We are so blessed here at Chapelgate Christian Academy. We are small but fierce in light of our calling.
On this little tract of land, we lure students far and wide, touching many corners of this round earth. “An impossibility,” you say? Yes, yes, and yes!
One of our International Alums came from Korea to Chapelgate in hopes of becoming an actor. Those of us in the Fine Arts Department take our jobs very soberly, and if God has gifted a child in such a way as to put him or her in front of an audience, then we will help build the stage that bears their weight.
Daniel (Moonyun) Sohn came to us as a young man who barely spoke English and what little he was able to say was laden with an accent so thick that deciphering his words was a challenge to all who engaged him.
But one thing he was able to communicate with us was his desire to become an actor, and he auditioned for our school’s musical Into the Woods in 2005. Not being able to understand him I, in a tongue-in-cheek-sort-of-way, gave him the part of the cow because “Moo” sounds much the same in English as in Korean.
I always like to say that Daniel went from cow to king as, later, he starred as the King of Siam in our production of The King and I in 2007. Two years later, he played a very sympathetic Jean Val Jean in Les Miserables when we took on the challenge of that mammoth production.
Daniel graduated from CCA and was accepted into NYU’s acting program, an elite and stellar group of artists, and we were very proud of him.
He is now a working actor in Korea and is currently filming a Korean horror flick.
I am proud of this actor, but what I really want to tout is a recent message I got from our Daniel “Son,” one that longed for his days at Chapelgate where he said his pleasure in life found footing. He was asked at a recent actors’ workshop, “When did you decide to become a fulltime actor?” He had this to say:
“The two times I really enjoyed my craft was in high school when I played a cow and a king. The first time I stood on a stage was as a cow and the vibe and the excitement of that moment has continued to propel me in my career. And though I have done more work since that time on stage and in front of a camera, nothing has linked me better to myself than playing the King of Siam in The King and I, and I am almost tortured with the memory of that lost joy.” Daniel Sohn
C. S. Lewis said, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” I love that my Boss’s industry produces such indelible delight and, maybe, just maybe, a little bit of heaven resides at 2600 Marriottsville Road and on the far shores of South Korea. Pat Bonnell- Fine Arts Chair & Drama Teacher