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Distinguished Faculty Awards 2019 – Professor Randy Reinholz

One of the surprising things about acting when it’s done well it looks easy, therefore everybody thinks they’re a good actor and the really great actors never show the technique and then when people get up and try to do it they’re always shocked. Good acting is playing beyond yourself and that’s what I want from the artists. Randy Reinholz is a professor of acting in the School of Theatre, Television and Film. In 1994, he co-founded Native Voices at the Autry: a theatre company dedicated to telling Native American stories. The Choctaw part of my family was the family that told stories. So how do we tell that story? Because Native people have not had a fair shake in our country for generations. And that became my research agenda. I’ve probably known Randy for as long as he’s been a professor at SDSU. The amount of work that he’s been able to do with, not just youth, but with the native community is incredible. You’re creating a family. So I would dare to say that Randy has been a father figure for me and we have a lot of love for each other. There’s not a lot of Native American theatre scholars in the country. That’s a treasure, that he was right here at SDSU. When I first got here he was one of the very first folks who said you know what let me take you out to a restaurant. Obviously makes you feel very special. He’s an awesome guy. So I still owe him dinner for that you know. You need to think about how the space works in here. So what could you be doing? It’s wonderful to see that he still actively continues to be involved with furthering careers of former students. I’m about to make the LA move and he said “Yeah, come see my show and then we’re gonna meet up afterwards and talk” and I really admire his work– it’s a testament to the safe space that he creates and he truly values each individual. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning is this group of artists that are pushing the whole thing forward. And to be part of a movement of people making it better for the next generation is so fulfilling, I can’t imagine a better way to spend my life.

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