Author Archives: dantman01

Profile Story of John Spiegel

John Spiegel has served in the state guard, knows Ed Helms from “The Office” and has a scholarship named after him for theatre. So, what brought him to Piedmont College?   

“I was looking for a place that focuses more on theatre,” he said.  

Speigel has been a part of Piedmont College for 12 years and has been directing and helping shows in the theatre department.  

Prior to teaching at Piedmont, Speigel worked at Presbyterian College. The involvement of theatre at the college was more of an extracurricular activity —there was not a major or minor at Presbyterian at the time Speigel was there. He wanted to go to a place that had a spot for theatre, and he found Piedmont College.  

“Piedmont was looking to grow their program and make it more prodigious,” he said.  

He wanted to help students who had a drive for theatre, and Piedmont College had the opportunity Speigel was looking for.  

However, theatre wasn’t always his passion. In his undergraduate years at Davidson College, Speigel was a theatre and pre-med major.  

“I had every intention in going off and being an emergency surgeon,” he said.  

His primary focus was geared to the medical field. There are always small changes in people’s lives that alter a person’s life trajectory, and that exact moment happened to Speigel. During one of his years at Davidson, he couldn’t get into a chemistry class in time, which was a requirement for his major. He would have to wait an entire year to take the class. So, he decided to explore theatre, and he had an opportunity to get a summer job in the field. At that moment, he decided to do professional theatre because of how theatre had a place for him.  

Speigel has done all aspects containing a theatre, such as a costume designer, director, sound designer and more. One of the things he is known for at Piedmont is his stage management. One of his best-known works was stage managing the musical “Metropolis” brought from West-End London. He had this fantastic opportunity during the time he was a Davidson College.  

“This was a chance to see how the professional theatre worked,” he said.  

That experience inspires a class he teaches at Piedmont called stage management, where he shares what he learned in London.  

  Speigel has learned and collected so much when growing up, including working with several celebrities. He knew Ed Helms and Bryan Baumgartner when they went to Westminster. Baumgartner was a class below him, and Helms was about three years below him. Spiegel also had a growing connection to Helms because he was his little brother’s best man at his wedding.  

  In addition to teaching, Speigel has a heart for service.  

“I’m with the State Guard, and it’s part of the Georgia DOD,” he said. “I felt like I want to give back to be supportive of the community we’re in.”  

He had a friend who was doing it in New York and suggested John’s idea because Georgia had one, so he joined. 

  Spiegel’s influence in theatre has a lasting legacy as the “John Speigel Theatrical Artist Award” is named for him. This scholarship is from the SETC; the Southeastern Theatre Conference is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and dynamic membership organization serving a diverse constituency and reaching out across ten states* in the southeast region of the United States and beyond. It gives excellent opportunities to theatre students to enhance their careers.  

“It’s a $1,000 scholarship that’s given to a student either graduated or undergrad student for them to use it to pay for equipment, software, or additional licensing and training.”  

There weren’t scholarships for design tech types at this big event, so John helped arranged that for the opportunity of all those students to have a jump start for their careers. 

  Spiegel has accomplished many things in his life, but it hasn’t stopped yet. “You never know what the future holds.” 

Who is the Dante Wilson?

Hello, my name is Dante Wilson and a sophomore at Piedmont College. I am 20 years old and am a theatre arts and mass communication major. I was born in Miami, Florida in 2000 then moved to Georgia in 2009 where I lived in Atlanta, Ga for two years then moved to Gainesville, Ga in 2011. I have a little brother named Deshaun, older brother named Dwayne, half-sister named Britney, and amazing mother named Anitra. I have an amazing grandmother which I call “Mema”, funny uncle which I call Uncle Steven, and hyper auntie which I call Whitney. I have a pretty funny family which makes me mostly who I am.

I’m a very energetic person who loves to wake up early in the morning which isn’t typical for people my age , but I just got used to it when I have to for my years from K-12th grade. I am usually called “book smart” than “street smart” because my common sense isn’t that great but my intelligence is strong. I am very well when it comes math and science which I find very entertaining as well. My favorite specific field for math is algebra and chemistry for science because I love playing with equations and love learning the study of matter. I am weak when it comes to history and language arts because tracking historical events and politics are confusing and grammar is my enemy. I love writing and have creative ideas, but hard to format on a page. I am also a very loud person so I heard. I just a naturally loud voice because of my mom which I believe is a good and bad quality at the same time. I can be heard easier, but I can overboard at times. I can also make friends very easily because I’m definitely a people person. I just love to meet new people with same or different interests, same or different personalities, and make memories.

I am proud to say that I am a performer because I don’t have a nervous bone in my body when it comes to performing in front of an audience. I am a theatre performer, but I wasn’t always like that. I always wanted and still want to be a famous dancer. Dancing is like a second breath to me. I’ve been dancing since I was 5 years old and took multiple classes for it. I have took tap for 2 years, took a tango class for 1 year, took jazz for 1 year, and took a step class for 2 years. I do qualify myself as a good tapper, good step dancer, and good tango dancer, but I want to learn more types of genres of dancing. I am taking modern and jazz for my sophomore year at Piedmont College. I did ballet here at Piedmont which was very difficult because I love fast moving steps. I taught myself hip hop and breakdancing because it feels very comfortable to me and my body type which is being 6″6 tall and skinny. I just collect fast movements quick and love doing flips. I’ve been in different kinds of dance crews which relates to church, school, and neighborhood. I have entered a total of 15 talent shows and got 1st place in three of them, 2nd one of them, 3rd place in five them, an honorable mention in two of them so I have danced a lot in front of people. Dancing has always been my passion and that will never stop.

I have always loved acting, but I never tried it. My first acting experience was the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz” which was in 4th grade and not that serious but gained my interest. The passion of acting grown when I had to play Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet” in 7th grade. The whole English class had the opportunity to perform it in front of the whole 7th grade class and I loved every second of it. My interest of acting kept growing until I had a realization of my love musical theatre when I played Seaweed in “Hairspray” in 8th grade. The experience of singing also included that because I didn’t realize I would love to sing in front of people on my own. I have a lot of choir singing since I was 7 years old, but never enjoyed singing by myself. The experience changed my whole perspective of what I enjoyed doing. I started doing musicals after 8th grade being in the ensemble, having featured roles, having secondary roles, and having leads.

I have also gained a love to making the morning announcements for two years at my high school. That gained my love to radio hosting and now have become one of strong motivations and goals. My life is just feel with excitement and memorable moments.