To say John Baldino ’17 is bored after receiving his Master of Arts in Liberal Studies would be nonsense, or should I say “nunsense.” The Pennsylvania-based entrepreneur owns two businesses: one a media company and the other a cabaret company, in which he performs in several variations of the “Nunsense” series of musical comedies by Dan Goggin. He plays Sister Mary Hubert in case you’re wondering.
Baldino received a BA in Communication Arts with a concentration in digital media and broadcasting from Marywood University in Pennsylvania in 2005. Since then, he has worked in a variety of media-based organizations, primarily television. Presently he owns and operates Baldino Digital, a media company offering production, marketing, and consulting for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Baldino’s interests are not limited to behind-the-scenes work; he likes to be in front of the audience too. He is from a family of performers. “My grandfather and his five brothers had a band, The Serenaders. I grew up listening to them play at every family function. One of their signature songs was Don Ho’s ‘Tiny Bubbles.’” Baldino reminisces that when his grandfather died four months before Baldino’s wedding, the band at the reception talked him into singing “Tiny Bubbles.”
“I began in community theater in 1992, and have worked in amateur and professional productions since.” In fact, he has performed throughout northeastern Pennsylvania, at resorts in the Pocono Mountains, and at various locales in New York City. His love of theatre led him to open Our Cabaret Productions, an ASCAP-licensed, non-Equity professional theater production company based in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, his hometown. “Our main business lines are Our Cabaret Carolers, an a cappella Christmas caroling group, and our productions of the ‘Nunsense’ series of musical comedies by Dan Goggin,” says Baldino.
Producing a cabaret show is a demanding, time-consuming venture. “Show business is a lot of work. One who does not have a passion for the performing arts cannot succeed,” says Baldino. “Our Cabaret Productions does everything from casting to set design, to costume design, to actual performance. We work for months on many of our shows, which are often booked more than a year in advance.”
When he’s not booking theatre performances or working at Baldino Digital, you can find Baldino engaged in active ministry for the Roman Catholic Church. “I am a professed brother of the Secular Franciscan Order in the Roman Catholic Church,” he says, and explains his ministries include “hospice spiritual care, wake and grave-site services, and liturgy.”
Baldino’s advice for others looking to go back to school is to “do it.” He did it, he says. “It took me 12 years to finish my undergraduate degree as I put myself through school. I thought it would end there. Now I have one master’s and am working on a second…Most importantly I haven’t stopped. I won’t stop until my funeral.” And his advice about what to study? “Study something you love! Don’t worry about how much money you will make or how marketable the degree is. When you study what you love, it isn’t work.”