Being stereotyped as the theatre kid throughout high school, and liking it, made it hard to enter college without that label on my back. I was so jealous of my theatre-major friends who had full schedules of acting technique classes and rehearsals. I missed the stage so much; I wanted that life again. I thought about switching my major, but why would I switch out of a program I had worked so hard to be accepted into? I thought about declaring a minor, but, as my academic advisor told me, “there’s not enough room in your schedule for extra irrelevant credits.”
Being a theatre kid in college and not majoring in theatre is a hard knock life. I was so used to the “we don't make casting cuts” ways of my community theatre, that not getting into shows on campus and not having late rehearsals hit me like culture shock. But, I knew that what I was experiencing was a new reality. I had to dig down to my core to realize what I really missed from my theatre kid life, and find a way to get it back.
At first, I didn't know how I had made it through this entire year without being in a show. But looking back, I know exactly how I did it. True, I missed learning harmonies and memorizing lines, but what I really missed was having the support of the people who I knew best, and who knew me best. I realized that instead of searching for a new program or a new script, what I needed to find was my people, my circle, my new family.
Luckily, I found those people at college as well. I found friends who understand every aspect of my personality. Of course, theatre is still a huge part of my daily life and I spent an embarrassing amount of hours this year reading plays instead of textbooks and singing in the shower late at night.
A director of mine once told my cast, “if you give it away with love, it will be received with love.” After this year, I now understand that this doesn't only apply to my work as an artist. It applies to the relationships I make, the challenges I face and so many other ‘real world’ situations.
Photo: Manhattan Marymount College