Students have to be extremely talented to make it into the musical theatre department at the University. But to be one of its brightest stars takes determination and a knack for teamwork, which is exactly what senior A.J. Holmes possesses.

In the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Holmes, a musical theatre major, has performed starring roles in shows like “Ragtime.” Holmes is also involved with MUSKET, where he was the musical director for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and Witt’s End, an improvisational comedy team. In addition, he co-wrote three musicals in four years of college.

“I tend to overcommit myself,” Holmes said.

In his recent projects, Holmes has been more than committed. He was a co-writer for the highly acclaimed viral Team Starkid successes “A Very Potter Musical” and “Me And My Dick.”

“I was a sophomore, and I was crazy enough to want to write a musical,” he said.

“Me and My Dick” started as an overzealous attempt to write a musical in 24 hours, but Holmes pulled through. “Me and My Dick” rose to No. 11 on Billboard’s Top Cast Albums chart last year.

Now a senior, Holmes co-wrote the musical “Gibson Fleck” with Music, Theatre & Dance senior Carlos Valdes and Music, Theatre & Dance junior Ali Gordon. Holmes regards this as his most significant achievement in his college career. But more big achievements are to come post-graduation, he said.

After the Department of Musical Theatre Senior Showcase in New York City, Holmes plans to move to New York for the summer to audition for roles on Broadway, take a job as a rehearsal and audition accompanist and maybe start an improv team. Even in his unforeseen future, Holmes wants to keep his dreams big and varied by dipping his musical toes in anything he can.

“People try to push you in one direction and say you need to focus on this and focus on that, and really if I focus for one thing for too long I tend to get bored,” he said. “It’s a dangerous way to live one’s life, but it’s been working so far — I don’t see a reason to change it.”

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