This week’s iMeet is Alex Dycus, Production Manager at the Clemens Fine Arts Theatre. He and his wife met when they were twelve and are currently raising gerbils. The best part of his job is creating the aesthetic you feel when you go to a show. And he cures bacon…iMeet this friendly guy with a bright future.
Hi Alex, Welcome to iMeet. Tell us a little about your lovely wife and how you met her…
My wife Moriah and I met when we were 12 years old and have been together ever since. When I think about my childhood, I don’t think much past meeting her, that’s when it all started. We’ve had the amazing experience of a long and thriving relationship.
Unfortunately to all my friends I have been no help by means of dating advice…Start Early? Moriah is my best friend and largely responsible for pushing my towards the career path I always wanted. We don’t have any children yet, and we are in between pets, but we like to have a few small animals in the house…gerbils mainly - but we are thinking guinea pig next.
Where do you work and what do you do there?
I’m the Production Manager at Clemens Fine Arts Center on the campus of West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah.
How did you find yourself working at WKCTC ?
In 2011 I started school at WKCTC in the UK Engineering Program. It did not take me long to realize that Chemical Engineering was not the right fit for what the rest of my life was going to be.
I had always wanted to work in theatre. I was a production technician - I would take work in any theatre in town. I knew that would be the best way for me to start my journey into the professional world of theatre.
After a quick google search I found that Todd Birdsong, Technical Director of the Clemens Center at WKCTC, was the man to talk to. Luckily, he hired me as his student worker for the next two years. After that I began to work with the Carson Center and other larger theatres in our region. I also worked with our area high schools and their theatre programs.
Was there a particular person who influenced your choice?
Be it low self-confidence or insecurities, I was, for some reason, hesitant to chase my dreams. Thank God I had Moriah in my life to encourage me to do something for myself. Without her, things may have turned out very differently.
What does a typical day in your life consists of?
Theatres are like a living creature, they always require care and love. It is my job to maintain our theatre and prepare it for our busy season. I have to be sure that all of the many technical elements of our space are clean, functional, and up to date. I also have to be sure that everything in ready and in place for our next production.
What do you love the most about your job?
When you come see a show here, I have the privilege of curating the aesthetic that is carried throughout the night. Designing has always been my absolute favorite thing about technical theater. It took be 18 years to find my creative outlet but I could not ask for a better one.
The production world can be very high stress and high intensity especially day of shows. It takes a lot of focus, patience, flexibility, and creativity to make it happen well. I’ve been privileged to work with some great people who instilled those principles in me.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Well, outside of work I am a bit of a food enthusiast. Not a foodie, or a particularly good cook, but I do care a lot about eating ethically. Last year we started working with local farmers and butchering our own animals…at home, and that has been one of the most rewarding and honest endeavors I have had.
Whole animal utilization was something I was really interested in so some time ago, I went and bought a pig from a small farmer, and never looked back. It is fun, artistic, challenging, and has given us a great appreciation for the animals. To get outside of the greater food system has been amazing for us.
Seen any good plays, bands or live performances you'd like to share with us?
Oddly, I am at all the good performances here in town, only I am somewhere behind the curtain or in the booth. On the somewhat rare occasion I buy a ticket to a show, I recently saw the FERRYMAN on Broadway and it was a great experience.
Got a special skill or thing you do well?
I am a bacon curer, I can make bacon from any part of the pig, and it is all great. Bacon takes patience and creativity to make but it gives such a reward. Bacon meets the hype.