Acting school wasn't a waste of time or money, Dad!
When pursuing a degree that most deem 'useless' or a 'waste of time' there happens to be a lot of self-doubt and fear, especially with the pending doom of graduation around the corner. I remember when I was about to graduate from college with a Bachelor's in Acting, I was absolutely terrified.
While I loved my collegiate experience, there was very little training (or selective) training to prepare you for the world beyond academia.
Upon the weeks of graduation, I started to shoot my shot with jobs in my field, auditions, and prepping to come back to my hometown and take it by storm. Before I graduated, I even had a callback for a dream show of mine at a professional company! But, there was a dry spell shortly after for a few months. I still persisted with auditions, but instead of getting an acting job right away, I got a job in retail, at Francesca's Collections.
While it wasn't exactly acting, it did put the skills that I gained in college to use.
Just like everyone else in retail, I put on a face to make a sale.
There are concepts I was taught at school that has helped me excel in my job today. As an actor, you have to be flexible. In improvisation, one of the main rules is "Yes, And…" - in normal speak that basically means to go with the flow and build upon what others give you.
It's so easy to follow a cycle where you find the negative and stick with it and tear others down to fit in a group, but when you're actually helping build others up you can discover more about yourself and the people around you.
A popular phrase used in auditioning, or acting in general, is "Fake it until you make it." That phrase is one that I'm positive isn't exclusive to the acting world.
Whenever I am having a rough day, sometimes, I just have to smile, put my best foot forward and stick to my script. Even if you aren't feeling your best, or have an interaction that gets you down, use that thick skin and connect with people.
Speaking of connection, ensemble work was a high-focus at school. You might be asking, "What does that word even mean?"
(I'm here for you!)
Ensemble is just a fancy theatre word for "group" or "team." So, whenever a job application is looking for a team player, or you find yourself getting along with a group of coworkers or guests, you're basically a pro-ensemble member. Personally, it was my favorite part of school since I loved being around people and getting to know them.
Those three are pretty simple, right? Within my three years of retail thus far, I have become an asset at both companies that I have worked for, climbing up the ladder, and even have become an influencer for the company I'm at now and have appeared on their website twice!
Just goes to show you: even if you feel like your degree might not be traditional, you can take what you've learned and apply it anywhere and make money. Don't let others tell you otherwise.