Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Student success profile: Glynn Long takes a leading role at Grossmont College

Glynn Long
Glynn Long was living in El Cajon when the Marine veteran decided to explore the opportunities at Grossmont College.

“I happened to be in the area and Grossmont College was close,” Long said. “I decided to try out an acting class and ended up stumbling upon the best theatre department at any community college in the region.”

The El Cajon resident has found his home on the stage and is a rising star at Grossmont College.  Long played the part of Athos in the Grossmont College Summer Arts Conservatory’s production of The Three Musketeers, the King in last spring’s Grossmont College Theatre Arts Department’s production of Alice in Wonderland, Walter Lee in the Grossmont College’s “Inside the Actor’s Process” production of A Raisin in the Sun, and Prince Bassianus in the Intrepid Shakespeare Company’s production of Titus Andronicus.

What does he plan for an encore?

“Ultimately, I plan to transfer to a four-year school and go into the theatre,” Long said.

He is developing some influential fans along the way.

“Glynn has latched onto acting really, really well,” said Brian Rickel, a local actor who teaches at Grossmont College’s Theatre Arts Department. “He started from the ground floor, the very basics, and he’s just thriving, looking for every available opportunity there is. He’s worked very hard and he has a lot of passion for the craft.”

A native of Florida who grew up in Clearwater, Long enlisted in the Marines in 2007 and was later stationed in Okinawa, MCAS Miramar and Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms. “I liked what the Marines stood for,” Long said. “And I wanted to serve my country.”

After his tour was up in 2011, Long found himself living in El Cajon. Although he had already secured a degree from Saint Leo University while in the Marines, Long opted to investigate the offerings at Grossmont College. The first course he enrolled in was Rickel’s beginning acting class.

“I figured, `why not?’ Long said. “The worst that could happen is I get a bad grade.”

He aced the class.

“It was a night class, and in my experience, people who take the night class aren’t that into acting,” Rickel said. “Not Glynn. He was motivated. You could see the drive.”

Long’s dedication is unquestioned. He had a generous offer midway through the semester to work as a military contractor in the Middle East. He turned it down.

Long is, however, keeping his options open. He has a double major in theatre arts and nursing, he works as a nursing assistant at an East County nursing home and he is eyeing a job as a nursing assistant at a local hospital. He also serves as a volunteer coach of the El Cajon Youth Football Falcons, a team that has gone undefeated for two years.

He remains grateful for his decision to give acting a try at Grossmont College.

“All the instructors and professors are working actors, so you’re getting real life experiences,” Long said. “These are actually people who are working every day in the business. It’s not about theory and it’s not from a textbook. It’s hands on.

“But it’s more than just the Theatre Arts Department,” Long added. “The Nursing Program is excellent. Everywhere you walk on campus you see excellence. It’s just a great school that has a lot to offer.”