So, I Graduated College

I can’t believe this day finally happened. I have been in school for the last sixteen years, SIXTEEN, and that is so crazy to think about. College really changed who I am. I met so many incredible and important people in the last four years who have helped to shape me into the person I am today. I guess what I want to do is share some wisdom that I have taken in over the last four years to those who have yet to graduate.

It’s okay if college isn’t for you

I have met so many people who only completed one semester or one year and realized that school isn’t for them, and that’s okay! There is no shame in not wanting to go to college because it is something that just isn’t for everyone. College is not the only key to success and it’s iimportant to let life guide you to where you need to be in order to feel fulfilled. I have found that during my time in college, but that doesn’t mean that all people will.

Take time for yourself

I realized about a month into my freshman year of college that I really value taking time to be alone. That’s hard to have in college because you have roommates and there’s so many people everywhere. I felt like the only time I had to be alone was in my car and that sucked. If you realize that you are someone who needs to get away from people every now and then, find how you can make that happen and take advantage. Is it going for a long walk or bike ride? Is it getting away in your car and finding somewhere new to explore? Is it finding a quiet corner of the library and diving into a book you’ve been desperately wanting to read? Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to take advantage.

Take your grades seriously

College is a time to have fun, but you want to know what isn’t fun? Realizing that it’s the end of the semester and there is barely any hope for you to pass classes. That results in so much stress and a lot of money wasted. Luckily i never ran into this issue, but I know some people who did and they were miserable when it came time to get their act together and try to save their grades.  College is a time to have fun, meet new people, and try new things, but those happy times shouldn’t keep you from what you actually came to college to do- get an education and a degree!!!

Take chances

College is a time to discover who you are. Don’t be afraid to take chances. Life is too short to play it safe. Taking chances in life can result in so many great opportunities but you are the only one who can get you there. Put yourself out there and see what life has to offer you. Nobody becomes successful by siting in their room all day and expecting an opportunity to fall on their lap. It is up to you to get your name and your abilities out there and show people the incredible and talented person you are and why you are the best person for the job.

Take changes on your personal life. Ask the cute person out who you’ve been crushing on for months. Go to the open mic night and let your voice shine. Publish something to the school paper and let your words inspire others. Start that youtube channel and share your story! The possibilities are endless. They only end if you let them.

Don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself.

Don’t let anyone pressure you into anything you don’t want to do

When you’re in college, you’re meeting so many new people and making so many new memories. Never let anyone pressure into doing something that makes you uncomfortable. Whether that’s drinking, drugs, or doing something plain stupid, don’t do anything unless you want to. Nobody should judge you for not doing something you feel genuinely uneasy about. This is different from taking chances. Don’t take a chance on something that you are genuinely worried about. Take a chance on opportunities you genuinely want. And if anyone makes you feel bad for not partaking in anything you don’t want to do, then they aren’t worth having in your life.

Have fun!!!

I cannot stress this enough! College is a time to discover who you are! You are young and your future is bright. Meet new people, go to games, go to parties. Find people who you click with and take life by the horns and run with it. This is your time. This is your time to find your passion in life. If you don’t then that’s okay. At least you are discovering important things about yourself. Cherish the memories you make in college because before you know it, those four years fly by and you’re walking passed your loved ones in a cap and gown ready to recieve a piece of paper you have been working your ass off to get for the last sixteen years.

This is your time. Don’t waste it.

Sincerely,

A sentimental graduate

 

An Update on My Life

Hello Internet! It truly has been a while since I’ve last posted. A lot has happened in the last few months.

Firstly, I served as Production Manager for my class’s senior thesis project where we form a company and put on a children’s show. The show was called The Princess King and it was an incredible experience! We had many ips and downs along the way but we made it through! It was a show that taught us and the children so many important lessons about being yourself and never giving up on your dreams. We had such an amazing time putting this show on and it is something that I will remember as one of the best experiences of my life.

The Princess King Cast and Crew
Cast and Crew of The Princess King – DeSales Theatre Class of 2019

My classes this semester have taught me so much about life and myself. My favorite class, which is actuall one of the best classes I’ve ever taken is called Women in the World and it has taught me so much about being a strong woman and how to share my strengths with the world. We have been tackling the experiences of women through christianity, pre-christianity, and modern thought. It has been so enightening to see how throughout history, the notion of the fall of man from genesis is the precursor to poor treatment of women. Because this text has been taken literally, women have been thought of as lesser than men and have been at a disservice throughout history. It never hit me that this has been the case and really opened my eyes on how to educate myself and those around me on how we can achieve truer equality between the sexes.

I am on the Wardrobe crew for Pippin at DeSales and it is proving to be a very fun experience. I love the actors I am working with and they have made it great. I loved hanging out with some of my best friends every night and having an opportunity to work with costumes during a run. It also gives me more experience learning how to interract with different people backstage as a stage manager.

