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RIP Vic Verdeal

Yesterday on 6/20/2021 I stumbled across the news that my High School StageCraft teacher had passed away back in February. Saying that I was heartbroken was not even half of it. I missed the memorial service by one day. I was equally angry that no one mentioned it to me in the 4 months since it happened. I guess this is one of those unfortunate circumstances of not having a Facebook account. People assume that everyone gets all their information from Facebook. It is what it is. I wish I would have been able to attend the service. The last time I saw him in person was my Graduation day. I couldn't wait to get out of that school & my childhood home. Little did he know that everything he taught me in those programs would become everything I am today. I took stagecraft, photography, & yearbook. All which he was the teacher. I still remember the day that I was introduced to his stagecraft class by some upperclassmen. It was such a different time where you had to be recommended to certain elective classes. I remember them asking me "Have you met Verdeal? You would love stage!" As a freshman, I had no idea what any of that meant. Little did I know that they would be right. Shortly afterward I had a little meeting with him where he asked me what I was interested in & such. I was crazy into audio at the time. I was a DJ and made my own beats. He welcomed me to the class with open arms. He taught all the fundamentals of the theater. I remember getting the tour and I was in love! The Automated Wench System is probably what caught my attention first. The ability to control all the backdrops, curtains, set pieces, etc just blew my mind. As the years passed that theater became my home, I even had a key (shh don't tell him!). I probably spent more hours in that theater than in my own home during my high school years. I hung out in there when I didn't have a class. Vic Verdeal sparked a passion that I didn't know would be a career let alone my whole life. After High School, I went on to study Audio Engineering and ultimately work in the Theater & Concert industry. I have run spotlight for Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Linkin Park; Cable page for Pink and WWE; Deckhand for Justin Bieber, Tower of Power, Baby Face, Gwen Stefani, and Justin Timberlake; Lighting tech for The Fray, and The Used just to name a few. This was all because of the things he taught me back in a high school stage class. I never got to tell him in person the impact he had on me. I never got to show him the pictures from 100+ feet in the air hanging a lighting fixture. I never got to tell him all the people I have dined with backstage at shows. I never got to thank him for always making the theater feel like a home. I never got to thank him for accepting me as I was in my teenage years when I was insufferable to most. As I sit in the house that I bought through working in the concert industry, it's hard to know he never got to see what I became. I learned about this news on Father's day, he was definitely a father figure in my life. Now my life is surrounded by all things art. The teachings he left for photography, and yearbook layouts taught me everything I needed to be a self-employed artist. I take all my own product photos & do all my own website design. My art is all things music & theater. My art has all stemmed from that first tour of the North High School Stage. From that first flash of light coming from the catwalks. Thank you Verdeal for all the things I am and have become. Rest in Power.

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