Leetsdale man blends profession with passion for performing
By Bobby Cherry
Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
David Ford has two performance places: his speech pathologist office in Glen Osborne and a theatrical stage.
Ford, 25, has found a way to blend his profession as a speech pathologist with his passion for live theater.
The actor — a 2005 Quaker Valley graduate — works as a speech pathologist at Straka & McQuone Inc., where he focuses on repairing voices of patients through an array of techniques, including vocal exercises.
He also performs in community theater productions across the region.
His path to becoming a speech pathologist might not make sense until he explains it.
In college, “I was thinking I wanted to do something with theater,” said Ford, who went to Washington & Jefferson College before transferring to Duquesne University, where he later graduated.
While a theater career was an option, Ford said, he worried about the lack of a stable work environment.
“I was desperately looking for a way to combine my talents — my personal passion with a profession, and that's when I started thinking about working with people who use their voice,” Ford said.
Few people realize the importance of proper vocal health, Ford said.
“It's more than just vocal chords; it's about breathing,” he said. “It's about coordinating that breath with what's coming out of your voice box.”
From recording artists to teachers and children, Ford said, he has worked with a variety of individuals who all have had different needs.
With allergies, various cancers, strokes and other issues that could affect vocal uses, Ford said, he stresses the importance of the voice.
“If a grandparent can't talk in a high-pitch voice for their grandkids or can't talk in character voices for them, that's hard,” he said.
When he's not working, the Leetsdale resident likely is busy rehearsing scenes for a show.
In June, Ford will perform in “Brigadoon” in Washington County.
Like his happenstance entry into speech pathology, Ford said, he didn't realize he enjoyed live theater until after being cast in a high school production of “The Pirates of Penzance.”
“I had never even seen a musical before,” he said. “I was just a dumb jock until around 2003-2004.”
A classmate of Ford's heard him singing in choir class and suggested he try out for the musical, Ford recalled. He was cast as one of the leads in the show.
‘I was hooked,” Ford said. “I got the musical bug. Still to this day, it's my favorite show.”
Ford said he credits his friends and family with helping him realize he wanted to return to the region after a year away from home.
“If I didn't really make connections with people, I'd probably end up somewhere around the world,” he said. “But it's the little things you miss when you're away from home.
“When I was in high school, I always said I wanted to retire here. Everybody always said, ‘I can't wait to leave.' Well, they're all coming back now. They all realize what they're missing.”
Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Search for Quaker Valley superintendent begins
- Missionaries’ call overshadows dangers, Sewickley Valley church leaders say
- ‘Soup for you!’ as beloved TV grump visits Sewickley
- Edgeworth church helps build Habitat home in Beaver County
- Allentown therapist stretches to help clients, students feel better
- Ohio Township-based Family Guidance CEO follows mission, lifts at-risk youth
- ‘Phenomenal’ 8-year-old called to stage for Sewickley Area Theatre Co.’s first show
- Google Hangouts among ways Aleppo officials’ want to visibility