My name is Jared Gooding, a native of Houston Texas. Theatre has been a part of my life for quite some years now. I would say that it began back in middle school when I didn’t want to participate in the school assemblies. To get out of this responsibility, I would volunteer to run the sound for them instead. This is what sparked my interest in behind the scenes work. I changed schools the year after that became heavily involved with the daily TV news program that my middle school recorded and televised in all of the classrooms. Also while at that school I got my first taste of true theatre. I enrolled in the theatre program there and applied to run the lights for the show. Because of my back ground with the TV station I was assigned to run sound. It turned out that after the show was done, I was the only person in the whole school that knew how to operate the sound system, apart from the theatre instructor. Because of this I would often get pulled out of classes to run assemblies for students, whether I was meant to be there or not.
The year after that I changed schools yet again and attended The Kinkiad School. At the time they had a new theater built by Shuler and Shook. Getting to experience the theater of that caliber was the first major step into leading my down my path to becoming a designer. I spend a lot of time in that space during my 5 years at the school, but it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I even thought of pursuing a degree in the arts. We hired a new technical director my senior year that had a master’s degree in lighting design. That was when the thought crossed my mind that I could attend college for technical theatre. I applied at schools all over the country for various technical theatre programs. In the end I settled on The Theatre School at DePaul University. The school ended up being a perfect fit for me and gave me so many professional experiences and allowed me to be introduced into Chicago’s diverse theatre community.
After graduation I choose to stay and develop a career in Chicago. I have had the fortune of meeting and working with dozens of wonderful people here. I have been able to design all over Chicago and experience a lot of what this city’s scene has to offer. The city had gotten a hold on me and despite the snow, I love this city and am beginning to start my professional career here.