Tony Schaab is a seasoned event-planning professional, having worked as a Wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies since 1999. He is the co-host of the annual Bishop Luers-Midwest Swing Choir Invitational in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the world’s first show choir competition. He is an award-winning and best-selling author and review critic; 2014 will see the release of his humorous “memoir” novel, “Confessions of a Wedding DJ.” Tony lives in Indianapolis with his wife, daughter, and two rambunctious dogs. Learn more about Tony at TonySchaab.com.
Well, where to start? I suppose the beginning is as good as any.
I was born in 1978 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Neal and Barb Schaab, who I am proud to say will be celebrating their 38th wedding anniversary this year. I am the oldest of three children, and in addition to my sister Jill and my brother Dave, I grew up surrounded by a large extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins who all remain very close to this day.
Growing up in the Midwest, I had a fairly typical childhood: we lived within the city limits (Ft. Wayne has a population of around 250,000) but could see corn fields from our backyard. I spent a good portion of my youth playing sports, particularly baseball and basketball (who doesn’t play basketball in Indiana, though, really?). Even though I enjoyed sports, I was still seen as kind of a “nerd” in grade school and into high school, not that it ever bothered me that much. I credit my parents for pushing me to academic excellence, a gift that I didn’t understand as a youth but in retrospect now appreciate more than I can express.
In addition to my parents, others in my life had an impact on opening my eyes to the world of reading, writing, and the fine arts in general. My seventh-grade teacher, Mr. Hilker, introduced me to a book that would literally change both my personality and my life forever: Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” This book almost single-handedly introduced me not only to the finer points of humor (snarky, sarcastic British humor in particular) but also the ability to see the world and it’s workings from an open-ended, laid-back perspective that taught me not to take many things in this life so seriously. It is an amazing piece of writing that has principles and ideas that go far beyond the quirky sci-fi story contained in its pages, it’s ideas and ideals stand the test of time and are still just as relevant and engaging today as it was when it was first published in the mid-1980s, and I highly encourage anyone reading this who enjoys seeing things in a whole new light to seek this book out.
Moving into high school at Bishop Luers H.S., I discovered that I enjoyed participating in fine arts programs just as much as I enjoyed participating in sports. I was a four-year member of “The Minstrels,” the mixed show choir at Luers and the choir that has the distinction of hosting the first-ever show choir competition in the United States, probably in the entire world. I was blessed and talented enough to earn many lead roles in our school’s plays and musicals, some of my favorites being “The Music Man,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Godspell.” High school is also where I developed my love of writing. I still have hard copies of the first two items I ever wrote that I truly took pride in: a short story for English class about an alien spying on the human race, and a final paper for Psychology class that was a riveting and in-depth psycho-analysis of the cartoon characters Ren & Stimpy.
I spent most of my college experience as many students seem to do, being generally aimless and having fun at the expense of solidifying my future. In retrospect, I’m not terribly proud of it, but it is what it is. I spent a few years at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, studying English and Educational Technology, before transferring to Ball State University in Muncie, IN, where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Psychology in 2003.
Since moving to Indianapolis in 2006, I have been able to continue to participate in the fine arts, and have been very blessed to earn leading roles in local musical productions of “My Favorite Year,” “Reefer Madness,” and “Clue: The Musical.” In addition, I have been able to pair my acting skills with my impeccable comedic timing…*cough*…as an alumni member of IndyProv, Indianapolis’ only independent improvisational comedy group. Since mid-2009, I have returned to a focus on my love of writing, and to date I have had three novels, two novellas, and multiple short stories and articles see publication (visit the “My Published Writings” page for more information on my writing).
I welcomed the birth of my first daughter, Amelia Margaret, on Valentine’s Day 2010, and it has been an absolute blessing to watch her grow and experience all the new things going on in the world around her. I recently married the love of my life, Emily, in what has been described as “the wedding of the century,” and we are settling in nicely to post-wedding life with Amelia and our two insane dogs, Izzy and Priscilla. I work as the Entertainment Director for Event One, Indianapolis’ premiere DJ company, and of course I write and act in my free time.
Life is good.
–Tony Schaab, March 1, 2014