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BWW Blog: Something Bigger Than Myself

Everybody knows that being a freshman theatre major (or really, a freshman in any performing arts major) usually means a whole lot of auditioning and not getting a lot of bites (in most cases). This is very typical, as most theatre programs want you to "earn your keep", per say, and to learn early on the ways of the industry (which often means going weeks or months without being in a show). This aspect never phased me too much, luckily, as I had experience auditioning in the Denver theatre scene, and got used to the many rejections with the occasional triumph. What I've noticed from being a freshman theatre major is that many of my peers, at my college and other colleges alike don't always realize this. They've grown up being the big fish in the small pond and are used to getting large leading roles, but now they find themselves in a large pond with hundreds of other big fish. I see many of my friends walk away, disheartened and questioning their career path. The lesson of rejection is important to every aspiring artist, however, and helps you to bounce back so you can continue growing and creating.

Of course, no matter how used to auditioning a person gets, human emotions will always come into play. Some days I pine for weeks over a dream role, practicing my audition again and again only to not even be considered for a callback. And yeah, it doesn't feel the best. But I know it doesn't mean I'm a bad performer, or that I'll never potentially get to play that role, I just wasn't quite right for this production. And that's okay, it's just how things go. So what's the next step, after not seeing my name on that cast list? There are still plenty of opportunities to be involved, because to me it doesn't matter whether I'm on or off stage. In the end, I just love making art, and being a part of it in whatever way possible. And the best part about my school is that mainstage productions aren't the only opportunities, there are several one act festivals and student directed side projects that provide limitless possibilities, in addition to many crew/technical positions. So far I have been able to act/sing in two student directed shows, help work electrics for a mainstage, usher for several others, be involved in a large scale devised theatre piece, and even the opportunity to direct my own show. I feel so incredibly overjoyed to play my part in helping to bring great works of art to life every day at Muhlenberg.

To any student out there looking to study theatre in college, remember that rejection is all part of the process. The fact is you may not get every role you ever dream of, but that shouldn't stop you from doing what you love most. In addition, don't shut yourself in a tiny box, saying you're "just an actor, techie, director, etc.". There are so many wonderful ways to be involved, so be open to new and challenging experiences. You may find a newfound love and appreciation that may not have been there before.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Sophia J Grimes

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