The topic of advocacy, representation, and equity has always been a crucial topic, but in the most recent years, it has taken the performing arts world by storm. I believe that it is the duty of individuals in theater to be true allies and advocates for the rightful representation of characters in productions. Particularly this past year, I have reflected a lot on this topic and how I can be a better advocate and ally for others and myself.
Everyone says things like:
“Don’t bite off more than you can chew,”
“You start to feel like a jack of all trades and a master of none,”
“You can do everything mediocrely or be the very best at one thing.”
And all of this is true! But it doesn’t help to hear when you really love what you do, and you happen to do two different things. For me, it’s writing and flute. Once I realized my passion for the flute and my love of language, it was clear I didn’t love one more than the other. And because of that, I am a dual degree student today. I want to write and play flute professionally and simultaneously. But that’s tough, especially if you know anything about the dedication required to truly master either art.
Right now, for instance, I am sitting to write this after twenty-minute segments of alternating practicing and researching MFA programs for grad school. And then there’s the rest of it--ensembles, lessons, recitals, regular homework, and heaven forbid a friend wants to hang out! It’s crazy, and not to sound as though my attitude is “woe is me,” but after a while, I really have started to feel like Elastagirl, stretched so thin it seems impossible.
However, if you’re out there and you love music and the thought of not doing it makes you really, really hurt inside, then stick with it. And if you have another passion that also makes you excited and ready to make meaning of the world from a different angle, then stick with that too! Basically, after doing this back and forth thing for a couple years, I’ve learned a couple things.
Learning, Singing, Laughing, and… Crawling:
Joining Lyric Theatre Studio as a Vocal Performance Major
Entering my junior year as a vocal performance major, I wanted to bring more improvisation, movement, and musical theater repertoire into my craft. After a long chat with my voice teacher, I decided to give the lyric theater studio a try! Meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3 to 5, the studio encourages lyric theatre majors, as well as vocal performance and choral music ed majors to join! Led by professors Sarah Wigley and Michael Tilley, this studio has been nothing but warm, welcoming, and FUN!
A lot, and a little, has happened for me this past semester. It always feels that way, but looking back on this semester, has made me realize the progress I have made and the work that still needs to be done as a student, performer, and individual. I started off the semester very excited about what was in store. Fall ‘20 was isolating when I had online classes and we were sent home for finals week but the spring semester had more chances of in-person classes and more opportunities to actually experience college life more. With all the excitement I was feeling, it quickly transformed into stress, anxiety, and depression. Everything felt numb and the drive of starting the semester completely disappeared.
For as long as I can remember, I was excited about summer break. Excited to not be in a classroom, excited to be able to get outside, excited that any work that I was doing was not being done with any deadlines in mind. . .and then this summer walks in - happily reminding me that I am, in fact, writing a dissertation proposal.