Here I am, it’s the end of my first semester as a college freshman theatre major. Only 7 more to go (or more?)! It’s been nothing but a roller coaster ride- a very emotional roller coaster for that matter. Even on this ride, I’m enjoying every minute of it. I’ve been preparing for finals, memorizing Grip Top Sock and making sure my monologue for Acting is near perfect. I’ve learned so much in just one semester, it’s truly hard to wrap my head around it. For this post, I’ll share a couple pieces of lessons I’ve learned along the way.
1. Don’t be afraid to try; even if it’s not “right”: You’re never going to be wrong, especially in acting. There are so many interpretations that someone can make when developing a character. I haven’t gone outside the world of ensemble a lot but Acting Lab broke that barrier very quickly. I jumped into the world of characters that had clear objectives and desires in a scene. It was hard not knowing how to develop a character as clearly as those around me- it took a little more time for me than I thought. For the last project I was a part of, my director wanted me to be what I called the crazy “dumb blonde”. Developing characters is still a new territory for me and I didn’t know how to be what she wanted me to be. I tried different paths on my own but nothing clicked like I knew it should have. When it was time to perform the scene in class, I still didn’t know how to perform this character like my director wanted me to. I tried the best I could and surprisingly, that showed- the idea came across of what this character should have been. Moral of the story: Someone will see that you are showing the effort, making the risk with your character and doing your personal best to be the best you can be. No matter what, always put your best foot forward because you never know who will be watching.
2. Take criticism as if it was a compliment: All throughout Introduction to Acting this semester, Mr. Paul made everyone say anything we wanted about a scene: likes/dislikes, delivery of lines, interpretation of their characters concepts that needed some work, ideas that did work and our overall thoughts of the scene. I know it’s hard to hear the truth about a scene you thought was good-the truth is one of the hardest pills to swallow. I love giving critique and helping those around me but receiving all that is so hard for me. Most of the time I don’t know how to take it but I’m learning how to with every criticism. As much as I might not have wanted to hear what people have to say, it’s the best way to improve as an actress. Professors are the best tools to improve your talent but your peers are just useful and helpful. Friends will probably be just has truthful as your professors and they will tell it to you like it is. Criticism is always thought of as being nothing but negative but if you really think about it; it’s the biggest positive anyone could ever give or have.
3. DON’T sell yourself short of your other talents: I understand that singing, acting and/or dancing is what you’re best at; I think anyone can vow for that if they are a theatre major or if they love theatre. However, there is more than just theatre in the world. As I’m taking this crazy journey of finding myself, I’ve always had that fixed impression that I’m only good when I do something that revolves around theatre. No, that’s not the case. There’s a whole world of hobbies and opportunities that are just waiting for you but you can’t experience those opportunities available if you’re just doing theatre. Writing a blog is (or now was) on my bucket list; by writing this blog, I discovered how good of a writer I really am. I mean, I’m not another J.K Rowling by any means but I’m not as bad as I thought! Now that I’m doing TADA, loving every minute of it, I think I’ll start a blog once I leave Fredonia about theatre or life. Who knows!! By participating in other hobbies and activities, a whole new world has opened up for me. Never lose your passion for theatre but don’t forget that there are plenty of other things to do in the world besides theatre; other talents are just waiting to be discovered.
4. Express yourself at your strongest and your weakest: Nothing is ever going to be rainbows and butterflies in life; especially in theatre. You’ll have your times when you’re on the top but before you know it, you’ll be at a standstill. If you’re miserable, show it. If you’re happy, show it. Whatever you’re feeling, show it to the world! I believe that the more you express your emotions, the easier it will be when it comes time portraying that emotion on stage. What’s wrong with showing your feelings? What’s going to happen?… Nothing, exactly. Holding all your emotions in is never a good thing, it might be one of the worst things you could possibly do to yourself. My advice? Let it all out. I’ve held the truth about things, particularly in the theatre (shocker, huh?!), I finally realized that I should just be straight forward about the truth I didn’t want to believe. If I’m not honest enough with myself with my emotions, I’ll just live in lies and hide from the truth. Besides, no one is going to argue with the truth. Moral of this lesson: Emotions make us human, don’t be afraid to be human.
Well, that’s all I have for lessons this semester. I should probably get back to studying for my finals. I think I’ll post again during break for a check-in about my audition preparation; I finally set the big day! February 23th, B.F.A Musical Theatre audition. My songs are picked out and finding the right monologues are coming along. Am I nervous? Oh my god YES. Do I have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about this audition and as I’m writing this sentence? Yes. Do I have anything to lose? Absolutely nothing. Second chance, singing/acting 24/7, late night rehearsals and nervousness, here I come!!
“Unless you’re willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won’t happen.” Phillip Adams