A double major in computer science and theatre, Dominic Tancredi (BA, BS ’04) is the CEO of Dom & Tom, Inc. Following his 2004 graduation, he was involved with the Chicago theatre scene before moving to New York. He freelance programmed by day and acted with Young Mirror and other off-off-off Broadway companies by night. In between, he backpacked around Asia, Africa, and Europe, learned guitar, basic Italian, and wrote and directed several short films for indie competition (quite the Renaissance man!). Recently, he and his twin brother started Dom & Tom, Inc. a mobile app and Web development studio, so that he could fulfill his lifelong dream of having fun every day.
What is the most enduring lesson you learned at Loyola?
Everything relates to everything else, and everyone relates to everyone else. Other schools told me I had to specialize in one field of study, but I wanted to learn about a variety of things, and Loyola said, “If you want to know it, we’ll teach it, and how it relates to everything else.” If you don’t believe me, take “Intro to Fiction” after a year-and-a-half of history, science, philosophy, art, theology, and your field of choice.
What is your favorite memory of Loyola?
It’s a triple tie.
First, warming up with my cast for The Ghost Sonata at Sky [now Mundelein Center]. I made a special mix-tape for us, and we circled up, and did this funky monkey-see, monkey-do dance stretch that went on for 15+ minutes that was a non-verbal, unifying goof-mess. I was lucky with them taking a chance on me to direct them for the first studio show of the season.
Then, right before we opened, I had them lie on the floor and talked them through imagining the entire life of their characters, from birth to death, and the best and worst moments in between. Watching them trust themselves and their characters hit me hard.
Finally, opening night of The Ghost Sonata and The Stronger in the studio theatre broke my heart.
If you could go back to school, what Loyola course would you take? Why?
In computer science, “Objects, Frameworks, and Patterns” I toootally missed the boat on Patterns; in theatre, “Advanced Play Direction.” I’d re-take if Professor Ann would let me (you could take that class every year and learn something new); and anything by Prof. James Blachowicz. He could teach his Black-Box Theory (read his book) or why up is down and left is right, and I’d be there.
What is your favorite place in Chicago?
Front-row seat at the Viaduct watching the House; the Athenauem, watching Hypocrites; or $7 balcony seats at Goodman watching Zimmerman/Ostling rock-out.
Why did you decide to become a Technocrat?
I’ve always written–stories, ideas, computer programs, theatre/film scenes. After acting and building out other people’s dreams, it made sense to start Dom & Tom with my brother Tom and build our dreams out. After a while, you ask yourself “How can I make the world a better place?” Hopefully, the answer is something you’ll like. And if you do your job right, the world will too.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
The challenges we’re presented with and our solutions to them.
What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Sometimes there’s more to the world than you.
What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it to others?
Just finished Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I’d recommend The Hunger Games trilogy. It’s an awesome/subtle reflection of America’s obsession with celebrity, war, children, and death sport games. Kind of like the Kumite with kids. And, yes, it’s better than Battle Royal (which was about Japan’s obsession of success in group dynamics). Also, anything by Neal Stephenson–the man’s unstoppable, ’nuff said.
What (or who) inspires you?
There’s this girl I know who doesn’t take crap from anyone, manages her own business, travels everywhere, lives on her own terms, loves unconditionally, goes to bed on time, challenges everything I say, and has a cool cat. Everything she does inspires me. The cat inspires me to nap more.
If you could travel to any time and place in history, where would you opt to go?
The future, anywhere in the solar system, at least 200+ years. That or 1907 Stockholm, to work with my best buddy August Strindberg on building his Intimate Theatre. We’d eat herring and discuss fantastical things that can be done on a 6×9 stage. He’d probably let me get away with some of my theatrical ideas.
Describe your perfect day.
I wake up. Everyone’s still there.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Le joie de vivre
What’s your favorite Chicago pizza place?
Rosatti’s in my suburb, Villa Park. Been going there since I was 8. Amazing sauce.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
DOTA (custom map in Warcraft 3): only at night, only after midnight, and only for a few rounds. I’ve been playing it for 10 years and it still doesn’t get old.
Which one best describes you in college: athlete, intellectual, artist, young professional, activist, or social butterfly?
When they were making boxes to put people in, I think I was dozing…but I keep revolving through each one of those. Except activism; I’m actively passive on issues.