I love being in the B.A program here at Fredonia more than anything. I couldn’t have possibly picked a better school or major to choose from. However, there’s more than just getting to do whatever I want, choosing a minor and really finding where I belong in this business. I keep looking and looking at the catalog for other classes I can take besides introduction classes but there’s no more after that. I want more, I want to explore.
This semester I’m taking Intro. to Acting and it’s probably the best acting class I have ever taken. I love it. But two more classes plus a final and then I’m done with my Acting class. That’s it- that’s all I get with Acting. I have styles, scene study and musical theatre to look forward to but I want more. I’ve learned so much in my Acting class: I learned how to prepare a monologue, I learned how to make a simple dialogue have a distinct objective with clear characters, how diction and word order are important (Thank you Grip Top Sock…!) and give/take criticism. Looking back to my first project in the semester to my monologue now, I feel I have made improvements. I know I’ve changed and I never thought that was possible. I never thought that I could be as good as I’ve become in only one semester of college. I know I’m not the best (yet) but I’ve gained so much confidence in myself to trust my acting, right or wrong. I gained the confidence to be able to get the attention of those watching my scene and the confidence that I can hold a room’s attention during an audition. I feel that’s shown in class so much more than I possibly think it has. Hell, I never thought I would impress Mr. Paul as much as I did just by slaying my monologue/dialogue scene last Thursday- I couldn’t do that back in the beginning of the year in class let alone at all.
Something that I’ve been scared of since I’ve gotten to college is that I’m not going to be thought of as equal to the B.F.As. Yes, I won’t have as much “proper” training it might take to play some of these roles for shows but let me tell you! I have just enough passion and drive to be just as, lack of a better term, worthy as a B.F.A student. I want to be seen as someone with potential and talent, not for what degree I’ll hold. I can speak for my Acting class when I say this; I see the passion and commitment that my classmates have. There are production majors, dancers and regular theatre majors but the scenes and monologues they have performed have been genius and you would never think that some of these people have never acted a day in their life. I might be biased when I say this but just by what I see in my class, we have just as much if not more passion than the B.F.As. I might be biased right now but watching and learning, this is what I see. We have it, it’s just not seen as much as it should.
We want to take classes they they do; we would kill to be in those acting classes. We want to be seen as good as them; looking at the Main Stage casts, most of the actors are B.F.As. We want to be seen as actors, not the label of B.A.. We want to perform; isn’t that what we came to Fredonia for? I came here to study everything and anything I possibly can in theatre. I am more than just a degree, I am performer. This is what I want to do with my life, how I want people to remember me and to be in a profession where I can be myself. I love acting and singing, I’ve improved in both places in the classroom and on my own. I have plenty of more years to grow, make mistakes, take chances and be the best I can be like I have been. What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t matter what degree you earn, whether it’s B.A or B.F.A because in the end it doesn’t matter.. B.A and B.F.A shouldn’t label you as a performer- it certainly won’t be a label once you get out of college. I want to be trained in Musical Theatre more than anything but if I don’t get trained specifically in that, it won’t kill me. I’m not going to cry over the fact I don’t have “B.F.A” training. I’m learning, I’m changing and I know I’m going to go far- that’s all that matters.
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” Vincent T. Lombardi