Jon Rivenburg is a 4th year Theatre Major with a focus in acting. He will be a major actor in the play A Midsummer’s Night Dream performed at the UCLA Amphitheatre garden on May 4th at the 2017 Healthy Campus Initiative Celebration: Dream Revolution. He will in particular be playing Egeus and Snout, two very different characters, which he says “is interesting, but is very fun to switch personalities.”
Growing up in the small town of Richmond, Texas he came to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of acting. He wasn’t always interested in acting, however. He had a huge passion for sports and in particular, baseball, growing up. With family in Fullerton, not far from UCLA, and very supportive parents, it was a no brainer to pack up his bags and move to the city of dreams to pursue his own dream.
UCLA has given Jon more opportunities than he could have asked for. From networking with professors, some of whom are casting directors, to getting the opportunity to write, produce, and direct his own play in Theatre Fest. Through this program, he has definitely gained a very strong technical acting foundation. He says that the program “has certainly helped him get so many steps closer to his dream of becoming a working actor after he graduates.”
Participating in the Healthy Campus Initiative Celebration actually means a lot to Jon because “Living Well” means a lot to him. Aside from being physically fit, he prides himself on maintaining a well-rounded lifestyle, especially keeping a healthy mind. In my interview with Jon, he emphasized how important a healthy “family” structure really empowers him to keep a mindful lifestyle. The tight-knit theatre community is all around very supportive in all efforts, he says; they recommend open roles to each other and keep each other on track in classes. Outside of his major, his involvement in a fraternity has given him a strong friend group that also keeps him grounded and a group of people he can always go back to for anything.
This interview with Jon made me realize that a lot of times we all get caught up in life and all this “noise.” Especially in the acting industry where jobs are super competitive, things are constantly changing, and it’s just crazy to say the least. He taught me that sometimes we all need to just take a step back from this “noise” and take it by day to realize that “everything will be ok.” Even small accomplishments such as getting your headshots printed are worthwhile to recognize even if it’s just for yourself. His strong family structure keeps him grounded and taking time for himself always helps him realize that there is always another day to look forward to.
I for one look forward to seeing Jon in the upcoming Healthy Campus Initiative celebration on May 4th at the UCLA Amphitheatre. You can grab a FREE ticket at UCLA’s Central Ticket Office (CTO) or you can buy one online for $25.
Phillip Cox is a 4th year Bioengineering major and blogger for the Eat Well Pod within the Healthy Campus Initiative.