Ever since I was small, I dreamed of being in New York city. This year, I got to experience the big city in all its glory. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I was given to extend my horizons and learn everything I could about the profession I want to go in to.
Going in, I knew I was going to gain so much information, but I wasn’t expecting the amount of knowledge given to me by the people I met. The Broadway actors and actresses, along with our alumna, Susan Bowyer, opened my eyes to what the industry is all about and what is expected of me after I graduate high school.
Touring Juilliard was a dream come true for me. Seeing the school that so many of my favorite actors and actresses attended made me beyond ecstatic. It was there that I first heard what the industry wants from me. Our tour guide told us that people are attracted to what others are passionate about. They want to see who I am, and what drives my passion. I learned that in order to succeed, I have to understand the kind of person I am, and what fuels my desire to become a performing artist.
Speaking of performing artists, we got to experience firsthand the hard work, passion, and dedication it takes to put on a production. The shows we saw were all contrasting which was really good in my opinion. We got the pleasure of seeing emotionally, theatrically, and choreography driven shows. For example, Mean Girls was a very choreographed production and it was very fun to watch. On the contrary, Dear Evan Hansen was an emotionally driven show. There was barely any choreography, but that didn’t make it any better or worse than the other shows we saw. Because of the contrast, I learned that it takes balance to be successful and that you have to be confident and stick to what you’ve committed to.
We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet with some people who are currently in productions that are running on Broadway. They didn’t mind if we drilled them with questions, and so we were given knowledge that we wouldn’t have been gifted otherwise. They told us about the highs and lows of being a performer, and that it takes a hardworking and passion driven person to succeed in the industry.
Being in New York wasn’t just fun and games, the reality of the city hit me like a truck during the first few days of being there. New York is a city where you have to fight to be heard, because everyone is inclined to ignore you and continue on their own paths. I learned that while watching people on the streets being ignored and forgotten. I understand it though, and I don’t hold anyone accountable for the hardships some people have to face.
The city isn’t the fantasy that Hollywood makes it out to be, and being there made me realize that New York isn’t my only option. Of course, attending NYU or Juilliard would be a dream come true, but it’s okay if I don’t. There are many options out there for me, like Millikin University, or even Windward Community College. The training I receive is really all that matters, and that’s something I wouldn’t have learned so soon if I hadn’t gone on this trip.
I’m really happy to say that I accomplished everything I said I wanted to in my pre-trip blog. I learned that I have options, and that New York isn’t where I have to study. I still hope to attend school there, but now I might not be as crushed if I didn’t get accepted to a school there because I know that it isn’t mandatory to study at a big name school. Of course, I might have to work harder to get my name out there, but I’m up for the challenge.