Campus News - April 23, 2001
Ford discovers destiny in art
By Brian Lucero
Many search their entire lives for their destiny. For others, destiny searches
for them. For Paul Ford, a theatre professor at UNM, destiny not only searched
for him, it found him.
It was at the end of my junior year of high school between classes that
I realized that I had different options that I never allowed myself to look
at before, says Ford, with that, he sat down and missed his next three
classes to think about a new direction. When I got up, he says,
I knew I was going to be doing theatre for the rest of my life.
Since then, Ford has been acting and directing professionally in theatres all
around the country.
He describes his life in theater as fulfilling. Its been continually
thrilling and rewarding, he says. Although I wish that my retirement
fund was larger, I would not want to live my life any differently.
In order to create a more stable lifestyle for his family, Ford settled in
Sacramento, Calif. There he was able to pursue his interests in teaching. He
began to build theatre programs for local private schools, community centers
and theatre organizations. Eventually, his teaching brought him to New Mexico;
teaching in the former New Mexico Repertory Theatre and in the fall of 1989
he came to work at UNM.
Ford continues to teach because he loves the idea that he could have a long-term
investment in others in a somewhat transient business. Working in theatre
you have a good time, but you're always starting over again. There is no sense
of accumulation, he says. As a teacher, you make an investment of
time and energy in somebody and you get to watch the growth. You can actually
see that growth pay off in different areas of their lives.
It doesnt matter to Ford if his pupils dont continue to pursue
a career in theatre as long as he helped them become sensitized to themselves
and their surroundings through art. We live in a society that encourages
us to lose our senses, to not be able to touch, feel, hear or taste our connection
to a real world. Art calls upon us to become sensitive to those things,
he says. Which means we are in contact with our environment and our community
in a important way.
Ford continues to fulfill his destiny everyday of his life. In many ways his
destiny is associated with helping other find theirs. Besides teaching at UNM,
Ford is also an artistic director with Theatre-in-the-Making, a local youth
group theatre company.
The group will perform Grim at the Riverside Theatre on April 25 and 26 at 10:30 p.m. (visit www.Theatre-in-the-making). Ford is also staring in Betrayal at the Riverside theatre on the weekends of April 13 through May 6.
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