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"Professionalism" key to alum's acting success

Eagle Young (far right) stars in a Dancing Earth production. Photo credit Paulo Tavares.

For Eagle Young, coming back to perform at the Fort Lewis Community Concert Hall will be "about giving back to Fort Lewis and Durango," he says. "The Fort Lewis Theatre Department made me grow as an artist, and the arts community in Durango is very well rounded for a small town. I want to show them all that you can follow your dreams and be a success in this industry."

Young (Theatre, 2004) is currently performing with Dancing Earth Creations, a Santa Fe-based non-profit dance company supporting indigenous dance and related arts. Dancing Earth received the 2010 National Museum of the American Indian Expressive Arts award, and the company was noted as “One of the Top 25 To Watch” by Dance Magazine.

As part of the Fort Lewis Centennial, Dancing Earth will be performing at the Community Concert Hall on November 11, celebrating the school's long-time role in Native American education.

Young, a Hopi tribal member, was born in Durango to parents who are both FLC alumni. He moved to California as a child, returning to Durango to complete a Bachelor's degree in psychology. But in his first week at FLC, Young tried out for and was cast in a play. "It grew from there," he explains. "I started taking Theatre classes, and I just kind of fell in love with it. Then I fell in love with Durango, and the school in general." He ended up staying for four years, earning a degree in Theatre, instead.

"I learned a lot being there," he says. "I'd never gotten the chance to be a lead in a play before. I'd never experienced the responsibility and the work ethic it takes to be a lead in a play. It made me grow as an artist, and that has paid off a lot for me since then."

Eagle Young.
Photo credit Paulo Tavares.

Since then, Young has worked with the Los Angeles and South Coast Repertory, in Orange County, California, and performed professionally in New York at the renowned La Mama Theatre. As well as performing with Dancing Earth, he also now works producing television shows, and recently made his feature film debut in "Montana Amazon," starring Haley Joel Osment and Olympia Dukakis.

While at FLC, in additional to traditional acting Young says he also got to do a lot of "non-Western theatre," which helped expand his understanding of theatre. He also got involved in the Durango arts community by performing with 3rd Avenue Dance Center, where he got to explore and expand his dancing and choreography.

"All those experiences opened my eyes to something totally different and really helped me grow as an artist," he says. "They shaped me into a professional person who was prepared when I went out into the professional world."

"That's why I'm really glad to bring Dancing Earth to Durango, because I know the whole community will appreciate it," Young adds. "We're bringing together different indigenous tribes to put their tribe's stories into forms of dance that incorporate music and multimedia, and Dancing Earth is on the cutting edge of this art. And since the professors in the Theatre Department taught me how to go out there and be a prepared professional, I'm very proud to give back, and so happy to come back and perform."

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