As the first theater department in the great state of Texas, the Department of Theater and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin was officially founded in 1938 (University of Texas at Austin [UT Austin], 2018). UT Austin not only prides themselves in being the first theater department in Texas, they also take a claim to fame in the various degrees they offer within their department. Between undergraduate degrees, varying from B.F.A. Acting to B.F.A. Dance, and their graduate degrees, ranging from a PhD Public Performance to M.F.A. Playwriting, the department can boast offering 12 different degree tracks for young artists (UT Austin, 2018). But learning theater at UT Austin is more than just picking from a broad range of degrees, it's also
Before I even entered high school, I obtained a love of theater and the performing arts. I have been singing and acting since I was nine, as well as on and off dancing since three. Taking classes at a local theater really introduced me to this interest of mine. When I entered high school, an injury kept me from doing shows. But now I graduate with nine high school shows under my belt, as well as being in multiple community theater productions. Being a part of these shows made me feel a strong sense of belonging, and whether I was an ensemble or lead
While my goal is to be an actor, I desire an education that encompasses much more than the theatre. I not only want artistic training, but also a rich, diverse, academic education. I am committed to acting, but I know that it is necessary to write well, think critically, and holistically examine the world around me. I recognize the importance of an integrated learning environment that is both stimulating and rigorous, and I believe that the Tisch educational curriculum will assure that I meet these goals. As a devoted actor and student, Tisch School of the Arts allows for a strong, well-rounded education and yet encourages individual development and exploration.
What I am looking for in a graduate theatre program is to strengthen my communication and problem solving skills through coursework and productions, as it relates to the design process. I look forward to not only learning from a distinguished faculty, but also from a talented group of peers. I was a good fit for JMU because I share the school’s value of always striving to the highest goal and daring to take risks. When I spoke to Yale students and alumni, they talked about the rigorous nature of the school but emphasized the level
To say that theater is what changed my life would be a lie, it wasn’t the productions themselves that changed me, but the people I met there. Most important of those, was Kristen Mackie. However, at fourteen I wasn’t exactly doing hand stands after my first encounter with her. To set the stage, imagine being close enough to see the spittle fly from the snarling mouth of a woman whose rage seems to be seeping out of every available pore of her body and then finding out that she’s the teacher of the club you just joined. Unsurprisingly, our relationship didn’t seem to improve much after that point, and I found myself trapped in a commitment I wished desperately to escape from.
When I was three years old, I could be found standing on fountains at the local mall and putting on concerts for passers by. Now, at 18 years old, the same joy I felt singing in the middle of a mall is what I feel crafting stories on stage and pursuing a character’s truth. Throughout the years, theatre has been an immensely important creative outlet for me, and the confidence I have found on stage has translated in my real life, making me a stronger person. As I pursue higher education in this field, I am excited at the prospect of continuing my studies at the University of Michigan, and being able to take advantage of all the opportunities I am so passionate about.
Within the past year, I decided that I should study what I love, not what is the most logical thing for me to study. Previous to this decision, I had been set on pursuing a degree in something in business, thinking that there would almost always be a job available in this career field. I have chosen to pursue a degree in theatre because I have spent a large portion of my high school career in the theater, I have had relative success in being involved in it, and I simply enjoy being a part of it, especially my experience as an assistant stage manager and stage manager. This experience has improved my communication skills, positive attitude, perseverance, and patience when working with directors, technical staff, actors, and stage crew members.
During my high school experience, I have truly embraced the arts, specifically performing arts. Tri-School Theatre (an extra-curricular, educational theatre program) has been a great opportunity where I have been able to appreciate my talents while learning about theatre with other students. Being an active leader in this program, I constantly collaborate with students for rehearsals and events; after my junior year of high school, I was nominated to be an assistant director for a children’s production, Aladdin Jr. Having much enthusiasm for the arts and promoting theatre at school, I was thrilled with this opportunity. Theatre has strengthened my self-confidence,
I never took myself as much of an actress, even though I chose the role. Every day, I go in the dressing room and put on my costume. My hair and makeup were done, and it’s show time. The bright spotlight comes directly onto me. The curtains open and it begins. I give the performance of a lifetime. It’s amazing how much the audience believes the story they’re being told. They’re gullible, but they’re not dumb. They know when the show goes sideways and that’s when they begin to ask questions. As always, I reassure them nothing is wrong, and the act is a hit. The curtains close, I return to my dressing room, and I take off the costume. I wish I could give the role back.