In the summer, I will be returning to the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival as a stage management intern for the REP shows. This will be my third season at the Festival, and I am really looking forward coming back again. This will be my first time working on shows that are rehearsing simultaneously and while it will be hard and stressful at times, it is an opportunity for me to learn about this type of process and to put my organizational skills to the test.

After the summer, I will have my first Post-Grad job as the Non-Equity Assistant Stage Manager at Delaware Theatre Company. I am so excited for this incredible opportunity to learn and hone my skills in my craft. I have been a little nervous lately over the thought of leaving school and not going back. I don’t think this will really hit me until I start my job at DTC. It is so strange to think that afterbeing in school for the last 18 years, I will finally be free, well at least of homework. Hello, debt! I am really dreading student loans but as long as I am smart with my money and keep working hard, I will eventually get through that.

Now that the semester is ending, I am hoping to get back into the swing of this blog and to get more of my story out there!

 

Suck the Marrow Out of Life

“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of
life” from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

If you are a fan of the Dead Poets Society, you know that Mr. Keating and his students strove to break the embrace of conformity in order to take life and get all they could out of it. We are in 2019, a new year. It is an opportunity to turn towards optimism for you and your fellow-man. I am currently taking a class called “Women in the World” and we have been discussing women’s place in the world and how women have shaped history and society. In the beginning of the semester, we had an open-class discussion about what it’s like to be a woman in the world today and it was one of the most empowering conversations I have ever had. I felt so connected to everyone in the class, even the people I don’t even know. It makes me feel so strong and confident knowing that there are other strong, smart, and determined women in my life who value being a woman and want to continue to fight for equality amongst all humand despite gender, race, sexuality, social status, etc. This class has made me realize that I have the power to forge a path for myself and future generations as a woman who wants to strive for respect and partnership between men and women.

Lately, I have been having a lot of thoughts and conversations about life after college and how it is my job to make opportunities for myself and get the most I can out of life. One of the best things I can do for myself is to make things happen for myself. If you aren’t going out to get jobs and pursue your passions, then what are you doing? Are you waiting for the phone to ring and just assume that people will randomly happen upon you? That’s not realistic. To quote Hannah Montana, “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.” You are in charge of the life you lead and it is up to you to bring it to its fullest potential. You are the CEO of your life and no CEO has ever been successful without putting everything out on the line and taking a chance on what makes them happy. Whether you are in theatre, film, dance, nursing, communication, finance, etc., it is up to you to put everything out there and take a chance on yourself.

Watch Dead Poet’s Society and let the words of this wonderful film fuel your inspiration. Fill yourself with self-love and appreciation that will propel you forward. Find your passions in life and achieve greatness.

Things Stage Management Has Taught Me

Being a stage manager is a really cool job. It allows me to be heavily involved in productions without having to be onstage. There’s a bit of a stigma for theatre majors because people say that we need something to fall back on since it isn’t the most stable field. But there are so many important that this job has taught me that I know I am extremely prepared for my future.

Communication

As a stage manager, I am expected to be in constant communication with my actors, assistants, designers, technicians, the director, front of house, management, administration, and run crew. It is important that I am in good communication with all of these fields because it keeps a production organized and it ensures safety. This is something that is important in any field, and stage management has really given me a crash course in this.

Organization

One of the main duties of a stage manager is to keep the entire production organized from rehearsals throughout the performances. Stage managers keep extensive amounts of paperwork detailing prop lists, prop tracking, scene shifts, entrances and exits, blocking, scene breakdowns, and so much more depending on the needs of the production. If a stage manager is disorganized, the entire production falls apart. If I’m not two steps ahead of the director during rehearsal, then we aren’t running according to schedule. Organization is key to this job, as it is for many other fields.

Patience

Patience really is a virtue that is so important to uphold for anyone, and especially for me in my role as a stage manager. Actors aren’t always the easiest people to work with. They have a lot of memorizing and research to do when getting into character and working in rehearsal and for some, this puts them on edge. I have had my fair share of unpleasant encounters with people at work but I have learned that being patient and rising above any bad encounters, it makes you a stronger person and better person to work with.

The art of multitasking

Multitasking is something that I have become a pro at, especially during college. I have learned how to tackle multiple tasks at once to save time and my sanity. This is really great because it allows me to become more organized and check more things off my to-do list at once.

It’s okay to ask for help

This is something that I struggled with for a long time. I always wanted to be wonder woman but that isn’t always possible. This last year especially has taught me that I don’t need to be a super hero all the time. I have people around me who love me and care about me and would help me if I ask. If you ask for help when you need it, it shows that you’re comfortable bringing more hands onto your project to make sure that it gets done right.

Honesty and integrity

Honesty and integrity are important for any person with any job or life. as a stage manager, I am a leader. And as a leader, it is my responsibility to set a good example for myself and the people around me and practive being the best person I can be. Not only has practicing this been beneficial to my career, it has been beneficial to my personal life as well.

