The return of summer will be a welcome relief from the biting cold of the Chicago winter I am experiencing for the first time. For many it will mean more time outside, more swimming in Lake Michigan, and (for some) a break from the school year. While I fully intend to bike more and experience the lake front this summer, the return of summer represents something a little different for me; summer theatre.
As a professional actor, I am constantly going to audition after audition in hopes of having a performance job for the next couple of months and I have already found myself in one! But with summer approaching, I will have the availability of auditions that represent involvement with several shows over the course of an entire summer repertory season. During these auditions, my interactions with actors and the creative environment make me fully aware of the effects of my education and the mark of SC in my life.
On a technical level, my time at SC provided me with a tremendous number of experiences on- and off-stage that have proved invaluable in my professional life. The availability of so many ways to connect with SC Theatre and its inner workings trained me to be a valuable part of any production team and helped me to hone my skills as a performer.
There’s more to being a professional actor than the list of accomplishments on your resume or portfolio however, and I see the mark of SC in yet another aspect of my life. No matter your talent as an actor or your inherent theatrical skills, a life as a professional performer is so much less attainable without a base of people to support you, love you, and help you to grow. I am not a performer today because I am ‘just that talented’ or because of anything I did alone. I am a professional performer today because of the unfailing support of my friends and family and the indescribable investment of time, energy, and dedication I experienced from my SC family. I developed a greater understanding of what it means to love and support others through the actions of the SC community and its investment in me.
So, this summer, though I will likely be continuing to audition to be a part of a summer theatre program, no matter what I am doing, I know that Southwestern’s impact on my life will be present. Whether I am using the skills SC gave me on stage or using them to inform my relationships with my friends and coworkers, I know I will see SC’s mark on my life.
"Southwestern College trained me for the opportunities here, gave me invaluable on-stage and backstage experience, surrounded me with unfailing support often even greater than I had for myself, connected me with an incredible network (one you would never expect from a small school in Kansas!), and shaped my spiritual perspectives and how I relate to others."