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Student Blog: My Artistic Acquaintances

This leads me to a question I'm scared to consider: How much do these close personal relationships affect our work?

Student Blog: My Artistic Acquaintances

I am a part of a studio of 18 actors. We have class three times a week, follow each other from teacher to teacher, room to room, and we bare our souls. These classmates know about my toxic relationships, my deepest insecurities, they know that when I cry I ball my hands into fists and cover my face. They know details about me that some of my oldest friends don't even know, and I know the same about them. I've seen them burst into tears, break things, scream at the wall. I've also seen them dance on tables and barf on the side of the street on a night out.

I've recently realized an interesting tension that I think is unique to artistic majors in a program like mine; my peers, my potential future colleagues, are also my best friends. I get up to do a scene or an activity and standing across from me is not some random scene partner, not just my classmate, not someone I know in a professional sense, it's my gym buddy, my designated driver, or the girl that steals all my clothes. We can be in class discussing our emotional availabilities and ten minutes later be gossiping about last weekends events.

This leads me to a question I'm scared to consider: How much do these close personal relationships affect our work? Actors always face the difficult task of stripping personal judgment and relations from their scene partner when they work alongside them, but I can't imagine that adding friendship into the equation doesn't make it harder.

There are times when I have found it easier to connect because it's someone I know so well, just as there are times when I can't surrender to the scene because it doesn't feel genuine to my relation with my scene partner. This continues to become an area that is difficult to navigate - the work in class makes us closer on the outside, but our outside interactions make it harder to do the work.

After ruminating on the dilemma for the past semester, the way I've come to look at it is as a challenge. In the future, every working actor will need to act alongside someone they hate, someone they're attracted to, someone they idolize. In the professional world relations can't affect the art, it's simply not an option. So this lesson is one that they don't put on any class syllabus, but it's one that myself and my classmates will continue to learn throughout the rest of our college experiences. And I believe it's one we will grow from - both as artists, and as friends.

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From This Author - Student Blogger: Lauren Lakra