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Paul Sarapas - Biography

I was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts and educated in public school. Growing up through the sixties was a tumultuous time for lots of us and I found artistic expression to be a great refuge from the craziness of life. Fortunately my parents, teachers, and friends were hugely supportive of my endeavors and I ended up finding an early love of film-making. This, in my junior year of high school, was when I began to feel more confident and excited about who I was and what I could do. It was really the time when I started to feel a lot better about myself, I had a passion, and I wanted to pursue that. My friends were envious of the fact that I actually was sure about what I wanted to do. Later on, they were also very supportive of me for making the difficult choice of pursuing a career in film making, which is not the easiest of careers to follow.

After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Broadcasting and Film (1976) I migrated to New York City and had a stint working for a brilliant animator for seven films that appeared on the Sesame Street program. At this time of my life, NYC wasn't the place for me and I returned to Boston, fully aware that the pickings for film jobs would be much slimmer than a place like New York or LA. That was for sure, and it was during this time in the late seventies that I joined up with a fledgling group called The Boston Film/Video Foundation. This was a fabulous place to work with dozens of like-minded artists and talented people who all worked at odd and part-time jobs, as I did, in order to make the rent and be able to pursue an artistic endeavor. And this was when I began to consider myself an artist. My non-artist friends could appreciate how this wasn't the easiest of choices. One of the part time jobs I backed into was as an instructor for film animation, and as one thing led to another, I got a job teaching at a special needs school and the opportunity to develop and institute a film and video program.Paul Sarapas

Some cynics may say that "those who can't do, teach." At least that's what I heard while at BU. While most of my professors were exceptional, and maybe a couple were mediocre, I never bought the argument that teachers were failed professionals. For one thing most art teachers, the best ones, are also working artists. For another, teaching is an art form of its own. Not everyone can do it. What I know about my experience is that I love the opportunity to work with young people, many of whom are more talented that I ever was or will be. I am satisfied with the fact that I can help so many achieve their artistic vision, along with the few here and there who I know I have helped in deeper ways--helped them to feel good about themselves and passionate about something, in some way helped turn their life around much like my very best high school teachers did for me.

Having a dual tracked career as an educator and artist is the best of both worlds. Both my skills as an artist and a teacher have evolved organically. Maybe some times I have spent more time being a teacher, and a dad. Yet none of that time has been wasted time--my teaching and parenting experience still have found a way into my artistic growth. There's a lot that you pick up by being around creative people and by helping them to create. It also helps to be in an educational environment that provides their instructors with lots of facilities and resources along with the support of professional development and encouragement to pursue one's own work.

As my two kids have grown up and moved on, I've found more time to pursue my artistic interests. Hence this website, a place where I can share with others what I'm about--where I've been, am now, and am going in the future.

Paul Sarapas - 52 Greenwood Avenue - Wakefield, Massachusetts - 01880