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BWW Blog: “What Are You Going to Do After You Graduate?”

This question is not usually asked out of any type of malice, just some sort of genuine curiosity. But the answer can be so complex!

The fateful time of year has just passed us. The time of year all performers (and students) know well: the time of year when our well-meaning relatives and others ask us one question. The question that can make us want to pull our hair out, or cry, or even just laugh because we have no other answer. "So, what are you going to do after you graduate?".

This question is not usually asked out of any type of malice, just some sort of genuine curiosity. But the answer can be so complex! I usually spend a lot of time trying to explain the Actor's Equity Association to my dentist once a year and hope for the best. But this year, I thought I would compile a little list of possible answers, so that you, dear reader, don't need to worry about trying to come up with one. And if you are not a student/performer/student performer reading this, read on and see what the answer to your question could very likely be.

"I'm going to be on Broadway!"

Obviously, this is the dream. And...some of us do go straight to Broadway after graduation. But, for the rest of us, this answer still works because no one asked you what you were doing right after you graduate, just...after. So, hopefully, this isn't even a lie, just a plan for WAY in the future.

"I'm going to work and save some money"

This answer is a good substitute for "I don't know" - it can make you sound like you have a little bit of a plan, and you look responsible!! Look at you, saving some money! This also leaves open the whole where you plan on saving money, which means if you suddenly move to Pittsburgh, people won't be too confused.

"I'm going to just audition, audition, audition and hope for the best!"

Another good, honest answer to this question which still leaves you with lots of options in terms of the where and when of your plans. Also, auditioning a lot before graduation and after graduation is a good idea! So it's a plan that has potential to get you theatre work.

You can try explaining trying to earn Equity points and joining the Actors Equity Association.

This option isn't necessarily bad (it's tried and true by me). But, it is a lengthy option, and honestly, I think until you even start trying to accrue Equity points, it's kind of confusing, so it's even harder to explain before you've started trying. This also isn't everyone's plan! Some performers don't want to join Equity, especially not right away, and so this answer doesn't work for everyone.

Cry, and then say "I don't know!!"

This is usually what I'm thinking. It's not that performers and students don't have dreams and plans, but we understand that (especially right now) our industry is very flexible. And really, the best we can do is audition, train, and keep ourselves ready so that when luck hands us the right opportunity, we are ready to take it. But sometimes that is hard to tell our optometrist when we only see them once a year.

All in all, there is no "wrong" answer. Every person, every artist, takes their own journey in their career. So if you aren't sure what is going to happen to you after graduation, that is okay too. But if you're like me and it's your last semester...maybe start planning. Just a little.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Brittany Davis