Jon Augustavo, ASB Class of 1998
Bishop Blanchet High School, Class of 2002
Writer, Director and Filmmaker, jonjonaug.com
Who or what made an impression on you at ASB?
My ASB years were so long ago, but it was a positive experience. I had plenty of creative support at home, and I believe some of the teachers and curriculum at ASB allowed me to begin blossoming as a creative. Being introduced to computers with Ms. Byrne or creative writing with Ms. Hand; also Ms. O’Connel and Mr. Buckwalter were people and experiences that definitely had an impact on who I am as a creative today. The support and openness at ASB set the wheels in motion for me to pursue an atypical career path in directing and filmmaking.
What advice do you have advice for students planning to pursue a creative career?
It’s hard! Not to say other fields are not, but to rely on your creative instincts as a means of income is taxing at a different level. You are being critiqued in a more personal way and on a level that speaks to who you really are, not just a spreadsheet. To pursue art, film, music, fashion, etc. not only takes thick skin, but a confidence and belief that you are good, that you are right, that what you can offer is worth showing the world and worth defending. You need to accept criticism and look inward, understand that something may not be working and people aren’t attacking you, but they are just not seeing things through your eyes. If you can make them understand you will be successful in creative endeavors.
Your list of honors is long. What professional project are you most proud of?
I volunteer for a program called Manifest Works, which is an immersive, workforce development organization; we turn real-world projects into learning opportunities for those impacted by foster-care, homelessness and incarceration. In volunteering and mentoring these people they asked me to create a promo documentary about them, and what we made is so close to my heart. (www.manifestworks.org)
Mike Posner: I Took a Pill in Ibiza (SeeB Remix)
- 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, Electronic Video of the Year Nomination
Macklemore: Can’t Hold Us
- 2014 56th Annual Grammy Awards, Music Video of the Year Nomination
- 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, HIP HOP VIDEO OF THE YEAR – WINNER, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – WINNER, Nominations for Best Direction & Best Editing
Macklemore: Thrift Shop
- 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards, INTL VIDEO OF THE YEAR WINNER
- 2013 A2IM Libera Awards, VIDEO OF THE YEAR WINNER
- 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Nomination for Video of the Year
Macklemore: Same Love
- 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, BEST VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE WINNER
Giuseppe (Joey) Mele, ASB Class of 2012
Bishop Blanchet High School, Class of 2016, Student at Fordham University, Actor
/>Describe your experience at ASB. What or who made impressions on you?
ASB’s strong sense of community has always made a positive impression on me. What I appreciated most about my class was our variety of different people and interests – kids interested in sports, drama, art, getting good grades or being funny in class, but we supported each other in the things we loved to do.
I always appreciated the emphasis placed on the arts, along with academics, faith, and sports. To me, that made ASB different. My teachers had a knack for drawing out our strengths. For instance, I had teachers who really tapped into my love for books, others who encouraged my interest in history, and of course, those who opened doors for me in drama.
How did your ASB education prepare you for your future?
After graduating from ASB, I was well-prepared for high school, and had the skills needed to balance my academic load and extra-curricular activities. So far, my experience at Fordham University at Lincoln Center has been great! I enjoy living in Manhattan and pursuing my studies in acting. The Fordham program is rigorous, with a full load of liberal arts classes – including theology! The high standards and excellent educational foundation I received at ASB prepared me well for Fordham.
Do you have any advice for young students, specifically those interested in pursuing creative studies or career?
Work hard, stay focused, and do what you love! Lay the foundation for your career while you are young. If you are serious, learn your craft and seek opportunities to grow your skills. And, don’t forget your education. The effort you put forth in all your studies will pay off and help you pursue your dreams.