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Fullerton College alumna (2002-5)

I was born and raised in Fullerton, as was my mother. My father came to California from Chicago at a young age, following his father and the growth of their family business in safety equipment.

Before attending Fullerton College I attended Sonora High School in La Habra. My older sister Kim Jones and her now husband Nathan Baesel were both students of the Fullerton College Theater Department, and it was their involvement that inspired me to choose Fullerton College over an undergraduate program when it came time for me to graduate.

I attended FC from 2002-2005, and in that time my sole concern was everything Theatre! I finished the requirements for my Theatre Major in less than two years and, slowly but surely, completed everything else. I had an instant love and instant passion for the department and became involved in any way I could, from taking classes in the Scene Shop long after I had completed my requirements, to working on tech and makeup crews, to eventually becoming a Department Ambassador. I also had the total joy of heading up Spirit for the Fullerton College High School Theatre Festival, an immensely memorable and cherished experience, alongside one of my best friends.

The people I remember most from Fullerton College remain some of my closest friends. Vicki Sky (now Vicki McCormack) and I met on the first day of Cabaret rehearsal in January of 2003. She had just moved to Fullerton the day before from Seattle. She is a bridesmaid in my wedding. Casey Gates and I met doing Cider House Rules with Andrea Morgan and became instantly close. She is a bridesmaid in my wedding as well. Bob Jensen was my Acting A teacher, my first true acting teacher, and I know his love of theatrical literature spilled over onto me. Gary Krinke's inexhaustible talent for creating beautiful, stunning pictures and his capacity for the spectacular is something that continues to inspire me. Mela Hoyt-Heydon guided me as a student, as an ambassador, and as a woman in the art of theater. Steve Pliska and Jim Book are two of the most wonderful teachers and wonderful artists I've ever known, always reminding me that a strong presence is often found in little words. All of my acting teachers, Forrest Robinson, Arlyn MacDonald, and Chuck Ketter helped me to begin my acting journey in it's most vulnerable stages and am still in touch with them today. I owe them so many thanks for helping me cultivate this talent. I made life-long friends during my time at FC because that is what our specific department created for me, a safe-haven, a second home, and a family.

Since leaving Fullerton College I have continued pursuing and growing my career as an actor. Professionally I have starred in commercials music videos, summer programming for TLC, I have remained active in the Fullerton theater community, working specifically with Hunger Artists, and have appeared in two successful webseries. Currently I am helping to develop a Western-set pilot. I have gone on to study at the Berg Studios, under Gregory Berger-Sobeck, in Los Angeles; a scene study class that has only built upon the principals I learned at FC. Acting has also lead me into new paths, finding my way into production and film development.

My advice for current students at FC, in the arts or otherwise, is don't underestimate the importance of your time spent here. The quality of the education, the people, the faculty, the resources is totally immeasurable. To students in the arts, take advantage of every opportunity. Be a yes in every circumstance. You never know what wonderful lesson or what wonderful person or what wonderful step will follow your open-mind and that willing "yes". It is advice that has served me long after leaving FC.

In terms of a vision for the future, I speak solely from the point of view of a theater student but I'm sure it can be applied to any area. My wish for the future students at Fullerton is a course or a seminar or workshop to realistically prepare artists, actors, singers, etc. for working and competing on the grandest professional scale. It is so easy to lose sight of your artistic love in the face of the demands of an industry. Having tools to keep a level head and to stay inspired while still being able to perform and deliver are priceless and don't always have to be learned the hard way. Dedicating this aspect of education to actors, and artists, in their final years of courses I believe will only strengthen Fullerton College, and it's students, building an even brighter legacy.

Alumni Strories: Kelly Eder

“Don't underestimate the importance of your time spent here. The quality of the education, the people, the faculty, the resources is totally immeasurable.”