Ask Tim Rogan ’07 and he will tell you, he had a comprehensive education at St. Andrew’s, filled with AP classes, high-level athletic competition, performing arts opportunities and plenty of club offerings. He also will tell you that one of the most valuable things he learned, perhaps the one that has aided him most in his career as an actor, was the importance of teamwork.
“Be the hardest working person on the team and make people want to work with you again,” Rogan said. “If you work hard and you’re a good team player, even if the production doesn’t work out, people will want to work with you again.”
That team-first attitude is what led Rogan to the starring role in the Arena Stage’s production of “The Pajama Game” this past winter, his most prominent role to date.
“I was contacted a little over a month before rehearsal was scheduled to start for the show,” Rogan said. “I knew the director (from previous roles), and he told me the whole show was cast and he wanted me to come in and audition.” Rogan also knew the musical director and choreographer from previous gigs and discovered that his reputation had preceded him.
“Your reputation is invaluable in everything. People want to work with people that are good to work with, who are going to put the show first and be a team player,” Rogan said. “This opportunity at Arena is a culmination of living that idea of controlling what you can control.”
For Rogan, acting was something he loved throughout his St. Andrew’s experience. It began as a sixth-grader when the class created their own play, the Lion’s Amulet, and continued the following year when he was cast as the lead in “Oliver” in the Middle School musical.
“It was obvious from the start how much Tim wanted to be in this business,” said performing arts teacher Ritchie Porter. “He took advantage of every opportunity, worked hard, studied voice outside of school and never lost sight of his goal.”
But performing arts wasn’t Rogan’s only love. A standout athlete who was once recruited to play lacrosse collegiately, he found that St. Andrew’s offered the perfect environment for someone wishing to have it all.
“The great thing about St. Andrew’s was it operated on a trimester schedule and for me, shows and sports never conflicted,” Rogan said. “I could do soccer in the fall, the musical in the winter, and lacrosse in the spring. I had zero conflicts of interest between academics and performing arts and visual arts and sports. Who knows if it came down to performing or playing lacrosse at the same time and asking me, as an eighth-grade boy, to choose one.”
Despite his love for acting, Rogan had always placed his passion as secondary to a career in medicine. It was during a time of transition in his life that his priorities transitioned as well.
“I remember having a conversation with my friend Nick Trager (Class of 2007) and the question of ‘do you want to be an actor for a living?’ came up. And the answer was ‘yes.’ ”
A transfer to Catholic University and one of the oldest theater programs in the country followed and Rogan went to work on honing his craft and building a name for himself.
When asked what advice he would give to St. Andrew’s students, Rogan was emphatic about the importance of taking chances.
“If I had a time machine and could go back I would tell myself – try to fail more,” Rogan said. “Try to find those things that you want to do and not because you think it will look good on a college resume. If you want to make birdhouses and that’s what you love, be the best damn birdhouse maker in the world. And then find a school that specializes in woodworking and has a great ornithological program. Don’t go based on a ranking, go to a place that’s going to foster the things you care about. Keep trying and failing at things until you find the things you want to do.
“St. Andrew’s is such an incredibly competitive school and that’s one of its strengths but remember, it’s OK to fail sometimes.”To learn more about alumni in the arts and the arts at St. Andrew's, check out our 2018 spring magazine.