the subject, but the students themselves,” said Dr. William Gabelhausen, chair of the theater department, “Dr. Blandin is detail oriented and focused on student success.”  

Blandin encourages students to define their own success. One of her goals is to help open up her students’ worlds. She does this by making her classes enjoyable and engaging for all.  

“I was never really interested in theater, but she definitely found a way to make it fun for every student,” said sophomore Macy Higgins, who was in her intro to theater class. “She has a great personality that flows well with her teaching techniques.” 

As Blandin wants her students to have their own measuring stick for success, she has her own as well, being the “happiest ever and really content.” 
 

Story Profile 1: From the Ground and on

For Timothy Menzel, a Piedmont College life science professor, everything started in Piscataway, New Jersey. With the sound of music to the wide road and his precious ants, Menzel had two passions he wanted to pursue, and music was his choice.

At the age of 7, his love for music and nature became a big interest. “I wanted to be an ornithology professor,” says Menzel, “someone who studies birds or a music professor.”

Menzel’s love for music had taken him down the road to Stockton College. He studied music for a few years and started a band with his friends. “After graduating, I basically moved to the beach to play with my band at shore bars.” he said.

Menzel and his twin brother also played in a band while he was in graduate school. Once he moved to Georgia, he played solo for six to seven years, before an injury changed his course.

“I took a year off from playing with them when I hurt my hands.” he said.

Menzel never got a full diagnosed report on why his hands hurt, but does know it’s an overuse injury, tendonitis. “It just got really tired and I couldn’t hold a pencil,” says Menzel.  “It was from over practicing.”

His choice between music or nature became clear.

After college Menzel worked as a florist delivery manager for one year and electrical supply driver for another. He was full time for four years but only drove for two. Menzel’s boss would ask him questions about what he was doing there. “I had three things going for me,” says Menzel, “music, nature, and making a living.”

This didn’t last long before he got injured causing him to be bedridden. Menzel was hiking one day when he slipped on ice and needed to be helicoptered to the hospital, “I was unable to work for three months,” says Menzel. “It was kind of a low point.”

He spent a lot of time on the couch trying to figure out how to do things with his cast.

Menzel’s best friend gave him hope with reasons why he should keep going. “He basically convinced me to get up off the couch and do something with myself.” he said.

Menzel’s friend would set up obstacle courses in the yard for him to do on his crutches and forting streams. “He basically convinced me that I could tackle the world,” says Menzel. “I don’t know if I had, would it of not been for him.”

“I think if I were to talk to my students today about what they could learn from my experience is it’s never too late to follow some kind of path, but it requires belief in yourself and dedication.”

That didn’t happen for Menzel until he was 29. Menzel will continue to teach at Piedmont College helping to teach his students to keep going. “Sometimes it takes something like that to motivate you to see something, to see potential that you might not see otherwise.”