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David Rainey is an exceptional actor who takes the same passion he has for his craft and uses it to motivate and inspire young actors at UHD as an adjunct professor of drama.
Rainey joined the world of theatre in junior high school after he dropped a mechanical shop class and took drama instead. He says he knew from that moment he wanted to become an actor. He attended college at Eastern New Mexico University and eventually went on to study acting at The Juilliard School, the country's most prestigious performing arts institution.
When his father became ill, Rainey moved to Houston and found a job as a customer service representative for an oil company. Although he thought his professional acting career might be over, he continued to send out headshots and audition for theatre companies around town.
"Houston is a very vibrant theatre town with a tremendous amount of new companies created by very seasoned people," Rainey said. "I was lucky to have been offered a Resident Company position at the Alley Theatre and I've worked with them for 13 seasons now."
In addition to his work with the Alley, which includes Our Town, Amadeus, Othello, A Christmas Carol, and many more, Rainey also serves as the artistic director for The Landing Theatre Company at UHD, where he focuses on American playwrights and plays about the American experiences.
"The Landing Theatre Company began because I wanted to bring a professional company to UHD," Rainey said. "I wanted our students to benefit from working with professionals, creating real theatre for the real world. Students can apply for accredited internships with the company or participate as part of our volunteer core."
Rainey said he enjoys teaching at UHD because he enjoys helping students pull something out of themselves they didn't know existed before.
"It's thrilling to see the light bulb go off in students when they master something for the first time," he said. "I like taking people who want to do this and making them better, because acting really is about individual achievement."
And Rainey would know a lot about that. In addition to his numerous professional acting awards, he was recently selected as one of the Houston Press' 100 Creatives for 2012.
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Last updated or reviewed on 1/22/13