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BWW Blog: My Experience at NYU Tisch

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Before I dive in, I wanted to say that I hope you're all doing your part to help Black Lives Matter, while of course, staying safe. I've been using time to acknowledge my privilege, help others see their privilege, educating myself, sending emails and signing petitions. But also, writing and reading is part of my creative outlet and I understand that the world can be overwhelming, especially now. So I hope you are also making time to take care of yourself. When I first got into the Atlantic Acting School at NYU Tisch, my heart fell. You see, NYU had always been my dream school, but for musical theatre. When you audition for Tisch, they place you in what they believe is the best studio for you. I was placed in the unfamiliar trajectory of being an acting major rather than a musical theatre major. I wanted to leave... That is, until I realized what it felt like to look into another person's eyes and say how you feel. The groundedness I felt after voice class, my entire body tingling with sensory awareness and of every acting impulse I had. The freedom of jumping into an impulse at 100%. I realized I had a voice and that I could take up space.

BWW Blog: My Experience at NYU Tisch

Many people describe Tisch's system as being similar to the Hogwarts sorting hat. Of course every school has its flaws, but when it came to my place in its system and the "house" I was sorted in, I think just maybe, they knew what they were doing.

I spent my first two years at Atlantic, where we learned about practical aesthetics, which involves analysis work by honoring the text, moment to moment connection with scene partners, and focused energy on your character's action. Some of my most life-changing classes began there. There were those introductory classes-my favorite being script analysis where I took on my first Asian role. Sophomore year, my favorite classes were suzuki/viewpoints training, and Chekhov training, which in the second semester became "throughline"; throughline was a class where you chose a challenging play and created a 20 minute story arc for the main character. Throughout that semester, you starred in and directed the piece. My project was Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Let me say that again. A Streetcar Named Desire. I don't think I'd ever seen an Asian play a classic such as this, that lounges around in extravagant clothing and speaks in that slow and luxurious southern accent. So as an Asian American, I took on the task of playing this traumatized southern belle with pride. And I learned a lot about what I am capable of through that.

BWW Blog: My Experience at NYU Tisch

After primary training, you can stay at your studio or audition for a new one. I felt it was time for a change, so I auditioned for The Experimental Theatre Wing, where we explored Grotowski training, improvisation, and devising. It was here that I found my life-long friends and gained even more confidence in not only who I am as an actress, but as a person, which is what I hope acting school can do for everyone. Because I look around when I go home for breaks, and I see people are missing out. They miss out when they avoid eye contact. When they don't really listen in a conversation. When they don't take risks. In a way, acting training is more like how to be a better human training.

So, hopefully, I'll be back soon with another post about my experience on learning how to be a better human.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Alyssa Silver