Meet Robert Peterpaul '13
What have you been up to since graduation? Since graduation, I’ve been working in the entertainment industry as an actor, writer, and social media specialist. As an actor I’ve worked in television, film, commercials, and lots of theatre. In between acting gigs I’m lucky to support myself with my other two passions: writing and marketing. My writing adventures have included: Huff Post, Medium, Screen Rant, Backstage, and HOLA! USA, where I’m currently the weekend editor. One of my favorite parts of being an entertainment reporter is interviewing talent! In 2015, I formed my own LLC, Robert Peterpaul Productions, where I take on social media clients. I’ve worked on social media marketing for everything from television shows and movies to pet stores and nonprofits. Some fun ones have included: NBC’s America’s Got Talent, and Broadway shows like Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton.
What is your fondest memory of Marist?
Please hold, while I write a novel. Looking back, living right near my now best friends and getting to do what I love every day was such a dream. Some of my fondest memories were made during Senior Week, where we got to celebrate our time at Marist with one last hurrah. It’s really hard to pick one, though. The incredible thing about Marist, is that you become nostalgic for it even while you’re there.
What is your favorite place on campus and why?
I love it all, but the Nelly Goletti Theatre became a second home for my friends and me. Between meetings, shows and tech hours, we spent so much time there that it felt like a dorm.
Also, this is super specific, but at the end of the bridge to upperclassman housing (near what’s now the Science building) there’s an oversized planter. This marks the spot my friends and I would stop after walking home from the theatre. It’s where we’d have to separate and go off to our separate dormitories. We’d stand by that planter for way too long, not wanting to leave each other, and then do it all over again the next day.
Who was your favorite Marist professor or class?
Hands down: Jim Steinmeyer. Ask any theatre kid from my day and you’ll probably receive this response. There were many lovely educators, but Jim went above and beyond to make you feel important as a student. In addition to being a professor in the School of Liberal Arts, he was the technical advisor on all of our theatre productions, and directed me on several occasions. Since graduating, he’s become a good friend. I’ve kept his pre-show phrase close to my heart: “Let’s make some magic.”
How have you remained involved with Marist since graduating?
Aside from giving back when I can and telling every prospective student I come across to look into Marist, I’ve loved attending various alumni events and going back to visit with fellow Red Foxes. My friends and I also host an annual MCCTA (Marist Theatre) Christmas party called MCCTAmas open to all. Of course, that’s technically unaffiliated, haha.
How did Marist prepare you for your success?
One of the ways was through the Marist in Manhattan program. I was fortunate to be one of the first students to participate in MIM, where you live in NYC and intern for a semester. I worked on NBC’s Access Hollywood, gaining valuable knowledge and forging relationships that I still have today. It all comes back to the relationships, I think, as Marist cultivates a family that lasts forever.
From an acting perspective, although the Marist theatre program wasn’t huge when I was there, I was able to study my craft and try out techniques in a safe setting. Marist’s Hudson Valley location also really lends itself to those looking to work in film, as a ton of movies are shot nearby. During my time at Marist I formed a connection with powerhouse casting director Heidi Eklund of Hudson Valley Casting (I recommend students look her up) and did some background work in her projects (my car even made its onscreen debut, such a diva). After graduation, Heidi has been kind enough to continually bring me in for auditions. Thanks to her, I even booked a small role in James Franco’s film King Cobra.
Think back to your freshman year; what advice would you self-give or offer to another student?
Get involved! Take advantage of the incredible resources Marist offers and make your own short film or put on a show. Let your passion lead you and sign up for activities and groups that make you feel happy. Those happy places are where you form lifelong friendships, hone your crafts, and, hopefully, make many unforgettable memories. When all else fails — get a Rossi’s panini and eat it by the river!
If you’re not in your office working, where are we most likely to find you? Usually outdoors hanging out with family and friends. Once the world reopens, hopefully you’ll find me in a Broadway theatre or dining inside a restaurant, or maybe visiting Marist. Right now, I’m frequently on Zoom collaborating with my fellow Red Fox Amanda Urban on an ethnodrama. If you can’t find me at any of these places, I’m most likely at the bottom of a Nutella jar.