Student Blog: Back To School: Life as the NewBEE

I present you with a glimpse into my experience as a SCAD student!

Student Blog: Back To School: Life as the NewBEE
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Dear BroadwayWorld Reader,

It is so nice to finally meet you! I believe that the quickest way to get to know someone is through their premeditated first day of class introduction. So, here goes nothing: Hi, my name is Grace O’Malley, I am a freshman BFA acting major with a casting minor, and a fun fact about me is that I coincidentally share the same first and last name with a 14th-century pirate queen. I can confidently say that spiel is easier to type out on Google Docs than spit out when the first-day jitters take over. Although I am new to the BroadwayWorld blogging community, I cannot wait to share my experience as a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design (go bees)! Ok, I am done blabbering for now. Let's get straight to business!

I am 16 weeks, 1 day, and 3 hours into my journey as a SCAD student. I mean it when I say I have savored every minute of my experience at this one of a kind institution. SCAD has provided me with countless resources, opportunities, and experiences to grow as a student, actress, and future industry trailblazer (trailblazer, my favorite word). I am a walking SCAD advertisement - my love for the school is contagious and my knowledge about it is endless. I would advise anyone with a dream to consider the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Winter quarter has officially passed its halfway mark and I have been a very busy bee (pun very much intended). Although SCAD advises students to take three classes per quarter, I decided to add a fourth to my plate. So far, I’ve been navigating this extra workload as best as I can. It’s been a challenge, for sure, but manageable. A manageable challenge! All SCAD classes meet twice a week for 2.5 hours on either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. We do not have class on Fridays because they are meant to be work days. But in the rare case there isn’t any homework to do, it’s a three day weekend for you!

Here is a glimpse of my weekly schedule this quarter: 

Monday & Wednesday:
11:00 - 1:30, Business I: Fundamentals
5:00 - 7:30, Performance Lab
Tuesday & Thursday: 
11 - 1:30, Truth In Acting: The Methods
5:00 - 7:30, Design II: 3D Form in Space

I absolutely love the courses I am taking this quarter. I enjoy the more traditional academic stimulation I get in my business class. Understanding the role that business plays within the various creative industries is extremely beneficial and has provided me insight into the inner workings of major corporations. However, I also enjoy stretching my arts and crafts skills in my 3D design class where I get to create three-dimensional sculptures and projects. Most recently, I was tasked with creating a kite. It was crazy to see the different ways people interpreted the vague project guidelines. While I made a traditional-looking kite in the shape of an octagon (it was very much giving stop sign), others made their kites that resembled antique ships or the monster hiding under your bed.  

While the classes mentioned above are interesting and stretch my brain in two completely different spectrums, my favorite classes to take are, without hesitation,  my acting-related ones: 

In my Truth In Acting class, we have been exploring the techniques of Sanford Meisner and, most recently, Konstantin Stanislavski. Through both reading about their teachings and practicing exercises, I feel I have truly unlocked a new layer of truth within my acting (no pun towards the class’s title intended…lol). Furthermore, my professor, who was a former Broadway performer, is absolutely incredible to learn from. His industry expertise, talent, and guidance make the class worthwhile. 

I have been blessed with the opportunity to participate in a Performance Lab as a second-quarter freshman. The purpose of a lab is to produce and debut a completed performance-based product by the end of the quarter. I was asked by my phenomenal first-quarter improv professor to take part in his improvisation Lab. I am one of six individuals who make up a select ensemble designed to perform together in the weekly Friday Night Improv Show. We are fine-tuning our skills to eventually make our debut as the troupe ‘The Newborns.’ I cannot wait to take the stage!

This quarter has been a complete whirlwind. To be quite honest, I feel like I haven’t had a single moment to relax and catch my breath. While that is a result of my own doing, I want to take advantage of every single opportunity presented my way in the short 10 weeks I have per quarter. I try to say “yes” to every single project and extracurricular. I have auditioned for plays, musicals, and short films. I have applied and interviewed for two different jobs. I have scheduled meetings with my advisers and stayed after class to talk with my professors. I have prioritized spending time with friends, new and old, and my roommates. I have embarked on adventures to explore all that the city of Savannah has to offer. SCAD is all about networking and putting yourself out there: staying cooped up in your dorm room all day is not the SCAD way! However, I need to do a better job of pulling back the reins so I don’t overcommit myself (because that statement is now published out into the world, mental note officially taken). At the end of the day, I would not trade riding the emotional roller coaster for anything in the world. The feelings of excitement, stress, frustration, joy, curiosity, disappointment, relief, and satisfaction will forever be worth it. 

I am honored to begin this blogging journey with you, BroadwayWorld Reader. I love being able to openly share my journey and I look forward to keeping you in the loop!

With love always,
Grace O’Malley