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As we have stated before, the Crossroads is loaded with talented folks Whether it be in the arts, sports or theater, the Crossroads area has been the birth place for some amazing talent.

Just recently, All Things Crossroads magazine caught up with another amazing young person whose light is shining brighter each day in the field of acting.  Born and raised in Victoria and a graduate of Industrial High School, Tad Cooley realized at the young age of fourteen that he wanted to pursue the career of acting.  Participating in Theatre Victoria and high school theater, Cooley began to hone his acting skills.  After high school, Cooley’s acting pursuits took on a serious tone when he attended the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.  Attending the conservatory for a year, Cooley booked his first professional job performing the role of Billy in the production of “Tribes” at the Philadelphia Theatre Company and a couple of months later he booked his first television show as Matt Daly in the series “Secrets and Lies” on ABC. Last year he played the role of Donny in “An American in Texas” filmed here locally. Since then, at the age of twenty-three Cooley has performed in eight regional theaters and multiple films and has projects pending for future performances around the country on stage and film.

 

All of this success at a young age has not come without its challenges.  At the age of fourteen years old, Cooley had to overcome the challenges of hearing loss being completely deaf in his right ear and having a hearing aid in his left. Cooley’s hearing loss is one that had developed over time.  As a result of severe infections in his ears at a very young age, tubes were inserted in his ears but as time went on, it became noticeable that Cooley was lip reading when others talked or leaning in closer to be able to hear what was being said. “It was weird being fourteen years old and having to go and get a hearing aid.” Recalls Cooley.  “I thought in eighth grade ‘well no girl is going to like me now because I have to wear a hearing aid.’  We went to the hearing office and they put the hearing aid in my ear for the first time…as soon as they put it on it was like magic…at that point I said I’m not going to let this hinder me.  I’m going to use it along my journey…I’ve done four shows that have to do with hearing loss.  It’s been an advantage to me in my career…In this day and time, things like this are not swept under the rug and I can speak freely about my hearing loss.”  Cooley remarks that the deaf community is a very welcoming community and that he has made many friends around the country who have hearing loss. 

Tad Cooley - Slideshow

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Cooley’s acting career has given him the opportunity to rub shoulders with some household names in film and broadway.  Melissa Gilbert, Ryan Phillippe, Juliette Lewis, and American playwright Craig Lucas are just a few of the actors, actresses and theater personalities on Cooley’s ever growing list of acquaintances and co-workers in television, film and stage.  As far as who has influenced him the most in his career, Cooley states that his mom, Rita Williams, has been his biggest supporter along with his grandmother and his high school theater teacher. Additionally he states that actress Melissa Gilbert has been a strong mentor along with Craig Lucas who has helped him tremendously in his acting career.

 

Cooley’s goal for the future is to do television, film and theater and have a home base in Texas. He wants to do work that he is proud of and help to influence the arts in the community locally. To those young people who may be thinking about a career in acting Cooley advises, “Give it everything you’ve got. You have only so much time on this earth.  Why not give it your all?…Keep pushing…keep moving…keep persevering.”

 

It is always exciting to see the progress of local talent as they pursue their passions.  As always, we plan to keep an eye on Tad Cooley and it won’t be difficult. All we will have to do is turn on the television or go to the movies. Tad Cooley can be followed on www.imdb.com and also on Facebook at “Tad Cooley”.

 

Story by Carolyn Mann Morehead

Story featured in the March issue of All Things Crossroad Magazine.