BWW Blog: Back to School - Back to the Beginning: An Introduction
Three years ago this week, I was moving into my Freshman year dorm at The Hartt School in Hartford, Connecticut. I was moving to a city I had never been to, to live with a person I had never met, to pursue a degree in one of the most unpredictable occupational fields. Needless to say, I was terrified.
To give you an idea of where I was coming from, I grew up in suburban Missouri where I was a big fish in a small theatrical pond. My parents were performers, my brother is an actor, and there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to go to school for musical theatre. Dancing, singing, and acting have always been the three loves of my life.
So why was I sitting on a bench outside the university commons crying out of fear of what was to come? Well, I'm about to enter into my last year at The Hartt School, and I can say this with absolute certainty; there are not enough resources for incoming theatre majors to prepare them for what getting your BFA is actually like.
This isn't the school's fault either. You go on your college tours and you get 20%, which is all the major info. Things like how many acting classes you'll take, whether or not you get a showcase in New York, whether you can audit extra dance classes etc. But then there is the other 80%, which encompasses everything they don't tell you. The stuff you've got to experience for yourself.
Now, as a just-turned-18 year old, if someone had thrown that 80% at me from the get-go, I would have had absolutely NO IDEA what to do with it. As an incoming freshman, when asked if I had any questions, I didn't even know where to start. And sometimes, ignorance is truly bliss.
But I think the incoming classes of theatre students deserve to know a little bit more than that.
I'm going into my last year of college, and I have lots of reflecting to do. In these past three years I've grown in more ways than I could have anticipated. I do not claim to know everything, and this blog over these next few weeks is not going to be the end-all-be-all guide to surviving life as a theatre major. But I do have a lot of insight, and more stories than could ever fit into a five hundred word blog.
To any incoming freshmen reading this, I am now going to speak directly to you. You're probably feeling a lot of things right now. Today I'm not going to overwhelm you with the 80%. But as you enter into your first week, there are a few things I want you to remember.
- Take care of you.
- You have nothing to prove to anyone except yourself.
- The friends will come.
- You do not have to do anything you don't want to do, but with that being said...
- Go to class.
Simple things, but they mean so much more than you could possibly fathom at this particular moment in time. Over these next few weeks, check into this blog as I go over these points and how much they matter to your success as not only a theatre student, but as a human. Soak up every minute of this first week. I am so excited for you to go on this wild ride.