The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

Geer, signing off
Geer, signing off
by Caleb Geer, Ad Manager/Web Editor • April 27, 2024

I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with my life when I showed up on campus in the middle of the pandemic almost four years ago. I knew...

Looking back at my time at Simpson
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by Kyle Werner, Managing Editor & Social Media Manager • April 27, 2024

It all started with soup. No, really, let me explain. I was so passionate about the soup in SubConnection as a first year that it caught the...

So long, farewell, I’ve got no more stories to tell
So long, farewell, I’ve got no more stories to tell
by Jenna Prather, Editor-in-chief • April 27, 2024

Unlike my fellow student media seniors who’ve written this before me, I came into Simpson knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I did independent...

Alumni Jack Strub is taking on the real world

Photo courtesy of Jack Strub on Facebook
Jack Strub is thrilled to be returning to Whoville with “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” this season.

Since graduating in 2021, alumni Jack Strub has put his music and theater degree to good use, this year returning to Whoville with “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” this season, serving as an understudy for Grandpa Who.

   “I was auditioning for lots of different shows. You know, trying to try to live that struggling actor life figuring out what it’s like in the real world,” Strub said. “Trying to be an actor, right? And the Children’s Theatre Company was holding general auditions.”

   This was only about a year after he graduated, having moved to the Twin Cities with some other alumni.

   “You audition for the whole season, and anyone off the street can come in and audition, just in your time slot,” Strub said. “So I went in for those, I did my audition package; sang a few songs, did a monologue. And right away, the casting director was like, ‘Who are you? Where did you come from, you’re great, definitely want to work with you. Can you come back and do an addition for the Grinch specifically for Grandpa Who?’”

Jack Strub is thrilled to be returning to Whoville with “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” this season. (Photo courtesy of Jack Strub on Facebook)

   Strub was certainly not going to turn down the offer and returned a week later to do his audition specifically for the Grandpa Who character. 

   “I was the only non-union person there. I was the youngest actor by, like, a decade,” he said. “Everyone on this callback was people who I grew up watching on stage, who’ve been in the industry forever. So I was very fish out of water, this is clearly not a little community theater audition.”

   Because he was non-union, Strub was the last to audition, and the artistic director who was doing the callback was the artistic judge of the whole company.

   “He’s like a big, big name, right?” He said. “And he barely watched me. I did my audition, and I was like, okay, it was fine. But it was the very end of the day, whatever.”

   Like most auditions, it took a while for Strub to hear anything about it.

   “A few months went by, and I didn’t even think about it. It was a long shot. That’s a huge professional contract. And I was like, ‘No,  that’s not going to happen.’ And then, sure enough, middle of July, like three months later, I got a random call from the casting director. asking if I wanted to understudy for Grandpa Who and some of the ensemble and I said yes. And that was that. So really, I just went into addition off the street, they thought I was great, I came back to read for some characters and a few months later, they asked me to come on board.”

   It was a dream come true for him, having grown up seeing shows by the Children’s Theatre Company, to get to be on the stage instead of in the audience.

   “I’m from the cities, I’m from Minneapolis, and I grew up seeing shows here [at the theater] on field trips. For a lot of people, the Children’s Theatre Company is their first theater experience, and it was my first theater experience, too. So to go from seeing shows there and like knowing these actors as kind of hometown celebrities to being in the rehearsal room with these actors who I’ve looked up to forever. Suddenly I’m a castmate.”

   While this is a big opportunity for him, and auditions are important, it’s not the only thing Strub has been working on since leaving Simpson behind.

   “Simpson prepared me well because I got to kind of spread my wings everywhere,” he said. “I got to do acting, I got to do set designing, I got to do directing classes and now, in addition to acting in the show, I’m set designing for high school right now, I’m directing at a middle school, I have directed at some community theaters since college.”

   Strub emphasized the importance of a “survival job” on top of those big breaks, explaining that an actor has to strike a balance between their artistic dreams and the cost of life.

   “I mean, every single person I know has a job outside of the theater,” he said. “That’s something that, when you’re in college, it’s like well, ‘I’m just gonna go audition, I’m gonna get all this stuff.’ Which is great, and you need that drive, but knowing that you will have to have a survival job and finding the balance between having an artistic life and having your own home life is really important.”

   Being prepared like this will also help when all the no’s start to roll in.

   “Once you’re out of college, it’s all about the talent. It’s not about what degree you have. It’s not about what letters you have, if you have a BFA, if you have a BA,” Strub said. “Truly, once you’re out in the real world, it is all about making an impact when you step into the audition room, showing that you have what it takes to be in a professional production. And then, once you’re there, continuing to prove that.

   “You’re gonna get a lot of no’s. That’s something that I struggled with right out of college,” he said. “At Simpson, for the most part, you’re in every show. In the real world, that’s just not how it works. So I think a big part of it is mentally preparing yourself to hear nos, and also knowing that you might need a side job.”

   “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” will be running Nov. 8 – Jan. 7, 2024 at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, Minn. Strub will be acting in currently seven of these productions, including Nov. 15, Nov 21, Nov. 29, De.c 6, Dec. 13, Dec. 27 and Dec. 27, all shows beginning at 7 p.m. 

 “It’s such a unique show and the fact that it’s a holiday show, it’s a big family tradition for a lot of people,” Strub said. “I have a lot of friends who grew up seeing the show every year. It’s really special to be a part of a lot of people’s traditions, their holiday traditions. So it’s really cool to be part of that.” 

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Jenna Prather
Jenna Prather, Editor-in-Chief

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