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  • Patricks People - Right place, right time

  • To succeed in show business it takes talent, hard work and determination. It also doesn’t hurt to be in the right place at the right time. Seth Golay.

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  • To succeed in show business it takes talent, hard work and determination. It also doesn’t hurt to be in the right place at the right time. Seth Golay.
    Seth Golay’s right time was in the 1990s and he found his right place in the Pittsburg USD 250 school system.
    A 1996 Pittsburg High School graduate, he returned there Friday to conduct a master class for PHS musical theater students, and also gave them a brief display of his own song and dance skills.
    “I hope the Board of Education knows you guys have topnotch people teaching you,” Golay told the students. “If it weren’t for the educators we had, we wouldn’t have this wonderful theater department. It’s just wonderful to come back and see this.”
    Susan Laushman, PHS vocal music instructor, said that she and Greg Shaw saw Golay a year ago at a Kansas Thespians convention when he was teaching a workshop.
    “That was how we reconnected,” she said.
    Laushman had worked with him at PHS, and Golay had also taken voice lessons from Joella Reid, Pittsburg Community Middle School teacher. He and a friend would write plays and hang round the PCMS auditorium after school to stage them.
    “Seth loved the stage,” said Reid, who came to see him Friday at PHS. “He’d go down there in the dark and scare me to death. I was afraid he might electrocute himself.”
    He also appeared in numerous Pittsburg Community Theatre plays, watched over by Reid and the late Nancy Tinsley, PCT regular and Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium employee.
    Golay went to Pittsburg State University for one semester, and again was in the right place at the right time. He was in a play titled “Endgame” which was chosen for the prestigious American College Theater Festival.
    “There were three theatrical companies represented there and they had these cattle call auditions where they call you in one at a time,” Golay said. “I believe they gave you 45 seconds to do a song and monologue. John Green, the director of ‘Endgame,’ didn’t want me to audition and said it wouldn’t teach me anything.”
    He received job offers from two of the three companies and accepted one from a theater in Minneapolis.
    “That was my first job,” Golay said. “I got $147 a week and we were doing ‘The Music Man’. After that, we did ‘West Side Story’ and then the summer was done. The music director asked me to transfer from PSU and go to school there, so I did.”
    He later returned to Kansas and attended the University of Kansas.
    “That’s how I got my Kansas City ties,” Golay said.
    He has been working pretty steadily ever since in Kansas City, aside from a seven-month stint in New York. Golay found work there, but also found that he didn’t really want to live in the Big Apple.
    Page 2 of 2 - In addition to discussing singing with the PHS students, he also discussed auditioning and other aspects of a show biz career.
    “It’s not just music, not just theater and not just musical theater,” Golay said. “There are so many ways to be involved in this industry. It’s not about them coming to see us, it’s about us giving to them.”
    Greg Shaw, PHS theater teacher, said that it was invaluable to have someone like Golay talk to the students.
    “They can see real-world applications,” he said. “We can tell them our personal experiences, but Seth is doing it right now.”
    Shaw said that students go through an audition process to be cast for PHS plays, but he tends to water things down a little to help the students get started.
    “If we didn’t, some students might not go through with it,” he said.
    Erin O’Dell, PHS senior, said it was fabulous to be able to learn from Golay.
    “I like being able to better our auditioning techniques after we’re out of the high school situation,” she said.
    Garrett Brummitt, PHS senior, also said having Golay there was a valuable experience.
    “I think personally that watching him has made my feeling about certain music better,” Brummett said. “It’s given me an opportunity to see a professional doing what he loves, it’s not just work to him. Seth
    pulls a lot out of the kids.”
    He may be doing that more and more. Golay is now doing some teaching at Blue Valley North High School and enjoys the experience.
    “We hope to continue this relationship,” Shaw said. “We’d like to bring Seth down here at least once a year.”

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