Richard Lafleur ‘08 has traveled the world, performing on stage and screen. He has also worked in one of the most famous restaurants in the country, 在职的世界领导人, 包括三个U.S. 总统. He credits his “魔法al” experiences at Rabun Gap for preparing him to take on the world.
Tell us what you have been doing since graduating from Rabun Gap?
After graduating from RGNS in 2008, I went to The New School University in NYC and graduated with a BFA in 音乐al 剧院. I then went to grad school in the U.K. at the Bristol Old Vic 剧院 School for my MFA in Acting. 从那时起, I have been lucky to perform around the world on cruise ships, at over 30 regional theaters across the U.S.，在六点钟.V. shows, and on three different national Broadway tours of Tony Award winning musicals. I performed in "The Producers", 利奥·布鲁姆, “酒店”, 正如恩斯特·路德维希, and "Monty Python's Spamalot" as several characters. I am currently the on-camera spokesperson for Ford's model E, electric vehicle division.
What is something interesting about you that we wouldn't find on your resume?
My survival job between acting gigs, 八年多了, has been working at Le Bernardin in NYC as a bar captain. Le Bernardin is a three-Michelin-star restaurant, widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in the world. The experiences I have had working there have been incredible. I have served and spoken with three U.S. 总统, the Dalai Lama, and hundreds of business leaders and celebrities. Being a fly on the wall there is just unlike anything else.
How did Rabun Gap help to prepare you or influence your future goals?
拉本峡教会了我很多. 它使我做好了努力工作的准备, 是独立的, 永远保持好奇, 最重要的是, 跳出框框思考. With all that said, the theatre department truly changed my life.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time at Rabun Gap?
I have so many I couldn't possibly just choose one! 游泳队, countless nights rehearsing at the Reardon, nighttime “capture the flag” across the whole campus, hanging out with my friends from all over the world. 我在RGNS的时间只是....魔法.
Is there a specific faculty member, 宿舍的父母, or coach who had a particularly important impact on you?
I have no idea what I would have done, 或者朝着, if I hadn't stepped foot into the Reardon 剧院 and met Mr. 拉里•史密斯. Mr. Smith taught me to believe in myself, and to trust my intuition on stage. 他允许我试一试, 和失败, 再试一次, and ultimately become not only a confident performer, 同时也是一个领导者. He pushed me to pursue national leadership roles in my time at RGNS, which proved invaluable to my development. 在他的指导下, I ran for State Student Officer in the Georgia Thespian Society and was elected to state council my junior year. 在我大四那年, he encouraged me to run for the International Thespian Officer Chair position on the national council, 尽管困难重重, 我当选了. That experience changed my life. Mr. Smith was a mentor unlike any other, and I truly owe all of my success, 台上和台下, to the lessons he taught me at RGNS.
What advice do you have for current Rabun Gap students that you wish someone had told you during your time at school?
Rabun Gap gives you so much access. 尝试一切. Take a theatre class, join the debate club, try as many languages as you can, play multiple sports. 尽你所能去做, and it will surprise you in life how these experiences will come in handy when you least expect them to. Being a well-rounded person with multiple interests is such a valuable currency.
What would you like to see happen at Rabun Gap in the next 10 years?
首先, I would love to see Rabun Gap maintain its identity, and not lose the 魔法 it had in my years there. 其次, I would love to see more students encouraged to pursue leadership experiences, or engagement opportunities like I had in national or state organizations. Exposure to those experiences and institutions were pivotal in my development, and gave me a massive edge when applying to leading universities in the fields I wanted to pursue.