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When Zachary Harris graduated from Ball State in December 2007, he packed his bags in Kokomo, Indiana, and moved straight to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of a career in acting, singing, and songwriting. Harris, a theatre major, said he was ready because of his Ball State experiences.

After all, he had been the executive producer of a first-rate music video through our hands-on, yearlong class at the Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education.

He had acted in short films produced through a collaboration between our nationally recognized theatre and telecommunications departments. And he’d auditioned–and won–a coveted spot on our highly rated Acting Showcases in Chicago and Los Angeles, where he was able to mix live performance and original, high-definition digital videos to show his stuff to the city’s agents, casting directors, and film industry professionals.

“I feel I am ready to work in the real world,” Harris says. “Through my classes at Ball State, I’ve been able to get a feel for not just being in front of the camera but also for being behind the camera.”

And he’s had the opportunity to make the most of our state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

“I have an appreciation for the entire business, not just one aspect of the business. My time at Ball State definitely opened my eyes to other careers in addition to acting.”

As he works his way through auditions, Harris says he feels like he has an edge over some others who came of age in L.A. “When I’m on a set and I see they’re using a Sony HD camera, I know how to act for that camera. I’ve had that experience at Ball State.

“Ball State definitely gave me a head start!”

Watch the commercial where Zachary Harris talks about making a music video.