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Performing Arts Alumni

 

Philip Searcy, Class of 2007
Theatre & Psychology
Actor

What is a college graduate doing back in high school, playing on the football team and worrying about his dating life? For University of Mobile graduate Philip Searcy, it was just another day at work on the set of the Lifetime original movie “Queen Sized.” Philip played the part of a popular high school football star in a made-for-television movie that featured veteran actors Nikki Blonsky and Annie Potts.

With four years of experience working on stage and behind the scenes in 11 Upper Room Dessert Theatre productions, Philip said the University of Mobile prepared him for any type of challenge. He knows there may be challenges as a Christian in the film industry, just as there are for Christians in any career. It’s a challenge he’s ready to act on.

 

Erin Bethea, Class of 2004
Theatre Major
Lead Actress in "Fireproof"

Sirens wail in the background, the sound of a fire truck racing to a house ablaze. But Erin Bethea is calm. It’s just another day on the movie set of “Fireproof,” where she plays the leading actress opposite veteran television and movie actor Kirk Cameron.

From her first film acting role as a sportscaster with four lines in “Facing the Giants,” to her role as a Disney World entertainer in the largest show on Disney property, “Fantasmic!” at MGM Studios, Erin’s years as a theatre major at the University of Mobile taught her the importance of each person’s role in creating the whole picture. Erin says her years at UM prepared her for her most important role -- to go into the world and change it, one movie at a time.

 

Big Daddy Weave

Before they were Big Daddy Weave, Mike Weaver, Jeremy Redmon, Jeff Jones and Joe Shirk were students at the University of Mobile. They wanted real-world experiences, and they got them in class and on stage at UM. Today, their music is making a real difference in the hearts and minds of people worldwide. Just another example of how University of Mobile graduates are "Changing Lives to Change the World."

 

 

33 Miles - Chris Lockwood/Aaron Williamson

With several top 10 singles to its credit, 33 Miles was nominated for new artist of the year at the Gospel Music Association’s 2008 Dove Awards. UM graduate Chris Lockwood is a vocalist and guitarist in the group, which performed at the Dove Awards. Aaron Williamson, also a UM grad, plays bass and drums and tours. “Roger Breland has been a huge help and a huge inspiration,” says Chris Lockwood. Aaron Williamson said his experience in VOICES of Mobile, as a performer and a director, “prepared me for being on the road and being a full-time Christian musician.”

 

Steven V. Taylor, Class of 1977
Music Education Major
Owner of Taylor Productions/A6 Studios
Dove Award Winner, Grammy Nominee

From albums like “VeggieTales Worship” to award-winning musicals, University of Mobile alumnus Steven V. Taylor has worked on one tremendously successful project after another during his years in the contemporary Christian music industry. The Grammy-nominated producer, arranger and songwriter has won 6 Dove Awards for efforts such as the “Friends Forever” musical and the choral collection of “God of Wonders.” He was also nominated for a Dove Award in 2004 for Producer of the Year in Christian Music.

Yet Steven, who always has another project on the horizon, still finds time to give back to his alma mater. He presents workshops at UM for groups like Voices of Mobile, helping them develop a quality, professional vocal style.

Steven said it was during his own years at UM that he decided to pursue contemporary Christian music as a profession, and he encourages current students to look at all the possibilities that are out there including church work, songwriting, artistry, and music business.