Student Blogger Spotlight: Meet Alex Leigh from Kansas City

Alex shares her experiences and advice as a theatre student in our new Student Blogger Spotlight Series.

By: Sep. 20, 2023
Student Blogger Spotlight: Meet Alex Leigh from Kansas City

As a part of our student blogger program, theatre students from all over the world share their experiences and tips for surviving their college years over on our Student Center page.

First up in our new Student Blogger Spotlight Series is Alex Leigh from Kansas City! Alex is pursuing her Associate's degree and recently finished her Freshman year. She plans to continue her theatre studies at a four-year university upon graduation.

Read Alex's advice for auditioning, stress management, parental support, and more below!

What is something you wish someone told you about being a theatre/arts major?

To be perfectly honest, theatre/arts are not highly valued in society. It’s a harmful opinion I strive to change every day, but people always seem to value academics over fine arts. When I told people I was getting my Associate's in Arts I could tell they were trying to find something nice to say about my choice. I wish I had somebody to brace me for the impact of others' opinions regarding my life decisions. The important thing to remember is that it’s not their choice, it’s yours. Although many people don’t value the fine arts like I do, I try my best to ignore those comments. Something that others don’t understand is that so many aspects of their lives are influenced by entertainers. After everyone is done with their 9/5 what do they do to relax and unwind? They go to a show, they watch a movie--the list goes on. Don’t let anti-theatre people get under your skin because, at the end of the day, theatre kids and entertainers make the world go round. As hard as it can be at times to ignore negative people, be proud of yourself for pursuing your dreams and passions. That’s a big step to make and you’re making it! 

What do parents need to know to better support their children in theatre/arts majors?

Finding jobs in the field of fine arts can be tricky sometimes. Don’t get discouraged with your children while they’re going through auditions or interviews. Putting yourself out there is really vulnerable and the last thing you need are parents who get frustrated with your lack of “stable work.” Everyone has to work hard in life, and your child preparing for a role or assembling a resume is no exception. Be patient and supportive, and when they get news they don’t want to hear, be their cheerleader anyway. Tell them “It may not have worked out this time, but I’m sure there’s something great waiting for you!”

How has your theatre education helped you off-stage?

Theatre education has helped me so much as a public speaker. I find those who have had experience in the theatre are always very great talkers. Along with my increased communication skills, I’ve turned out to be an efficient problem solver. After adjusting to last-minute production changes and thinking on my feet at a moment's notice, I find myself being able to come up with creative solutions to real-world problems I face.

What is one thing you couldn't live without as a theatre student?

I couldn’t survive without sticky notes! Any time I’m reading for class, doing homework, or assisting in a production…I always need sticky notes. You can’t always have the notes app on your phone handy, and a plain piece of paper is too big. Sticky notes are the perfect size and essential to any of my work. My school books, notebooks, and production binder had their fair share of sticky notes by the time I was finished with them. They’re very handy for short notes and small reminders.

What is your best tip for balancing academics and your theatre studies during the semester?

Cut yourself some slack and get a calendar. I feel like when you’re starting school you feel the need to do everything perfectly, and to be honest you’re not gonna get it perfect every time. Take a deep breath and try to manage your time as best as possible. Having a calendar whether it’s physical or on your phone is very helpful with time management. I don’t think I could’ve gotten through my freshman year of college and stage managing my first production at the same time if I didn’t have a calendar on hand.

What is your best advice for students entering the college audition process?

Don’t try to be anybody you’re not, and don’t beat yourself up. Auditions can be really intimidating when you know you’re competing for a role with a dozen other people. Don’t try to portray a role like someone else, try to portray it the way YOU would. Nobody else in the room is going to have your experience or your creativity, use it to your advantage. If you don’t get a role try to not be down for too long, take that as a learning experience. Try to think about what you could’ve done better, and how you’re going to do better next time. Be patient and be proud of yourself that you tried your best, and your best is all you can give.

Another crucial word of advice is to always be polite, professional, and helpful. Your superiors are constantly making note of how you respond to situations. If the director isn’t watching you others are, and they will report back to the director. I’ve recently accepted another job as stage manager for a former director I worked under. She told me “It was such a joy working with you, and you handled things so well, I’d love to work with you again.” Keeping those traits in the front of your mind will get you your first opportunity and the next.

What is your favorite way to decompress during the more stressful moments of the semester?

Taking a little bit of time for self-care and watching a comfort movie resets me whenever school gets to be too much. I spent many nights with a cup of chamomile tea watching Pride and Prejudice. After a relaxing evening and a good night's rest, I feel much better the next day.

Catch up on Alex's previous blogs here!

BroadwayWorld is currently taking applications for our fall student blogger session, running October through January. The program is open for theatre students of all disciplines, from actors to writers to techs, and beyond! For more information and to apply to the program, click here.


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From This Author - Blair Ingenthron

Blair is the Weekend News Desk Editor / Special Projects Coordinator at BroadwayWorld. She has worked in various capacities in the theatre industry, with companies such as Davenport Theatric... Blair Ingenthron">(read more about this author)



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