A University of Southern Mississippi alumnus who has leveraged his talents and education into a successful career as a writer, actor, comedian and motivational speaker will visit Thursday with students on the Hattiesburg campus.
Mack Dryden, a Moss Point native who earned a master’s degree in creative writing from Southern Miss in 1972, will discuss his career in media and entertainment in a mini-session class on scriptwriting offered by the School of Mass Communication and Journalism.
The class is taught by another Southern Miss alumnus who has enjoyed success in the entertainment industry, former “Saturday Night Live” writer David Sheffield. Sheffield also worked as a writer in the production of the hit movies “The Nutty Professor” and “Coming to America” starring Eddie Murphy.
“We’re thrilled Mack has agreed to come back to campus to speak to our students and share his story with them,” said Dr. Chris Campbell, director of the school. “We believe when professionals like he and David (Sheffield) interact with our students, its gives them greater insight and understanding about the world of mass media and entertainment.”
Beginning as an award-winning newspaper reporter on his native Gulf Coast, Dryden worked as a writer for the popular show “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.” He’s appeared in several television shows, including “Saved by the Bell” and “JAG” and on “The Tonight Snow” and in feature films. His writing and voice work for Los Angeles-based Premier Radio Networks are heard on more than 500 radio stations weekly.
Since 1980 he has worked with comedy partner Jamie Alcroft, performing as the comedy duo “Mack & Jamie” both on their syndicated television show “Comedy Break with Mack and Jamie” and in presentations for corporate and association meetings.
A two-time cancer survivor, he is highly sought as a guest speaker. His ability to blend humor in recounting his fight with the disease, as well as his ordeal serving time in a Moroccan prison which he details in his book "Fluffing the Concrete: Making the Most of Foreign Prison - Or Anything Else" has helped make him an audience favorite.
For more information about the School of Mass Communication and Journalism and its programs, online visit http://www.usm.edu/school-of-journalism-and-media-studies. For more information about Dryden, visit www.mackdryden.com