Posting Date: July 2, 2012
Meet Patrick Schweigert: An accidental actor
By Shira Kerce
Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant
Patrick Schweigert has not always been an actor. For most of his childhood he was an athlete instead, playing a variety of sports throughout elementary and middle school. While he was in middle school, however, all of that changed. Patrick was diagnosed with a rare form of arthritis that made it impossible for him to continue playing sports. “My body just couldn’t handle it anymore,” Patrick remembers.
Now a junior in the Kennesaw State University Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, Patrick has a double concentration in acting and musical theatre. It was after his devastating diagnosis and his departure from sports that Patrick found himself unexpectedly drawn into the world of theatre. As a sophomore in high school Patrick took a theatre class to fulfill a fine arts requirement and auditioned for a school play on a whim. “I went to the last day of auditions,” he recalls, “and I got a lead part. After that first play, I’ve been doing theatre ever since.”
Patrick’s entrance into KSU’s theatre department was almost as accidental as his newfound love for acting. He originally came to KSU to take his core classes, with the intent to ultimately transfer to another college. “I didn’t even know KSU had a theatre department, let alone one of the, if not the, best departments in the state,” Patrick explains.
Now that he is here, however, Patrick loves the theatre department and has been active in the department, performing in numerous plays and musicals. Patrick is a member of Alpha Psi Omega, the national theatre honor society, and KISS: Kennesaw Improv Society (Stupid!). Patrick says that his involvement with KISS is his favorite thing about the department, and he jokes that his favorite thing about KSU in general is the soft serve ice cream machine in the Commons.
Although Patrick says that all of his professors in the theatre department have been very helpful and have taught him a lot, Judith Cole, KSU School of Music instructor, has had an especially profound impact on him. “She has really been very inspiring to me,” Patrick says.
As for his future after graduating from KSU, Patrick says it’s still up in the air. “I really don’t know yet,” he says, “but hopefully I’ll be working!” And as long as working involves acting and musical theatre, it really won’t feel like working at all.