After taking an acting and theater class in my current college, I found a new passion for the theater arts. This led me to taking more classes at my school and performing in plays, and as an extra in television shows. I was recommended the USC School of Dramatic Arts by a teacher, because of how good I was in the craft and my excitement to be a part in the creation of theater. The School has a history of great performers, and directors that I want to follow in their footsteps. This includes my personal hero George Lucas, who has changed my life for the better in so many ways. His creation of Star Wars, Red Tails, and Indiana Jones affected how I saw the world and my aspirations. I want to learn about theater and become an actor and create the same fun and excitement that I enjoy everyday, and touch the hearts and lives of other people.
This past year my parents began the process of getting a divorce. Less than a week after my birthday, July 24, they had their first court date. Almost every day since then I have had a rehearsal or performance for a community theatre show. I received an unbelievable opportunity in August of this year. I was cast as a lead in one of my favorite musicals. The show was Heathers: The Musical and I had the opportunity to play Heather McNamara. The show has since ended, however the lessons I learned from the show will live with me forever. The show deals with heavy subjects such as bullying, eating disorders, suicide, depression, and date rape. Being an individual who has been bullied and has faced issues with depression, this show brought out sides of me I had never shown. This production taught me to talk about issues that may be more difficult to discuss. Heathers not only helped me get through the months after my parents’ divorce process began, but it taught me so much about myself and others. Producing a musical with such heavy content forced the cast to grow closer and to talk about issues that most teenagers face today. Theatre has become the place where I feel most
As the show captivated my senses, it captured my heart, and turned from what I thought would be a trite show like the soap operas my mother enjoyed into a breathtaking experience. The dancers leaping and flipping across the stage were astonishing, and filled me with a sense of wonder. I was not consciously aware of it at the time, yet in some way, I aspired to emulate them in my own life. Now I in no way wanted to be a broadway star; however, I wished to gain even just an ounce of the talent they possessed. Exiting the theatre, I had a different attitude than when I had first gone through the doors. I had finally found something that I did not just enjoy, but that I was fervent
When first starting; theatre only seemed like a hobby. Performing did not sound like an ideal career for my life. Being familiar with performing, joining theatre seemed to be a simple task. Prior to high school, my only experience was a play in middle school, but no performances that made my heart yearn for more. Freshman year, I took theatre as a class, but was not interested in getting involved with events outside of the course. After a year of convincing from my teacher and peers, we settled on an agreement that I would audition for the upcoming show my sophomore year: Tarzan. After auditioning, being cast, and beginning to work with my director and peers, I felt a renowned connection to those around me, and to the art itself. After our first full run of the show, the flame was ignited. There were fireworks; a feeling that had never experienced in all my years of performing. At last, the passion was coming from within. From that point I was excited to watch my theatre career kick off: but that wasn’t the case. That wasn’t the case at
I started to doubt the video. I mean we laughed at it, but would anyone else? I had seen so many other videos that week and none of them got much of a reaction from the class. A chuckle, maybe, but nothing more than that. I expected the same. So the day I showed it in class, I just said my name and pressed play. Honestly, I just wanted to get it over with. There was a few chuckles before, “I won’t miss you anyway, you trick”, the class erupted. There aren’t words to express how good I felt in that moment. That day and all week, I was overwhelmed with praise, from some people I didn’t even know. By Friday, all of Mrs. Freda’s classes had seen it and I became somewhat a celebrity, Andin too. All anyone talked about in class was our video; every other video was compared to it, but none of them came close. The most profound thing I remember is that everyone kept asking what’s next. “Are you going to be in the play?” “Are you going become an actress, now?” I never thought about becoming an actress before. Yet, I found myself really considering this path, but I wasn’t going to dive in. I wanted to prove myself, one video wasn’t enough. I convinced Andin and together, we set to work on a 2nd script which we shot over the summer. We put both of the videos on YouTube and the 2nd, The Housewives of Rome 2, got twice as many views. I couldn’t believe it.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I have searched and searched for a talent that would give me a unique identity to make me stand out from my peers. When I was five years old, I was given the chance to be in a musical in our city's community theatre, PMT. This musical was "The Wizard of Oz", and I played the role of a munchkin in the Lollipop Guild. This initially sparked a great interest in theatre, and I fell in love with acting. I had an amazing mentor for my youth acting career, the late Jack Ewing. He played Harold Hill in PMT's production of "The Music Man", while I had the opportunity to play the role of Winthrop, the young boy that helps Harold Hill become a better person. (Jack later died a year before I had the chance to play the role of Harold Hill in my high school's production of "The Music Man Jr.") When I was about nine, PMT dissolved as an organization and therefore there was no community theatre around me for years, which put a setback in my interest and talent for theatre.