"Stranger Things" at LSU

BATON ROUGE - When Joe Chrest is not teaching acting for the camera at LSU, he’s acting. Most recently, playing the role of Ted Wheeler in Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” In between shooting scenes, a trip to California for the Emmy Awards, and the “Stranger Things” red carpet premiere, we asked him some questions.

LSU adjunct faculty memer Joe Chrest also plays Ted Wheeler on the Netflix show "Stranger Things."

LSU adjunct faculty member Joe Chrest also plays Ted Wheeler on the Netflix show, "Stranger Things."Photo Credit: Netflix

What class do you teach at LSU?
I teach acting for the camera as adjunct faculty. (The class is offered through the LSU College of Music and Dramatic Arts.)

What do you hope your students learn from it?
I want to "demystify" the process of acting in front of a camera. Many feel the camera gets in the way and see the camera itself as an impediment to their craft. The opposite is true: the camera can be the actor’s best friend. I also want them to walk away loving the process. I always ask, "Is your preparation TODAY in line with your goals for the FUTURE?” 

Best advice you’ve ever received while pursuing your career?
Every day when you wake up you have ABSOLUTE CONTROL over 2 things -- your ATTITUDE and your WORK ETHIC! Talk about power! 

Why should students with a passion for acting study at LSU?
Students should study at LSU because there are lessons for success in front of you DAILY. LSU vs. Auburn 2017! Great game, better teaching moment! I told my son, "No battle plan survives first contact!" In life, on the stage, and in Tiger Stadium you have to make adjustments. Fight to the finish! I loved LSU from my first day in the late 80s.  Magical.  

What is your favorite part about working on "Stranger Things?"
There are far too many good things to narrow down, but the people I work with and for could not be better.  From Matt (Duffer) and Ross (Duffer) to the kids.  But my favorite thing in real life is being a dad. On “Stranger Things,” I get to do that AND get paid for it.  Finn gives me a hug and greets me as dad whenever I see him.  I really enjoy playing Ted Wheeler and I love that so many people get the joy of escapism/entertainment from the show.  

For more information about LSU’s College of Music & Dramatic Arts, visit http://www.lsu.edu/cmda.



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Contact Rachel Spangenthal
LSU Media Relations