Alumni Spotlight

James Craigmiles

James leads an active life in Hollywood, writing books and screenplays and acting in and directing films. Though he was only enrolled at Culver-Stockton for one year, from 1998-99, Craigmiles had meaningful experiences as a student that have led him to success in his current position of writer, actor and director.

While at the College, Craigmiles had leading roles in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Scooter Thomas makes it to the Top of the World.”  

"At the end of the play ‘Scooter Thomas makes it to the Top of the World,’ I had to commit suicide. It was the first dramatic play I had every done. During that moment, I felt something I hadn't felt before. After the show, I met with teary eyed audience members, their faces streaked with mascara –including my own mother’s,” said Craigmiles. “It was in that moment that I realized I no longer wanted to do comedy. It was that moment that made me yearn to affect audiences. And I have been pursuing dramatic film ever since. I owe that to Culver-Stockton."

Since leaving “the Hill,” Craigmiles continues to develop his skills and talent, which encompass several areas of the entertainment industry. Recently he wrote, produced and starred in the dramatic film, “Right Side/Blind Side.”  It is a 30-minute short film that Craigmiles is presenting at film festivals and shopping to larger production houses in the hopes of getting offered a budget to turn it into a feature-length presentation. Former Miss USA, Tara Conner, and Primetime Emmy winner, Leslie Jordan, are also featured in the film.  

In addition to acting and directing, Craigmiles also recently published his first novel, “First, Last, Only…”.  He is currently writing his second book, and has plans for the next four after that. He also hopes to one day see his novels on the silver screen.

“The most exciting aspect of my career/s is to see my hard work become reality,” said Craigmiles. “And seeing myself on the big screen is my favorite part of all of it!”

The success Craigmiles has achieved has come through hard work, dedication and a passion for what he is doing.

“I am chasing my dream and doing what I knew I wanted to do since I was 4 years old when I told my Mom, through a toothless grin, that I would one day be an actor in Hollywood,” said Craigmiles. “I had no idea how hard it would be. I had no idea that I would find a love of writing. But I am loving this process and the path I am on.”

Craigmiles continues to have fond memories of his time at C-SC, from his life-changing realizations to the smaller details.

“In only one year, I made so many memories,” said Craigmiles. “I loved my time onstage in front of audiences there. I loved the friendships I made and the good times at the Delta Upsilon house. I loved the beautiful campus and the best tasting chocolate milk in the cafeteria.”

He also continues to enlighten others about the Culver-Stockton experience.  

“I tell people that C-SC is an amazing school for those who have art in their hearts but are unsure of where to go with it,” said Craigmiles. “I believe that Culver is an amazing place that nurtures the artist, as well as the athlete.  That is rare, and impressive. I will always be fond of my time there and I will always speak highly of it.”