Every Friday, we spotlight a past Joci Awards finalist and find out what they’ve been up to since performing in the annual competition, learn what the future holds for them, and ask them to dish sage advice to future competitors. Look for a new finalist spotlight every Friday, and if you know of a past winner interested in being featured, contact us here.

Omri Russo

Tell us what year and category you competed in the Joci Awards.

I performed in 2010, duet acting, “The Bag Lady” by Shel Silverstein.

What are you up to now? Are you in school? Working?

I graduated from UT Austin with a degree in Marketing. I now work as a commercial real-estate advisor at Cushman & Wakefield | San Antonio Commercial Advisors at the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to continue working in the Commercial Real Estate arena and hopefully get back in to theater at the local level, once I get some more time on my hands and don’t work 50-60 hours per week.

Tell us about your Joci Awards experience. What was it like performing on stage of the Empire Theatre? Any other fun memories that stand out?

I had a blast! There was so much talent in one room. I loved acting and making new friends at the awards ceremony. I always encourage teenagers who pursue theater to participate in this event. My partner and I were awarded $1,500 each towards college and essentially, we were paid to do what we loved!

What advice do you have for future scholarship applicants and Joci Awards performers?

I’d say absolutely go for it! Give it your all, spend lots of time rehearsing. You never know what can happen!


Interested in helping young performers like Omri make their dreams come true?

Donate here.

Your support funds our educational programming, which includes the Joci Awards, Las Casas’ annual scholarship competition where $100,000 is awarded each year, Behind the Scenes, Camp Broadway, and more.