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Why Grad School Applications are Scarier than Tyra Banks

My email inbox. And so it begins.
 I'll admit it, I've been drawn into my fair share of America's Next Top Model marathons. Recently, it's been more Law and Order SVU that sucks me in while I'm trying to write papers(It teaches convincing arguments! And morality!) But there is something about ANTM that always gets me whenever I see a rerun marathon. Is it that I'm entranced by the crazy model antics and the train wreck someone inevitably falls into? (Just let her change your hair color! Do not be that girl!) Or is it the world of modeling that I find so exotic and appealing? Then again, maybe it's Tyra. She's fabulous, and knowledgable, but I'd hate to know what it'd be like to be on her bad side. She's fierce and a force to be reckoned with. 

But I'd really rather face her than my grad school applications.

It's probably been decided since before I even got into undergrad that I wanted to go to grad school. I started noticing as I went to plays throughout my childhood that all of the actors I was most impressed with had MFA degrees in acting, and I've always wanted to be able to get to that level of technique as an artist. Many students of UE's theatre program go to excellent grad schools straight out of undergrad, and it's part of what drew me to the program. So grad school is certainly something I'm very passionate about, but going through the process of applying is going to be possibly the most stressful of my life thus far. Every day is an elimination challenge, and "smizing" alone won't get you through the cut.  

Applying to grad school for acting is similar to applying for undergrad, but far more intense. Instead of a general application essay about whatever you want to write about, you only get 500 words to make a personal statement about yourself and why you love theatre and why it's what you want to do with your life. Granted, these are all questions I absolutely should know before undertaking this journey, but self-psychoanalysis at the ripe old age of 22 when I barely have anything figured out is minorly stressful. After I fill all of the applications out and get at least three letters of recommendation per school, I'll send my packet in, but oh the work is not over yet, my friends. I then have to go up to Chicago to audition for all of the schools, having ten different monologues under my belt so that when they ask me "what I've got", I can list them off and be ready to do any of them at the drop of a hat. Thankfully, my audition class this semester that all the senior actors have to take has prepared me immensely for this process. We do a monologue of a different type every week(Contemporary dramatic, contemporary comedic, Shakespeare dramatic, etc. and so now I've got a pretty nice database of monologues that I certainly didn't have at the beginning of the semester. But somehow, Tyra blatantly telling me that I need to learn how to walk in heels seems easier than thinking about my future.

My email inbox. Oh boy.

In the end though, it's all going to be worth it. I recognize that grad school isn't for everyone, but I definitely think it's going to be for me. I encourage all of you looking at college now to imagine what you'd do for a living if money were no object, whether it be the money it takes for training or the money that you'll make from it. Now I may be a silly idealistic artist, but I don't think that aiming to live a fulfilled life is wrong. You should love what you do for a living, and college is there to help you figure that out. I may get a little more familiar with the restaurant industry while waiting tables to pay off all my loans, but this is one opportunity that I'm not going to regret going for, kind of like competing for America's Next Top Model.

The Truth About Fall Festival

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Last week marked the single most important event in Evansville during the course of a year: Fall Festival. 

Maintaining My Sanity: Confessions of a Sleep-Deprived Actress

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So I'm in the middle of the run for Clybourne Park, which takes up most of my mental capacity and focus, and while I'm having an absolute blast, I've been reflecting on some lessons I've learned that I'll share with you, both theatre-related and not.  
1. Lunchboxes are Cool.
Sometimes you're going on campus from 9-6:30 without any time to run home and grab a bite to eat before you have to perform. I've learned to pack little baggies of snacks that I can munch on throughout the day until I can get my hands no a real meal. Because as much as I'd love to eat Chinese takeout from Lincoln Garden for every meal, it's probably not the best idea.  
It's all about the time management. Know your schedule for the day and when you have free time to cram in that extra homework you've been putting off. I make myself a little to-do list in my planner with my tasks that I want to accomplish that day. Checking one off is the best feeling :)
3. Plug it In, Plug it In: Have an Outlet
As much as I love what I do here, it can be stressful. And while de-stressing can involve a 4 hour marathon of Law and Order SVU (and has), I'd rather do double duty and go exercise at the gym or make myself dinner(I'm allll about cooking). I can go to these activities when I need to chill and step away from the theatre, but I don't feel like I'm completely wasting my time.
4. Count'cher Blessins
Guys, I'm getting higher education. I've got great friends, I'm in a great program, a roof over my head, I'm well-fed, and I'm really enjoying myself as a college student. Sometimes it's good to take a step back and look at the bigger picture in order to let the little things roll off your back. 
5. Boy Scouts. Always. 
Be Prepared. In Clybourne Park, if one person forgets their line, it's all downhill from there. The banter in the show is so quick and dependent on the build of the conversation that a pause ruins the pace and throws all of the actors out of focus. So, in order to prevent that from happening, at least on my end, I go over my script every day and review my lines. Being prepared to do your work is always a good idea, and it also keeps you from zoning out in class during the discussion about the book you were supposed to read, but didn't. Not that that's ever happened to me. 
6. Not Just a Zit Cream
If you're in a show here(especially during tech week), chances are your homework won't start getting worked on until 11pm or midnight. Hopefully. Since I prefer sleep over mostly anything, I don't like this little arrangement and start my homework in advance. If I know I have a big assignment due on the Friday that I have a performance, I try and get little bits of it done in the week before just so I don't hate myself on Thursday night. Proactiveness. It's a good good thing. 
7. Carpe Diem, Y'all.
I'm having the time of my life right now doing Clybourne Park, but the first weekend is already over and the second is going to go by equally as fast. The sad(yet arguably the best) part about the theatre is that it's temporary. It's fleeting. I can't videotape the show, this experience, the friendships I've formed, or the lessons I've learned, but it wouldn't be able to capture the essence of the experience anyways. So I guess for now, I'll simply have to enjoy it and cherish it. 
My picture was in the paper for an article about Clybourne Park! :)

Here's the link to the promo video for the show. If you're in the area, come check us out! 

5 Things I Never Expected To Learn Abroad

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This summer, I studied abroad in Seville, Spain to meet the language requirement for my Spanish major. And I somehow managed quite well with some unexpected near-catastrophes.

Three Feet to the Left


(If you're reading the title and thinking "This kid is about to blog about politics," don't worry, I'm not. You're welcome.)

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