My Pledges For The New Year

Going into 2019, the year I graduate from college and start to navigate the scariness of adulthood, I promise to myself that I will believe in myself. No more doubt and putting myself down. Just because someone else wants something or is good at something doesn’t mean that I can’t want something or do something. I have been digging a hole for myself in the past and now as a young, passionate woman with a bright future, I need to be the force that propels me out of my abyss into the bright, shining future ahead of me.

I also want this new year to become a year of becoming a healthier person physically, mentally, and financially. Physically, I want to become more active and start losing weight. It’s not that I don’t love my body, but I hope to become a kidney donor for my dad and the doctors at the transplant center say that I need to look into losing weight to become the best match possible. This is something I really want to do because if I can help my dad become healthier, I want to do everything in my power to make this happen. Mentally, I want to accept the fact that I have anxiety and have panic attacks from time to time and that as I discover coping mechanisms, to never fear implementing them when necessary. Financially, I want to practice the art of spending less and saving more. I have a bad habit of spending much more than I’m making and then putting myself in anxious situations where I panic about my lack of money. By practicing financial self-control, I will be able to have a better piece of mind for my future.

A lot of people say, “New Year, new me” and I want to make this a reality for my future. 2019 is a huge year for me and it’s up to me to grab life by the horns and take control.

My College Exerience

I want to take some time to talk about my alma mater, and the place that has helped make me the person I am today, DeSales University. I am about to go into the second semester of my senior year and will graduate in May with my bachelors in Theatre Design/Technology with a focus in stage management.

I chose this program because it has a very inclusive curriculum and challenges the students akin to a graduate theatre program at another college/university. It was only one of a few schools of the many I researched that offered a great program for a theatre technician in addition to the a great acting program. For the DT (design/tech) major at DSU, we are given great opportunities to fulfill major positions in our small company, working alongside our professors and faculty putting on quality theatre and really getting the most out of our education. As a stage manager at school, I work on one show a semester as a stage manager and I work on costuming for the other show each semester. I have found a great passion in costuming, which is something I never believed would happen. This program has pushed me to be smarter and think faster and trust that I can do great things. I have a lot to thank this school for. I have made lasting friends, I met the love of my life, and I have made connections that will help me as I grow beyond school. Being a DT has been very challenging but it is the challenges that we all face which make us ready and eager for the “real world”.

Another positive aspect about my school is that the person who started the theatre program also started the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, which is closely affiliated with the theatre program. Working for the festival has helped me learn to be professional in a setting I am already comfortable in and I am so grateful to have this advantage for my career.

Never in my life did I think that I would be working in such a fun and exciting field with so many people who make everything worth it. That being said, things aren’t always wonderful and magical. I have had a lot of ups and downs in college. I’ve struggled with anxiety, pressure to succeed, weight gain, and the reality that a life exists beyond going to school. Lately, it’s been hard for me to accept that I will not be in school this time next year, since I’ve been going to school year after year for 18 years. The thought of graduating and the pressure I put on myself has added to a lot of the anxiety I have had at school. I am coping with it and some days are better than others, but remembering that I’m doing what I love helps me to overcome my fears. College has also taught me a lot about collaboragion with others, as theatre is a major collaborative art. Sometimes I struggle to get along with some of the students and professors at my school. You’re never going to get along with everyone you work with  and that can be hard but it’s something you’ll have to deal with no matter what job you have. It’s a good lesson to learn, especially in a learning environment.

College isn’t for everyone, but if it’s something you’re serious about, make sure you put lots of thought into what you want from your program. That’s what I did and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

The Hidden Mastermind

This picture was taken fight before my closing performance of The Cricible at DSU my sophomore year. As a stage manager, I am someone who stays hidden but has a massive role in the show. I am the person who is in charge of executing every light and sound cue, and scenic shift in a show. The show literally could not happen without a stage manager “calling” every cue. It is a job that requires a lot of determination, focus, and practice and it is a job I am so grateful to have. As I near the end of my collegiate career, I keep focusing on what’s to come and although I’m terrified, the excitement is going to make every trial and failure worth it.IMG_3208

Stage Management

This was a defining moment in my stage management career. I’ve always felt that stage managers are the “batmen” of theatre. We wear all black, have gadgets at our disposal, and the audience never sees us unless something goes wrong. It can be a thankless job but I get to do so many cool and important things that the audience never sees. At this point in the play, characters were playing croquet and were hitting croquet balls offstage and I had to be there to catch them. My knees may have been a bit bruised from being smacked by heavy croquet balls but it was so worth it. I have never felt more content with a job than I do with stage management.

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DeSales University – Me and My Girl 2016

I have always loved Theatre and never knew that it would be such an exciting and crazy career to pursue. Stage managent has become my life and I couldn’t be happier!

 

If you don’t take a headset selfie, are you really a stage manager? Continue reading “Stage Management”