Fullerton College Centennial


Partner With Us!

Get Involved



When did you/your family come to California and why?

So, my mom was born and raised in Huntington Park, CA and my dad moved here from Oklahoma after graduating from OU. They met as members of the Los Angeles chapter of the Singles Ski Club, and lets just say after dating for a while, they got more than some good runs on the slopes… they got me.

They moved to Fullerton because it was a growing city with a good school system, affordable housing, and a solid industrial foundation for my father to run his business.

What did you do before coming to Fullerton College?

Born and raised in Fullerton I was drawn at an early age to filmmaking when I discovered my father’s Super-8 movie camera. Inspired by the films of Spielberg, Lucas, and Landis-I would animate my Star Wars figures, cast my friends and destroy my toys to tell 3 minutes stories of adventure from my adolescent mind. This trend only continued to grow as I attended grade, middle and high school.

My aspirations to be a filmmaker were fueled by my ego. Though I enjoyed the solitary time of pre and post-production just as much as the collaborative time of production, I had myself fooled to believe that I was magnificent and destined for stardom. Later I would learn that to be successful, humility is a much more worthy trait than arrogance.

When were you at FC? What were the principal concerns, activities, and events in which you were involved?

My time in the FC Theatre Department was inspired by criticism I took from an actor while I was directing a short film. Deciding to improve my directing skills I enrolled in a series of acting, directing, stagecraft classes.

For 3 years I was able to hone my skills in all of those areas, and build relationships with fellow students and faculty. I participated in the High School Theatre Arts Festival, first as a scenic painter and volunteer and by my last year as the director of the opening and closing ceremonies. I also performed in plays, produced commercials for FC Theatrical Productions, attended FC Theatre social events, and hosted a few of my own…

Who were some of the most memorable people you met then at the college?

As far as the faculty goes, I will always admire and appreciate the warm hearted yet iron fist of Jensen, the quiet wisdom of Pliska, the manic fairness of Ketter, the facets of Robinson, the fierce inspiration of Hoyt-Heyden and the masterful willingness of Book. But, having set out to study directing, I must say that Krinke shaped me the most. There is not one day on set that I don’t think of pace, spectacle, shape, and collaboration.

There are many students I will always look back on with fondness; some of them are still friends to this day. And that is one of the most unexpected gifts or lessons that FC gave me, perspective to know that my peers are just as valuable as my education.

Is there one story that is most memorable?

Honestly, there are too many, so I’ll just list a few:

  1. Night before the HSTF and staying awake until 4am painting flats in the scene shop.
  2. I took vocal lessons from Sarah McFerrin (Bobby McFerrin’s mom), an accomplished Opera singer and performer, at a community college, AMAZING!
  3. Ketter directed The Laramie Project – one of the first plays I had ever seen. In one scene the cast slowly built into heavy breathing and drown out the lead actor. It was simple, intense, terrifying, and gives me shivers to this day.
  4. I was cast in Of Mice & Men @ Stages Theater, Nautilus Project, and The Odd Couple all at once. I almost lost my mind, but the mentoring of Bob Jensen calmed my nerves and gave me direction.
  5. Krinke, directing Taming of the Shrew and proclaiming that he wanted to add in a wedding scene (that presumably happens between the acts). He then turned to me and said, “Cory, you’ll be the priest – come in tomorrow with a 3 minute wedding scene” – and in true Krinke style I borrowed from the best; I used the wedding scene from The Princess Bride… It killed!

What advice do you have for our current students?

The faculty are a wealth of knowledge, RESPECT that. They’re not there to make your life miserable; they are there to make you better at what you want to do. If you’re not good at something, it is OK to fail, find a new area to work in. The arts are infinite and fulfilling. Not everyone is good at everything, and constructive criticism is key, use it as a stepping-stone and you’ll get to the top much faster. YOU are your own worst enemy.

If you are passionate about something, SEEK out a way to work with professionals NOW! Volunteer, intern, anything to get your foot in a professional environment; education gives you the key to open the door, experience shows you the doors you can open.

Don’t smoke, it makes your breath taste like shit. Ask smart questions, use deodorant, exercise, spend some hard earned money on a really good meal, laugh, embrace sorrow, and when in doubt ask Jim Book, he’ll know how to fix it.

What should be the college vision for the future, or what ideas should we incorporate in that vision?

I have always heard about, and came to respect, the quality of the FC Arts faculty. Continue to invest in educators who currently work professionally in their fields. Cultivate an environment that puts students in positions of responsibility, even if they don’t want it. We have a sun, so there will always be light. We have an earth, so there is always a stage, but only quality of performance will garner an audience.