Thanks for joining us kmynatt. as a not a sandwich and right to dunk guy, you have some of the best takes and smartest takes on RCT. Have you always had good takes or was this something you had to develop over time?
Yeah, I’ve always been opinionated, probably to my detriment in many situations, especially throughout school and then once I started my professional career in the arts. I’m certain I stuck my foot in my mouth a couple of times early, middle, and late in my career. I’ve tried to stop doing, but old habits.
Let's back it up. Where did you grow up? How big was your family? What did your folks do?
I grew up in Gladstone, MO, a suburb in KC north. I have one brother, who lives in Alabama. My dad was a union Pipefitter/AC-HEating technician for 37 years, my mom was an Executive Secretary/Assistant for most of that same time. Pretty blue collar, middle class, as it existed in the 1970’s, lifestyle.
What kind of things kept you busy doing high school?
I did a lot of musical theater, a lot of show choir (I was in a vocal jazz group that won midwest regional competition for something like 15 years straight; I was in the group for two years, right in the middle of that streak), some straight drama. No sports, although I started watching a lot of college football and basketball during this time, especially with my dad.
What made you pick KU?
I actually did not go to KU. I quit college for two years, and when I returned, a professor from my original university, Central Missouri State University (the first school to have the men’s and women’s basketball teams to win the championship in the same year in 1984, Division II) had gone to KU to teach theater. They offered me a scholarship, but the out-of-state tuition was still too high for my family. So back to Central I went.
As for my love of KU basketball, I started listening to games back in the mid-late 1970’s, when Ted Owens was still coach. I’m not sure what drew my to KU, originally, but there was something about listening to the games on the red, white, and blue transistor radio with the single ear piece that I had received for Christmas that was really exciting. I don’t remember much about this teams, but I remember going on youth trips and other “church” events and always having that radio with em so whenever we took a break I could tune in and catch the KU game, check on the score. It was hard back then, man, like walking uphill to and from school, every day, in four feet of snow!!
I understand you are in the theater business. What made you pick that line of work? What do you actually do in the theater?
I started working in the opera world in 1990, when I finally graduated form college when a friend helped get me job. One job led to another, and so on, and so on. For me, opera combines all of the arts into one, single performance- great singing, great orchestras, great acting, dance, design, etc., and you get it all. I ended up going back to school to get my Masters in design, specifically Lighting Design/Production Management. Now, I work mostly on the Administrative side of things, creating budgets for each of four productions in Miami, managing the crews for each production, choosing the physical productions, hiring designers (although I design a production every other year), and working with the other departments to help them achieve goals with donors and ticket purchasers. It’s a 50-60 hour a week job when we aren’t producing, 75-90 hours a week when we are.
How and when did you find RCT?
It looks like I joined in 2013. I know I was looking for some reasoned discussion about KU basketball. Other sites just turned me off, couldn’t deal with the comments, attitudes, etc. Other than the #hotnotasandwich and the #tyshawnshouldadunked, RCT is pretty reasonable. I have started using the question “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” during interviews. Reactions are pretty funny.
Outside of the theater, how do you keep yourself out of trouble now? Current family, hobbies, interests, etc
It’s just me and my wife, Amy, right now. I have a 25-year old step-son in the 82nd Airborne, currently serving in Iraq, which is probably the single hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. I’m not sure what to do, say to my wife, etc. He will be back in late-December, early-January. I also have a step-daughter living with her fiancé in Clearwater, FL, which is one of the more beautiful places on the west coast of Florida, and my youngest step-son is living with his dad in Alabama.
I’ve been trying to ride my bike again, having been a huge cyclist earlier in the 2000’s, but it is a deadly game in Miami. So we read a lot, wait for GoT to come back on, go to the beach, sit by the pool, etc. And I work. A lot.
If a RCTer came to your town, what would you do to show them a good time?
Clearly, the beach is the first stop. November through March, it is absolutely gorgeous here. March-October, all bets are off, but we were there Monday, May 1, and it was amazing. So, yeah, the beach. Second, probably hit a couple of different Cuban restaurants. The “Cuban” sandwich is killer- ham, roasted pork, pickles, swiss cheese, mustard, Cuban bread- then pressed to melt and warm everything up??? Put it in my belly. And drink some Sangria while we’re at it. If the opera is in season, then a deluxe tour of backstage and primo seats in the Grand Tier for an evening’s performance. I’m not much of a club guy, so South Beach and that kind of thing is out, but post-performance, there are some really good restaurants open for a late night meal. People eat LATE in Miami!!
Anything else we might not know about you?
I’ve worked for opera companies in the following cities- Kansas City, Des Moines, Chautauqua, NY, Fort Worth, Omaha, Eugene, OR, Mobile, Portland, Denver, Miami
Where do you live- Miami, FL
Facial hair- Bearded
Any pets- 3 dogs, 2 greyhounds, one mutt, 2 domestic cats
What kind of car do you drive- Mazda CX-9
Corrective lenses- yes
Hair style- shaved
Favorite movie- Blade Runner
Favorite tv show- Black Mirror
Favorite beer or thing to drink- right now, because it is starting to get warmer down here, Gin and Tonic, with Botanist Gin and Fevertree tonic
Favorite band- I’m a Springsteen guy
Favorite food- Fried chicken, give me some Stroud's
Favorite non KU team- I am a die-hard Royals fan, through all of these horrible years.
All time favorite KU player- probably Ron Kellogg, according to Wikipedia, he shot 57.6% from the filed in 84-85!
First concert- kill me for this, went with a girlfriend in high school, Olivia Newton-John, “Let’s Get Physical”, Kemper Arena
First w-2 job- Shipping clerk in an air conditioning and heating parts wholesaler
Best athlete seen play live- either Danny Manning or Paul “The Truth Pierce
Favorite dinosaur when you were a kid- I had a Stegosaurus, bad-ass
Is a hot dog a sandwich- simply, no
Was Tyshawn right to dunk- obviously, yes