Professor David Hayes a Jack of All Trades
By Brooke BellahHow’s this for a college professor’s resumé?
David Hayes of GCU’s College of Liberal Arts has been:
- A professional wrestler
- A stand-up comedian
- An actor in a music video
- A bouncer
His Wikipedia page — yes, he has one — mentions that he obtained his B.A. in English from Michigan State University and began his writing/acting/directing career in Chicago. Since then, Hayes has obtained a master’s degree in creative writing, and he’s working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
There’s much more, however. Hayes is the founder of Abnormal Entertainment, an independent film production company. He has starred in cult classic horror films such as “Back Woods” and “Machined” (a Lionsgate production). His most recent production, “Frankenstein Syndrome,” will premiere on the SciFi channel in a few months.
For the past several years, he has taught a number of courses at GCU, including Persuasive Theory, Visual Media and Storytelling, Principles of Public Relations, Writing for Media, Theories of Mass Communication, History and Criticism of Visual Media, and Screenwriting.
Hayes said he decided to teach because he was concerned about the future of communications.
“Very few industries can change the world, and this is definitely one of them,” he said. “The new generation of practitioners needs to understand the ethics and social responsibility of what we do.”
He said his goal is to help students find their voice. To him, teaching is a process of self-discovery. Although he takes his job very seriously, he is loved by students for his humorous and easygoing manner.
At the end of the current school year, he will move back to Michigan to take care of his parents and niece.
In 2001, Hayes and his wife moved to Phoenix on a whim.
“We had never been to Phoenix before,” he said simply.
His first job in Arizona: a small role in Jimmy Eat World’s music video “The Middle.”
For a time, he was a pro wrestler under the name of Joe Broni.
“In the business, a jabroni is someone who always loses their matches,” Hayes explained. “So, my character lost every match. My motivations were innocent enough. I was interested and wanted to try it.”
He also worked for two years as a stand-up comedian, opening for midlevel comics.
He has been an actor in several films, many of which he also produced. He worked as a bouncer, once kicking former pro basketball star Stephon Marbury out of a club. He has managed an eBay store. He has had a play produced off-Broadway.
Hayes said he still needs to complete the “Pre-40” list he started when he was 10 years old. With the recent DVD release of his film “Blood Moon Rising,” he can cross off “having a movie come out on Blu-ray DVD release.”
He’s still working on getting a novel published and on having a theatrical release for one of his films.
As always, there’s more.
“I’d like to run for the state Senate in Michigan someday,” Hayes said.
Considering his eclectic endeavors, you shouldn’t bet against him.