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April 18, 2024

  • Jeanette Winterson for “gAyPRIL”
    “gAyPRIL” (Gay-April) continues on Falcon Radio, sharing a playlist curated by the Queer Trans Student Union, sharing songs celebrating the LGBTQ+ experience. In similar vein, you will enjoy Jeanette Winterson’s books if you find yourself interested in LGBTQ+ voices and nonlinear narratives. As “dead week” is upon us, students, we can utilize resources such as Falcon […]
  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
Spring Housing Guide

Paul Alday: Blending decades of entertainment expertise with cutting-edge argumentation instruction

Bowling+Green+State+University+%28BGSU%29+argumentation+professor+and+debate+team+advisor%2C+Paul+Alday.
Bowling Green State University (BGSU) argumentation professor and debate team advisor, Paul Alday.

If you were to picture an animal-loving argumentation professor, what would you imagine? Would you imagine he’s the advisor of the debate team? Or would you suspect that he has over 40 years of experience in the entertainment industry?

Bowling Green State University (BGSU) argumentation professor and debate team advisor, Paul Alday does it all. Before he came to BGSU, he was in Nebraska for about 7 years. With a Theatre and Communication background, Alday came to BGSU and has been there for 23 years.

In conjunction with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Alday is able to work for them in the summer while he is not teaching or advising the Falcon Forensics and Debate Team. His “outcropping” of being involved in the entertainment industry came from when he was a scenic designer.

“The work that gets done in the entertainment industry, whether it’s a live musical performance or a theatrical performance is very similar,” stated Alday. “It’s the same type of equipment, same type of cabling. So, that was my crossover point.”

   During his time with IATSE, he sets up the shows for artists and does everything from electrical work to moving scenery to working one-on-one with the artists. Alday has had the fortunate experience to work with artists such as Snoop Dogg and Taylor Swift. Since he does electrical work and lighting while he is helping artists, he gets to experience what the artists are actually like in-person, rather than just believing what they are marketed for in the media.  
“Snoop Dogg, oneonone, comes up and he’s talking to you,” said Alday. “He’s marketed as this ‘I’m stoned all the time’. He’s not, he doesn’t allow any type of marijuana products or anything in his concerts backstage and he’s the nicest.”

Since Alday is very passionate about both of his career paths, he has been able to inspire several of his students. Some of these students, even have had the opportunity to work with him,

one of them being Felix Clark.

Felix is now a followspot operator,” stated Alday. “Felix is one of the 15 followspot operators in the Toledo area that will get called upon for shows.”

Clark graduated from Toledo School for the Arts in 2018, but he did not meet Alday until he attended his weeklong internship at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre. He was very involved at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre until he decided to reach out to IATSE during Fall 2022. Clark is now the assistant technical director at Owens Community College.    

“When I was volunteering at the Rep, I started viewing Paul as a mentor,” stated Clark. “That dynamic has always felt balanced, but working with him on something where we both are going in blind feels even more balanced. It is very nice to have someone around who I know is 100% in my corner, who does not doubt my abilities and will help me if needed.”

Since both of them [Clark and Alday] work for the same company, they sometimes run into each other at an IATSE gig.

“It’s usually not the work that gets me down, more the people,” stated Clark. “Paul is one of those people that never fails to get me in a better mood. He’s for sure one of the good ones.”

Clark is not one of the only people who feels inspired by the work and passion Alday has for others. Assistant Coach of the debate team, Marianne Vanderbeke, has also felt very inspired by his work. Before Vanderbeke became the assistant coach of the speech and debate team, shedid not even know that it existed.

I didn’t understand the speech and debate team,” she said. “I knew they had a lot of trophies and that was about all I understood, because it’s not well promoted.”

Vanderbeke met Alday in August 2023 when she graduated with her master’s degree.From there, they decided to make her the assistant coach of the speech and debate team. Since she has been working by his side, she has been able to get to know Alday very well.

Paul is passionate about his students,” stated Vanderbeke. “Paul is very passionate. He wants to see the team succeed. I think that he is more inclined to put effort into students that he sees a little bit of himself in.

Paul Alday has been an inspiration to many of his students and colleagues ever since he stepped foot on BGSU’s campus. Alday’s enthusiasm and passion for others is something that many people take pride in. How will you inspire others?

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