Skip to main content

The Sum of My Debt

Joseph McGranaghanAn Interview With Actor and FSU/Asolo Conservatory Graduate Joseph McGranaghan

Gift Planning (GP): Joseph, how you became interested in acting?
Joseph McGranaghan (JM): I was an athlete in high school, primarily a pitcher on the baseball team. But in the spring of my junior year I got tendinitis in my throwing shoulder and had to miss the entire baseball season. I started looking for other after-school activities and, on a whim, auditioned for the school musical, Oklahoma. I ended up playing this bitter character and I kind of channeled my disappointment into this creative endeavor. It was revelatory, the whole experience.

GP: Why did you choose to study at the Asolo?
JM: The scholarships offered by the FSU/Asolo were a big factor in my decision. I had been accepted into other programs, all reputable, but extremely expensive. Also I was really impressed with the people I met when interviewing and their commitment to training the next generation of theatre artists and leaders. Finally, the professional relationship with the Asolo Theatre factored heavily into my decision.

GP: What was the impact of receiving a scholarship and/or financial aid?
JM: Ask around among MFA actors in New York and you'll hear a lot of people talk about the crippling debt they incurred while receiving their education. I was extremely fortunate to have received top-notch training for free and even benefited from a generous living stipend.

But that doesn't mean I don't understand debt. I carry a debt I can never pay back. I owe my education, my career, and some of the best years of my life to the generous community of donors who sponsored me throughout my time at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. I owe this debt to the donors who supported the graduate acting program at FSU and to the people who supported me financially and emotionally throughout my graduate school experience. I don't expect I'll ever be able to pay back this debt; I can only hope to make them proud by someday paying it forward.

GP: That is amazing! What are your current projects? Career goals?
JM: I am currently writing a full-length play about futures trading on Wall Street and I am in rehearsal for an off- off-Broadway production of Life Is a Dream. I also teach acting to young artists. As for goals, I'm very happy working in regional and off-Broadway theatre, but I would like to break into the film and television scene in New York City.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Florida State University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Florida State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Tallahassee, Florida, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the FSU Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the FSU Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the FSU Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the FSU Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the FSU Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.