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BWW Blog: The Road to Flexibility

BWW Blog: The Road to Flexibility
From the Pittsburgh Transit Sinkhole Page

A Port Authority bus in Pittsburgh fell into a massive sinkhole last year. After only a few months in the city, I quickly added another possible problem onto my concerns list: missing class, making friends, getting stuck in a sinkhole, finding a free washing machine, etc. The slightest thought of even being mildly inconvenienced by the powers of our earth, of our Mother Nature flustered me. Well, weren't we all in for a treat.

As I come to a close of my freshman year at Point Park University as a BFA Theatre Arts student, I have found myself sitting in the stillness of my house during this very weird time reflecting on the whirlwind of a ride that was my first year of college. Boy, oh, boy, this is not the ending that I had imagined, nor was this year at all what I anticipated. However, I am left with many lessons from freshman year, the biggest being the theme of flexibility.

Within my first couple of weeks of college, I quickly realized that artists don't wait for opportunities, they create them for themselves. As a freshman at Point Park, my performance opportunities were quite limited due to various guidelines. Yet, I still found myself auditioning for directing scenes, senior capstones, and films. Even when my schedule seemed filled to the brink, I managed to spare an hour or two to attend our Student Run Theatre Company's meetings. And that, my friends, is the key to college. Find those opportunities and just say "yes," because you will leave those experiences a smarter, more well-rounded artist.

It seems easy, right? Well...This is where the art of flexibility comes into play. Many artists are juggling many projects, trying to squeeze 15 hours into 15 minutes. So what does this mean? Respect your peers and their agendas as well as your own. Put in adequate time and effort into the work but understand this may not be your ideal circumstance. For example, I remember one night I had to rehearse for a directing scene. The only time we could all find to rehearse: midnight. It happens kids, so just embrace the craziness of theatre. Also, auditions happen all the time, which is something I did not realize walking into college. Yes, we all want hours to prepare, but sometimes an opportunity quickly arises, and you just gotta grab it before it passes. I had my first professional audition within a three-hour notice. Ideal, no. But, an audition is an opportunity. I cannot stress enough opportunities will arise in your freshman year, so please do yourself the favor and take them. Maybe someone needs an extra for a film or a senior is teaching a free dance class. Support your peers and meet new people. I promise you, Netflix can wait. Join your school's Facebook groups and the local theatre's. Have a free night, go usher for a show! It's okay to live life and go with the flow. Expect the unexpected.

Unfortunately for everyone, the unexpected was COVID-19. As artists but more importantly as loving human-beings, we all feel the effects of this pandemic. We have all been forced to adapt and change during this time of uncertainty. Again and again, my newfound understanding of flexibility has been tested during this time as I moved back home and switched to virtual education. In order to make the most out of a bad situation, I had to be flexible, and I had to be understanding.

But here's the thing...Sometimes you are thrown both negative and positive curveballs in not only college but also in life. Don't forget after college is a new life, that is what we are preparing for after all, right? By learning to have an open mind and learning the art of flexibility, you are opening yourself for change and progression. Always and forever make the most out of every situation, my friends, even if that situation is being stuck in a massive sinkhole.

BWW Blog: The Road to Flexibility
From the Pittsburgh Transit Sinkhole Page

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