Maxwell Airman debuts in stage production

Capt. James Scott, Holm Center Curriculum Directorate Field Leadership chief, poses for a portrait Dec. 3, 2015 at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Scott is scheduled to debut in his first performance as Keith Hartley in the Christmas comedy “Merry Christmas, Dear Grandpa.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Culbert)

Capt. James Scott, Holm Center Curriculum Directorate Field Leadership chief, poses for a portrait Dec. 3, 2015 at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Scott is scheduled to debut in his first performance as Keith Hartley in the Christmas comedy “Merry Christmas, Dear Grandpa.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Culbert)

Capt. James Scott, Holm Center Curriculum Directorate Field Leadership chief, left, performs as Keith Hartley in the Christmas comedy “Merry Christmas, Dear Grandpa, Dec. 9, 2015 at the Way Off Broadway Theatre in Prattville, Alabama. The play revolves around the Hartley family and their aspirations for the perfect family Christmas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Culbert)

Capt. James Scott, Holm Center Curriculum Directorate Field Leadership chief, left, performs as Keith Hartley in the Christmas comedy “Merry Christmas, Dear Grandpa, Dec. 9, 2015 at the Way Off Broadway Theatre in Prattville, Alabama. The play revolves around the Hartley family and their aspirations for the perfect family Christmas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Culbert)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The bright lights illuminate the stage as Capt. James Scott, Holm Center Curriculum Directorate Field Leadership chief, reads off his lines. He had a growing curiosity in theatre and finally decided to dive right into it, however, his inexperience as an actor made him nervous, but he proved to be a born natural.

Scott will debut in his first performance Dec. 11, 2015 as Keith Hartley in Prattville's Way Off Broadway Theatre's Christmas Comedy "Merry Christmas, Dear Grandpa," by Michal Jacot and directed by Blair Dyson at the Prattville Cultural Arts Center.

Scott was hoping to try something new and decided to pursue his growing interest in theatre.

"It was a new experience and a new opportunity and a little nerve-racking because you try out and you want to make it and not sure if you're going to make the cut," said Scott.

Fortunately, despite his lack of experience in acting, something in him stood out to the director.

"What stood out at James's audition was James. I got a real good-guy vibe from him; he was easy to talk to, eager to read from the scrip and he wasn't in any big hurry.

That first impression, along with his military service lead me to expect that he would be solid, reliable and hardworking; all of which have proven true," said Dyson.

Scott's natural talent and enthusiasm for the performing arts was not an interest he has always had, there was a time where it even bored him.

"As a matter of fact, I used to hate theatre," said Scott. "It was very boring for me; I just wanted to try something different. When I moved here three years ago I went to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and I really enjoyed the plays and the live acting, and I caught a fever from there."

Since auditioning, Scott has put in almost 150 hours preparing for the show by reading lines and rehearsing.  Aside from the play, Scott spends time working at the Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, a business owner, an avid runner and a single father of four. 

"I think everyone has to take time to do something that they enjoy and when your able to do that, even if it's more work, there's even more of a balance...It's how you decide to slice up your time," said Scott.

In addition to trying out a new hobby, he also wanted to teach a lesson to his children.

"I wanted my kids to see that their dad was able to have a career and do something that he wanted to do...they need to see that it's ok to try new things and to not feel like you can't go out there and do something different," he said.

The play runs Dec. 10-13, 7 p.m., and Dec. 18-20, 7 p.m., except on Dec. 20, which starts at 2 p.m.

For more information or for tickets contact the Special Events Office at 334-595-0851.