The Next Step

Stefanie Townsend

You’ve either just graduated from high school, college, or graduate school. Congratulations! What you have done is truly remarkable and praiseworthy.

And terrifying.

The truth is, I’m in the same boat. After five years of study, I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts this May. I do have my next step after college lined up and am excited to continue my study at a conservatory. But no matter how excited I feel, deep down I am also terrified.

You probably have many questions filling your head. Doubts. Fears. Ones that anyone transitioning from one milestone in their lives and careers to the next: Am I truly good enough for this? What if it was a fluke of an audition? What if I don’t fit in and I’m terrible compared to everyone else? What if this is just a huge mistake? Should I even be pursuing this?

These are my answers for you: Yes, you are good enough for this. No, this was not a fluke, it was the result of hard work. Comparison does nothing but tear you down; as long as you are happy, that is what matters. No, this is not a mistake. And yes, you should be pursuing this. If you love this with your whole heart, if you cannot bear to do anything else, you can and you should pursue this.

This profession of acting is not an easy one. Transitions are hard, that is undeniable. They are terrifying, and so is the unknown. It is so easy to doubt yourself and wonder if you’re cut out for it. It’s a normal fear response.

Know that you are cut out for this. And know that you are not alone.

Many other people have gone through this. Others, like myself, are on this journey with you. Others will go through it. And they have similar doubts, if not the same ones. In a competitive environment and profession, it’s hard not to be afraid. But this road will be travelled by many. And luckily, others who have travelled this path before will help us and guide us.

It’s important, however, to maintain that excitement. Look forward to the growth you will experience. Look forward to the new friends you will make, as well as new connections. Look forward to what you will learn about the craft and about yourself. Be excited to expand your theatre family.

Be excited for this opportunity that is your next step. Because you earned it. And you will be incredible.


Stefanie Townsend has been pursuing her career in acting for over six years and will graduate with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance in May 2017. She plans to continue her acting career wherever the wind takes her and continue taking classes and learning as well. Although she enjoys taking part in theatre any way she can, performance is her true passion. Her favorite plays include Twelfth Night and the Liar, and her favorite musical is Cabaret. Her hobbies include cosplay, baseball, dancing and archery.