3/8/2013 1:26:00 PM Life after Graduation: Daniel Stock
by Connie Bickman
Note: This column features "hometown folks," specifically Cannon Falls and Randolph High School graduates - of any year - and their unique or interesting careers. If you know of anyone you feel would make an interesting feature, email firstname.lastname@example.org - their email address must be included.
From fairly early on in high school, Daniel Stock knew he wanted to be a professional actor - and he is pleased to report that he feels he has achieved that goal.
"I've toured around the Midwest, lived and worked in Chicago and I'm now a permanent ensemble member of a professional repertory theatre," Daniel reported.
The path he took to arrive at that job has been equally as interesting. "As an artist I've had to do a lot of traveling and relocating - traveling to auditions, moving to different areas where there was work. I got the job I have now through an interview and audition I did in Memphis, Tennessee!"
Daniel is the son of Dick and Carolee Stock, Cannon Falls, and a 2000 Randolph High School graduate. His sister, Katie Weidner, works at First Farmers&Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls.
Daniel and his wife, Megan Pence, currently live in Lanesboro, MN, where he works as a Resident Ensemble Member for Commonweal Theatre Company. "My wife and I are lucky enough to work for the same theatre company. As you can guess it gets pretty hectic and sometimes overwhelming, but we've developed a keen sense of communication to let each other know when we do and don't need 'some space,'" he related. Daniel and Megan, who is from Bourbonnais, IL, don't have any children, nor are there any plans for that at this time, "...we're busy enough with cats!" he noted.
Daniel has fond memories of his Randolph High School days. "As an actor, some of my favorite memories are the high school plays, but my absolute favorite memories are from baseball, basketball and speech - anything where I was part of a larger group and sharing the camaraderie of a team."
After high school meant attending the University of Wisconsin-Superior, graduating with a degree in Theatre and Philosophy.
Daniel said that growing up in the area, he learned values that helped him achieve goals he set for himself and noted that he had more or less constant encouragement with his career choice.
"I've never felt unsupported, and for such a transient and unstable career, that's both rare and invaluable."
He added, "The biggest thing I learned being from Cannon Falls and going to Randolph is the concept of inter-disciplinary skills. That's just a fancier way of saying that I am comfortable trying and doing things outside of what my skill set and talents may be. Being from a smaller school (both high school and college) really afforded me a lot more experiences in a more diverse area than larger places where you have to concentrate on one specific interest."
Daniel mentioned a few "heroes" or people he especially looks up to in his line of work: Mark Rylance, Mary Zimmerman, Etgar Keret, and he noted that in the future he is looking forward to doing more writing.
When asked if he would encourage others to follow his path or career choice, he answered with a resounding "maybe."
"It's a difficult life. Making a career in the arts is difficult and if you've got any shred of doubt, you should definitely seek out other options."
Daniel added, "I'm lucky enough that I wasn't blessed with any other marketable skills than the ability to tell stories, and while it might not always be earth-shattering, I'm blown away that I get to tell stories for a living!"
Between now and October, Daniel will be playing Torvald in "A Doll's House," and the King of Bohemia in "Sherlock Holmes." He has also acted in other plays, which include "The Philadelphia Story," "To Kill A Mockingbird" "Little Shop of Horrors," and he directed "Metamorphoses."
You can find more information about how to purchase tickets for one of his shows, dates and times, at www.commonwealtheatre.org.