Welcome to our Mentor Spotlight series, where we celebrate the remarkable individuals who have dedicated their time and expertise to guide, inspire, and empower ArtStream actors. Mentors are the unsung heroes behind countless success stories, providing invaluable support and wisdom to those striving to reach their full potential. In this series, we shine a light on these exceptional mentors, sharing their journeys, insights, and the profound impact they have had on their mentees’ lives.
Joe Rogers retired from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage after spending 33 years with the firm in multiple positions ending in Executive Vice President. He spent over 44 years in the industry and served as President of the Metropolitan Washington Mortgage Bankers Association twice. Currently, he is on the Board of Advisors to the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Rogers has also served on numerous other boards, including the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. Joe graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA degree in Government and Politics. Rogers has been married to his wife Cory for over 46 years and has three daughters and now four grandchildren. He is very happy to be working with ArtStream and is excited about the upcoming Cabaret.
Check out our interview with him below!
ArtStream: Tell us about yourself. What is your background, and how did you get involved with ArtStream?
Joe: I am a father of three daughters and have been married to my wife, Cory, for over 47 years. We now have four grandchildren. One of my girls and her family live in Africa and the others in NYC and outside Philly. I worked in mortgage banking for over 44 years in many capacities, both locally and nationally, which ended up with me traveling quite a bit. Since retirement, I was hoping to look for an opportunity to help others. I read a notice in our parish bulletin about the Ignation Volunteer Corps. It is an organization affiliated with the Jesuit order where mostly retired individuals look for ways to be of service to others. In doing so, the IVC presented three various volunteer opportunities for me to both interview and consider. After meeting with Heller An, I was pleased to learn about ArtStream and asked if I could help out here.
ArtStream: How did you first get involved in theatre?
Joe: ArtStream is really the first real element of theater for me. While I have always enjoyed seeing plays and shows, this is new for me. I did however have some experience from a work perspective of being on stage for many events in front of large groups, some of which included funny stunts, dances and the like.
ArtStream: Why did you decide to become a mentor?
Joe: Working with people, particularly the wonderful folks at ArtStream made it easy. Of the other opportunities presented, this seemed to offer a much closer opportunity to serve men and women. I had been a mentor of many in a professional manner while working but this seemed an opportunity to be of even greater assistance.
ArtStream: What is something the ArtStreamers would be surprised to find out about you?
Joe: I am not sure what might surprise fellow ArtStreamers but one item that I accomplished as an adult was to complete twice the Bay Bridge Swim. This is an event where swimmers leave from the west side of the Chesapeake Bay and swim out to the bridges. Then swim between them to the Eastern Shore. It is about a five mile swim and is a challenge as you are battling both the current that wanted to take you down the bay as well as the chop if it is a windy day.
ArtStream: What do you feel is most important to share/offer your students?
Joe: I think that we all should know each of us have both limitations and also talents. Be free to not be embarrassed by the former and be willing to express our talents is important for all of us. And, remember, let’s have fun while doing so!
ArtStream: Please share an example of something that happened at ArtStream that really inspired you.
Joe: I think just the joy of our actors in both working hard to learn our parts, to see how much each of the actors really care for each other and the sweet smile of success once the roles are completed.
ArtStream: What kinds of changes have you seen ArtStream students make in classes and rehearsals?
Joe: Really many changes. From some being so shy as to not be willing to have the confidence to perform a role to really shining on the night of a performance. Tears in some cases to the smiles that can light the room.
ArtStream: What is your favorite play or musical?
Joe: I think my favorite play was the first one I saw. It was a class trip in high school to NYC. We saw Wait Until Dark. I was in the front row of the upper deck. The showed starred Lee Remick who many will not remember but she was a star back then. At some point toward the finale, there was a surprise that scared the heck out of me. I came out of my seat and almost went over the railing!
ArtStream: If you could create a new play or musical about anything, what would it be?
Joe: Perhaps a new play/musical would be a variation on another favorite, West Side Story. In that show we see young people fighting over issues that really are not important but are so engrained by society that it causes great pain. The lesson is that we all need to step back and learn to love each other. The new play would be for adults of today who seem to want to fight about political issues on every front to no real good end. The lesson should be we need to really start speaking with each ofter and stop shouting at each other.