Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Majors: Art History and Theater
Post-Graduation Plans: Graduate school at Sotheby’s Institute for Art – London (MA in Contemporary Art)
Favorite W&L Memory: Spending the afternoon in the senior art studio with a Studio Art Major, Kate Connolly, and her professor, Prof. Olsen, discussing her thesis. It was the first experience I had of feeling like a legitimate college student in the field of art. We joked and had fun, but we also collaborated from three completely different perspectives. The paintings turned out beautifully
Favorite Class: Directing I and II (Directing II is a continuation of Directing I). You learn so much about who you are as a person, a reader, and a director while also getting to create something that is entirely yours for the One Acts.
College is a time when you go through incredible life changes. I have been through many, but I have to say that the most inspiring experience of my years at W&L was my trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, with the General’s Players. In lieu of a theatre internship for my major, we traveled to Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe for a month, performing Neil LeBute’s Tits & Blood as a professional acting troupe.
Spring Term consisted of auditions and rehearsals, because we wouldn’t be together again until August. By the end of the term we were all close friends, because we had spent every day talking with each other about acting. When we got to Scotland, we already knew each other well enough that it was like living with family.
We spent a week in rehearsals and scheduling (we were a rotating cast, meaning that I performed 7 nights along with two other women who shared my role as Portia). The playhouses, Greyfriar’s Kirk House and Augustine’s, were amazing--actual buildings near the famous royal mile. Neither space was an actual theater, but rather a transformed room, making each playhouse a completely new experience.
Of course, when you go to the Festival Fringe, you are hoping to get an understanding of the professional world of acting by performing live in front of an impartial audience, critics, and other professional performers. Little did we know that this was an audience we would fight for every morning. Because the fringe is so large, each cast had to go to the Royal Mile and advertise in the hopes that people would come to their show instead of hundreds of others. We went out in groups with our matching T-shirts and did anything we could to get flyers out. We even did silent meditation!
In the end, the greatest thing about this experience was the adventure. Every day I did something different--lunch at the Royal Botanical gardens, fireworks in the park, touring the castle and beaches of Scotland. Had I done nothing else on this trip, visiting alone is an opportunity that very few people have. I was able to visit sites, see the town, and travel throughout the country. I met the people, experienced the lifestyle, and enjoyed the culture. That was a rich and rewarding experience on its own.
I also met some incredible people along the way. I met amazing writers, one of whom I was able to present at a Mindbending production on campus in the fall. I also made wonderful personal connections in the theatre, and amazing friends in France, London, and Scotland. Connections in the theatre are the way to survive in an industry, and meeting these incredible people led to an internship at an art gallery in London last summer.
The experiences I had in Edinburgh and the people I met changed my life forever. My memories of the trip are incredible, the connections irreplaceable and the experience, one that you get once in a lifetime.