An interview with Anthony Fortino ’15 BA/BBA, ’16MAcc
This interview was first printed in the 2017 College of Fine Arts newsletter.
Briefly describe your current job/career path. What makes it exciting for you?
I’m currently in the cast of the first national tour of the Broadway musical Fun Home, which is the winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical. It’s exciting because it is my first national tour, and I have the opportunity to see America doing what I love.
What inspired you to take the path you are on after graduation?
I graduated from TCU in 2015 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Bachelor of Art in Theatre. In 2016, I earned my Master of Accounting degree. I moved to New York shortly after graduation to start my accounting career as an auditor with Ernst & Young. My plan was to audition for Broadway shows as much as possible, with accounting as my “day job.” That plan lasted a month. After my third audition, I was cast in the Fun Home national tour. My performing career started at seven years old when I joined the Heart of America Barbershop Chorus in Kansas City. Since then, I have loved being on stage entertaining others. I never thought it would be possible for me to have a career in theatre. I’m intrigued by the business world, and accounting excites me, which explains the double degree in accounting and theatre.
Why did you choose TCU?
First, I fell in love with TCU the moment I walked through the archway of the Brown-Lupton University Union into the Campus Commons. TCU’s campus is the best. Second, TCU allowed me to earn two very different degrees in four years. Third, I knew TCU was a school on the rise in terms of academic and athletic recognition, which I loved. Finally, the Dallas- Fort Worth professional theatre scene is booming. A dozen reputable professional theaters within an hour drive was a major selling point to me.
How has your TCU education created a path for your career?
My TCU education is one of the main reasons why I’m in a Broadway national tour. The Neeley School of Business helped me connect with the top accounting firms in the country, earning me an internship and full-time job with Ernst & Young in New York City. The TCU theatre faculty is top notch. Every professor in the department takes a personal interest in every single student. The “theatre hallway” in Ed Landreth Auditorium feels like a second home. You can walk down the hallway and step into any professor’s office knowing they will help you with anything. They’re your academic, personal and professional advisors.
How has TCU faculty made a difference for you?
As I mentioned above, the TCU faculty took a personal interest in my career. When I met with my advisor, Dr. Harry Parker, every semester, we didn’t just run through the classes I needed to take and check off the necessary boxes. He always asked about my semester, classes, accounting degree, and family.
Beyond the theatre faculty, TCU’s School of Music also had an impact on my college experience. Any student can audition for several of the choral ensembles. During my time at TCU, I was in the Concert Chorale, Jazz Ensemble and Frog Corps. I had incredible experiences with every group. Dr. Dennis Shrock, Dr. Amy Stewart, and Brad White all took a personal interest in every member of their ensembles. My voice teacher, David Brock, helped my voice grow exponentially over my five years at TCU. Angela Turner Wilson gave me the opportunity to perform at the Festival of American Song and work with renowned composers. I never took a single class in the School of Music, and yet I consider all of these professors and mentors as friends because of the personal interest they took in me.
One of my favorite examples of TCU faculty going above and beyond is when two of my accounting professors, Dr. Renee Olvera and Dr. Pat Walters, drove to Addison, Texas, to see me perform in Bonnie and Clyde at WaterTower Theatre. My accounting professors carved time out of their personal lives to drive to the other side of Dallas-Fort Worth to watch me perform in a musical. If that doesn’t speak to the care and interest that TCU faculty take in their students, I don’t know what does. I owe the TCU faculty more than I can state.
How have fellow TCU alumni helped you in your career?
TCU alumni have helped me adjust to living in New York City. There’s a great contingent of TCU theatre graduates living in New York, and they have given me advice about places to live, trains to take, and even cheap grocery stores. They also helped me with the audition process and introduced me to other actors in the city.
What has been your greatest professional accomplishment thus far?
My greatest professional accomplishment thus far is being a part of the national tour for Fun Home. Our director won the Tony Award in 2015 for his direction of the Broadway production, and the show itself won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015. It’s been an unbelievable blessing to be involved with this production.