Professional Actor, NESA Alumnus Returns as Musical Theater Director
CJ Fisher, Staff Reporter
Mr. Daniel Everidge may be a first year teacher, but it is not his first year on the LEE campus. He graduated from NESA in 2002 before pursuing a career as a successful actor in the performing arts. But luckily for the aspiring performers in the Musical Theater department, Mr. Everidge has decided to step off the stage and use his talents and expertise to train the next generation.
Mr. Everidge was born in Brownsville, Texas where he lived for three years before moving to Arlington for a brief time, and finally settling in San Antonio where he spent the majority of his childhood and eventually studied under the previous NESA Musical Theater Director, Mr. David Connelly, he was the one who taught Everidge a lot of what he knows. Now Everidge has taken over the position of the acting teacher.
Shortly after graduating high school, Mr. Everidge went to Unified Auditions in Chicago. UA is an event where aspiring actors can audition for a chance to work at companies and businesses as an intern. Seeing this opportunity, he took advantage of it and auditioned. He was successful and got an internship in New York for a casting office.
The internship was stage one in Mr. Everidge’s acting journey and he made it clear that during the internship, work was his main focus. “I tried not to ask for anything, which is a weird thing to say. I just tried to do my job well.” Mr. Everidge said.
Even with all his hard work, Mr. Everidge struggled to succeed in the industry, “I kind of felt like a failure,” he said. But his supervisors recognized his hard work and his worth. “I talked to Jay Bender, the guy who ran the casting office and he was like, ‘I just want to say you’ve been one of our favorite interns because all you do is hard work. You don’t ask for free tickets, ask to meet celebrities, or anything like that. You’re just doing your job and we so greatly appreciate that.’ It was unbelievably refreshing.”
Following his internship, Mr. Everidge wanted to go to college to pursue his dreams. He attended Otterbein College and majored in Musical Theater. After college he pursued acting, performing in many shows and movies, including Frozen on Broadway, and The Greatest Showman.
So why would such a successful actor decide to switch gears and become a teacher? “David Connelly reached out to me and told me he was retiring. At the time I was in New York and I had just closed a show because of the pandemic. I was sitting in my apartment watching the days go by and I had this destiny shifting thought when I heard he was retiring. I thought, ‘Oh, that could be something’,” Mr. Everidge said.
But he does not wish to give up acting entirely. “There’s a chance I could do some kind of summer work, and maybe some kind of local theatre.” Mr. Everidge said. “For the moment I’m very content. Especially working with rehearsals and workshops and monologues. So far it has given me the same rush and feeling as when I am the one acting.”
Mr. Everidge clearly enjoys teaching, but he described being back at his own high school as; “odd, really odd.” The campus has many new buildings and feels completely different than what it once did, but even with the new additions, Mr. Everidge often has flashbacks and memories when he passes through familiar parts of the campus.