Parties, rehearsals, studio acting classes, drama history classes, movement classes, run-crew assignments, the drama library, parties, rehearsals, parties, shows, parties.
That was college for me.
I loved it.
But I'm not sorry to not be doing it anymore.
With that said, I've had a lot of reminders lately of what enthusiasm being an undergrad involved in theatre can bring.
I'm taking a Stage Combat class at Tufts this semester (hey it's a job perk, and it's being taught by local fight guy Meron Langsner...so win/win) with 7 undergraduate theatre people. Not all of them are majors, but they've all been involved in productions at Tufts, and they all want to continue pursuing theatre in some way when they graduate. And they just seem SO excited to be in class. They are excited to learn things that will help them on stage, to work with their friends, to just be in class being taught about something they're passionate about. It's an odd thing when you've been away from it for a long period of time, to accept as part of your life again. And it's going to be a tough adjustment: writing a few papers, working with a scene partner, dashing from my office to class...pushups. I mean, I had really put behind me what it meant to take a theatre class. And I don't mean an acting class. That I remember well, and I've done some workshops since graduating, but this class is a different thing. It's about making myself ready to learn not only from my teacher, but also from my classmates, and being happy to add something new to my skill set.
I also went to see a production put up by BU students (or recently graduated alums...I couldn't tell) at Club Oberon. It was a Beatles/Bacchae mash-up set for the club atmosphere. And you know what...it mostly worked. The script had some problems, and there was definitely a fly-by- the-seat-of-your-pants kind of atmosphere...but those kids had charisma, and talent, and just this live-wire energy that made you want to be there. They created this thing from scratch and found the perfect space for it and a good crowd to come out on a Sunday and just PERFORMED for everyone like nothing else mattered in the world. It was just fun to be around, and it sparked that thing in me that made me remember why I chose to go to college for Acting and why I'm still putting myself out there now.
Like I said, since graduating I haven't been at all sorry to be out of college. I am making a life I like for myself and I'm making my own rules on how to be in theatre, but I definitely lost hold of all of the fresh, excited energy I had about myself and myself as a student and potential professional in theatre, and I think that's made it harder for me to accept the things I don't like about the business, or the hard times I find being in the real world. And I'm glad to have the reminders.
So for now, I'm taking a step back into that mindset. The open, excited, do it because you love it mind set that you have to have to make it through 4 (or 5 or 8) years of college theatre. Because it's a way to have fun, take risks, be challenged, and be myself, and what more can you ask for when you make theatre your living?